Graham Adams has played, coached and officiated men’s lacrosse. Playing upon his arrival in Michigan he added coaching and then officiating to his repertoire, all successfully. Graham officiated men’s high school lacrosse for more than 30 years, from 1978 to 2009. Along the way he helped organize, recruit, and train many lacrosse officials.
Coming from Long Island, Graham played prep lacrosse at Cranwell Prep in Lenox Massachusetts. He was a founding member of the Detroit Lacrosse Club (DLC) in 1978 and played on the club from 1978-80. In 1980 he was the head coach at L’Anse Creuse HS and coached the DLC. He continued coaching the DLC through1984 before taking on the role of head coach of the Detroit-Windsor Lacrosse Club from 1985-88. In 1988, the Detroit-Windsor team won the Midwest Club Championship.
Graham also started officiating in 1978 and continued as he played and coached. He became a collegiate official in 1985, and continued in that capacity through 2009. Graham served as the Michigan high school assignor from 1987 through 1995, and has officiated 19 Michigan High School Championship Games. Graham was named Michigan Men’s Referee of the Year in 1995. He was a founding member of the Michigan Lacrosse Officials Association (MichLOA), and served as president of that organization for several terms.
Graham is a charter member of U.S. Lacrosse, with membership number 404. Officials and coaches alike regard Graham as deeply knowledgeable in the rules and as running a no-nonsense game. Given Graham’s deep and varied experience in the sport, those conclusions are not surprising. Graham was instrumental in recruiting and training many of the better officials that we have had in the state of Michigan. We celebrate Graham’s more than three decades of participation in, and service to, lacrosse in Michigan and elsewhere.
Rob Ambrose has set a high bar for Michigan boys’ high school coaches. As he is inducted into the U.S. Lacrosse Michigan Hall of Fame, his Brother Rice Warriors have won 10 straight state championships, and are the only boys’ team to win a state championship under the MHSAA regime.
Rob played at Detroit Country Day, where he was a two-time All American and won the Midwest Championship in 1978. At University of Pennsylvania, he was a four-year lacrosse starter, and also played football.
In 1983, Rob started the Brother Rice lacrosse program, going from 8-8 in his first year to 12-4 and a
Midwest Tournament win in his second. He has at least 360 high school victories (and counting). 15 state championships, 14 Catholic League Championships, eight Midwest Championships. 54 of Rob’s high school athletes have been named All Americans, and nine have been named player of the year.
Rob’s individual honors include:
The success of Rob Ambrose and Brother Rice lacrosse are intertwined. Strong opponents improve their competition as well. Rob’s achievements at Brother Rice burnish the reputation of Michigan lacrosse, and provide a lofty high level of achievement to which other Michigan teams aspire.
Roger Bunton “got in on the ground floor” of Michigan scholastic lacrosse. He assisted Don Lutz in forming the L’Anse Creuse High School Lancers, the first high school lacrosse team in the state of Michigan. Roger went on to start the lacrosse program at L’Anse Creuse High School North (Michigan’s fourth high school squad), and coached there over 30 continuous years, as part of a 40-year high school lacrosse coaching run.
Roger was also a certified lacrosse official (as well as football and basketball). In addition to lacrosse, he
coached JV football, JV and middle school basketball and junior high track. Perhaps reflecting his dual status as a coach and official, Roger was always a knowledgeable and reasonable figure on the sidelines, and a great host to visiting teams and coaches.
Best known at L’Anse Creuse, Roger was also the first coach of the Port Huron Lacrosse Program and was instrumental in its establishment. Roger also conducted and assisted numerous summer lacrosse camps and clinics for high school and youth players.
Roger has frequently attended the national convention of U.S. Lacrosse, and was a presenter at the 2006
gathering. He served as president of the Michigan Scholastic Lacrosse Association (the governing body for boys’ high school lacrosse prior to MHSAA) and was Coach of the Year in 2000.
Roger attended Ohio University on a football scholarship, earning a BS degree in education. Roger’s further credentials include an Education Specialist Degree in Administration from Wayne State University and a Masters degree in Comprehensive Vocational and Occupational Education from the University of Michigan. Filling out Roger’s diverse resume, he has been a social worker, and operated a part-time portrait and wedding photography business for 25 years!
Roger is married to Ellen Bunton, with 4 children and 8 grandchildren. He is a 2005 inductee to the Macomb County Coaches’ Hall of Fame.
We celebrate Roger’s long, steady and invaluable contributions to lacrosse in Michigan.
Cathy Dritsas was a pioneer and an advocate of girls’ lacrosse in Michigan. Cathy served as head coach at Academy of the Sacred Heart for two decades.
Yet Dritsas had never seen a lacrosse game before she first coached the sport. She accepted being thrust
into the role, and was a natural and gifted coach. “I made lots of mistakes. I had never seen a lacrosse game before I actually coached a game. I just told them to catch the ball and run.” Based on Cathy’s philosophy of fundamentals and speed, and her appetite for learning lacrosse techniques, ASH became a powerhouse in Michigan and the Midwest.
Players remember Cathy as a nurturing and positive coach. One notes that in four years, no player received a yellow card, a testament to the example set by Coach Dritsas. Game officials enjoyed her games because of the high standard she set for her teams. Indeed, Dritsas laid a strong foundation for lacrosse at ASH and for Michigan women in general.
Cathy was more than just a coach. She was an advocate for women’s sports, at a formative time. While Athletic Director at ASH, Cathy was part of an effort to change the athletic seasons for girls’ sports in Michigan. In 2001, she testified in federal court (Grand Rapids), in a lawsuit brought by the Communities for Equity against the MHSAA. The suit alleged that volleyball girls were being discriminated against and not allowed the scholarship opportunities of volleyball players in all but two states because Michigan’s season was in the winter. Cathy was asked to share her experience with trying to achieve equity with the MHSAA in the early 70’s (a failing effort on that earlier occasion). As you must know, volleyball is now played in the fall season in Michigan.
When inducted into the Michigan High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1993, Cathy noted that she was excited “to see girls have the opportunity to compete.” Fittingly enough, the gymnasium at ASH bears the name “Catherine Dritsas Gymnasium.”
After a 31-year career as a coach, educator, and administrator at ASH, Cathy went to law school, and in fact was a winner of the initial Women Lawyers’ Association of Michigan scholarship. She now practices in estate planning and family law. In an interesting turn of events, Cathy’s athletic experiences provided the impetus and foundation for a legal career.
Mary Ann Meltzer has been a major influence in Michigan lacrosse, primarily as a coach and mentor
Mary Ann has been a “Lax Junky” from her youngest years in Worthington, Ohio, following her three older brothers in the sport. She became a high school All-American and played at the University of Maryland, where she was a two-time All-American and the National Offensive College Player of the Year in 1990. She was a member of the U.S. Lacrosse Squad from 1988-93. In 2002, she was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference 50th Anniversary Women’s Lacrosse Team.
Mary Ann returned to the Midwest in 1995, and has helped Michigan women to develop their games and compete at the highest levels of lacrosse.
She was the head coach of the Birmingham High School women’s team from 1998-2002, leading the Maples to three State titles (1998, 1999 & 2001). Four of her players garnered high school All-
America honors, and each went on to play college lacrosse – at a time when few Michigan high school women were offered college opportunities.
“M.A.” became head coach of the University of Michigan women’s varsity club program in 2003. Michigan advanced to the Intercollegiate Associates National Tournament in each of her five years at UM, reaching the National Championship Game in 2006 and the semifinals in 2003 & 2004. In Meltzer’s five years as Head Coach, Michigan was 93-22. She was
named the IA National Coach of the Year in 2006 & 2007.