Bayport Blue Point celebrates their win over Rye during their...

Bayport Blue Point celebrates their win over Rye during their Class C lacrosse state semifinal on Wednesday, June 5, 2024, in Albany, N.Y. Credit: Cindy Schultz

When the Bayport-Blue Point boys lacrosse team left Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium with its first state title in program history, the Phantoms left one thing behind.

It was senior captain Maclin Keyser’s lacrosse stick, the instrument of his three goals and one assist in Bayport-Blue Point’s 13-6 win over Jamesville-DeWitt in the state Class C championship game on June 8. Coach Doug Meehan said the captain gave his stick to a young fan in the crowd.

“I asked [the fan] if he used it at his tournament the next day,” Meehan said. “He said, ‘Absolutely not. It’s hanging in my room.’ ”

It’s the little things that matter most in the big moments, like Keyser’s generosity or when senior Quinn Carroll lifted a NYSPHSAA-sponsored sign with the words, “2024 State Champions” on it, declaring an achievement that extended into the community.

“To think that kid is now looking up to [players like] Maclin Keyser, Danny Aiello, Ben Morris, Mikey Luce,” Meehan said. "They left an impact on this program that will be felt for years to come.”

Aiello and Luce made the title even more special by winning alongside their fathers, Jeff and Mike, who are both assistant coaches. 

“It’s awesome. We talk of our team as a family, and just being able to win with someone who’s actually a part of your family is truly amazing,” Dan Aiello said. “Coach Luce, I can almost talk to him as my second dad.”

“I got the best coaching staff in America,” Meehan said after the state championship. “I’m so proud of those guys, I love working with them. They make me a better coach, a better husband, a better father.”

The Phantoms allowed an average of just 5.6 goals per game, allowing no more than eight goals in a single game all season. Bayport-Blue Point also scored at least 10 goals in all but seven games of its 21-1 season.

“[The chemistry] has always been there. We’ve been playing since we were little kids,” senior Chase Dickinson said. “The bond between me, Mikey and Brady [Smith], we’ve always played defense together and it’s always been a close little thing we have.”

The Phantoms carried a 12-game win streak into May before losing in overtime to Comsewogue. It’s common to hear that a loss is good when a team has that much success, but Meehan disagreed, instead seeing a chance to drill a mindset into his players’ heads who were upset after the loss.

“I said to them, ‘As sad as you are now, imagine the feeling of losing the last game and how you would feel,’ ” Meehan said. “This team truly had a chance to never lose again, and they never lost again after that. They never had to have their last game of the year be a loss and cry and feel horrible. They got to celebrate and turn those potential tears into smiles.”

Bayport-Blue Point entered the spring with a 37-13 record since the 2020-21 season, with plenty of terrific lacrosse players donning the navy blue in past seasons in search of a title.

When Meehan checked his 116 missed text messages filled with praise and pride from alumni, friends and family on the police-escorted bus ride back from Hofstra, the coach was reminded of how many people felt the triumph those 28 Bayport-Blue Point players experienced that evening.

“These previous teams, they paved the path,” Meehan said. “They taught these kids how to win . . . it’s a total program, town, community accomplishment.”

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