LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston boys varsity lacrosse season ended on a high note Thursday as the Lancers fought their way to an 8-5 victory over rival Millburn in the 14th annual “Jake Cup," played in memory of a former coach of both teams.
Allen "Jake" Jacobson, who the Livingston High School turf is named after, died in 2005 after more than 30 years as a physical education teacher as well as a football and lacrosse coach at LHS and then Millburn for several years.
The series inaugurated in Jacobson’s honor on April 17, 2004, and has become one of the most anticipated games for both the Livingston and Millburn boys lacrosse teams ever since.
Led by Ryan Valese with four goals and an assist, Livingston took home the trophy for the fifth time in the 14-year series—taking it away from last year’s victor, Millburn.
“Not only do I coach at Livingston HS, but I am currently a social studies teacher at Millburn HS,” said Livingston head coach Brad Dzama. “Therefore, I feel it is very important for the players from each of the two programs to understand that, yes there is a name on the cup, but the man himself was so much more than just a name.”
Dzama spoke highly of the way both teams fought on Thursday, and reminded the players on both sides to always remember the great name behind the trophy.
Jason Scher followed Valese with two goals and an assist for Livingston. Adam Geffner and Stephen Russo also had one goal apiece, with Russo also adding 14 saves in the win. His brother, Brian Russo, added two assists.
Millburn was led by Nolan McCarthy with two goals and an assist, followed by Spencer Brown, Garrett Schwartzberg and Tanner Nugget with one goal apiece. Millburn keeper Jack Gruchacz had 10 saves.
The Lancers finish the season with a 12-8 overall record and a 6-1 record in the league.
Pictured above, the Lancers storm the field and celebrate with their coaches and their new trophy, which they take from Millburn until next year’s matchup.
Also pictured with their coaches are the seven outgoing seniors—Austin Siegel, Matthew Santola, Stephen Russo, John Durish, Declan Foley, Ryan Gold and Adam Geffner—who were honored during Senior Night on May 10.