SARATOGA SPRINGS — It was a day that the Schwan family won’t soon forget as the Ian Schwan-coached Saratoga Springs boys’ lacrosse team faced off against his father Tom Schwan’s Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake team in a first meeting of father and son on opposing sidelines Saturday.
“Forty years ago, I was a defensive back for Ithaca College and my brother, Pete, who is a year older was a starting wide receiver for Cortland State,” Tom Schwan said. “Not only did we play each other for four years in a row, but I had to guard him. I hated it, I disliked it completely because I really didn’t want to compete against him, so this was not fun in terms of competing against him.”
The Spartans were led by Shane McClernan’s eight-goal game with JD Townsend, Kevin Carney and Caeden LaPietro each adding four goals as Burnt Hills defeated Saratoga Springs, 25-12.
While the father-and-son coaches dueled on one sideline, across the field in the bleachers their family split their cheering allegiance, with Schwans in both bleacher sections.
“My wife, daughter, son-in-law, nephew, they all had some Saratoga gear and were on the Saratoga side for a half and then they had some Burnt Hills hats and switched over,” Tom Schwan said.
It has become a tradition for the Schwan family.
“Forty years ago, that played out with my mom and my uncle Dan and his wife, aunt Janet,” Tom Schwan said. “They would sit on the Ithaca College or Cortland State side for a half. They would wear either hat and then they would walk over at halftime and switch hats. That was the cool part of it.”
Saratoga Springs’ Robby Fox had four goals and Kyle Griskowitz added three goals and an assist.
“My greatest role model in my life is my father and the second greatest role model is his assistant coach Jason LaPietro,” first-year coach Ian Schwan said. “I spent seven years as a volunteer coach with them and the last four I’ve been away. Those seven years, they kind of molded me into the coach that I like to say that I am.”
The Schwans will face off against each other again this season, but Saturday’s contest will always be special.
“I just got to coach against my dad, I got my shot,” Ian Schwan said. “It was a lot of fun to have an opportunity to be out here with him, competing and coaching against him. I did enjoy that aspect.”
Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake 6 5 7 7 — 25
Saratoga Springs 2 3 5 2 — 12
Burnt Hills scoring: McClernan 8-2, Townsend 4-1, Carney 4-7, LaPietro 4-0, Muller 1-1, Mareno 2-2, Swisher 2-0. Saratoga scoring: Griskowitz 3-1, Fox 4-0, Bobear 2-0, Allison 1-0, Detora 1-1, Kiernan 1-0. Goalies: Burnt Hills, Manning, 4 saves. Saratoga, Leary 6 saves, Whitcomb 5 saves.