Frank Delia never would have been an outstanding student at OCC or an All-American goalie on the 2018 National Championship team were it not for a conversation he had with his uncle. During Delia’s senior year at Baldwinsville High School he committed to play lacrosse at a four-year college which plays at the Division III level (Division I is the highest level). As Baldwinsville won the Section 3 championship and advanced all the way to the New York State semifinals, Delia’s uncle came to the conclusion his nephew had been under recruited and told him so. “He said, ‘I think you should look at another school. You have too much talent.’ After thinking about it I texted a buddy of mine playing at OCC, then got in contact with Coach Chuck Wilbur. One thing led to another and here I am!”
Just as everything worked our perfectly on the lacrosse field, so too did it in the classroom. Delia is a Business Administration major who loves the learning environment. “Things feel very personal in the classroom because of the small class sizes. My academics are great here. I feel really good about it.”
As he begins his sophomore year Delia finds himself in the best position possible. His dream of earning a Division I scholarship is alive and well and he’s looking forward to helping the Lazers pursue their 12th national title. “The tradition here is amazing. You look back at all of the great players who have come through here. It’s such an honor to play here and win a championship and make All-American. It’s opened so many opportunities for me. I’m so glad I came here.”
Eric Miccio has been named Head Coach of Onondaga Community College’s Men’s Lacrosse program. Miccio comes to OCC from Mercyhurst College North East near Erie, PA where he was Head Coach of the Men’s Lacrosse team.
Miccio (pronounced MICK-ee-oh) is a graduate of West Genesee High School where he led the Wildcats lacrosse team to the 2008 New York State title. He continued his playing career at OCC where he won back-to-back national championships in 2009 and 2010. Miccio was a two-time academic All-American and a team captain during his sophomore season. He also earned a degree in Humanities & Social Sciences from OCC in 2010.
Miccio transferred to SUNY Oswego where he played two more years of lacrosse. He was a team captain and achieved all-conference status. After earning a degree in Human Resources Management, Miccio began his coaching career at Oswego as an assistant. He was hired as head coach of Mercyhurst in 2016. He was named the Region’s Coach of the Year in 2018.
At OCC, Miccio replaces former Head Coach Chuck Wilbur whom he played for a decade ago. Earlier this month Wilbur took a new role with the College as a Retention Specialist. In this position, Wilbur will focus on student-athletes and Native American students to help them enroll and succeed at OCC, and take their next steps to employment or transfer upon graduation. Wilbur coached OCC for 17 seasons, winning 11 national championships. The Lazers will enter next season as two-time defending national champions and owners of a current 30-game winning streak.
“Eric is the perfect choice to lead our Men’s Lacrosse program into the future. As a former Lazer who performed at the highest level as both a student and an athlete, he has a unique understanding of what it takes to succeed at all levels. We are fortunate he has chosen to bring his passion for success home to Onondaga where he is committed to making a difference in the lives of student-athletes,” said OCC President Dr. Casey Crabill.
“I’m honored to be coming home to Central New York with my family and taking over a legendary program at a place which had such a significant impact on my life. So much of what I accomplished as both a student and an athlete is due to the two years I spent here learning and growing under the guidance of Coach Wilbur and his outstanding staff. I look forward to working with our student-athletes, the college and the community as we continue the great tradition of Lazers Men’s Lacrosse,” said Miccio.
“Coach Miccio brings a strong understanding of the game, coupled with a passion to be a mentor, teacher and advocate to the young men on his roster. He is a strong competitor who understands the culture and tradition that we have built at Onondaga and has the skills and ability to continue that work. Eric’s connections with the community, combined with the familiarity of working for a SUNY institution and head coaching experience at the NJCAA level made him the best candidate for this position. I’m very excited to have Eric join our team,” said OCC Director of Athletics Mike Borsz.
“I am excited Eric will be returning home and leading this program that means so much to so many people. Eric’s work ethic as a player here was second to none. He will continue our legacy as one of the premiere programs in the nation. He has my full support,” said former Head Coach Chuck Wilbur.
Onondaga Community College Men’s Lacrosse team won its 11th National Championship, defeating Nassau Community College 11-9 on Chuck Wilbur Field at Lazer Stadium. The victory capped an undefeated campaign and extended the Lazers two-season winning streak to 30 games.
Sophomore Austin Staats was named the tournament’s Best Offensive Player. Staats scored three goals in the championship game as did sophomore Russ Oakes. Freshman Jerry Staats was named the tournament’s Best Defensive Player. OCC’s Chuck Wilbur was named the National Coach of the Year.
Congratulations to the Lazers, 2018 National Champions!
Austin Staats scores!
Coach Chuck Wilbur speaks with the Lazers at halftime.
Sun-drenched fans enjoy the national championship game.
Austin Staats is named the “Best Offensive Player.”
Jerry Staats is named the “Best Defensive Player.”
The Lazers celebrate with the championship trophy.
The Lazers celebrate their 11th national championship.
National Coach of the Year Chuck Wilbur speaks with the media after the game.
