By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr
Ocean Township — Two more seniors at the high school have inked their college years by signing their national letters of intent and receiving athletic scholarships.
David Walk and Sam Hanna are both lacrosse players for the Spartans and on December 19, with family and coaches at their sides officially committed to continuing their playing careers.
Walk started playing lacrosse when he was in fourth grade. Back then he was an attacker, however the following year one of his coaches asked if he would play goalkeeper. “I love playing goalie,” said Walk. “All my life I played soccer and lacrosse, I prefer lacrosse and have a much better time on the field.”
Nazareth College is where Walk will be playing next year. “I felt very comfortable with the size and layout of the campus. I was most impressed with the physical therapy program and its facilities,” Walk said. He added that the students welcomed him and the traditions and success of the men’s lacrosse program was remarkable.
As a Spartan, Walk wears number 22. “It represents the traditional 22 that is given to the most worthy player on the Syracuse lacrosse team, the school where I always wanted to play,” Walk said.
His favorite memory as an Ocean Township player occurred last year when he won against Brick Memorial in his junior year and collected a career-high 20 saves. That accomplishment also earned him a place in the Spartan record book.
As a member of the Nazareth College Golden Flyers he hopes to wear his number 22, but according to the schools roster it’s taken by a senior. He was accepted into the Doctor of Physical Therapy program and plans on becoming a physical therapist.
Hanna has been playing lacrosse since he was in second grade. He also started as an attacker, but in seventh grade was switched to midfield. “I’ve been playing that position until last year. That is when coach had me play both attack and midfield,” said Hanna. When asked which position he prefers the answer was quick. “I love playing midfield because it incorporates all aspects of the game, both offense and defense.”
For most of his athletic career, Hanna played both soccer and lacrosse. However, last season he stopped playing soccer and just focused on lacrosse. As a Spartan he wears number 7.
“That’s my lucky number and I have been wearing it since I was in seventh grade,” Hanna said.
Springfield College is where Hanna will continue his lacrosse career. He might be in luck. as no player on the current roster wears number 7.
“I picked Springfield College because academically they offer what I want to study, and athletically they have a strong lacrosse program having won nine consecutive NEWMAC (New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference) championships,” said Hanna. As a member of the Pride squad next year he will be playing the midfield and hopes to help the team reach its tenth straight NCAA Championship appearance.
Hanna stated that his favorite memory as a Spartan occurred during his freshman year. “It was the first round of the state playoffs and we were the underdogs going into the game. Red Bank Regional had beaten us earlier in the year by two and we felt we had something to prove. I ended that game with four goals and we beat them 11-10,” Hanna said.
The game which Hanna wishes he could re-play was last year against CBA. It was the quarterfinals of the Shore Conference Tournament and he felt that he made a few mistakes. “I wish I approached that game differently and made better decisions as it could have changed the outcome,” he added