Joey Spallina
Mount Sinai
Coached By: Harold Drumm


Later played at:


Joey Spallina
Mount Sinai

Coached By: Harold Drumm

To say Joey Spallina is a natural born leader is an understatement. The son of a hall of fame lacrosse coach and nephew of a lacrosse champion, he has grown up with expectations to be the best version of himself on and off the field.

By the end of his senior season at Mount Sinai High School, Spallina was the clear favorite for the 2022 Lt. Ray Enners Award presented to the top boys lacrosse player in Suffolk County. The award is as much about leadership and sportsmanship as it is playing ability.

“Ever since I was a kid, my dad told me two things while I was playing, to be a good teammate and be a good person,” said Spallina, who is the No. 1 recruit in the country and will play at Syracuse University. “From the stories that I’ve heard, Ray was that guy.”

When asked to describe how he sees himself as a leader, he spoke about his traits as a “brother to his teammates” off the field more than his prolific playing ability.

“Everyone on this team is like a younger brother and I’m always taking care of the guys,” he said. “The award is a great honor and means a lot to me. It’s about being more than just a leader on the field.”

Spallina is the second Enners honoree from Mount Sinai after Chris Ritchie won in 2006, and he is just the second Syracuse commit to earn the honor since Sachem’s Pat Perritt in 2005.

He finished his high school career with 507 points, more than anyone in the history of Long Island lacrosse. He had 226 goals and 281 assists. His assists outweighing the goals perfectly describes his attitude, which is to support, enhance and drive his team however he can.

“When everyone is scoring, they’re happy,” he said.

Growing up with Joe Spallina, the women’s lacrosse coach at Stony Brook University, as his father, he has had a first row seat at how to hold yourself accountable while growing the spirits and ability of others. He remembers watching his father coach the Long Island Lizards and dealing with high profile players. Even in that situation Joe was able to guide the personalities to perform and win a Major League Lacrosse championship.

“I’ve watched closely how he handles things when times may not be good,” said Joey. “It’s not time to yell. It's time to pick them up and get it going and make the next play. I want to be that person that people look up to.”

His high school career was altered thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Missing an entire season still didn’t stop him from reaching the scoring record or winning titles at Mount Sinai. He said the pandemic made him better because he was able to focus on his conditioning and shooting during the down time.

That’s the attitude that attracted Syracuse coaches Gary Gait and Dave Pietremala to bring Joey to Orange country and give him the lauded No. 22 jersey.

“It’s all coming full circle now,” he said. “My goal since I was a kid was to play in the Dome and win a national championship at Cuse. I’m so excited to be able to go up there and play with some amazing guys and get the chance to be coached by two of the best of all time.”

His brothers Brett and Jake, both younger players at Mount Sinai, will join him on the roster at Syracuse eventually. Even with all of his personal success, Joey said his best moments on the field were when he and his Spallina brothers would pass and score on the same play.

“That’s always the best feeling,” he said.

Spoken like a player with heart and passion. Ray Enners would be proud.

Profile by: Chris R. Vaccaro