Andrew Noorigian darts after a lacrosse ball, scooping it into his net and races back as fast as he can.
This time his accuracy and stamina is meant to show by example, but normally it’s just to stay out of the way of professional lacrosse players and help in any way he can.
As head ball boy for the Long Island Lizards, the 11-year-old arrived with his coach to the first open tryouts for ball boys Saturday to show the other 10 kids how it’s done.
“You need to know you want to do this,” said Noorigian, of East Meadow. “Three-quarters of the kids I saw have the potential to do this.”
The team held tryouts Saturday at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, looking for agile kids, ages 9 to 16, to become ball boys for the team’s upcoming season.
Bill Alderman, a volunteer for the Lizards, showed the boys how to act on the field and demanded speedy recoveries of the balls and accuracy when passing to players.
“For the first time ever they decided to open it up to all of Long Island,” said Alderman, of East Meadow. “Let all the boys who really want to be a ball boy try out and really give them the opportunity to show their love for lacrosse and to grow and be a part of a professional team.”
Wearing a helmet, mouthpiece, pads, gloves and sneakers, the boys took turns at each drill station using their lacrosse stick like an extension of their arm cradling the ball or retrieving it, even throwing the ball at a filled water bottle to test their accuracy.
Because of his experience playing midfielder on Woodland Middle School’s lacrosse team, Steven Reiser thought he would try out.
“A lot of things here were pretty difficult like you can’t turn your back to the field otherwise a shot could hit you in the back of the head,” said Reiser, 14, of East Meadow. “It takes a lot of skill.
During one of the exercises, Alderman tugged on Reiser’s jersey just before he sprinted after the ball to test him on how he would handle it.
“It didn’t even phase him,” Alderman said.
Alderman will select one or two kids to volunteer as ball boys at the lacrosse team’s first practice Friday night. From there, he will pick one of those boys to participate at the first game of the season at Hofstra University’s James M. Shuart Stadium the following night.
“The skills that we did today are exactly what would go on out on the field,” Alderman said. “The skills that we ask for from the Lizards ball boys can be taught. The responsibility, the demeanor of the young man, the dedication that we need, those things can’t be taught.”