Senior lacrosse players from two boys high-school teams in the Sun Gazette’s coverage areas were recipients of the first Bill Will Award.
Madison High School’s Tyler Whittle and Yorktown High’s Owen Haley received the awards just prior to those teams meeting in a recent Class 6 state-tournament semifinal match on June 8. Madison won that match over the defending state champion Yorktown team.
The award was presented by current Herndon High School head lacrosse coach Garan DiGiovanni.
Will, who died in May of this year, was a head and assistant coach of Northern Virginia high school boys teams for many years, including the head coach of Herndon High for four seasons. He also was an assistant at Madison, McLean and Chantilly high schools, and coached in youth lacrosse leagues.
In a statement read as the award was give, Will was described as particularly enjoying coaching unsung-hero, gritty-type players, who were not afraid to do the difficult dirty work, and who were fast, athletic and smart. Whittle and Haley match those descriptions.
DiGiovanni and longtime Annandale High School boys head lacrosse coach Bill Maglisceau were in charge of setting up the award.
Maglisceau said the award might be expanded in some way that would include honorees from many more Northern Virginia high schools in coming seasons.