Steve Levy and Tommy Zummo are two lifetime lacrosse guys and they make up half of the team looking to help Suffolk’s girls take home titles at the 2021 New York State Regional Championships.
Levy began his lacrosse career in fifth grade and played in Sachem youth programs and for Sachem High School. Once he graduated college, he transitioned to calling the shots. “My very first job was a junior high job at Longwood High School, boys,” Levy said. “I did that for a couple of years then I moved to JV at Longwood and then I took a job at Southampton College, I was the offensive coordinator for one year. Then, I started my career in West Babylon, I did JV for two years and varsity for 12.”
Once his daughters began to play, Levy’s coaching career found a new direction. “In 2008, I jumped ship,” Levy said. “I had three daughters and I was doing a lot of work with the East Islip youth program for girls, coaching my daughters through. A job opened up in East Islip and that was my first year.”
Coaching his daughters was fun for Levy and there are other moments in his career that stand out too. “We had a big win against the defending state champion, Northport, when I coaching East Islip girls,” Levy said. “I had a small squad that hung tough. Our numbers are not huge and we tend to get the best out of our kids and that particular group was able to upset Northport in the first round of the playoffs.”
Levy’s memories aren’t limited to high school coaching. “My 2020 legacy group had two wins when, as a coach, everything you’ve done comes together at one time,” Levy said. “My 2020 group beat M&D by a 9-4 win, start to finish, everything was perfect. We annihilated Florida Select at the President’s Cup in Orlando. As a coach, when everything you’ve ever taught your team comes together in one game, it doesn’t always happen that way but those two games stand out.”
A former evaluator at the Empire State Games, Levy was excited by the opportunity to help out with the New York State Regional Championships. “I thought [the Empire State Games] were a great experience,” Levy said. “I saw the boys were doing this, it sparked my interest and I thought about getting involved. I presented it to the coaches association, it didn’t take off right away and then it kind of circled back a couple of years later and here we are. When the opportunity arose to participate, I was super excited to help get this going again.”
Levy is excited that the next generation of girls will get the opportunities to see lacrosse open doors as it did for his daughters. “We are a lacrosse family through and through,” Levy said. “All played in college. My oldest made a career, she’s now the offensive coordinator at the University of Colorado Boulder, she had a four-year career at Syracuse. All three of my kids were able to get great educations at great institutions playing the game of lacrosse, it opened doors. My middle one is working on her MBA at Stetson right now and my youngest is a freshman at Brown. I really have seen the game open up academic doors for my girls.”
At the 2021 tournament, Levy hopes to see lifelong bonds created. “I think it’s always special when you can gather talent from different high schools and different club affiliations and they start to play together,” Levy said. “It breaks down some of those competitive barriers that you’ve been competing against these girls and trying to beat them and now, all of a sudden, your teammates with them. You make friends that, and I’ve watched this with my daughters, you transition to college. It’s super exciting to compete at the college level against kids you that were competing against at the high school level and then form this nice bond playing on some of these regional-type teams. I’m looking forward to being a part of that and fostering those relationships between the different clubs and high schools and getting these girls to play together.”
Zummo began his career in eighth-grade and played at Islip High School. When he graduated college, he began to get into coaching and he is currently the bench boss in Islip. His favorite coaching memory was reaching the top a few years ago. “In 2018, we won the state championship,” Zummo said.
Zummo has been involved with big lacrosse tournaments in the past and the New York State Regional Championships are no different. “I started coaching in the Nassau-Suffolk games,” Zummo said. “When they first started the games, I was asked to coach so I’ve been there since it started.”
At this year’s tournament, Zummo is excited to see the talent across New York. “I like seeing kids from other towns and other clubs that don’t necessarily play with each other to get the opportunity to compete for their region,” Zummo said. “Giving them that ability to go out and play and coach different kids that you’ve never coached before.”