By Alicia Dziak

While SGI offers its students the opportunity to play many interscholastic sports, boys’ lacrosse is not one of them. Fortunately for one SGI senior, Dylan Noeller, he can now play the game he loves for Eden.

Noeller, who had not played lacrosse since playing for the Hamburg Knights in eighth grade, said he got into the sport by his dad, who played while he was in high school.

SGI teacher Joseph Marvin, who coaches SGI’s indoor and outdoor track teams, caught Noeller in the hallway one day and told him about the opportunity to play lacrosse for Eden, an opportunity Noeller jumped at. According to Marvin, his son, who goes to school in Hamburg, and the goalie on Eden’s lacrosse team play club lacrosse together. Marvin and the goalie’s father, who happens to be the president of Eden’s Booster Club, got to talking, and Noeller’s name came up. The two discussed a possible merger between the two schools for lacrosse, which became a reality after further discussion with Eden administrators and coaches, and with SGI Athletic Director Joe DeMartino. Marvin, who did not previously know Noeller, said, “I’m so happy I could help give Dylan the opportunity to play.”

The lacrosse merger will be revisited on an annual basis; there is also currently an SGI underclassman on Eden’s JV lacrosse team.

“I was extremely excited to play again and nothing was going to stop me from playing once given this opportunity,” he said. Noeller said he had tried unsuccessfully for a few years to help establish a boys lacrosse team in Springville, but is happy to be the first Varsity player from SGI to play for Eden’s program.

Practice is held in Eden every day, and while the district offers Noeller a ride there, they do not provide transportation home. “I have found it easier to just drive myself since I actually live in Colden,” Noeller explained.

The effort by Noeller and his teammates has paid off this season, as the Raiders are boasting a 13-2 record, which includes two playoff victories over Williamsville South and Iroquois. “We are first place in Section 6, class C and are undefeated in conference games, and our two defeats came from Akron and Nichols,” Noeller said. The team will face West Seneca East on May 30 for the Class C, Section 6 Championship.

Noeller, who will be attending Ithaca College to study Physical Therapy this upcoming fall, hopes to be involved in lacrosse in some way in college. “I possibly will join the club team eventually,” he said. “This year has really expanded my love for the sport. My teammates and coaches have made this season a blast, and I wish I was able to spend more than just one year with them. This was a great opportunity to not only play lacrosse, but also make new friends and new memories. I am so thankful I had this chance.”