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BOONTON BOYS HOSTING CHARITY GAME

Record - 4/15/2017

One class at Muhlenberg College changed Mickey Norton's life.

It shaped his career outside of lacrosse.

"I always wanted to be a teacher," Boonton's coach said. "But in college, I had an experience where I taught a class with children with autism. I just loved the experience. I loved the relationships I was able to build with the children. I just felt like it was my calling."

A rivalry game will have a twist next Saturday when Boonton hosts Montville. Norton and the Bombers will look to raise awareness and money for Autism New Jersey at the team's 10 a.m. game. The organization says that one in 41 children across the state are affected.

"We have two close neighboring towns," said Norton, who has spent eight years as a special education teacher.

"It's a good little rivalry. We'll get a lot of fans out. We already put it on social media. In the first year, it's about bringing awareness. As the years go on, we'll do bigger events, honor people and get more donations."

Norton is trying to build up the program he once played for. The results are starting to show in his fourth season. The Bombers (4-2) have improved their record each year since he took over. They have the talent to keep growing.

"Everything has been going in the right direction," Norton said.

Senior Austin Van Zant and junior Ryan Lourick each have a team-high 19 goals and rank in the top ten in North Jersey. Van Zant scored his 100th career goal during a win over North Warren on Tuesday. Senior Frank Rao has also played well this spring with seven goals and 14 assists so far.

That's made the Bombers offense among the best of late, having scored a total of 44 goals during a recent three-game winning streak.

"They understand what's expected," Norton said. "They know how our offense is run. Half the time, I don't have to yell stuff out. They're just all on the same page."

 
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