Men’s lacrosse comes together in support of former player

Every year the Green/Gold/Pink scrimmage hosted by the Oswego State men’s lacrosse team is more than just the last day of its fall season. The annual scrimmage is a fundraiser where the proceeds go to cancer research.

This year it hits closer to home as Glenn Palmer, the father of one of last year’s captains, Matt Palmer ‘15, lost his battle with lung cancer this past summer.

This year’s scrimmage is dedicated to his memory, along with the Wilmot Cancer Institute, which treated him during his battle. The scrimmage will be a way to honor a man who loved Oswego State lacrosse.

John Novitsky, senior defender and captain, spoke highly of Glenn Palmer.

“[Glenn Palmer] was a great guy,” Novitsky said. “You would always see him at the tailgates, and he was always the first one to congratulate us or tell us how we did. He always had the biggest smile on, and going through what he did, his smile never went away. It’s great that we have an opportunity to raise some money for him while also bringing awareness to his cause.”
Wyatt Russo, junior goalie, remembered the mood in the locker room during Matt Palmer’s struggle and how the team supported him.

“We were there for Palmer for support, and from a player’s perspective, we also took time to reflect on our own lives and realize that the problems we have aren’t even close to what some people have to deal with on a daily basis and to be thankful for what we have,” Russo said.

Head coach Drew Bezek recognizes the lessons his player receive from the annual scrimmage. He see’s it as a positive event for the fall season.

“It’s important every year because it’s always for a great cause,” Bezek said. “It’s a little eye opening for our players and us as coaches because there is a lot more out there like people that are struggling through hard times, and especially cancer, which we don’t think about everyday. This is a great chance to think about it and raise money to end cancer.”

Bezek said that despite Glenn Palmer’s illness, he remained uplifting.

“He was really an inspiration to the team in how he continued to stay positive and fight through the cancer until he passed,” Bezek said. “It’s a great way to remember him and it’s a great way for us as a team to donate to the institution that helped treat him while he was going through the hard times. Hopefully they will continue to be able to develop and research ways to prevent and treat cancer. It’s a small piece that we can do to pay Glenn Palmer some respect and also in the future to be able to end this disease totally.”

Matt Palmer had moving words in regard to what the game means to him and his family.
“For the program to honor my dad and family like this truly means a lot,” he said. “My dad was one of the biggest supporters of Oswego lacrosse, so for him to be honored in this fashion is really amazing. Oswego lacrosse as a whole means a lot to me.”

Palmer, a four-year player, spent his entire college career playing lacrosse and was constantly in the team atmosphere.

“From freshman year to senior, the guys on the team were a second family,” he said. “I went through a lot of hard times with the team at my side, all the way from his first diagnosis of cancer my junior year to when he passed away this past July. I always felt an immense amount of support from them.”

Palmer also reiterated how much the program meant to his father.

“Over my four years, he never missed a game, no matter what treatment he was going through or what the weather was like,” Matt Palmer said. He loved being able to watch me play every week.”

Along with the competitve edge Palmer enjoyed on the field, it also was a stress reliver from his everyday life.

“Watching us play gave him an outlet to forget about the other stuff going on in his life,” Palmer said. “Lacrosse kind of gave me that same outlet where once a day I could forget about what I was dealing with and just play. Without that outlet and knowing my dad wanted me to keep playing, I am not sure I would have stayed at school.”

These testimonials from the Oswego State men’s lacrosse family show the impact Glenn Palmer had, and the Green/Gold/Pink scrimmage should be the perfect way to preserve his legacy.