Eric Rieseberg recently published a book entitled Heroes Alongside Us: One Man’s Tale of Unlikely Success and The Men Who Made It Possible. “The book is about the men who influenced thousands of young men and woman in not only sports but taught them the hard lessons of life,” said Rieseberg. “While the book is a chronicle of my lacrosse years at Manhasset High School and the important values and tools I absorbed from my coaches, it is about much more.” Rieseberg had a difficult childhood and adolescence, which he is very open about in the book. Rieseberg grew up in Manhasset and later lived in Port Washington. According to Rieseberg, playing lacrosse changed his life. In the book, he names five important men in his life that helped shape him into the man he is today.
“The concept of the book,” said Rieseberg, “is that people need a leader and father figure when they are growing up. Sometimes they don’t have that at home. It’s about how to find mentors and heroes.”
Rieseberg also defines what success really means in society. “Success isn’t about making a lot of money. It’s not about being famous, or being a celebrity,” said Rieseberg. “Success is being a hero to someone and making a difference in their life.” He delves into how to become a hero to someone in the book.
Rieseberg played Manhasset varsity lacrosse for four years. He played defense and face-off midfield. He went on to play varsity lacrosse at Ithaca College. He went to graduate school at the University of Pittsburgh. At Manhasset High School, Rieseberg was coached by legendary coaches Richie Moran and Renzie Lamb.
“There has been such enthusiasm engendered from the publication of this book,” said Rieseberg. “One can speculate that it is due, in part, to the legendary Manhasset lacrosse program and its heralded coaching.”
Rieseberg attended last week’s Manhasset Lacrosse Hall of Fame dinner with Moran, U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame member. Moran was also Cornell University’s championship lacrosse coach. He coached at Cornell for 30 years and they were five-time NCAA Division 1 champs.
Moran wrote the forward to the book. Moran was an All American lacrosse player at the University of Maryland. Many in the national lacrosse family are working to name the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame building in Baltimore after Richie Moran. Rieseberg and his teammates are fundraising for this currently.
Rieseberg’s Manhasset High School lacrosse team was inducted into the Manhasset High School Booster Club Lacrosse Hall of Fame three years ago. They were a national championship team that went 18-0 during Rieseberg’s senior year in 1967.
Another of Rieseberg’s heroes is Renzie Lamb, who lived in Manhasset and coached at Manhasset High School and played at Hofstra University. Lamb coached varsity lacrosse at Manhasset High School, where his team won the national championship in 1967, and at Williams College, where he coached for 35 years. “Manhasset was the first high school to establish lacrosse as a team sport in the 1920s and 30s under the leadership of Jason Stranahan, another U.S. lacrosse hall of famer and Manhasset resident,” said Rieseberg. Manhasset was very good early on. Then in the 50s Manhasset reached a hiatus. But in the 60s, Moran and Lamb reestablished Manhasset as the premiere lacrosse team in the country.”
Rieseberg has deep roots in Manhasset and Port Washington. Rieseberg had two daughters; one died many years ago. Rieseberg’s wife, Carole Jane Salerno, passed away four years ago. She lived in Port all her life and still had many relatives in Port. “My wife’s sister, Diane Salerno, still lives in Manorhaven,” said Rieseberg. “My daughter and my wife are buried in Nassau Knolls Cemetery in Port Washington.”
Jeff Sorg, a well-known local musician, is a good friend of Rieseberg’s. “Jeff helped convince me to write the book,” said Rieseberg. “Jeff is the artist who did all the pictures of the heroes for the book.”
Rieseberg credits his five heroes with changing his life. “Things came together for me because of the five men who gave me mentorship and values and beliefs that I could embrace in my life and become successful,” said Rieseberg. “These men picked me up by my bootstraps and helped me fly.”
Lacrosse has been a character training and strengthening experience for him. “The book isn’t only about lacrosse, but about focus, commitment and hard work,” said Rieseberg. “It doesn’t have to be a sport; if you focus and work hard at something, you can be successful and do well in life. You have to go back to the age-old concepts of success, and being good at something doesn’t just happen, it takes hard work, commitment and persistence.”
Rieseberg worked in the healthcare field for 40 years and was CEO of several companies. “I have to say, I turned out much better than the Manhasset High School guidance counselors would have thought,” said Rieseberg. “I drank a lot of beer, kissed a lot of girls. I remind people that the drinking age was 18 at the time.” He has homes in Port Washington and in Naples, FL.
In the month of May, Rieseberg says he’s donating all the proceeds from book sales of Heroes Alongside Us: One Man’s Tale of Unlikely Success and The Men Who Made It Possible to the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame museum to rename it after Richie Moran. Rieseberg and Moran will be appearing together at the Manhasset Public Library local authors series in July. The book is available on www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.