Lacrosse: Blue Waves alumni gather for annual Dashan J. Briggs Memorial game

The Riverhead Boys Lacrosse Booster Club hosted the annual Dashan J. Briggs Memorial Alumni Lacrosse game on June 14 at the Pulaski Street Complex, featuring Riverhead alumni from classes going back as far as 2004. The event raises funds for the Dashan Briggs Scholarship fund — in honor of 2007 Riverhead graduate and lacrosse player Tech. Sgt. Briggs, who was killed while serving in the Air National Guard — and promotes the game of lacrosse in the community.

With the fundraising efforts the club was able to raise $500 for the scholarship fund. Originally started in 2018 in partnership with the Police Athletic League, the event was shut down during the COVID years. It was resurrected in 2021 and has been going strong ever since.

“It means a lot to me to make it out to this event every year with the other alumni,” said Blake Carrara, one of the highest rated recruits in Riverhead history, who committed to the University of Maryland in 2016. “It’s great to be back on the field. The skill level clearly gets better every year and it’s great to see how far the program has come along since all of the alumni were kids just starting the game of lacrosse.”

The annual reunion game may be good fun for a cause, but the competition is real and trash talk is normal occurrence. Current Riverhead coaches Vic Guadagnino and Chris Nentwich referee the game and let an alumnus coach each team.

“Believe me, there’s definitely fouls happening,” Guadagnino said. “They’re playing hard, flying around the field and both of the teams want to win. I don’t call all the fouls but some are too obvious.”

The opposing teams are typically made of odd graduating years verse even graduating years, but there were too many participants from the even years this time around so the teams had to be switched up a bit. Among the standouts this year was goalie Jacob Coleman.

“Coleman was ridiculous out there,” Guadagnino said. “We had some of the best attackmen in the program shooting at him, including one of the best in Ryan Hubbard. He was just a brick wall.”

But overall it’s an experience that brings the program full circle. Younger players help out and volunteer their time, while the alumni strap on their old gear and see if they still have what it takes. To have such active participation in the event shows how strong the program has become over the years.

Bolla Oil Corporation sponsored the entire event but the lacrosse club also enlisted field sponsors including Alan Hubbard Electrical Contracting, Frame-Tek, Lighthouse Market, North Fork Dental Associates and Maple Tree Deli, as well as the Healy, Lennon, Nentwich, Winkel, Redmond, Sumwalt and Zaleski families.

This year’s participants, by class year

2004: Derrick Nash 2009: Shane “Sugar” Miller 2010: Kyle Patterson 2013: Paul Harron 2014: Ryan Hubbard 2015: Raheem Brown. Desmond Daniels 2016: Blake Carrara, John Ehlers, Austin Fitzpatrick, Dan Hubbard, Kerry Thomas

2017: Jacob Coleman, Chris Flood 2018: Dean Chapman, Connor Grauer, Matthew Greaves, Dalton Lucas, Paul Tocci

2019: Aiden Fitzpatrick, Travis Hayon, Connor Kalmus, Daniel Mastopaolo

2020: William Burkowsky, David Squires 2021: CJ Dorr 2022: Cole Chapman, Ryken Kutner, Daniel Squires, Justin Weber

2023: John Barry 

2024: Daniel Healy, Jackson Redmond, Zachary Timpone