Singular contributor to growth of lacrosse in Calvert County, U.S. Lacrosse service award recipient, founder and award-winning head coach of the Calvert Lacrosse Club, Tri-County League and DC area coach of the year, University of Maryland graduate, long-time player of club, box, and masters’ lacrosse, high school official, pioneer of high school and youth lacrosse in the DC metro area.
Leonard Casalino’s lifelong lacrosse career spans at least five separate counties, but in one of these, his domicile, he is deservedly known as the father of Calvert County lacrosse. Until 1986, the sport of lacrosse was noticeably absent from this region in the lacrosse-rich landscape known as the state of Maryland.
Lenny grew up on Long Island and arrived in College Park in 1963, already an experienced goaltender and midfielder. When his career as a Terp ended, he continued his playing career on several area post-collegiate teams. In 2000, after a 14-year hiatus, Lenny picked up a stick again to compete on the masters’ circuit.
In the intervening years, Lenny devoted himself to planting and nurturing the seeds of lacrosse. First, he organized and began coaching the Calvert Lacrosse Club, a community-based team of high school age boys. Within a few years, Calvert Lacrosse expanded to include youth teams and a girls’ division. Working with similar youth programs in neighboring jurisdictions, Lenny participated in the formation of the Southern Maryland Youth Lacrosse Association, which he currently serves as president.
Through Lenny, the CLC boy’s high school team became a founding member of the Tri-County Lacrosse League and soon captured league regular season or tournament championships from 1989-92. Lenny was named league coach of the year in 1990 and metropolitan DC area coach of the year in 1991. When he stepped down as head coach in 1999, county public schools had adopted lacrosse as a varsity sport. In addition, Lenny had notched more than 100 career victories and the Potomac Chapter of U.S. Lacrosse recognized him as Man of the Year for the DC metropolitan area. In recognition of his achievements, high schools now compete at a tournament each year in Calvert County for the Casalino Cup, named in Lenny’s honor..
Lacrosse is truly a family affair for Lenny. His wife Erna has played a key role in supporting the CLC and SMYLA over the years. In addition, son Joe is the new head coach at Northern High School and daughter Jacque assists at all CLC youth games. Both grew up playing on CLC teams. A practicing attorney, Lenny and Erna reside in Huntingtown, Maryland.