Ethan Bramoff, a 12-year-old rising seventh grader at Pierson Middle School, took home a National Lacrosse Federation Championship over the weekend as a member of the Express 2025 team, the year indicating the group’s expected date of high school graduation.
Sunday’s championship game, an 8-3 win over Mad Lax DC from Washington, D.C., was broadcast live on ESPN and was the crowning achievement of the season for the Long Island-based lacrosse club, which is one of the most highly-respected in the country. Express 2025 has been the top ranked team in the country by USA Lacrosse all summer, so the weekend result was not a surprise.
The Express team swept through six games with a perfect record during the three-day tournament at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst before coming home with the championship on Sunday.
“The best players in the country were at this tournament at every level,” said Eric Bramoff, Ethan’s father and the current athletic director in the Sag Harbor School District.
Ethan plans to play football and basketball this coming school year, and may play baseball, along with consistently practicing with the Express program, which means trips up island for practice two days a week. Lacrosse is his passion, and the passion of his family, including his mother, Brooke, a former collegiate lacrosse player, and his grandparents, Tim Vandewalker and Paula Stilwell, who travel to every tournament from their home in Syracuse.
“We don’t do travel lacrosse for what’s to come,” Eric Bramoff said. “We do it for the experiences we’re having now because it’s so enjoyable. Every weekend he sees his grandparents who drive down from Syracuse, and one of the biggest reasons Ethan got this sport into his heart was because his grandfather, Tim, who used to drag him to all these lacrosse camps when he was younger.
“Now Ethan is one of the top players on the top team,” he added. “He’s playing on the best lacrosse team for his age in the country.”