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Britt, Dollard, Tomaso Inducted into ENLA HOF

On June 19th, the Empire North Lacrosse Association (ENLA) welcomed three new members into its Hall of Fame during the organization’s banquet held at the Shaker Ridge Country Club. The ENLA is the successor organization to the Adirondack Chapter of US Lacrosse, following US Lacrosse’s move away from regional chapters.

Inducted during the ceremony were Carrie Britt, Bill Dollard, and Marco Tomaso. Following, find each inductee’s bio from the event program, as well as lists of the 2019 Section 2 Champions, Coach of the Year recipients, All-Americans, Academic All-Americans, and other award winners.

Carrie Britt

2019 ENLA Inductee Carrie Britt

Carrie played for Guilderland at the beginning of the program. Her senior year she broke the school record for scoring and was named MVP of her team. From Guilderland she attended Rensselaer starting every game for all four years. Her class was groundbreaking going undefeated her freshman year, and finishing up in the NCAA tournament finally losing to Middlebury in the quarterfinals. She was a two year captain and member of RPI’s athletic honor society Olympia. Senior year she was inducted into the “100 goal” club, named to the NYS all-tournament team, most valuable attack player, and Regional All American.

After college Carrie was asked to coach the first girls’ team for the Albany Capitals, the first travel lacrosse program in the area. The program expanded until it had 3 girls’ teams. During this time Carrie joined the Adirondack US Lacrosse chapter representing the women’s side of the game. She coached the U13 and U15 Adirondack chapter national teams that include many of the region’s future all Americans. She helped organize the first girls youth organization, while also playing for the Westchester and Boston Women’s lacrosse clubs. In 1999-2001 she played for New England in the women’s national tournament. She was honored by US Lacrosse at that time with the Dick Au Claire service award, and Person of the Year.

In 2000 Carrie was approached to coach the Shaker Varsity program. From 2001-2008 the program when from last place to the sectional class A championship game. During that time she worked tirelessly to get the program the equity it deserved from paid assistant coaches where there had been none, to equipment and booster club support. From Shaker, head Coach Gary Chatnik brought Carrie back to Guilderland where her career had begun. Carrie coached JV at Guilderland from 2009-2010, Varsity assistant 2011-2013, and finally as head coach for 2014-2017. During her tenure at Guilderland the program had 14 consecutive Sectional championship appearances, and multiple championships, the last coming and Carrie retired from varsity in 2017 after her last championship win.

Lastly, Carrie founded Adirondack Women’s Lacrosse League with Nancy Hoxie which has provided the capital region with post-collegiate opportunities to play where there previously were none. She currently plays in the league and was lucky enough last year to win the championship playing with several of her former players.

Bill Dollard

2019 ENLA HOF Inductee Bill Dollard

A 1979 graduate of Caledonia-Mumford High School, which still does not have a lacrosse program, Bill Dollard first learned about the game as a student at the University of Rochester. Drawn in by football teammates who hailed from Central New York and Long Island, Bill saw an opportunity to enjoy a reduced weight-lifting schedule in the Springtime by learning lacrosse. It has been a love affair for the past 40 years.

The Yellowjackets’ lacrosse coach was the same receivers coach that hollered at Bill during the football season. The coach’s experience with the game was one year greater than his new player when the 1980 season began having picked up the gig as side-pay the year before. Teammates cobbled together a defenseman’s stick for Bill. It had a heavy wooden handle topped by an STX SAM head with a gut pocket. It was a thing of beauty but a dangerous item in this newcomer’s hands.

