Sunday Spotlight

Eric Sella

Eric was born and raised in Massapequa, NY.  Yes…he’s a FLID (a term that is commonly associated with people from Long Island).  He graduated from Massapequa High School in 1976. He played four years of football; three years of lacrosse. He couldn’t play lacrosse his senior year because he blew his knee out that football season.

Eric attended Washington and Lee University. He was recruited to play lacrosse. Fortunately his high school knee injury was severe enough, he could no longer play competitive sports. Eric says, “fortunate,” because W&L was ranked and in Division I at the time. He doubted that he would have touched the field IF he managed to make the team. Everyone thought he must have been good because he was recruited. The head coach (Coach Emmer) gave him an invitation out for varsity. It was quite an honor; he still has the invitation. He majored in business. He earned a Bachelors of Science in Commerce with Special Attainments in Accounting. He graduated in 1980; As all W&L students, you either graduate in 4 years or you don’t graduate.

Eirc started playing lacrosse when he was 10 (1968). They had just started a kids team (the Massapequa Mohawks). He was terrible at baseball so he decided to give lacrosse a try. He played through his junior year in high school(1975). A knee injury cost him his senior year. In high school, he got to cover some really great players. Mike O’Neal (3 time All American at Johns Hopkins) and Tommy Marino (3 year All American at Cornel) were a couple of years ahead of him, but he got to cover them in practice. Probably, “tried to cover them,” is more accurate. His dad called Lax on THE Island for 25 years. He started calling pee-wee and summer leagues on the Island while in high schools (1972-1976). He had no formal training, but his dad would critique him. He called some local middle schools in Virginia while I was in college (1976-1980), but he still had no formal training. He’s been calling high school and college since around 1997 or 1998, and he’s been lucky to be around the Game for over fifty years!  He also officiated girls volleyball until the LHSAA fired all the North Louisiana referees. There was a mess up in test reporting and officially they weren’t qualified (half way through the season). He called six years and was lucky enough to get selected for playoffs.

When I asked Eric, why did he decide to officiate; he stated that “It’s a family thing”. His dad called football and lacrosse on the Island. His brother is MSL certified in Atlanta. It just seemed like he was supposed to ref. He got started in Louisiana because Brian Landry (I didn’t know him at the time) called him up one day and said he heard Eric played lacrosse at Washington & Lee. He corrected him saying, “I played lacrosse; and I went to Washington and Lee. There’s a bit difference.” He told Brian he was a CPA; it was tax season; and he didn’t have time to coach. Brian said, “No, I want you to ref.” He declined again and then Brian said, “I need someone on the field tomorrow and you’re it. Otherwise fifty kids from Dallas ain’t playing.” He bought his gear that afternoon. After the games a guy approached them and handed out checks; he was surprised. He thought they were calling in Lacrosse Siberia, and that they were doing it for grins. Just so kids could play.

Currently, Eric resides on the other side of Alexandria; Shreveport, LA.  He’s been there since the Red River froze; 37 years. He’s a sole practitioner CPA. Lacrosse season is in the heart of tax season, and people wonder why he’s so mean.  However, Eric stated “I’m not as big of a “butt-hole” as people think I am.  No one could be that big! But every year there are arguments among the teams about who I hate most”.  He started a new hobby in April. He’s being the best granddad on the planet to his first grandson, Beau. He knows he’ll coach and ref sooner or later.

He’s been blessed. He was the R for the first Louisiana High School Championship. He loves being able to say that! He thinks he’s called four more finals since then, but being part of the first is just special. He’d like to call another one. Karl Mitchell brought lacrosse to Louisiana, and he was fortunate to know him. They seldom agreed on his calls, but darn if they didn’t agree on doing whatever was best for the Game.

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