More than a Rivalry Game: Classic Honors Memory of Three Lacrosse Players

Sophia Vlahakis, Editor-in-Chief, News and Sports

The Woodstick Classic is the most historic high school lacrosse game, contested by two nationally-ranked high school powers. Marveled at by the entire lacrosse world, the Manhasset-Garden City rivalry goes beyond just the high school level.

The 140th running of the game on April 30 was arguably one of the most impressive battles in the rivalry, with Garden City winning 12-11 in overtime. But this year, the Woodstick Classic will be remembered for more than just a tense showdown that went into overtime, as at its core, Manhasset and Garden City were united as one.

“We are all gathered tonight as one big community to honor and pray for three of our beloved Manhasset alumni and Garden City alum,”announced Manhasset High School Principal Dr. Dean Schlanger. “James Farrell, Michael Farrell and Ryan Kiess, along with Brianna Maglio are all in our hearts as we remember the impact they had and continue to have on all of us.” Kiess and the Farrell brothers were Manhasset lacrosse stars. Ryan and James went on to play collegiately at the University of Scranton and University of Pennsylvania, respectively, and James was a captain at both Manhasset and UPenn.

The three were killed in a motor vehicle accident last summer, while Maglio, of Garden City was severely injured.

To acknowledge the beloved alumni, the 2022 Manhasset captains wore their high school numbers. Hunter Panzik is the iconic Manhasset lacrosse 32, which James had worn as a senior. Patrick Leder wore 44 for Ryan, and Joey Terenzi wore 4 for Michael.

Terenzi and Michael played together during their respective freshman and senior season in 2019, and Terenzi views Michael as a friend, role model and brother.

“When I was given number 4, I took it with pride and honor,” said Terenzi. “I want to show the community what it means to wear number 4: how to act in victory and defeat.”

At the end of the first half, Garden City led 7-6. In the first quarter, Dawson Rielly put up two goals for Manhasset, and in the second, Terenzi had one and Panzik had three.

In the third quarter, both teams had three goals; the Indians’ points came from Rielly, Panzik and Matt Perfetto. Manhasset held the Trojans to just one goal in the fourth, and with less than three minutes left, Rielly fired two goals to tie the game at 11.

Garden City won in sudden death overtime, but even with the disappointing loss, the Woodstick Classic, rather than just represent- ing two famed lacrosse programs, represented the strength of the community more than ever before. This is evident by the kids with lacrosse sticks who talked about the game like it was a professional sport, the rowdy student section that held signs and released confetti after every goal, a stadium so packed that people lined the fence of the field, and most significantly, the sea of white shirts that had the initials “RK, JF, MF,” and the phrase, “Legends Live Forever.”

Playing for Manhasset lacrosse is like a badge of honor because of the way the town comes to celebrate the team. This season, however, isn’t just about lacrosse; it’s about playing for some of Manhasset’s best athletes, who loved the game and touched everyone they met, and that makes it only the more special.

“No matter what happens, I am playing for something bigger,” states Terenzi.

 

Notes: Begun in 1935, the Woodstick Classic is reportedly the longest continuously contested high school boys’ lacrosse rivalry in the nation, interrupted only by the pandemic in 2020. Manhasset leads the series 78-62. Manhasset, under coach Jay Stranaham, formed the first varsity lacrosse team on Long Island in 1932. According to a history of the rivalry, Stranaham convinced his friend Jim Steen to introduce a program at Garden City, which he did in 1935. The first Woodstick Classic was played that year and Manhasset won 9-0 and went on to win 12 of the first 14 games.