Blogs and Commentary

posted 04.16.2014 at 9.45 a.m. by Jac Coyne

Bates, Colby Paying Tribute to Fallen Players

It's a rivalry game that has been occurring for decades, and now it officially has a name. When the Bates and Colby men's lacrosse teams meet on Wednesday, April 23 in the regular season finale for both teams, it will be under its new name: The Flahive-McDuffee Memorial Game.

The game's namesakes are both former players – Derrik Flahive at Colby, Morgan McDuffee at Bates – who died during their undergraduate years at their respective schools. Flahive, a standout for the White Mules offense, drowned during a semester abroad in Chile in 2011. McDuffee, a solo captain for the Bobcats, was stabbed to death in Lewiston walking home from a party in 2002.

Colby head coach Jack Sandler was a classmate of McDuffee's at Bates, and, along with Bates head coach Peter Lasagna, who coached McDuffee, thought this would be a good way to honor the two players and raise money for their charities.

"I've heard some stories about Derrik since I've been here where I said, 'You could easily plug Morgan's name into the story, because I've heard it before,'" Sandler said. "They were both powerful people and people want to remember them."

Sandler and Lasagna had previously teamed up to honor McDuffee, dedicating the annual Bates-Skidmore game in his memory (Sandler was the head coach at Skidmore up until this season). The Colby men's lacrosse team and alumni group built a structure for wall-ball close to the White Mules game field as a way to honor Flahive, who was an avid wall-baller. Now this game will be added.

"When Jack moved to Colby, we thought this might provide a wonderful chance to solidify a date and site permanently," said Lasagna. "Knowing that the Flahive family, Colby Lacrosse and the Colby College community also lost a cherished son, we talked about the possibility of celebrating the lives and contributions of Derrik Flahive and Morgan McDuffee when Bates and Colby play annually.

"Once both families communicated their support, the Flahive-McDuffee Game was born. Jack and I also like the idea of keeping the memories of these exceptional young men tied to the great state where both enjoyed meaningful years in college."

There will be t-shirts sold to commemorate the inaugural Flahive-McDuffee game, which will begin at 4 p.m. on Colby's Waterville, Maine, campus, along with other fundraising ventures. The money raised will be split among Morgan's Fund, which does anti-violence work with youngsters, the Flahive Family Foundation and Conservation Patagonia.