Five Towns lacrosse collaboration builds community bonds and mentorship at P.A.L. day


Meeting role models and creating long-lasting relationships are a major part of a lacrosse collaboration in the Five Towns.

Athletes from Nassau/Suffolk Police Activity League Lacrosse of Hewlett and Hewlett High School varsity lacrosse joined together for the first ever, P.A.L. Day on April 24.

P.A.L. lacrosse, a league for grades first through eighth, was invited to the Hewlett varsity game against Floral Park Memorial High School in an effort to facilitate a community feel for all of the athletes, Michelle Smith, president for the Hewlett Boys Lacrosse Parent Association said.

“The push to help the P.A.L. program is so important because those are the kids that are going to stick with it and play in high school and we want to have a team,” Smith said.

The P.A.L. Day game, held during the spring break featured a V.I.P. bleachers section for P.A.L. players and their families, a Hewlett lacrosse merchandise sale, a chance for P.A.L. athletes to play on field during half time, decorations and photos with varsity players after the game.

“They make us all smile,” Daniel Lankri, a junior goalie on the varsity team said of the P.A.L. player’s attendance.

Many varsity and junior varsity Hewlett lacrosse players help coach at P.A.L. practices, including Lankri.

Ryan Murphy Jr., a 9-year-old P.A.L. lacrosse player was among the roughly 25 P.A.L. players in attendance. His favorite part was “building relationships with the older guys,” he said.

In terms of what he has learned from watching higher-level play, “behind the back shots,” Ryan said.

Tanya Murphy, Ryan’s mother and wife to Ryan Murphy Sr., head coach of Hewlett High School’s junior varsity lacrosse team and P.A.L. lacrosse said that this was a mutually beneficial event for both varsity athletes and the younger lacrosse players.

“This idea of bringing the P.A.L. kids together with the varsity players is so important because the kids are building relationships that are lasting for years,” Tanya said. “There’s kind of a standard for the older kids that they’re role models for the little guys.”

Dale Pescitelli, Hewlett High’s varsity lacrosse coach, said P.A.L. day was great for his varsity athletes.

“Having the P.A.L. there, I think was inspirational for not just them (P.A.L. players), but I think for the older kids,” he said.

Pescitelli has also involved himself with P.A.L., coaching and leading teams. What P.A.L. kids can learn from varsity players, Pescitelli said basic skills, such as catching, throwing and teamwork, but also overcoming mental challenges on the field.

“What you talk about on the field it will translate to life sometimes,” Pescitelli said. “We try to teach them that on every level, there is a point of advancement.”

Next year, Pescitelli hopes to see the P.A.L. attendance continue, something Smith anticipates P.A.L. leaders pushing, despite closing out her time as part of the association.

“There’s so much potential there to make it a really fun family event, but it was just the tip of the iceberg,” Smith said. “And I think that was kind of cool just to get that process going.”

The next varsity lacrosse season will start around March 2025. To get involved in P.A.L. and receive updates regarding upcoming P.A.L. Days, visit