Northport beats Smithtown West in 12th Louis Acompora Jamboree
A 10-goal win would have been satisfaction enough for any boys lacrosse team. But on Saturday afternoon at Veterans Field in East Northport, the Northport High School boys lacrosse team had something more to play for: making Louis proud.
As the headline game of the 12th Louis Acompora Jamboree, the Tigers took down Smithtown West, 16-6.
"We had an outstanding team effort today," Northport coach George Searing said. "Honoring Louis isn't just a one day thing. We live in 24/7 here with helping this foundation and these kids are great supporting what this family is all about."
Eight other teams, took part in the tournament to honor the former Northport goalie that passed away during his first game in 2000, as a ball struck him in the chest, sending him into cardiac arrest.
Since his death, his family has worked to ensure that Automated External Defibrillators are on the premises of every school.
"We're just trying to bring the awareness of preventing sudden cardiac death," Karen Acompora, mother of Louis, said. "It's heartwarming on days like this but we know our work is not done."
As Karen and her husband, John, looked on, Billy Cannon and John Trainor each scored four goals and had two assists to pace Northport (8-1).
"We talked about it before the game that we had to stay aggressive," Trainor said. "We couldn't be afraid to make mistakes so I just played as hard as I could and wasn't worrying about it."
Rebounding from a loss against West Islip, a four-goal performance was just what the doctor ordered, especially on such a special day for Trainor.
"I've played in this game for three years now," Trainor said. "This means so much to me and I know how much it means to them so it was great we were able to get the win today."
The faceoff battle proved vital as Austin Hennigsen went 14-for-22 from the circle, allowing Northport to keep the pressure on for a majority of the game.
"Austin's a real special player and he helps us out a lot," Searing said. "He helps us control the tempo of the game and if the other team gets on a run, he finds a way to gain us one or two possessions."
Once possession was secured, ball distribution was the next aspect to undo Smithtown West (8-2) as patient play from Northport carved open chance after chance.
"We're really playing well as a unit right now," Searing said. "We were ready to help out some really great individual efforts. It was a complete victory from one end to the other."
Celebrating the win with his players, Searing was equally as excited to play well for the Acompora family.
"The Acomporas are two of the most fantastic people I've ever been around," Searing said. "I find inspiration in them all the time. I'm more grateful to them than anyone could imagine."
For the family, it was a perfect day.
"It was perfect," Karen Acompora said. "There was some great lacrosse, the sun was shining and we couldn't ask for any more than that. It helps when Northport wins."