Jimmy Regan was a perfect man in that he put others before himself and made sacrifices – both for his country and in ultimately his life as an Army Ranger. Manhasset native Jack Brennan, who grew up knowing Regan and who now plays for his alma mater of Chaminade, would be the first to admit that he is not a perfect man, but did put on a perfect performance this past Saturday night on the lacrosse field, scoring a hat trick in a 10-5 win against the Indians and giving the Flyers the overall edge 4-3 in the annual charity game held in Regan’s name.
“I didn’t really do much, it was just a lot of feeds on the crease and I just finished and I got lucky,” Brennan said of his on-field performance, especially considering the significant amount of playing time as a junior on the team.
“The main thing is Jimmy and that’s kind of what we’re all here for; I’ve looked up to Jimmy ever since I was a kid, ever since the tragic incident but obviously it’s a sad story but it also serves as great motivation for the team and just obviously a great story and we love to play for that purpose,” said Brennan.
“He’s coming into his own,” said Flyer head coach Jack Moran.
His family had been friends with the Regans and although he recalled meeting the future Ranger a few times, Brennan mostly only grew up hearing about Jimmy from afar, through the legacy that continues to influence both schools.
“We have a number of Manhasset kids on our team,” said Moran. “They know the Regans, they know the history of Jimmy playing all-PAL here and going to Manhasset School District until he made the decision to come to Chaminade and a lot of them, it’s developed into a really healthy rivalry. The kids know each other and I think they all know this is one of their guys who really went out and is an American hero. Jimmy coached with us one year before he went into the Army because he left Wall Street. It’s an honor to play in this game and the Manhasset kids know it too.”
Regan, a Duke University graduate and championship lacrosse player for the Tar Heels, forwent a career on Wall Street and instead enlisted in the armed services, becoming an Army Ranger in the 3rd Battalion who perished while fighting in Iraq in 2007.
“Our whole school knows (what Jimmy did), Manhasset knows it, so we know what we had to do,” said Chaminade captain Sean Cerrone, who had a goal in the contest and was picked at the beginning of the season to wear No. 19, the same jersey that Regan himself wore when he was a student.
“Sean is first on, last off, first in every drill, very tolerant of other kids that make mistakes and he’s got a special quality; he’s got ‘it,’ he’s got that quality that can rally other people and he can make (plays),” Moran said of Cerrone, who made a shorthanded goal late in the game.
“I feel like I’ve got some big shoes to fill,” Cerrone said.