Rich Cifuni, Father of Lacrosse

We appreciate the contributions of past and present youth sports leaders in our town — great men like Huck Larsen, Bill Rutherford, and Steve Rogers of Winthrop Youth Hockey Fame, Little League President Emeritus Peter Pellegriti and coaches like David Tallent Sr. — whose Dodgers team went undefeated and had the best trio of players — David Tallent Jr., Mike Mason, and Billy Morello — ever, Perry Hampton, and even our Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, who used to coach a Little League team, the late Peter Grimes, who loved to teach the game of the basketball, and Butch Martucci, who has built such a great girls hockey program at the high school.

We welcome the opportunity to commend Rich Cifuni on his remarkable effort of launching a lacrosse program and building it to the point where there are 70 players and the travel teams are competing on the same level with some long-established lacrosse programs statewide.

Just think, because of Rich’s vision, Winthrop now has one of the best youth lacrosse programs in the region, bringing so much enjoyment not only to the players, but their families who come to the games and offer their support.

We are starting to see the outcome of Rich’s work as our WHS boys lacrosse team qualified for the State Tournament and the players entering the program have the experience of learning the game from Rich and advancing to high school varsity competition.

Rich was a lacrosse star in high school and competed in the Division 1 UNH program. The sport of lacrosse has exploded nationally and more and more colleges are launching programs.Rich has brought lacrosse to our town in a big way — assisted by his wife, Tanji — and we’re grateful to the Cifunis for all they’ve done to give the youth of our town another fun and exciting alternative to be physically fit and learn about winning and sportsmanship.

Thank you, Rich, and congratulations on your selection for the Northeastern Conference Community Service Award for the town of Winthrop.

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