What could possibly be better in kicking off a new season by celebrating last year’s national championship?
That’s what the Dowling College lacrosse players did last week when players, coaches, families, friends an alumni were invited to the Timber Point Country Club in Long Island, N.Y. for their ring ceremony.
Former Peabody High lacrosse player Chris Diantgikis, a senior captain for the Golden Lions, said the players knew they were going to get rings, but had no idea how stunning they would be.
“That ring is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever had the pleasure to hold,” said Diantgikis, a defenseman who helped Dowling defeat Limestone (S.C.) University, 11-10, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro to capture the Division 2 NCAA championship last spring.
“The coaches were pretty hush-hush about the rings even though we kept asking about them. The college didn’t spare any expense, and we were all surprised when we finally got a look at them.”
The Golden Lions, currently the top ranked team in Division 2 in Lacrosse Magazine’s preseason ratings, also got gold NCAA watches, rain-repellent NCAA jackets (with a championship patch on the sleeve), hats and T-shirts after winning the championship.
“Winning the national championship is something I’ve been dreaming about since I was seven years old,” said Diantgikis, now 22. “I couldn’t have done it without my coaches at Peabody: Kevin Houlden, Tony O’Donnell, and all my former teammates.”
Dowling’s first game will be a rematch with Limestone in South Carolina before beginning a four-game homestand. “I’m sure they’ll be waiting for us,” said Diantgikis. “We’re all very excited to start off with them.
“We lost 12 seniors from last year, so we’re reloading. This season is going to be a very good one because we’re got a lot of talented players along with some good looking freshmen. We only have four seniors and we’re all captains, along with two juniors. We’re all on the same page trying to help the younger kids.”