The Manhasset Booster Club celebrated the fourth induction of athletes and coaches to the Manhasset Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 21. Only in Manhasset can an event in a high school gym be catered by a five-star restaurant. Thanks to the Miller family and La Coquille restaurant for their excellent hors d’oeuvres.
The evening honored four outstanding athletes, one coach and the lacrosse teams from the years 1962 to 1965.
Pam McDonough led off the evening by introducing Sandy Hoffman. Hoffman was an outstanding multi-sport athlete at Manhasset High School who later made a career as a Hall of Fame coach of volleyball at Bentley University. She follows her mother, Barbara Hoffman, into the Manhasset Athletic Hall of Fame. They are the first mother-daughter combination to enter the Manhasset Hall of Fame. Sadly, after a courageous battle against cancer, she passed away before the ceremony.
Bob McDonald was introduced by his son. Again, an outstanding multi-sport athlete, McDonald was the quarterback on the football team for two years and was one of the finest baseball players Manhasset has ever produced. He played baseball at Rutgers University and was drafted by a major league team.
Gary Burns was introduced by his lacrosse coach, Bob Rule. A talented multi-sport athlete, Burns started on the football team, the basketball team and the lacrosse team during his tenure at Manhasset High School. He was the second-leading scorer on the basketball team his senior year and haul in eight touchdown passes his senior year in football. In lacrosse, Burns was the first Manhasset player to earn All-American honors in his junior and senior year. Coach Rule commented that on every all-time Manhasset squad he has put together, Burns is always one of the three starting defensemen.
Richie Moran, legendary Manhasset lacrosse coach, introduced Walter “Tiger” Jacobi. Tiger was the mainstay of the 1964 and 1965 Manhasset lacrosse teams that won a Long Island championship in 1964 and was runner up to Huntington in the Long Island championship in 1965. He was also a member of the 1963 team that captured the Long Island title. His combined varsity record was 54-3. His skills were legendary as he captured All Nassau County honors as a midfielder in 1964 and 1965.
In addition, he was named the most valuable player in the 1965 Nassau County championship game. In football, Coach Ed Walsh called Tiger one of the two best backs to play at Manhasset. The other back, of course, was the incomparable Jim Brown.
Finally, two of his stellar players, Garth Weber and Joe Capella, introduced lacrosse Coach Moran. Coach Moran was at Manhasset for only four years, but his teams set the standard for all the teams that followed his era. Starting in 1962 and ending in 1965, his teams participated in three straight Long Island championships from 1963 to 1965. He established a tradition of success that reverberates to this day in Manhasset.
He later coach Cornell University to three national championships and is a member of the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Finally, the players from the 1962 to 1965 lacrosse teams stand up to be recognized. These were, “Richie’s Boys,” the young men who played for Coach Moran. Many returned to their alma mater for the first time to honor Coach Moran and to revisit the playing fields were they earned so much success. Their legacy is the nationally recognized lacrosse program Manhasset has had since 1965.