Blog Index
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John McLaughlin - Executive Director - Founder

John grew up in New Milford, CT where he played lacrosse at New Milford High School. He currently works as a classroom teacher and coaches  lacrosse at PS 180 in Harlem. He started Sticks And Stone Lacrosse as a way to grow the game of lacrosse in New York City public schools. Lacrosse gives students the opportunity to learn about and play a growing sport while avoiding the negative temptations that often arise on the streets. John finds great joy in putting smiles on kids faces after they score a goal or cradle for the first time, and he hopes to see these smiles at more schools around New York City.

Tom Fallon - Founding Board Member

Tom grew up in New Milford, CT and started playing lacrosse at a young age. He was a member of his town's very first youth lacrosse team and then went on to play club lacrosse at Northeastern University. Tom loves the sport and enjoys volunteering so teaming up with Sticks And Stone Lacrosse was a no-brainer.

Rob Pollak - Founding Board Member

Rob grew up in Norwalk, CT, currently works as an SAT tutor across New York and Connecticut.   While a student at Hamilton College and Fordham University School of Law, Rob volunteered with a number of organizations that assist students in New York City, including Summer Search, the Fresh Air Fund, and the Justice Resource Center.  Rob jumped at the opportunity to help his good friend John McLaughlin found a non-profit organization that provided students with a strong foundation in athletics and academics.

Chris Corritore - Board Member

After growing up playing lacrosse on Long Island, Chris went to Penn State then earned an MBA from St. John's University. Chris is now an accountant at Ameritax Financial Advisors in Brooklyn. He joined Sticks And Stone due to his love of lacrosse and desire to give inner-city kids an activity where they can learn teamwork and determination.

Shelby McLaughlin - Board Member

 Shelby McLaughlin grew up in Rockland County, NY.  She went to Penn State, earning her Bachelors Degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education.  While at Penn State, Shelby was heavily involved in the IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon (THON) to raise money and awareness for the Four Diamonds Fund, which directly helps families dealing with Pediatric Cancer.  She also participated as a "big sister" in the Big Brother/Big Sister program.  Shelby then continued her education and earned her Masters Degree in Literacy Education and Advanced Certificate in Gifted and Talented Education.  She currently works at The Speyer Legacy School as a Kindergarten teacher.  Shelby joined the SASL team because she is a firm believer in giving all students an opportunity to be successful and find something they are passionate about.  Sticks and Stone Lacrosse joins this philosophy and her love of charity work.

Erich Smith - Board Member

Erich was born in Brooklyn, NY.  He began playing lacrosse in 5th grade.  He played for Christian Brothers Academy High School.  Upon graduation from CBA, Erich received a scholarship to play Division 1 Lacrosse at Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY.  He was a 3 year starter and helped Manhattan reach the conference championships 3 years in a row!  Currently, Erich coaches for many youth, select, and varsity programs in Westchester, NY.  He also owns One on 1 Lacrosse Clinic, LLC.  The mission of One on 1 Lacrosse is to provide private training specifically designed for each "laxlete".  Erich demonstrates a real love for the sport of lacrosse and finds happiness helping children reach their maximum potential.

Michelle Piacente - Board Member

Michelle grew up in Yonkers, NY where he played lacrosse at Ursuline High School. She sculpted the way for Ursuline lacrosse as it was a new program when she attended.  Today, Ursuline is a top program in Westchester, NY.  Currently, Michelle coaches at various youth and select programs in Westchester, NY.  She is also the Program Director for One on 1 Lacrosse Clinic, LLC and the girls head lacrosse coach.  Michelle finds pure joy in helping others achieve success through the sport of lacrosse.

Benjamin Stafford - Coach

Benjamin was born and raised in New York, NY. After attending high school at Trevor Day School, Benjamin earned his Bachelors degree in Sports Psychology at Manhattanville College. Then obtained a Masters Degree of Business in Organizational Management at Fordham University. Benjamin was a three-season varsity athlete playing basketball, baseball, soccer and wrestling. At the collegiate level he followed his passion and played baseball, along with tackling rugby. Coach Stafford has five years of experience coaching at the youth and high school level.

Todd Barnes - Coach

Todd is currently a Special Education Teacher for the NYC Department of Education. He grew up in Port Ewen, NY and  played attack for Kingston High School before graduating in 2004.  Todd has been coaching youth lacrosse since 2006 and has been coaching with Sticks and Stones Lacrosse since Fall 2014.  He loves to give back to the community and enjoys growing the game of lacrosse in Harlem.


Coaching Alumni

Kevin Goshorn- Coach

Kevin grew up in Harlem, NY and started playing lacrosse in eighth grade at the Frederick Douglass Academy. He later transferred to, and graduated from The New Hampton School, a New England boarding school. This fall, Kevin will start at Haverford College, where he will major in Economics and play lacrosse at the varsity level. Kevin works with Sticks And Stone Lacrosse out of his love for the game.

Myles Smith - Coach

Myles grew up in Queens New York and moved to Harlem in 7th grade. There he picked up Lacrosse in his eighth grade year. After completing his ninth grade year at Frederick Douglass Academy, he repeated his ninth a at junior boarding school called Cardigan Mountain School. Following his year at Cardigan, he went to The Kent School in Connecticut. He was a captain in his senior year and graduated in June 2015. He will be moving on to play at strong program at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine where he will Major in Economics. He began coaching with Sticks and Stones Lacrosse in the summer of 2015.


Darien McLaughlin - Coach

Darien was born and raised in the small town of New Milford, Connecticut. He lived there until attending college at the University of Rhode Island for Ocean Engineering. In third grade Darien began to play lacrosse in the local youth league where he fell in love with the high paced sport because of it's unique game play and similarities to hockey. He later went on to play both junior varsity and varsity for New Milford High School. Darien has been working with Sticks And Stone Lacrosse during his college breaks to help grow the game that he loves. 

Maleke Bedeau - Coach

Maleke grew up in Brooklyn, Highland Falls, and Harlem New York. He started playing Lacrosse in Fredrick Douglass Academy during the 11th grade. He quickly took to the sport due to great coaching and teammates. City Lax played a large role in Maleke's growth and development in Lacrosse. After graduating high school, Maleke attended SUNY Delhi where he played on a junior college level. During his time at SUNY Delhi, Maleke decided to dabble in coaching going at multiple City Lax clinics during school breaks to help out other inner city youth. Maleke currently plays Club Lacrosse at SUNY Oneonta, while pursuing a B.A in Mass Communication and Production. He started coaching with Sticks And Stone Lacrosse during the Summer of 2014.