From his days on the playing fields in the Five Towns, 24-year-old Max Seibald's pursuit to become a professional athlete has come full circle after landing a spot as a midfielder on the Long Island Lizards, Hempstead's Major League Lacrosse (MLL) team.
Seibald was welcomed back at a halftime ceremony in April where he was awarded a place in the Hewlett-Woodmere Athletic Hall of Fame.
"It's an unbelievable honor to be in any type of hall of fame, and to be there in Hewlett, it's right up there amongst my other accolades," he said. "I'm more into winning games than getting hardware, but it was a way to step back and feel old a little bit."
The two-time high school All-American and Tewaaraton Trophy recipient for playing lacrosse at Cornell University explained his biggest reward is being back with his friends, high school mentors and family, doing the job he loves best.
Seibald said he attributes part of his success to the support he received from various coaches and his athletic director in high school.
"I had great coaches," he said about his years playing at Hewlett and Lynbrook. "I learned a lot about hard work, leadership, competitiveness and what it means to be successful."
Since his days playing football, basketball and track at Hewlett High School, Seibald said he chose to pursue lacrosse since it required all of the skills he learned in each sport.
"It has everything," Seibald said. "Its got the non-stop pace of soccer and the defense of basketball, so you can relate any sport to it. You can be fast, slow, quick or whatever and find a niche in lacrosse."
The Hewlett native first picked up the crosse, or lacrosse stick, when he was in third grade. Seibald played for the Lynbrook Titans in middle school since there wasn't a team in Hewlett at the time.
"I started having some success in high school, got recruited to Cornell and now I am playing professional in Long Island," he said. "Even as a young kid it was always a goal of mine, so to fulfill that, it's a great honor."
In the three years since graduating from college, Seibald has managed his time playing indoor lacrosse for the Denver Outlaws (MLL) in the summers and the Philadelphia Wings (National Lacrosse League) in the winter and spring.
The former Bulldogs also started a youth program in high school called Maximum Lacrosse Camps, which now reaches kids nationwide.
This year camp begins at Pier 40 in New York City on June 17, and travels across the country to Texas, Minnesota, Nebraska and ends in Pennsylvania in early August.
"The majority of my summers are spent teaching lacrosse," Seibald said. "But for me, to still do what I love, I'm pretty fortunate."