A seemingly harmless lacrosse tradition comes to an end this week following a ruling by Section 1 administrative officials that restricts the use of eye black.
We’re still waiting to find out whether it’s permissible to make a scary face.
The rule goes into effect on Wednesday and any competitor wearing more than a reasonable straight line of eye black high on the cheek will be asked to wash his face before the game. A memo was sent to all schools last Tuesday, and no-face-painting rule applies to all sports.
“It’s not really a big deal,” said Lakeland/Panas attackman Brian Prunty, who sported a reverse-sevens design under his eyes for Thursday’s game against John Jay. “It’s not affecting the game. I’ve always done it since I was little. You see most college teams do it. Pretty much the whole lacrosse community does it. It’s like a war paint thing, I guess.”
The designs can make any game face more intimidating. And there have been incidents of athletes writing inappropriate messages in white letters on top of the eye black. In reality, the face painting is no more intimidating than a grunt or growl in close quarters.
“I’ve been going crazy with the eye black since fifth grade,” said Bronxville midfielder Aaron Srebnick, who’s got names for each crazy pattern. “It’s just been a passion of mine and I’ve gotten pretty good at it.”
The ruling prompted a lot of head-shaking from athletic directors, and it’s not clear whether the face-painting ban applies to games outside the section. Jen Simmons, the executive director of Section 1, did not respond to messages seeking comment and clarification on Thursday or Friday.
Runaway rivalries: The overwhelming dominance of Yorktown is putting a damper on some of the best rivalries in Section 1. John Jay lost to the Huskers by a 12-4 margin and Somers fell 18-8. There was no suspense after halftime in either game.
The lopsided scores may add fuel to any potential postseason meetings.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” Yorktown attackman Nick Mariano said. “We just played a pretty good game against John Jay. We came out fired up against Somers. It was still great just to come out with the wins.”
Next up is the granddaddy of all rivalry games. The Huskers are hosting Lakeland/Panas on Saturday with the Murphy Cup on the line.
Patriot Cup: There is now hardware up for grabs each time Nyack and Clarkstown South meet compliments of the youth organization that feeds both programs. When the rivals meet Saturday at they will be playing for the Patriot Cup. There will be 15 former members of the Clarkstown Patriots Youth Lacrosse program competing in the game.
The varsity game caps a long day of lacrosse at South.
Youth lacrosse games begin at 8:30 a.m. Fans are encouraged to support military forces on active duty by donating snacks, games, light reading material, personal hygiene products, dry drink mixes and the like that will be shipped to adopted platoons. Nyack and Clarkstown South are scheduled to face off at 7 p.m.
The last five meetings between the schools have been decided by a total of eight goals.
Game of the week: Rye is no longer a team playing under the radar. The Garnets can announce themselves as legitimate contenders in Class B with a good showing on Thursday when John Jay stops by for a 5 p.m. visit.
In the crease: According the formula used by LaxPower.com, Somers, Lakeland/Panas and Yorktown are playing the most difficult schedules in Section 1 this season. … Westlake had never won more than four games in a season, but matched that number five games in.
(Photo: Bronxville midfielder Aaron Srebnick – By Mike Dougherty/The Journal News)