Gray
2017
Chris Gray
Attack
Shoreham-Wading River
Coached By: Mike Taylor

All-American

Later played at:
Boston University


2017

Chris Gray
Shoreham-Wading River

Coached By: Mike Taylor

Shoreham-Wading River's Chris Gray won the Lt. Raymond Enners Award as the top player in Suffolk County in 2017. Gray, who helped lead his team to a Long Island championship in 2016 and was also one of Long Island's top football players during his high school career, will play lacrosse and major in business at Boston University.

We sat down with him to talk about his lacrosse career and the honor of winning the Enners Award.

What does it mean for you to win the Enners Award?
"Receiving the Raymond Enners Award has been a great personal experience. Not because of the individual accolade but because it inspired me to really learn who Ray Enners was. Being mentioned in the same sentence as Ray Enners is a great honor. His accomplishments in the class, on the field and in battle inspire me to live my life as Mr. Enners did each and every day."

Did you know the meaning of the Enners Award before you won?
"While I knew the Raymond Enners award recognized Suffolk County's top high school player, I did not recognize its significance until I began to research who Ray Enners was. The award honors an American hero who grew up on Long Island, was an extraordinary athlete and leader, who attended West Point. He exemplifies what most student athletes look to accomplish. I cannot help thinking about something I read, "but before he was off fighting for America in the U.S. Army, he was just Ray a kind young, hard-working man, who loved lacrosse." He started out just like us."

Thoughts on the overall meaning of the honor?
"When I think about the man the award is named after, and those who have been honored before me, receiving the Raymond Enners award has been a humbling experience. An experience that recognizes all those responsible for helping me get where I am today, my family, friends, teammates, coaches, and teachers."

Best lacrosse moment of your high school career?
"The best moment of my high school lacrosse career was winning the Long Island championship in 2016. That milestone was such a special moment for me because the team included several friends I have been playing with since elementary school. We always spoke about playing for a championship and accomplishing that goal with so many of my childhood friends is a memory I will carry forever."

Describe your individual game and what you do well as a lacrosse player?
"At 5'7" I rely on speed and vision. I enjoy driving from X, shooting from the wing and feeding my teammates. I believe I am a versatile player that can drive, pass or shoot. Although these are some of my strengths, I know there is always room for improvement."

Who have been your influences in the game and why?
"My family has been the most influential on me when it comes to lacrosse. My mother, father, and brother have always been there to push me to be my best, and I wouldn't be the player I am today without their guidance and support."

Talk about your decision to attend Boston University.
"I will attend Boston University. During the summer between ninth and tenth grade I must have visited at least six or seven schools. When I arrived in Boston I was immediately attracted to the city and the opportunity to be part of an exceptional University with a new lacrosse program that was on the rise. I can remember my father telling me that it's one thing to join something that's great; it's another to help build something great."

In addition to Chris' quotes about the Enners Award, we also have the transcript of the speech from Shoreham-Wading River coach, Mike Taylor, from the Suffolk County Lacrosse Coaches Association dinner when Gray was awarded

"I am extremely excited to be here tonight to present this award to Chris. We are so proud as a program and Shoreham community that Chris has received this prestigious award. To receive an award named after a national hero, a man who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country is truly a lifetime achievement award.

Chris is the most talented lacrosse player that I have ever had the pleasure of coaching. He is a player that can do it all. His abilities as an athlete and lacrosse player are rarely matched. Chris has the ability to literally take over a game. He is able to do anything we ask as of him as an attackman. His work effort on the practice field is consistent. Chris works on his craft, challenging himself and others around him. Chris will challenge his teammates pushing them to match his level of competitiveness. At the same time, he will be the first to compliment and encourage a teammate.

On the field, Chris has amassed several lacrosse accolades. Chris has been a 2x Newsday player to watch, a 3x Newsday top 100 player, and a 2x All Long Island selection. Chris has received 3 all league/all county awards. Chris was selected to the 2017 National Under Armor All American team. Chris received rookie of the year his 10th grade year scoring 53 goals and 22 assists for a total of 79 points. His junior year Chris scored 79 goals and 22 assists for a total of 101 points. That same year he received attackman of the year and All American. This past season Chris led Suffolk county in goals and total points with 90 goals and 25 assists for a total of 115 points. Chris again won attackman of the year and was named All American. Chris closed out his three-year varsity career scoring 222 goals, 69 assists for a total of 291 points. While this is a tremendous list of achievements I have to share a story. There was a time on the field when I was ribbing Chris about his accolades. Chris quickly responded that he would trade all of his awards for the chance for his team to play in a State championship. Chris is truly a humble individual. He has no ego, and would sacrifice any personal accolades if he thought it would benefit his teammates.

Off the field Chris continues to be an intrinsic leader. Chris has participated in our annual LaxOut cancer event. Chris exhibits outstanding character by volunteering and contributing countless hours to benefit local children suffering with cancer. Through the school district Chris has participated in several peer leadership groups. He participates in "Tommy's Vets" where he volunteered at Veterans homes. He also participates in the Nexus club where he works with preschool children in our community. Chris has always volunteered to help with our youth lacrosse organization. He would attend trainings and practices without being asked. His leadership qualities would shine through as I observed him work with the younger players in the community. Chris has become a lacrosse hero to our Shoreham Wading River youth players. Young players aspire to become the next Chris Gray. Today kids do not necessary always have role models that we would as adults approve of. His core values of honesty, integrity, and respect set the standard for the younger players in the community to emulate. I have been fortunate that my personal children have spent time with Chris and I would feel blessed if they were to be the young man he is today.

Chris is the type of player that a coach may only have the pleasure of coaching once in their career. It has been my absolute pleasure taking the field and competing alongside this very special young man. Chris will be attending Boston University in the fall and I am very excited to watch him compete at the next level. I wish him nothing but the best of luck and I am confident that Boston University is getting a blue-chip player, but more importantly, a young man who will continue to exhibit the personal qualities that afforded him this prestigious award."

The Chris Gray File
In lacrosse
SWR HS Long Island Champions, 2016
2x Suffolk Champion, 2016 and 2017
2x U.S. lacrosse All American
2017 Under Armor Senior All American
2017 Bob Scott Award
3x All-County
Recruit Rundown ranked No. 8 2017 class
Long Island Leader in Points: 2016 & 2017
2x First Team All-Long Island
2x All Metro Team

In football
Helped lead SWR to three straight Long Island championships 2014-2016
In 2016: All-County, All-Long Island, All-State, Second Team All-Metro
2016 Finalist for the: Hanson, Cassese and Cipp awards
Suffolk County leading rusher: 2,179 yards and 37 touchdowns

Links
Gray to Attend Boston University: http://www.laxlessons.com/2014/10/21/chris-gray/
Gray Named Newsday Athlete of the Week:http://www.newsday.com/sports/high-school/boys-lacrosse/athlete-of-the-week-is-shoreham-wading-river-attack-chris-gray-1.13562180
Gray Named U.S. Lacrosse Athlete of the Week:https://www.uslaxmagazine.com/high-school/players-of-the-week/epoch-usl-high-school-boys-players-of-the-week-june-6

Profile by: Chris R. Vaccaro