Manhasset Lacrosse Hall of Fame inducts six more to glory
Earlier this year, the Manhasset Lacrosse Hall of Fame (MLHOF) held its 33rd induction ceremony at the Plandome Country Club. Thanks to COVID, the fundraiser was not held last year during its traditional first Thursday in May, but instead was moved to last September. The evening was judged a great success. “Not only did we honor six outstanding lacrosse players, but we also raised over $33,000 for the scholarships of our beloved Ryan Kiess, Michael and James Farrell, graduates of Manhasset, whose lives were cut short by a tragic accident in July 2021,” the website noted. “We witnessed the outpouring of love and support.”
The Class of 2022 consists of:
• E. Ward Bitter III, presented by Ward’s father, Ward Bitter Jr.
• Melissa Buttles Henne, presented by coach Pam Monfort and accepted by her mom, Sandy
• Sean Denihan, presented by Sean’s father, Dan Denihan Sr.
• Mike Kellerman, presented by son and MLHOF member Teddy Kellerman
• Halle Majorana, presented by coach Danielle Gallagher
• Ryan Miller, presented by Ryan’s father-in-law, Dan Denihan Sr.
Tom Raleigh gave the welcome. At the dinner, the following awards were also presented:
Harry Baugher Award: Introduced by Kathy Baugher and Whitney Baugher Godfrey and presented by boys varsity coach Keith Cromwell to Joe Terenzi and girls varsity coach Meg Clarke to Christina Petras.
According to the citation, it is “awarded annually to a Manhasset senior lacrosse player, male and female, whose qualities include sportsmanship, leadership, teamwork, team spirit, tenacity, sacrifice, and love of the game. This scholarship honors the memory of the late W. Harry Baugher and Harry L. Baugher, who did so much for the young athletes of Manhasset. The necessary qualifications of this award are the same ideals both coaches believed in and stressed to the PAL/PBC players that they coached. Their passion and commitment to all athletic competition will never be forgotten.”
Bill Miller presented Raissa Petracca with the Angela Miller Memorial Award. According to the citation, “Angela raised 11 children, all of whom participated in the Manhasset PAL program. She attended virtually every lacrosse game that each of them played, both in high school and college. Angela was a pillar of strength and encouragement to her children. This award is bestowed on a mother in the Manhasset community who has encouraged and supported their children and others and has an impact on the youth of the community.”
Here are summaries of the citations, with Manhasset High School class year in parenthesis:
Halle Majorana (2012)
As one of the youngest inductees, Halle’s remarkable career at Manhasset has earned her an immediate induction into the Hall of Fame. In addition to lacrosse, she was a varsity soccer three-year starter and varsity basketball three-year starter, awarded the MVP for the Barbara Hoffman Tournament and All-County her senior year. Her lacrosse accomplishments:
• All-American for three years, four-time All-County, two-time Newsday All-Long Island
• Picked to the Long Island Metro First Team for the Schoolgirls’ Division for the National Tournament, and was selected for the LI Under Armor Team
• Played for Long Island Liberty Lacrosse
• National champion at the University of Maryland her soph year, but transferred to Syracuse
• Two-time Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-American, with first team honors in 2015
• All-Atlantic Coast Conference First Team in both 2015 and 2016
• Scored 91 points as a junior, ranking 5th nationally, and 70 points her senior year, and was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List
• Earned a Bachelor of Science degree in child family studies in 2016, and earned All-ACC Academic Team honors three times during her career
• Joined the Villanova coaching staff in the fall of 2017, where she assisted in all facets of the program
• Began her professional career playing for the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League with the Upstate Pride. The league has since changed to the Athletes Unlimited Lacrosse, which played its first season last summer—catch the games on CBS.
Halle’s coach, Danielle Gallagher, knows her hunger of lacrosse; “To be able to coach a player with so much passion, I can resonate with that pride. Halle is unique. She’s got an amazing first step, her footwork is unmatched, and her shots have been drilled and practiced. She never shows a dominant hand. She’ll take a defender equally strong with both hands, and her behind-the-back shot, is perfection’”
Melissa Buttles Henne (1993)
Her induction into the MLHOF is long overdue. Melissa earned seven varsity letters, in field hockey, basketball and lacrosse in the spring.
•Lead scorer in field hockey, winning county championship in 1991, All-County as a senior
• Two-year basketball starter, winning county title in 1991 for coach Chuck Collyer
• Brothers Jason and Roger are MLHOF members
• Three-year varsity lacrosse starter in every game
• Led the team in scoring all three years, accumulating 83 goals and 114 asists.
• All-County and All-Division honors and represented Manhasset three times on the National Schoolgirls Team, competing against other national districts as part of United States Women’s Lacrosse Association.
