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Lacrosse exerts its grip for 70 years Coach's veteran aide in Eden loves the game, and it shows

In a hay field in Maine nearly 70 years ago, Don Scully was introduced to lacrosse while at summer camp.

He got good enough at it to earn All-America honors at Dartmouth College in 1947 and 1949 and become one of the all-time leading scorers in Dartmouth history with 107 goals -- a school record that stood for 30 years -- and nine assists in 38 games.

He went on to serve in the Navy during the Korean War and had a successful career in printing.

But Scully never quite hung up his lacrosse stick and now, at age 78, is a volunteer coach for the Eden Central High School boys' team as it prepares for its first year of varsity competition.

"I help out as I'm able to," said Scully, a grandfather of 12.

Sometimes his arthritis kicks up and he has to use an underhand motion to shoot the ball as he works with the goalies. And while his shot might not be blazing fast anymore, it's still accurate, according to goalie Sean Huggins.

"He gives you insights on the game and picks up little things, like not holding your stick quite right," said Huggins.

Defenseman Andy Preischel described Scully as nothing less than "brilliant" when it comes to his knowledge of lacrosse.

"He tells us that he wishes he could be back playing again," he said. "You can tell he's still young at heart."

While Scully downplays his role, he acknowledges, "There aren't too many guys my age who play lacrosse.

"I enjoy being around the kids and their enthusiasm."

Scully also helped start the Nichols School lacrosse program in 1969 and is a member of the Western New York Chapter of the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame and the Nichols Hall of Fame.

Eden coach Chris Archabald welcomes Scully's help "He volunteered and since I had zero staff at the time, he was more than welcome," Archabald said.

" He's very easy to get along with and the kids respond to him well."

Archabald said he appreciates Scully's approach and that "he never scolds. He teaches."

e-mail: ternst@buffnews.com

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