Welcome to Dr. Frederick Douglass Opie's personal website

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The Old Freeport Summer Lacrosse League Part I of II

Herk teammate Chris Acerno taught me how to cook Italian dishes and he introduced me to great food and lacrosse on Long Island. Chris played high school ball at the perennial lacrosse powerhouse Manhasset High School for National Lacrosse Hall of Famer Allan Lowe. One could find Manhasset alum in the starting lineups of great college lacrosse programs across the country and in both the Long Island and National lacrosse hall of fames. Chris liked my stick skills and run and gun style of lacrosse. He invited me to play on his extremely talented Manhasset summer league lacrosse team in the now defunct Freeport Summer League. I played with Manhasset teams in the summer during the early 1980s. In the 1980s the Freeport Lacrosse League on Long Island paralleled basketball’s Rucker Park Pro League in New York City. Because I wanted to play with and against the best, I would drive almost 90 minutes from Westchester County through city and island traffic to play. In reflection, it sounds nuts how much I spent on travel and food to play lacrosse on island and in Hartford, Vail and Cape Cod. Since I stopped playing in 1993 and I can now say my love for the game back then can best be described as fanatical—and financially irresponsible because I was riding with my gas gauge on E most of the time. I had other fanatics on the weekly trek from Westchester to Freeport who helped pay for gas and tolls—Tim Nelson (Yorktown and North Carolina State at the time) and Rob Hoynes (Yorktown and Army). Picture the three of us hauling it down to the island. Me speeding in my 1970 something white Chevy Impala just to make it for the opening faceoff for a Sunday afternoon game in Freeport. In retrospect Tim, Rob, and I never saw any other Westchester guys playing in the Freeport League. In fact, I never saw more than one or two other African Americans playing. That would change later when I met Ray “Tiny” Crawford (Manhasset, Army, and Hobart) and Aaron Jones (Hempstead and Cornell). In contrast today, one sees not only a lot more African Americans playing the game but African Americans referees too.

Syracuse Lacrosse Memories and Eating at Haven Hall

Shopping and Cooking from Check to Check at Herk