• Played on the Princeton 1994 national championship team, but an injury cut her career short
• Taught social studies and English through Teach for America
• Attended graduate school at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, and worked in Education Research and policy in the Bay area. Started a new job on May 1.
• Lives in Ross, CA, with her husband, Colin, and 13-year-old son Finn, who loves golf. As Melissa explained, at least he loves a game with a “ball and a stick.”
Melissa is remembered by coach Pam Monfort as a “fierce competitor. She would come around the back of the cage, pause, and either kept pursuing to goal or pass to a teammate cutting down field. Melissa was such a strong asset to the team in every possible way. She never complained about the running, she never balked at drills and skills—she invited the rigorous training, as she excelled and got better with every opportunity. She was a true team player and was always willing to be coached.”
Mike Kellerman, Service
Dad, husband, friend and grandfather. Devoted, determined, instinctive, innovative and a leader. Came to Manhasset via Port Washington in the ’70s, when life was simpler, a graduating class size was about 150, and lacrosse was continuing to delight the Manhasset community.
It was in 1978 that Mike watched his first lacrosse game ever. Mike had the opportunity to watch the first “Lacrosse Day of Champions” game, where co-captain Bobby Hendrickson (MLHOF ’89), a senior on an undefeated Cornell NCAA 1977 champion, (guided by former Manhasset coach Richie Moran) played against Johns Hopkins with Manhasset grads Scott Baugher and Barney Fields. It was “love at first sight” for Mike.
Manhasset Board of Education Trustee Helen Conte welcomed Mike to Manhasset and told him “he needed to get involved.” This led him to the Manhasset Booster Club. The great dads of the time—Bill Donohue, Don Pitti, Larry Keogh, Peter Kenny, Ken Molloy, Joe Fields and of course, Whitey Hendrickson—welcomed him with open arms.
These Manhasset lacrosse “gurus” brought to Manhasset a game pitting the NCAA men’s lacrosse champs against a willing visiting team. The goal was to bring a great college matchup which followed a spectacular Manhasset home game. It allowed college coaches to scout Long Island players, as club teams and tournaments did not exist then.
Kellerman became the president of the Booster Club during 1986 and 1987, and with responsibility and tradition, became the chairperson of the Lacrosse Day of Champions in 1988 and 1989. During those years, Manhasset hosted phenomenal teams from North Carolina, Johns Hopkins and Syracuse.
For those who remember, the Lacrosse Day of Champions was one of the greatest days for Manhasset lacrosse. The money raised was used to help all athletic programs for Manhasset High School. The games continued until the NCAA ruled that they were illegal.
Mike’s son John recalls his dad as a generous and caring president. He said, “I think the thing I remember most about his involvement was that no kid or sports program did without. A team needed money or a kid needed running cleats, the Booster Club came through always because of Lax Day.”
Mike then moved on to Glen Cove and helped start the North Shore Lacrosse Club.
Mike now resides in Sarasota, FL, with his wife Jeanette. Their three sons and families are in Port Washington, Montauk, and Boca Raton, FL. The couple has nine grandchildren ranging from 26 to 6 years old.
“Congratulations on your induction, Mike. We hope you accept this as our thanks for all you did for the sport of lacrosse, and for all you did for the kids of Manhasset,” read his citation.
Ryan Miller (2001)
There is no doubt that the great attack line of 2001 consisted of Manhasset legacy names—Denihan, Bitter and of course, Miller. These names have been the driving force behind PAL Lacrosse and often the guts and strength behind the powerhouse that is the Manhasset lacrosse tradition. So, it is fitting that Ryan Miller, the youngest of the 11 children of Bill and Angela Miller, is inducted into the Manhasset Lacrosse Hall of Fame this evening.
• An outstanding athlete, Ryan was the long snapper in football for coach Bill Cherry
• All-County his senior year for his participation in the indoor track 4×800 and 4×400 relay teams, coached by legendary Don Scott. His speed, quickness and incredible footwork only made his transition to the spring and lacrosse only easier each year
• In his senior year, Manhasset lacrosse won the county and Long Island titles, and fell short to Penn Yan in the state finals by a score of 9-8
• Selected All-County in his senior year, and Honorable Mention All-County as a junior
• One of the top attackers for Hofstra in 2006, under first-year coach Seth Tierney
• Enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, serving from 2010 to 2018. He was an instructor-trainer for martial arts and was a part of the deployment to Africa in the Security Cooperation Mission in Burundi
• Once leaving the USMC, was a part of the CBRE Real Estate group, and managed Chick-Fil-A for his family. He is now in golf maintenance at the Village of Sands Point Golf Club
• Fulfilling the “circle” of Manhasset, once started as a player in the PAL Lacrosse program, Ryan is now the coach for his sons’ teams
• Married to Mary Kate Denihan, and they have 4 children, RJ, Emmett, Annie and Muiread
Coach Alan Lowe remembers Ryan as an “instinctive player that was unpredictable. It was very difficult to scout Ryan, because what he did in one game, he couldn’t replicate again in the next. He had moves that you just don’t teach—a plethora of moves. He had a great stick both ways and was a great shooter.”
