Huntington senior Matthew Mattiace captured the Fred Cambria Award during the 49th annual Blue Devil senior athletic awards banquet in Louis D. Giani Gymnasium.
It was almost impossible to attend a Huntington athletic event and not find Fred Cambria somewhere near the sidelines. The Blue Devils biggest fan was especially rabid when it came to football and lacrosse. His son Fred played on the Syracuse lacrosse team that won the 1983 national championship. Even when his children weren’t directly involved in a sport, you would still see him providing his support.
Huntington boys’ varsity lacrosse coach Kevin Travis said the Fred Cambria Award “is dedicated to a man who understood the meaning of respect, sportsmanship and community. Mr. Cambria’s widow, Betsy and granddaughter Casey Deville were on hand to make the formal presentation before a crowd about 300.
Mr. Mattiace is headed to Farmingdale State College where he plans to play on the lacrosse team. The teenager played on the Blue Devil football and lacrosse teams. “He always gives 110 percent at practice,” Mr. Travis said. “He’s a great teammate and extremely coachable.”
The Cambria Award is presented “to a player who shows great sportsmanship and enjoyment toward the game of lacrosse. The award carries with it a $200 stipend.
Mr. Cambria, who passed away suddenly many years ago, continued to support the Huntington lacrosse program even after his own children graduated. He was known throughout the community and by the Blue Devil coaching staff as a pleasant man with an enthusiastic and upbeat personality.