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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, October 9, 2008

Former Guilderland lacrosse player enshrined

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– Tom Alexander, a 1994 Guilderland High School graduate and avid lacrosse player, is getting inducted into the University at Albany Athletic Hall of Fame.

Alexander, a 1999 graduate of UAlbany, will be one of 119 athletes in the prestigious group and one of five being inducted this year. The ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 24, part of Homecoming and Family Weekend.

“I found out towards the end of July and was really surprised,” said Alexander. “I feel quite honored and I’m excited for the induction. I just want my coaches and teammates to know that they’re most important.”

Alexander played lacrosse throughout high school and college, but never played a competitive sport until his freshman year at Guilderland. “Russ Ferris was my science teacher, as well as the varsity lacrosse coach,” said Alexander. “He suggested that I should play lacrosse in the spring. I thought about it and decided to go for it.”

Alexander is seen as one of UAlbany’s best defensemen in its Division II era. He spent three consecutive seasons on the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) All-America team.

“The Great Danes were Division III when I was being recruited, and then Division II when I started playing,” Alexander said. “The team went to Division I after I left. I saw the transition; we were moving in a more competitive direction.”

UAlbany made it to the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division II championship final behind Alexander, who was a key part in a defensive unit that allowed 9.31 goals a game.

Alexander said that he “contributed to the greater good” of the team, by being a captain, and helped his teammates better understand the game of lacrosse. “We were a special unit,” he said.

Alexander played 50 games for the Great Danes and started 42 of them. He ate up 176 ground balls over his career and was part of the 1998 team that had a nationally ranked defense, giving up only 7.83 goals per game.

“Sports and work ethic go hand-in-hand,” said Alexander. “Lacrosse taught me to work hard in all walks of life and made me set better goals for myself.”

On Dec. 14, 1994, Alexander was one of five people who helped apprehend a man who held his UAlbany Greek history class hostage at gunpoint. “It was a very scary situation and we wanted to diffuse the event safely,” said Alexander.

The former Dutchmen athlete currently lives in Guilderland and is in his seventh year of teaching high school English at Colonie.

Alexander isn’t currently playing lacrosse, but coaches his son’s youth team in the spring. “It’s great to share my lacrosse knowledge and experience with young kids who are interested in this wonderful sport,” Alexander said.

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