Seven NJCAA national titles. Nine-consecutive Region III championships. Onondaga Community College Lazers men’s lacrosse have built a resume that would be the envy of any college lacrosse program, regardless of level. Over the past decade the Syracuse, New York school has dominated junior college lacrosse. In 13 seasons Head Coach Chuck Wilbur has compiled an overall record of 218-17, including a current 83-game winning streak.
The Lazers recently completed another perfect regular season, finishing 12-0 to earn the top seed in the NJCAA Region III Playoffs. On April 23 OCC posted a 30-1 victory over Dean College in the opening round to advance into the region semifinals this weekend. On Saturday top-ranked Onondaga CC will face fourth-ranked Genesee Community College (6-8) in one semifinal. Monroe Community College (10-3) takes on SUNY-Delhi (13-2) in the other semi.
Coach Wilbur, who has been with the program since the beginning in 2002, has had a number of great players wear the Lazers jersey. Current professionals Shayne Jackson, Cody Jamieson, Craig Point and Sid Smith all started their college careers at OCC. Wilbur believes in the team game though, saying, “year-in and year-out we have balanced scoring on our offensive end. We do not try to set up one player. We play team lacrosse and take pride in sharing the ball.”
Supporting that philosophy are the numbers of the OCC Alumni List: 20 players from the 2013 team advanced to four-year college lacrosse programs. In the previous two seasons, 19 players each year moved on. Three players from the current roster have made college commitments.
The 2014 Lazers have dominated their opponents, outscoring teams 335-56. The goals scored is tops in all of NJCAA play, while team defense ranks second. Goalie Warren Hill (.779 save%) anchors that defense, giving up just 4.08 goals per game. Hill has committed to play at Syracuse University next season.
A well-balanced offense has led to 335 goals scored so far this season, including topping the 30-goal mark in four games. Sophomore Tim Barber leads all scorers with 46 goals and 25 assists. Five other players have amassed at least 28 goals, including Logan Thomas (38), Vaughn Harris (35), Ken Tomeno (32), Nicholas Garbarino (31) and Wayne Hill (28).
With the campus proximity close to several native reservations, Onondaga Community College often some of the areas top native players. “The passion they play the game with is really what I respect the most,” commented Wilbur. “With how close the Onondaga reservation as well as the other surrounding reservations around us, it makes it important spots where we do some of our recruiting. Onondaga Community College and area reservations, especially Onondaga, have wonderful relationships.”
With all the pressures of winning another national championship, the 83-game winning streak and team expectations, the Lazers are far from accomplishing what Coach Wilbur set out to the team earlier this year. “We know every season gets more difficult to win, but every year our hope and goal is to win a championship. We also know it is easier said than done, so we work very hard both on and off the field to try and capture our goals.”