When Bill transferred to Oswego in 1982 he was blessed to meet the team’s young new coach, Dan Witmer. As great a fella and coach as Wit was, the combination of Bill’s weak skill set and the irresistibility of rugby derailed his college career but the love of lacrosse never faded. More importantly, Bill met his wife, Lynn, at Oswego! That love affair has provided more than 30 years of happy marriage and three wonderful kids. It makes sense that lacrosse would take a back seat for a bit…

In time, family-building and getting around to a teaching/coaching career brought Bill back to the game. Moving back to Albany brought him to the Mohawk Lacrosse League and legions of teammates who tolerated a rusty defenseman. Soon, Bill found his way onto teams at the Lake Placid tournament by working for George Leveille and getting pulled off a free-agent list. Eventually, he spent enough money at BEFF’s that Mickey Blanchfield invited him to play at Lake Placid. To further defy the odds, both Mark Walsh and Steve Hart had Bill on Cloudsplitters sides and James Manchester let him run with the Crabmen. To say Bil is grateful to have been included in these efforts is an understatement.

Bill’s involvement with lacrosse as a coach has been a singular source of joy. When he moved back to the area, he joined the staff at Shenendehowa while teaching at Christian Brothers Academy. After a few years, the Brothers at CBA gave Bill the wherewithal to start a program. Over the course of the next 10 years, the Brothers and Bill earned 100 wins, dozens of all-league players, All-Americans, Academic
All-Americans, North-South game participants and some Coach of the Year selections. This would be further evidence of this guy’s charmed life.

Over the last 30 years, Bill has enjoyed numerous opportunities to contribute to the growth of lacrosse in the Capital Region. When the Albany Capitals gave birth to the Adirondack Chapter of U.S. Lacrosse, new opportunities emerged to help lacrosse grow in the 518. Coaching Capitals’ teams and select teams representing the Chapter gave him the chance to coach so many gifted players. Coaching in the Empire State Games and other off-season efforts furthered those opportunities. Several years of coaching with Albany Power was another opportunity to teach and coach many of the area’s best players. But no coaching effort brought more joy than working with Lynn and Bill’s three kids – Packy, Moira and Liam – as their love for lacrosse grew and the game grew into the family’s shared experience.

Continued involvement with the Adirondack Chapter in recent years has allowed Bill to keep working with many folks so deeply committed to lacrosse in this area like Jon Flood, Ron Greenfield, Dave Bach, Jeff Stefanko and others. It took some time to iron out issues that ensured support for youth lacrosse in the area. The hundreds of volunteers in communities all across the region have done amazing work to put together a feeder system of well-organized programs that support school-based lacrosse teams. The love of the game combined with the commitment to positive experiences for kids has benefited thousands of young lacrosse players. All are to be commended!

This space and the evening this great honor is given can never be large enough for Bill to share his gratitude to so many. It will suffice to say that he is so very, very grateful to his wife, Lynn, for allowing him to pursue this passion and to share the many adventures along the way. This is a very lucky guy…

Marco Tomaso

Coach Marco Tomaso (center) with Colonie Class of 1986 Players Gary Govel and Jim Mantica

With 57 years of lacrosse experience, Marco has had an extensive career within the sport and athletics. He played collegiate level lacrosse, and in 1966 received his Bachelors of Science degree in Physical Education, from SUNY Cortland. From there he would have a long term career in athletics at Colonie Central High School.

For 34 years Marco served as a Physical Education teacher, and later Department Coordinator and Faculty Manager of Athletics for Colonie High School. During that time, he also coached Wrestling, a program which has continued today to be successful within Section 2 and throughout NYS.

In 1980, he founded the Lacrosse program at Colonie and was Head Coach of the boys program for 21 years. From there, he would use his prior lacrosse experience having played for SUNY Cortland and in the Mohawk Men’s Lacrosse League to lead Colonie to a Sectional Championship in 1988.

Upon retiring from teaching in 2000, Marco would continue his involvement with lacrosse by joining “the stripes”. He began officiating in 2001 and continues to do so today. He has utilized his mastery of teaching as the instructor for the Capital District Lacrosse Officials Association (CDLOA) new member classes for the last nine years.

In addition, he has volunteered his time as the assignor of officials for the Boy’s Adirondack Summer League for the last 13 years. Marco is the only person in Section 2 to have won a Section Championship as a coach, and then officiate a Section Championship as well.

2019 Section 2 Champions

Insta Gallery of HOF Class and Section 2 All-Americans

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.