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Eastport South Manor’s Amendola, Aki reflect on importance of autism awareness after competing in ‘Battle of the Counties’

Wednesday, 16th November 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, Events, High school, Tournaments  

By Mike Salerno, Posted 11/16/11

Two of Eastport-South Manor’s top senior players, Tyler Aki and Joey Amendola, took a moment during Saturday’s “Battle of the Counties” tournament at Syosset High to appreciate the work being done for autism awareness.

Attackman Aki, who led the Sharks with 49 goals a year ago, was happy to be a part of a tournament that raised $1,000 to the BraveGoals4Autism program. and, promoted acceptance and education for people with autism awareness.

“It’s a great feeling to be around here with some great teams playing lacrosse,” Aki said. “And on top of that, playing for autism.”

Twenty teams Long Island teams – 10 varsity and 10 JV – descended on Syosset High School Saturday, all less worried about their results on the field than the reasons for their presence.

“Everyone out here just playing lacrosse for a great cause, it’s just a good thing to do and we’re glad to be here,” said Amendola.

Surrounded by so much talent, there was plenty for the Sharks to gain on the field as well this weekend as they prepare to enter the 2012 season as the third ranked team in Division II.

“We’re gaining a lot of experience by playing some of the tougher teams in Nassau [County] to prepare for our division in Suffolk,” said Aki.

Amendola was also happy with the level of competition he was seeing spread out over five fields.

“We go twice a week in the fall, but we don’t really get competitive games like this in practice. To be on the field going against all this competition really helps us out.”

But beyond wins and losses, everyone, especially the players, was focused on helping any way they can in the search for a cure.

“It’s a great cause to be fighting for,” said Aki. “Everyone should join.”


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