If there are two words that describe St. Joe's Jack Lalley, it's patience and character.
"Jack is what St. Joe's is all about," Head Coach Peter Hudecki said.
Behind a 57-point season, which included 38 goals, the Marauders enjoyed their best year in program history finishing with a 16-5 overall record a regular season and postseason Monsignor Martin Championship, and as the Catholic state runners-up.
"Your senior year you want it to be the best possible," Lalley said. "I couldn't have asked for anything better."
"I know a lot of guys go up to Jack in games and say 'Jack, it's time for you to take over this game,' and all the sudden Jack would take over the game," Hudecki added.
"You have to be patient with everything," Lalley continued. "You have to pick the right times to attack. Sometimes you just need to slow the game down, not just for yourself but for everybody so that you're able to capitalize."
Beyond the goals, the points and the wins there is a number that holds an even higher meaning to Lalley and the Marauders.
"I was very humbled," Lalley said. "Maybe put a little pressure on my shoulders but I felt like I needed to do it."
23 - the number worn my former St. Joe's player Paul Englert who passed away several years ago. Every year, one member of the team is chosen to honor his legacy by wearing his jersey.
"I called Jack up about a month before the season started and I said you know we all talked about it as a coaching staff and we want to ask you if you would be ok with wearing the Number 23. There are a lot of responsibilities that come along with wearing that number," said Hudecki. "Is this something you'd be able to do? And he was right away – privilege and ready to get after it."
"Being picked to wear this number by the coaches means a lot to me," Lalley said. "I was happy to wear it for them this year and represent it the way I did."
***Super 7 Countdown***
#1 – Jack Lalley, St. Joe’s Lacrosse
Scored 38 goals and tallied 57 points to lead the Marauders to a program best 16-5 overall record, the Monsignor Martin championship and a 2nd place finish at the state tournament.
#2 – Nia Stevens, Tapestry Track
The sophomore continued her dominance on the track, claiming four titles at the Section VI Outdoor Championships.
“Nia was the only female athlete to compete in four events and win all four. She won the 100m, 200m, and anchored the winning 4x100m relay and 4x400m relay. She ran person bests in all four events and in the 200m and the 4x100m relay ran the fastest times in WNY.” – Dan Tryon, Head Coach
#3 – Art Jordan, Cheektowaga Track & Field
Won the Division I Discus at the Section VI Outdoor Championships with a toss of 49 feet, 9.75 inches.
“Art has been working for this moment since the indoor season. He finished 4th overall for the indoor season with a throw over 48 feet (only large schools beat him). He started the outdoor season strong by hitting the state standard in the first week with a throw of 49'3. He remained consistent for the majority of the season helping us bring home the Division III and ECIC titles. Art opened up sectionals with the top throw for the first round and never looked back. By the time he got to his last throw he had held off the competition and had a free throw (he had already won the event). Like a Champion he stepped into the circle and improved on his best mark of the day by almost 3 feet! It was a nice exclamation point to the event. As a coach it is nice to see an athlete rise to the occasion. I am happy for him and proud of what he accomplished!” - Rich Bridenbaker, Head Coach
#4 – Annie DiPirro, Depew Softball
Had three hits in the Wildcats 13-0 win in the Far West Regionals to advance to the state semifinals for the second straight year.
"Annie is a "Big Game" player! She continues to lead our offense with timely hits throughout the playoff run. DiPirro's 3 hits and 2 RBI's led the Wildcat offense in the 13-0 win over Section 5 champ Wayland-Cohocton. Annie has been battling an injury throughout the second half of the season, but it has not effected her performance. Great Job Annie!" – Dan Seelig, Head Coach
#5 – Jalin Cooper, Medina Track & Field
Won his second straight 100 meter dash title at the Section VI Outdoor Championships clocking in a 10.90 seconds.
"Jalin won the 100 meter and 200 meter dashes for division 2(small schools) repeating as sectional champion. He ran 10.91 in the 100m and 22.12 in the 200m. He is running extremely fast, while continuing to improve his mechanics. Jalin is looking forward to make an impact at the New York State Track and Field Championships this weekend. This will be his 3rd consecutive year Jalin has competed at State Championship." – Jeff Dole, head Coach
#6 – Sara Puskar, Orchard Park
Only a freshman, Puskar won the Division I long jump at the Section VI Outdoor Track & Field meet.
“Sara is a coaches dream because of her talent,her desire to excel,her work ethic,and mostly her her care and concern about her teammates. Sara competes in multiple events and excels in all of them. She triple jumps,long jumps,runs the 100,200,and the 4 by 100. She would do other events if I asked her. She has a great attitude and is a reflection of her family. Sara gave up the triple jump so she would not let down the 4 by 100 team which finished .3 seconds out of first place. Sara is a great leader and a super kid.” – Gene Tundo, Head Coach
#7 – Chris Nowak, Sweet Home Tack & Field
"Chris has simply developed into one of the best mid distance runners the area has produced. He has continued a dominant indoor season right through the entire outdoor season. He currently enters the state meet undefeated in both the 800 and 1600 meters this year." - Brian Lombardo, Head Coach