The Jeff Latta Goalie Award

The Jeff Latta Lacrosse Goalie of the Year Award has been awarded to outstanding New Hanover County middle school lacrosse goalies since 2016.  This award is presented in memory of Jeff Latta, who played a major role in starting lacrosse in the New Hanover County public middle schools.
A sudden heart disorder at age 32, which resulted in a global brain injury, left him a quadriplegic for the last 16 years of his life.  He left us in March of 2016 at the age of 48.

The Latta Lacrosse Goalie of the Year Award was established in 2016 by Jeff’s parents, Kim and Margie as well as Jeff’s friends.
An outstanding goalie from Maryland (who worked at the New Hanover Regional Medical Center – now Novant), Jeff (back row 2nd from left) first started coaching lacrosse at Williston Middle School in 1991. The “Lacrosse and Academics Teams” provided life skills, academic enrichment and lacrosse for “latch-key” youth as a club team – The Raiders. (Jeff had the help of John Beall, Ken Broomfield, Joe Byrd, Ron Coley, Emily Davis, Cedric Dickerson, Sam Highsmith, Mike Jacobs – to Jeff’s right, Beau McCaffray, Carl Newton, Don Oesterbo, Bob Shaw, and Dr. Steve Treman to name a very few.)

Fifteen years later, the New Hanover County Board of Education established lacrosse as a New Hanover County Schools (NHCS) middle school sport.  By 2000, NHCS adopted lacrosse as a high school varsity sport. The NCHSAA sanctioned men’s and women’s lacrosse as a varsity sport starting
with the 2009-10 season. New Hanover County was the first North Carolina public school district to offer both boys and girls lacrosse in middle school. Congratulations to the Brunswick County Schools for being only the 2nd NC public school district to add middle school lacrosse starting in the spring of 2024! 

The New Hanover County Schools middle school lacrosse coaches vote to select the Latta Lacrosse Goalie of the Year awardees.  Here are their choices, by year, for the girls and boys Latta Lacrosse Goalie of the Year Award:

2016:  Lauren Condon and Logan Trafton

2017:  Rachel King and Daniel Ando

2018:  Molly Maguire and Tommy Burgee

2019:  Ava Kunzer and Tommy Burgee

2020:  Lacrosse season and award cancelled due to Covid19.  

2021:  Rylan Harris and Taylor McGirt

2022: Reagan Jones and Ashton Teter

2023: Reagan Jones and Donovan Kunza

2024: Reagan Jones and Cayden Smith (Reagan is the first 3 time award winner – one for every year of her middle school career!)


The Latta Lacrosse Goalie of the Year Award is sponsored by Margie and Kim Latta and Coastal Rays Girls Lacrosse.