On Nov. 30, 13 Bristol Lax players traveled down to Fairfield to play in the 8th Annual Sticks For Soldiers Lacrosse Tournament. LAX players from all three Bristol High Schools, formed the Bristol Melting Pots, to raise money for the two wounded US Army Honorees, play some LAX and have fun.
The primary mission of the tournament is to provide support and give thanks to the service men and women who put their lives on the line and sacrificed for our country. A secondary objective is to create awareness among high school athletes to the sacrifices being made by people just a few years older than themselves. It is the players who “Give Thanks” to these servicemen and women. This year, 58 teams played 210 games during the one day event.
This years Tourney Honored two US Army Rangers; Captain Benjamin Harrow and Specialist Sean Pesce.
Captain Benjamin Harrow, is a 2005 graduate of West Point. He was a 4 year letterman with Army Lacrosse. During his second tour in Afghanistan, he was severely wounded after stepping on a mine while leading a foot patrol that resulted in amputation of both of his legs above the knee and severe damage to his right arm.
Specialist Pesce, 21 years old, is a 2011 graduate of West Haven High School. While clearing buildings, Sean was shot 13 times in a close-range fire-fight with Afghan insurgents that killed his sergeant. He sustained major injuries and blood loss: he lost his spleen, a kidney, and shattered his vertebrae that also damaged his spinal cord. Sean is paralyzed from the waist down.
The Bristol Melting Pots were eager to assist these brave men. The boys sold S4S commemorative wristbands, held a car wash and bake sale and sold autographed copies of “Back in the Fight” a book written by another Ranger, and Bristol Eastern Graduate, Sgt Joseph Kapacziewski. The book is Sgt Joe’s Memoir of how he became the first and only amputee in Army Ranger history to return to Combat Duty. The Melting Pots raised over $1,500 for the two Honorees. Tournament Director, Jim Tommins stated in an email “Really awesome job by You and your Bristol Melting Pots. Thanks for getting it together and your support. Definitely Rookie of the Year Team!”
The Melting Pots were made up of the following players: Ethan Czarneski, Jack Sullivan, Jonathn Hylan, Chadd Bernier, Teague Soucy-Field, Griffin McGowan, Kadeem Richards, Frank Flood, Caleb Hilderbrand, Cody Hilderbrand, Christian Hilderbrand, Adam Wiernasz, and Colin McGowan.