Sean Denihan (2001)
It’s very hard to recognize just one of the attack line of the 2001 Manhasset boys lacrosse team—you’ve got to recognize all of them. Sean Denihan was one that came through in championship style, worthy of recognition in the MLHOF.
Sean Denihan is the youngest of the Denihan family, following in the footsteps of his two older brothers and dad to be inducted in the MLHOF. An outstanding athlete, Sean was an All-Conference, two year varsity, defensive end in football.
• In lacrosse, was a part of the remarkable line attack, always an exceptional and a vital attack player for three years running
• All-Conference in his sophomore year and and All-County as a junior, leading with goals and assists
• All-County again his senior year, and was awarded the MVP of the 14-10 Nassau County final win over Lynbrook after fellow attacker Ward Bitter fell to an injury. Said coach Alan Lowe; “Sean really stepped up in the playoffs for us, when we needed him most. He just got better and better every year. He was the main force and the control of the attack his senior year.”
• Major contributor for the Hoyas of Georgetown, playing for coach Dave Urick
• Played for four years, starting in three of them, as the Hoyas won two East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) titles. As a sophomore, Sean was second on his team in assists, and third overall in points
• Earned All-ECAC Honors his junior year, ranking third on the team with 29 points. His senior year, the team finished 12-3, losing to Virginia in the NCAA quarterfinal
• Earned an MBA in Finance from Fordham University, and worked in real estate and construction, managing large properties in Manhattan
• Joined Homewood Real Estate Partners in 2014 as a managing partner
• Married to Michelle, and together they have two children, Benjamin and Carey
E. Ward Bitter (2001)
Edwin Ward “EW” Bitter was an outstanding lacrosse player for Manhasset, but his career was cut short by a devastating medical condition which curtailed his promising future in the sport that he and his family loved.
• Four-year starter in soccer, named All-County and served as captain of the team
• Playing for Coach LoBianco, EW’s senior year was extraordinary, as the team won the county and Long Island titles and lost in the state finals
• Three-year lacrosse starter, named Honorable Mention All-American his senior year. His leadership on and off the field, attested his selection as a captain that same year
• His strength leading the attack line of Miller, Denihan and Bitter, was unstoppable. That team eventually lost in the state final, 9-8
• A top national recruit, and went on to Williams College, where his medical condition continued to curtail his participation, but he never let that get him down
• A 2005 graduate, Ward initially lived in Boston with a job in a private equity group in real estate. Colony Realty Partners gave him the jump and confidence in business that he has transferred to Bitter Lacrosse, founded in 2010 in Stowe, VT as a family business starting as host to a summer lacrosse camp
• Left his corporate job in 2014 to help grow the passion that brought him to love a sport that gave back to his family. Became the brains behind a series of lacrosse festivals played across the country
• This year, there are 10 lacrosse festivals that started in June, including those in South Carolina, Texas, and Massachusetts. Plans also include a total of six boys and girls camps—all very popular and sold out
• EW and his wife, Jenny, have three children, Mimi, Cece and Lulu. When he isn’t on the road in the roving Airstream motor home, his Command Central is Stowe, VT, where he enjoys triathlons and other adventure sports
Coach Alan Lowe remembers EW as “The complete attack player. He could shoot, he could dodge, and he could feed. He was quick and fast, he had a great stick and did everything well. His defenders could never tell his dominant hand—he was strong both ways. Such an unselfish player. I always wonder what the state game would have been like had Ward been able to play; we were devastated for him and the team when he indicated he couldn’t continue in the playoffs for medical reasons.”
More Than A Hall of Fame
The Manhasset Lacrosse Hall of Fame is a sponsor of and advocate for lacrosse events; boys/girls lacrosse trips; lights on the turf fields; One Love Foundation; safety netting and scorer’s platform at Ed Walsh Field; subsidizing additional boys varsity coach; subsidizing boys/girls gear; and turf fields at Manhasset High School.
The Hall of Fame is a not-for-profit organization created to promote, support and foster scholastic team lacrosse for male and female students in the Manhasset public school system, by raising funds for educational scholarships, athletic team travel and athletic equipment and supplies for male and female student participants in connection with team lacrosse athletic activities.
—Manhasset Lacrosse Hall of Fame