Despite missing half of the season with an injury, Evan Hollfelder’s impact garnered the sophomore a first team selection. Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes.
Evan Hollfelder had just finished his freshman season playing on the boys varsity lacrosse team at Hamburg High School when his older brother, Christian, was invited to the All-Metro Lacrosse Banquet in June 2013.
The pair led Hamburg to the program’s second trip to the state semifinals. Christian — who now plays at Cortland — received All-Metro first team honors as a long stick midfielder for the Bulldogs, who saw three players and their coach, Jerry Severino, represent Hamburg as All-Metro (now All-CPOWNY) selections.
Evan did not attend the banquet last year, but after his role became much larger as a sophomore this year at Hamburg, he became a first team selection.
“I was hoping I would get invited this year,” Evan Hollfelder said. “And I did.”
Hollfelder was one of eight locals honored at the fifth annual All-CPOWNY Lacrosse Banquet, presented by the Buffalo Bandits June 17 at Ilio DiPaolo’s. Being selected to the team one year after his older brother was an honor, Hollfelder said.
“I got moved up the fall of my freshman year and I’ve always looked up to him,” Hollfelder said about his older brother. “The kids on the team always helped me and I looked up to them, too.”
Hollfelder was an intriguing selection to the 2014 All-CPOWNY team because of the amount of games he played. A broken thumb suffered during the Bulldogs’ eighth game of the season sidelined him for nearly a month until the Class B semifinals in June.
Despite the fact that voting for the All-CPOWNY first team took place while Hollfelder was injured, he was still named to the team and invited to the banquet.
The five points he scored during his return in the semifinals and his three-goal, one-assist performance in Hamburg’s win over Niagara-Wheatfield in the Section VI Class B championship game more than made up for his absence.
Hollfelder’s injury actually played a peculiar role in helping Hamburg win its seventh sectional title in eight years. His injury helped the Bulldogs become a much deeper team in his absence while the second line got more playing time, improving its skills against live competition.
Hollfelder knew it would happen, as he was all too familiar with a similar series of events that helped him become a better player when he was a freshman.
“I had the same thing happen to me last year. A couple of kids stepped up when I got hurt, and that’s what I had to do when Max [Maxwell] got hurt,” Hollfelder said.
When Hollfelder was a freshman during the 2013 spring season, he began the year as the fourth midfielder as a part of Severino’s second line. He was in the same position as guys like Shawn Mills, Jason Chiodo and Evan Wright were when he was injured this past spring.
“I was the fourth middy going in, and then Max Maxwell got hurt and that’s when I started to get my playing time,” Hollfelder noted.
Hollfelder is now a part of two sectional championship teams at Hamburg, with the 2013 roster making it as far as the state tournament — the first Hamburg team to do so since 2008.
He felt that a combination of health and playing their best lacrosse at the right time is what got the 2013 team its second Far West Regional title in school history.
“Our offense and defense…I feel like it peaked at the right time while we were heading into the playoffs,” said Hollfelder.
“Some teams peak towards the middle of the season and by playoff time they’re not playing their best lacrosse. But last year we peaked at the right time and that’s what helped us make it that far.
“Plus Max came back from his injury, which is always good.”
While Hollfelder is ready to reload and make another run at states for his junior season at Hamburg, his freshman season will always be special to him because he got to play with his older brother, Christian.
Even if it was just for one season before his high school graduation.
“Ever since I started playing lacrosse, I wanted to at least get one year with him,” Hollfelder said. “Thankfully I did.”