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Farmingdale’s Bob Hartranft earns 700th boys lacrosse victory

Bob Hartranft, head coach of the Farmingdale

Bob Hartranft, head coach of the Farmingdale varsity boys lacrosse team, paces the sideline during a game against Carey at Farmingdale High School on Friday, Apr. 8, 2016. Photo Credit: James Escher

When Farmingdale boys lacrosse coach Bob Hartranft joined a very exclusive club Friday night, he insisted that his membership be all-inclusive.

“This is a tribute to all the kids that wore the green and white for me the last 48 years,” Hartranft said of becoming only the third high school boys lacrosse coach in the United States to reach 700 victories. “I didn’t score a goal; I didn’t make a save; I didn’t win a faceoff. Hats off to these kids.”

No. 700 was an easy-breezy 14-3 home victory over Carey in a non-league game. Mike Messere (805), still active at West Genesee in Syracuse, and retired Ward Melville and Mount Sinai coach Joe Cuozzo (747) are the only boys lacrosse coaches with more victories than Hartranft, 73, who told Newsday that he already has informed school officials that this will be his final season. He has spent his entire career at Farmingdale.

“You have to have really good kids to do what I’ve done,” Hart ranft said. “We have blue-collar, hard-working kids here. I’m fortunate. Blessed, really.”

The Dalers (6-0) were dominant Friday night. After Carey (0-5) scored the game’s first goal, Farmingdale scored the next 13. Tom McPartland had four goals and four assists, Kyle Tucker also netted four goals and Dylan Fitzgerald had two goals and two assists.

“I’ve been here for four years and Coach Hartranft has been a huge role model for me,” McPartland said after the Dalers gathered around Hartranft and chanted “700-700-700!” before posing for team pictures. “He’s molded players far better than me and it’s definitely great to give him something like this.”

Among the many Farmingdale players whom Hartranft has coached who have gone on to play college lacrosse are current standouts Korey Hendrickson, who has 19 goals in 10 games for Hofstra, and Salvatore Tuttle, Adelphi’s leading scorer with 38 goals and 27 assists in 10 games. “It’s a great sense of pride to see your kids excel in college,” Hartranft said.

He said he does not recall his first victory, back in 1969, but called his only state championship in 2011 “a number one memory. We were known as the best team in the state never to win a championship, so that got the monkey off our backs.”

McPartland said the players were aware of the milestone even though Hartranft did not mention No. 700 this week, but that captain Bob Norton gave a passionate speech in the locker room and “spread the word.”

The players gave Hartranft the game ball Friday night. “It’s been a wonderful ride,” he said.

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