November 11, 2012 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Rochester Knighthawks
Last November, Rick Tangredi became a Rochester Knighthawks fan at the unlikeliest of places, a Syracuse Crunch hockey game. But what happened Saturday in Ithaca, NY might top that chance encounter in 2011 with the Knighthawks.
(Pictured left to right: Rick Tangredi, Knighthawks Sid Smith, Michael Tangredi, Lauren Tangredi and Knighthawks Cody Jamieson)
"I was walking to some games and thought I saw Curt (Styres)," said Tangredi, who originally dismissed that notion. "Once I saw it was a Six Nations team, I knew it was him."
Styres was watching his son's U-13 team play in the 21st Annual Turkeyshoot Lacrosse Tournament. Tangredi, a Knighthawks season ticket holder, was surprised to see the Owner and General Manager of the Knighthawks at the tournament.
"He is such a nice guy. My son loves the Knighthawks and his bedroom has Knighthawks stuff everywhere," said Tangredi, whose son Michael was playing defense for the 11 to 12-year-old team from Baldwinsville, which is a suburb of Syracuse.
After talking to Styres, the Knighthawks Owner and GM introduced Michael and his parents to 2012 NLL Championship Game MVP Cody Jamieson and defenseman Sid Smith. The Knighthawks stars were in Ithaca coaching the U-13 Six Nations team to a Turkeyshoot Championship, following a 17-4 victory over St. Catharines.
"It was a pleasure seeing them," said Rick. "Michael got more autographs for his collection. He was in his glory when he met Sid Smith."
Michael began playing lacrosse two years ago and has totally immersed himself in the sport, from watching lacrosse games on TV to viewing the latest YouTube clips. A huge fan of the Syracuse lacrosse team, Tangedi became a Knighthawks fan after his son met Joel White at a Knighthawks event at a Crunch game.
"He is a big Joel White fan, and we met him and Jordan Hall at the game. We went and he got his autograph. When Michael got 25 feet away he looked at the autograph and said 'that was Joel White,'" said Tangredi.
"He went to Knighthawks camp this summer," added Tangredi, who took a whole week off from work to travel to Rochester and watch his son. "We have been fans ever since that experience at the Crunch game."
Rick purchased a Lax Pack after meeting the players at the War Memorial at OnCenter, and plans to upgrade for the 2013 season. His family went to every regular season and playoff game last season, including the NLL Finals.
"We went to every game it was such a good time," said Tangredi, who attended the games with his wife, two sons and daughter.
The Knighthawks will host the Minnesota Swarm on Saturday, December 8th and the Tangredi family will be there. The defending NLL Champions will host the Swarm at 8:00 p.m. at The Blue Cross Arena.
"I don't think the players realize how much of an impact they have on young kids," said Tangredi.