Pittsford, NY- On Saturday September 22nd, Jacob “Jake” Lazore from the Onondaga Nation was inducted into the Nazareth College Hall of Fame.
Jake was a standout lacrosse player on the Onondaga minor lacrosse teams throughout his growing years. Jake was often coached by his father, Jerome, and earned his grit from playing with his older brothers; Ed, Jason, and Jerome Jr.
“I really learned a lot playing for my dad and with my brothers,” said Jake. “We were always down at the box playing on the dirt floor. I loved it but my mom (Paulie) didn’t like it because we always came home covered in dust.”
Lacrosse at Onondaga led to an outstanding high school career in both lacrosse and football at LaFayette High School. Jake earned first team All-League honors in his senior season helping the Lancers reach the 1986 Section B title game. This was the first year the State offered a ‘B school’ championship and the whole season pointed towards a LaFayette/JD final. LaFayette fell to JD in overtime, the eventual state champion.
“We had a great team,” said Brad Powless, former teammate of Jake’s at Onondaga, LaFayette, and at Nazareth College. “We all worked really well together. Playing with Jake was fun. We knew that he (Jake) had such determination that when we needed a crucial faceoff or goal, he would come through for us.”
At Nazareth, Jacob continued his lacrosse success. Nazareth, coached by Scott Nelson, began the lacrosse program the year before in 1985. Without established seniors at this new Division III School, playing time could be readily earned.
“Playing lacrosse at the collegiate level was always a dream of mine growing up and Coach Nelson helped make it a reality,” said Jake Lazore of his time at Nazareth. “My brother Jerome and Brad were there and we all played midfield. We were always trying to outscore each other. Then when Rich and Daris Kilgour came there, it was just like playing lacrosse back home at Onondaga.”
But by Jake’s senior season, he not only established himself as a top midfielder on the team, but earned All-American status and was named Midfielder of the Year. That summer he was the Buffalo Bandits’ first round draft pick but he selected not to pursue professional lacrosse. Instead, he began a career in computer technology and also helped the Onondaga Redhawks men’s box lacrosse team to their first President’s Cup appearance in 1992.
So on Saturday when Jake was again back again at the Nazareth College campus, Jake said the following:
“Growing up on the Onondaga Nation, I was exposed to the game of lacrosse at an early age. Lacrosse is not just a game for us; it is an important part of the culture and heritage. So you can imagine how much of an honor this is for me to become a member of the sports hall of fame as a lacrosse player.”
“Last and most certainly not least, I would like to recognize my parents for all their love and support. I can still remember the many times my father would come home from a rough day at work as an iron worker. He would tell me how important it was that I go to college to get a degree so I would not have to do back breaking work like he did. I was able to let my college dream become a reality while also playing the sport that I loved the most, Lacrosse. I can also stand here today and tell you that the dream that my father had for me has also become reality as I continue to excel in my profession in the information technology field. My parents taught me that hard work, dedication and persistence is what it would take to make it. Because of those lessons, I stand here in front of all of you today accepting this amazing opportunity to be inducted.”
That hard work paid off indeed.