Courtesy of Massachusetts Maritime Sports Information
The Massachusetts Maritime Student-Athlete Advisory Committee celebrated national NCAA Division III Week by raising $1,000 for the on-going efforts of the 1019 Foundation in honor of Falmouth High School ice hockey student-athletes James Lavin and Owen Higgins.
During competition this past week, Buccaneer student-athletes wore 10/19 Lav/Higgy stickers on their protective batting and playing equipment, and the baseball, softball and lacrosse teams displayed the #10 and #19 jerseys of their respective squads in the dugout and bench areas to honor the memories of the two young men lost last December. Additionally, both the Fitchburg State softball and baseball teams, along with the Worcester State women’s lacrosse team, took part in the fundraising and awareness drive during respective contests at the Academy last Saturday.
Shortly before Christmas, Falmouth High seniors James Lavin and Owen Higgins lost their lives in a tragic automobile accident that occurred right after ice hockey practice. The outpouring of support from around the region and around the country led to the establishment of The 1019 Foundation, which is symbolic of the two uniform numbers worn by Lavin (#10) and Higgins (#19) in competition. Falmouth High School boys’ ice hockey head coach Paul Moore has been instrumental in starting the foundation, which will award scholarships to athletes at Falmouth High School as well as scholarships for families in need for youth sports in the town.
Both Lavin and Higgins helped lead Falmouth’s Clippers to the 2016 MIAA Division 2A Super Bowl football championship last December with a 34-20 victory over Marblehead at Gillette Stadium, just days after practicing with their teammates on the gridiron at Clean Harbors Stadium in preparation for the game. Lavin was set to enroll at Massachusetts Maritime this fall and play football for the Buccaneers.
“The giving spirit of the Academy never ceases to amaze me, and I am extremely proud of our student-athletes for their continued commitment to the community as a whole,” Massachusetts Maritime Director of Athletics Garin Veris said. “The incredible work that Coach Moore and the entire Falmouth community have done in a very short time will not only honor the memory of James and Owen, it will touch the lives of countless people in the region. We are honored to be a part of that in a very small way.”
Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office is encouraged to conduct a type of outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment, athletic experience, or leadership/community service/campus involvement.
Over the last two years alone, Buccaneer student-athletes have raised nearly $6,000 during NCAA Division III Week to support on-going community service organizations in the area, including last spring when the Massachusetts Maritime SAAC and Student Government Association teamed up to raise nearly $5,000 in support of The Herren Project and its work in fighting substance abuse.