The OCC Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse programs held their annual family reunions Saturday, October 7. The day of celebration included alumni games, a field naming ceremony and the handing out of national championship trophies and plaques. “Besides the day when we won the national championship, this is the second best day of the year for us,” said Men’s Lacrosse Coach Chuck Wilbur. “It’s always fun seeing the alumni come back and being a part of it. We’re a big family. It’s been growing and growing over the years and it’s always good to see everyone.”
The day began with the dedication of the Lazer Stadium playing surface as “Chuck Wilbur Field.” OCC’s Board of Trustees voted in June to put Wilbur’s name on the field. In his 16 seasons at Onondaga the Lazers have won 10 national championships.
In between the Men’s and Women’s Alumni games, members of the 2017 Men’s team received their national championship rings and plaques. A slideshow highlighting the day’s activities can be viewed below.
The Onondaga Community College Men’s Lacrosse team has won its 10th NJCAA National Championship. The Lazers defeated the Howard (MD) Dragons 15-14 on the OCC campus. “We’ve been waiting for this game all year,” said OCC Head Coach Chuck Wilbur. “It’s the perfect ending, playing a one goal game and winning it. What a perfect way to end it after what happened last year.”
Last year the Lazers lost the national championship on their home field, falling to Genesee Community College 13-12 in the title game. Last season’s defeat coupled with this year’s victory moves the 2017 championship to the top of the list of Wilbur’s ten titles. “This is my favorite one yet because of what we went through right here in front of everybody watching us get upset on our own field and then having to come back and think about it all year. This is probably the sweetest one. The other nine teams will probably be upset for me saying that but it is.”
Following the game Wilbur was named the NJCAA Coach of the Year. OCC Goalie Riley Smith earned Best Defensive Player honors. Attackman Russ Oakes was named Best Offensive Player. Lazers named to the All-Tournament team included midfielder Larson Sundown, Defenseman Austin Robinson, and defenseman Zach Pinney.
Scan the roster of the OCC Men’s Lacrosse team and you’ll find ten players who have come to campus from outside the United States. No two players have traveled further to get here than Kiochi Nakamura and Peter Kwas. Nakamura is from Fukuoka, Japan, Kwas from Melbourne, Australia. “It helps we’re two foreign kids in another country,” said Kwas. “We have that connection between us.”
They also share a meteorological connection. Both freshmen come from much warmer climates. “It’s too cold here. Too much snow,” said Nakamura. Kwas remembers flying from Melbourne to Syracuse in January. “It was 30 celsius (86 Fahrenheit) when I left home and -8 celsius (17 Fahrenheit) when I got off the plane. Not fun!”
How do student-athletes from thousands of miles away wind up in Central New York? Both of their stories show how close-knit the world of lacrosse is. Kwas was playing lacrosse in Australia against an American who had played for a community college which competed against the Lazers. “He suggested I check out OCC. I sent an email to (Head) Coach (Chuck) Wilbur and wound up here.” Nakamura was playing at ASA College in New York City. His head coach was former OCC player Shaun Church. When Church decided to return to OCC as an assistant coach, Nakamura joined him.
Both players were attracted to lacrosse for different reasons. Nakamura’s first love was basketball but at some point realized he was looking up at most of his opponents. “Most kids were growing but I wasn’t. Basketball became difficult for me. That’s when I started playing lacrosse. I started watching it on YouTube and it was amazing!” Kwas’ attraction to lacrosse was for a much different reason. “I started playing initially because it got me out of grade school. My mom didn’t really like that. I kept playing and started taking it seriously when I was 15 or 16.”
Both student-athletes now play lacrosse year round and hope to turn their experience at OCC into scholarships at four-year colleges. This summer Nakamura will return home to Japan and bring a handful of Lazer teammates with him. They’ll teach at lacrosse clinics across the country while proudly wearing their OCC gear.
Onondaga Community College’s Men’s Lacrosse Team won the 2015 NJCAA National Championship May 10, defeating the Community College of Baltimore County at Essex 16-8.
“I’m excited for the kids,” said head coach Chuck Wilbur. “You see 47 kids come together at the start of the season and it’s very rewarding to see how far they come and watch them celebrate something they dreamed of.”
Freshman goalie Holden McDonald (St. Mary’s High School, Toronto) had 13 saves in the championship game and was named Tournament Defensive MVP. Freshman attackman Matt Bennett (Lafayette High School) had three goals and one assist, earning Offensive MVP honors.
The win continues the Lazers decade of dominance and the growing list of impressive statistics which go along with it:
Perfect 18-0 record this season
Outscored opponents 448-56 this season
105 wins in a row
7 consecutive national titles
9 national titles in the last 10 years
With all of the wins and championships comes expectations for more wins and championships. “It’s good pressure. It means you’re having success. It’s the type of pressure you want in life,” said Wilbur.
Jack Centore, a freshman Business Administration major from Westhill High School, says it’s important for OCC to keep winning. “We’re playing for our teammates but we’re also playing for everyone who came before us. We want to keep the tradition going,” he said.
Chandler Allen, is a sophomore Business Administration major from London, Ontario. He now has two national championships to cherish. “I feel like this one was very satisfying the way everyone was working together whether they were on the field or on the sideline,” he said.
The Lazers’ athletics program has now earned a total of 13 national championships in Men’s Lacrosse, Women’s Lacrosse, Men’s Tennis and Men’s Basketball.
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