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UAlbany Alumni Teams to Play at Lake Placid

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Looking over the ROSTERS for the 2017 Lake Placid Summit Classic, you will find UAlbany Lacrosse alumni, as well as current Great Danes, on several teams including Team Army Ranger, Sector SPDRS, and Buffalo Soldiers in the elite Men’s Gold 18+ division, the Dutchmasters Men’s 50+ and 55+ division teams, the Lady Danes in the Women’s 18+ Silver Division, and more.  However, the Danes are of course most deeply represented on the two UAlbany Men’s LacrosseAlumni Teams – the Grayed Danes playing in the 45+ Bronze Division, and the Gray Danes playing in the 30+ Division.

Dave Cerny and Luke Smith recently took the time to talk to Capital District Lax about the Danes Alumni teams playing in Lake Placid.

Dave Cerny left quite an impression at UAlbany.  At the time of his graduation in 1986, he held the program’s records in career and single season points, assists, and goals, and was honored with a USILA All-American Honorable Mention. After Albany, he went on to The University of Notre Dame where he served as a graduate assistant lacrosse coach for two years while earning an MBA.  Since then he has lived in Cleveland, Ohio playing and coaching lax and trying to help the sport grow.

Playing from 2000-2003, Luke Smith was a member of UAlbany’s first DI era teams.  He served as a captain of the 2003 team which won the America East title and earned UAlbany its first trip to an NCAA DI tournament in any sport.  Smith earned All-America East First Team, and AE All-Championship honors for his efforts in 2003.  The 2003 team was inducted into the UA Athletics HOF in 2016  

How many years have the UAlbany Alumni teams been playing in Lake Placid, and how did the teams first come to participate in the event?

DC: Our 45+ team started in 2013 when Brad Rabinowitz 85’ got the 80’s teams alumni together via email/phonecalls.  Ed Rose and my brother, Mike Cerny, helped with sponsoring us and getting the guys that first year.  We dedicated that first year and each subsequent year to the memory of a teammate, Alan Cornfield, who passed away.  We wear his number 13 on our jerseys.   He was a great goalie, 4 year starter, better person who left us too young.  We have had a team each year since.

LS: This is our fifth year in the 30+ division.  The guys that I played with at UAlbany stay in touch by email, and by using the GroupMe messaging app, so we organized through those means.

Tell us a little about the roster composition of the teams?

DC: We started out trying to get all alumni but we supplemented that with “friends” of Alumni.  Many of the New York City/Hudson Valley guys had buddies to fill spots.  They have since started a spring team in the Hudson Valley league.  I also had some friends from the Cleveland area as well.   Each year we have reached out to new 45 year old Albany grads and the team has migrated to 80%+- Albany grads.  Most guys are repeats.  We were really excited two years ago when the Kim Brothers, Blake and Cort, turned 45, they have added some much needed “scoring punch”.  I had been looking forward to playing with the Kim’s for 20 years and admired what they did at Albany.  I think we range from 1982 grads 94-95’ this year.

LS: Of the 22 players on our 30+ team, 21 are UAlbany alumni, and the remaining player is a sibling.  15 of the guys on our 30+ team  were on the the 2000-2003 UAlbany teams that I played on. Coach Marr typically comes and yells encouragement from the sideline, and we’ll have an extra uniform if he wants to jump in and take a run in a Man-Up situation.  We are strong at goalie with Kevin Rae (UAlbany Athletics Hall of Famer), and Chris Gill.  Our roster also includes UAlbany Associate Head Coach Liam Gleason, and Eric Wolf who was just named as Head Coach of the LIU-Post Lacrosse team.       

How have the teams done in Lake Placid over the years?

DC: We started out 0-4 that first year and have since been a “middle of the pack” team.  We are hoping this year we can get into the winner’s bracket as we have gotten younger.

LS: Last year we were 2-2, and our best record in Lake Placid thus far has been 3-1. The 30+ division can include both alumni teams like ours, as well as clubs that play together on a more regular basis so the match-ups can vary.  Over the years we have come away with wins over Syracuse, Hopkins, and LeMoyne alumni teams.   

Other than Lake Placid, do you play in other events together?

DC: This is our only tournament as an Albany team.  It works great based on the fact that most guys are New York based so the location is doable for the mid-week games and City based guys.  Some of us play in other tournaments for other teams. Such as the Florida masters tournament, I play on the Notre Dame team there.  Most guys start playing in their local old man’s leagues once they go to Placid as they have been bitten by the lax bug again!!

LS: A lot of us play in the UAlbany Alumni game held in the fall, and seven of our players play together in a men’s league on Long Island.  Personally my lacrosse each year includes my high school alumni game, the UAlbany Alumni game, and Lake Placid.  

Will the team be able to get any practices in before Lake Placid?

DC: No practices as, we are from all over.  A few play on the same Hudson Valley league team, some for Team Israel Masters so we are familiar with each other to some degree.

LS: No practices for the 30+ team either.  Some guys, including those who have been playing a little more frequently will come to Placid in better shape than the others.

Any plans for the team to spend time together off the field in Lake Placid?

DC: We have had a barbecue/picnic dinner with the 30+ Albany team each year.  It has been a lot of fun getting the guys and families together and getting to know the younger generation of Danes.  Scott Marr has been to most of the get togethers and we have all had a good time.  I am “wowed” by how Marr has created a family atmosphere with his 17 years of players/teams and our 45+ team.  They are all pretty close and adding our older guys has been fun.  You can see why his current players love to play for him and the “Albany style of play”.  He even jumped into a mid-game huddle at one of our games to give us a “pep talk”.

LS: We hang out as a team often, including after games, and in the past we have had barbecues at hotels where we were staying.  The joint get together with the 45+ team at the Tail O’ the Pup is great, and something that we all look forward to.

What memories stand out to you the most from your years of playing at Lake Placid?

DC: I’d have to say the barbecues with both the 30+ and 45+ teams have been a highlight.  Getting several generations of guys together who all “bleed purple” has been fun.

LS: You can see generations of lacrosse in Lake Placid.  In addition to watching us play, Lake Placid gives Coach Marr the opportunity to see his son Kyle play, and this year to see his daughter Jordyn playing in the Women’s division.

As a 45+ alumni team that  includes players from Albany’s DIII and DII years, what does the growth of the UAlbany program and continued success at the DI level mean to you guys?

DC: We all know we played some role in Albany lacrosse history.  In our era we played some DI teams each year but the growth of lacrosse and the transition to DI for Albany has been an exciting time for all of us from the 2007 team winning their first NCAA game, the Thompsons,and last year as they beat Carolina.  As lacrosse is growing all over the country, Marr has made Albany the most exciting team to watch with his unique style of play.  We are all PROUD GREAT DANES!!!

The 30+ team begins 2017 Lake Placid Tournament play against Go Big Nutrition on Thurs Aug 3rd at 1:30 PM on Field 1.

The 45+ team begins play against Checkmate Lacrosse on Thurs Aug 3rd at 11:00 AM on Field 6.

For complete info on each of the teams schedules visit: SCHEDULE

Gary Govel
Gary has been involved in lacrosse in the Capital District for over 35 years as a player, youth coach, program administrator, parent, and fan. Gary launched in November 2015 to report on lacrosse news and information of interest to the region, and to share his passion for the game. In addition to operating this site and associated social media, Gary is also a contributor to Inside Lacrosse.