Camillus (WSYR-TV) -- A final score of 7 to 3 equals win number 748 for a local high school lacrosse coach, making him the winningest coach in the sport’s history.
West Genny’s Mike Messere’s name is headed straight for the record books.
But Thursday’s win was about much more than celebrating a number, it was about honoring a living lacrosse icon. For Messere, win number 748 was more of a lifetime achievement award than anything else.
When asked on Tuesday if he remembered his first career win, Messere said no, but he did remember his first career loss to Jamesville-DeWitt in 1976.
When asked if he’s had a chance to look back for a moment on all that he’s accomplished, Messere again said no, but that he’s looking forward to his team’s next game on Saturday, which just so happens to be against J-D.
West Genesee is now 8 and 0 and ranked number three in the state.
West Genny coach on the verge of history
April 19, 2012
Camillus (WSYR-TV) - The West Genesee varsity boys’ lacrosse team will have an opportunity to help its coach reach a historic mark Thursday night at the home of the Wildcats.
On Tuesday, coach Mike Messere matched the all-time wins mark when the team defeated Auburn. With a win over Oswego, the West Genesee coaching legend would reach win No. 798, making him the winningest coach in the sport’s history.
The school anticipates a large crowd – including former players and their parents.
West Genesee Athletic Director Mike Burns said that playing for Messere was one of the highlights of his career in scholastic athletics. Burns said the coach stresses discipline, dedication and hard work.
“It was probably one of the greatest experiences of my life and you talk to any of them who’ve gone through the program, they’ll say the exact same thing,” said Burns. “Outside of my parents, he’s probably had the biggest impact on my morals, ethics…work ethic.”
West Genesee Superintendent Chris Brown praised Messere’s commitment to his players’ futures.
“It isn’t about him,” Brown said. “It’s always about the student athletes and what they can do to get the best out of themselves.”
Brown elaborated that Messere takes an active role in helping players select their colleges.
“He sits down and takes a look at their skills through their transcripts -- what they want to do, when they grow up -- and then he matches colleges with that academic set and tries to find schools that also have a chance for them to play lacrosse,” Brown said.
Hundreds of players have helped Messere get to this point – one win shy of the national record. His friends and colleagues stress that Messere downplays the accomplishment and credits everyone who has been a part of the program over the years.
“Mike’s thing is, we’re playing a game, that’s the important thing – concentrate on the game, never mind the rest and that’s the way he’s always been,” said former classmate Beth Stewart.
Although the Wildcats will likely celebrate if they win on Friday, they'll be right back on the field for practice in their quest to win another state championship on Saturday.