Through the years, high school teams featuring Darris Kilgour the player and John Faller the coach had more than their fair share of intense battles.
But there were no hostilities Saturday night as both were among seven inducted into the Western New York Chapter of the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The ceremony took place in the HSBC Arena's Harbour Club just before the Buffalo Bandits faced the San Jose Stealth in their regular-season finale.
Kilgour, the coach of the Bandits and the only player in franchise history to have his number (43) retired, was a two-time All-American at Niagara-Wheatfield and a frequent foe of Faller's Sweet Home Panthers.
"We knew that every time we played Sweet Home it was going to be a war," said Kilgour, who played for three championship Bandits teams (1992, 1993 and 1996). "He always had very disciplined teams."
Faller, a standout running back who graduated from the University at Buffalo in 1971, grew up in Rochester and was introduced to a new sport when one of his football coaches took him to watch a lacrosse game the coach was officiating.
"It was the first game I ever saw," said the 56-year-old Faller, who has been the Section VI lacrosse chairman since 1980. "At the time I certainly didn't know how fate would take over."
Six of Faller's Sweet Home teams captured sectional championships.
"We had some real bang-up games when (Kilgour) played in high school," said Faller. "Every time I looked at a Niagara-Wheatfield roster and saw the name Kilgour, whether it was him or his brothers (Rich and Travis), I knew right away we were in for a big challenge that particular day."
Darris Kilgour called his induction "something you work your whole life for and absolutely strive for as a player." Faller said, "The appreciation was humbling. I know how hard everybody has worked in lacrosse to make it what it is here now."
Also inducted were:
Matt N. Szydlowski: Founded the Niagara Frontier Lacrosse Officials Association in 1974 and worked six NCAA Tournaments.
Frank Davis: Attended Niagara-Wheatfield before lacrosse was offered as a varsity sport but went on to become an honorable mention All-American at Cornell.
Deborah Clark: A pioneer of Western New York girls high school lacrosse, she introduced it at Buffalo Seminary in 1976.
Donald B. Scully, Jr.: Helped start the Nichols School program in 1969 after tallying 107 goals and nine assists at Dartmouth from 1946 to '49.
LeeAnn Fronckowiak: Started for four years at Nichols and began women's programs at Rochester Institute of Technology and Grand Island High.