Boys lacrosse: Woodbury’s Martynec honored as leaderWoodbury resident and 2011 Hill-Murray graduate Ben Martynec was a 2011 Community Leadership Award winner by Homegrown Lacrosse for his service to his community.
By: Patrick Johnson, Staff Writer, Woodbury Bulletin
Ben Martynec was one area athlete who impacted lives on and off the field this past year.
The Woodbury resident and 2011 graduate of Hill-Murray High School was a 2011 Community Leadership Award winner by Homegrown Lacrosse for his service to his community.
The award is given to two graduating Minnesota high school boys lacrosse players who exemplify the qualities of character, confidence and community as showcased by their service to the community as a whole. Benilde-St. Margaret’s graduate and Edina resident Zach Silvestri also was an award winner.
“Being a great lacrosse player requires more than skill on the field; it also requires strength of character, compassion, knowledge and a desire to make a difference in their community,” said Colin Achenbach, program director and co-founder of Homegrown Lacrosse. “Through their leadership and service Ben and Zach have strengthened our community and serve as role models for others. They are extraordinary young men.”
Formally recognized earlier this month at the 2011 Mr. Lacrosse banquet held on June 5, each recipient received a $500 scholarship for use towards tuition for their freshman year of college.
Martynec played varsity lacrosse for the Pioneers for three years and was captain during his senior year. He has been accepted to attend several institutions for the 2011-2012 school year including Bryant University, Salisbury University, University of St. Thomas, Rollins College and Arizona State University. In his award application, Martynec shared how the success he has found playing lacrosse continually inspires him to “give back” whether helping coach youth lacrosse or volunteering for Meals-on-Wheels and how community service has helped him grow as an individual.
“My volunteering experiences have taught me many things, but most of all they have shown me that even the little things can make a huge impact on someone else’s life,” said Martynec. “It’s essentially about connecting and caring, and that’s the reason I will continue to serve.”
Like Martynec, Edina resident Zach Silvestri has made community service a substantial part of his life. In addition to playing varsity lacrosse for three years, the 2011 Benilde-St. Margaret’s graduate volunteered at the Courage Center as a power-wheelchair soccer coach, coached for youth lacrosse in Edina, led the renovation of a local park and earned the prestigious Eagle Scout honor from the Boy Scouts of America.
According to Silvestri, these activities build his character, expanded his confidence and immersed him into the community.
“The character and confidence I attained through this journey (Eagle Scout project) has served me in my everyday life and will continue to fuel my passion for volunteering throughout my life,” said Silvestri.
Recipients of the inaugural Community Leadership Award in 2010 were Chris Johnson, Trinity School at River Ridge and Justin Vossen, Eastview High School.
Founded in 2003, Homegrown Lacrosse is dedicated to encouraging positive change in the lives of youth lacrosse players and supporting the growth of the sport in Minnesota. Through community-based programming, Homegrown Lacrosse uses lacrosse to provide opportunities for individuals to get involved and cultivate the skills and relationships necessary to succeed on and off the field. Led and staffed by experienced collegiate lacrosse players, Homegrown Lacrosse holds clinics, leagues and K-12 educational programming throughout the year. For more information on the Homegrown Lacrosse, the Community Leadership Award or award recipient applications visit www.homegrownlacrosse.org