It’s been more than 12 years since a 14-year-old lacrosse player from Northport became the face an entire safety movement.
Louis Acompora was a freshman at when he died while playing the sport he loved. A goalie on the freshman lacrosse team, Acompora was struck in the chest with a ball and suffered commotio cordis, a rare form of cardiac arrest.
The family claimed he could have been revived had there been an automated external defibrillator on hand. And soon after they began an aggressive push to make it happen.
The Long Island sports community reacted almost immediately, putting defibrillators at high school sports events. On June 27, 2002, with father John Acompora on hand, Gov. George Pataki signed into law a bill requiring one portable defibrillator in each high school. Louis’ Law was the nation’s first.
In the decade since, the Louis Acompora Foundation has made nationwide awareness its mission. The Foundation touts 60 lives saved by Louis’ Law.
Northport lacrosse has not forgotten Louis Acompora either. The 11th Louis J. Acompora Memorial Lacrosse Jamboree, featuring youth and high school games, is Saturday at in East Northport.
“Lacrosse was a major focus in Louis’ life and the Jamboree is a wonderful way to celebrate his life as well as educating and informing other lacrosse teams and their families on the importance of Automated External Defibrillators and learning CPR,” said Karen Acompora, Louis’ mom and a driving force behind the foundation.
The matchups are:
- Bayport-Blue Point vs. Eastport-South Manor, 11 a.m.
- Ward Melville vs. Connetquot, 1 p.m.
- Corning vs. Northport, 3 p.m.
See the website for the entire schedule.
While Louis never won a state championship or played college ball, as several if his teammates did, there's little doubt who made the greatest impact.
Simply stop by Veterans Park Saturday and you'll see the legacy at play.