Commemorative bricks leave legacies

Commemorative+bricks+and+tiles%2C+located+at+the+entrance+of+the+football+stadium+and+on+the+pool+deck%2C+can+be+purchased+by+members+of+the+Lynbrook+community+to+support+the+Athletic+Boosters.

Graphic illustration by Neha Ayyer

Commemorative bricks and tiles, located at the entrance of the football stadium and on the pool deck, can be purchased by members of the Lynbrook community to support the Athletic Boosters.

Elizabeth Cheng

Some bricks are adorned with a basketball, others are embellished with a field hockey stick and many boast the Viking logo.

“Rah Hockey! Rebecca Hatton.”

“Dream it, believe it, achieve it! The Sarathy family.”

“Thank you, Coach McCloskey!”

Commemorative bricks filled with the legacies of students, teachers and coaches surround the Lynbrook sign at the entrance of the football stadium. Originally created by Lynbrook Athletic Boosters in 2012 when the stadium was built, the mosaic on the ground has become filled with numerous personalized bricks recognizing families and faculty. Since the creation of the fundraiser, alumni from classes as far back as the 1960s have returned to purchase a brick.

They create a sense of pride, as it’s something permanent. Having their name set in a brick on the ground as people walk to a game is something that anyone would be proud to have.”

— Diana Trujillo, Athletics Boosters Director

Members of the Class of 1968 and Lynbrook’s first principal, Kendall Paul Stranger, have bricks together near the “L” of “LHS.” These bricks are integral to the class’s mega-reunion that is held every 10 years, with the next reunion planned for 2022.

Fostering a sense of pride, the bricks are a permanent reminder of Lynbrook’s past athletes. Members of the Lynbrook community walk past the bricks as they enter the stadium for events such as the alumni football game, where past Lynbrook football players can reconnect with their high school athletic experiences, and the Homecoming football game.

“The football alumni come to the alumni football game with their families, and it’s cool for them to be able to look down at the stadium ground to find their brick and show it off to family and friends,” Athletic Boosters director Diana Trujillo said.

On engravedbricks.com, community members can purchase bricks in two sizes, costing $100 or $175. Students, parents and staff can add a few lines of customized text to the commemorative piece, depending on the size of the brick. Symbols that represent a variety of activities, including sports like swimming and baseball, can also be included.

Athletic trainer Katie Newbolt also has a brick in front of the football stadium, which bears both her and her brothers’ names. A member of the Class of 2009, Newbolt was the goalkeeper for Lynbrook’s field hockey team. Newbolt and her brothers were both involved in Lynbrook athletics. Their brick has the nickname “Thurmanators,” a play-on-words with their family surname “Thurman.”

This year, Athletic Boosters began a new program of tiles similar to the bricks. The tiles are available in three sizes that range from $100 to $200. Swimming or water polo-related bricks will be located on a wall near the swimming pool, while all other tiles will be placed in front of the gym lobby.

“We decided to sell tiles after we purchased a special memorial tile for alumni and coach Jerome Chung,” athletic director Jennifer Griffin said. “Purchasing it, I realized that Boosters could also sell tiles, so I spoke with Mrs. Jackson about putting them in front of the gym.”

Chung’s tile was unveiled during the halftime of the boys water polo’s Senior Night on Oct. 21. It bears Lynbrook’s swimming and water polo logos, symbols of Chung’s dedication to sports at Lynbrook.

Current athletes can also purchase a brick or tile. Senior Austin Wang, who is a part of Lynbrook’s swim and boys water polo teams, has a brick in front of the football stadium. Wang’s family decided to purchase a brick with both Wang’s and his sister’s names because athletics are a central part of both of their lives.

“We wanted to give back because we’re really thankful for the sports programs Lynbrook provides,” Wang said.

The brick recognizes Wang’s involvement in the swim and boys water polo teams since he was a freshman. Wang and his water polo teammates worked diligently during the off-season after not winning a single game during their freshman year, and their perseverance through the years has led to the team’s winning league finals this year.

The bricks and tiles recognize the legacies of alumni, staff and coaches who have contributed greatly to Lynbrook.

“They create a sense of pride, as it’s something permanent,” Trujillo said. “Having their name set in a brick on the ground as people walk to a game is something that anyone would be proud to have.”