Ethan Bramoff is called “Sherlock,” and not because he’s out in the field solving crimes, but because the Pierson seventh grader has grit and determination that reminds his lacrosse coach of someone he knows.
“Every kid gets a nickname on my team, but Sherlock is the special one,” Express club coach Mike Chanuchuck said. “That’s the player with the most hustle and tenacity, plays the hardest of all the players.” The moniker is named after a former player of Chanuchuck’s, Brian Sherlock, who went on to have a great career at Loyola. The coach said he “was a superstar in college because he worked his butt off. Ethan is our Sherlock.”
The 12-year-old longstick defender joined the club four years ago and rose swiftly to join the “AA” team, the highest level for his age group. Last month, his 2025 Channy team, named for his high school graduating year and his coach’s nickname, won the National Lacrosse Federation championship after a three-day tournament at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, July 19 to 21.
“No one played selfishly,” Ethan said. “We wanted to make sure of that. Everybody played their role.”
The No. 1 seed, Express had an easy go of things, with blowout wins in the first day, before topping Primetime NY 10-3 in the quarterfinals and Big 4 HHH 10-4 in the semis on a turf field under the lights. Express beat Madlax-Capital 8-3 in the final that Sunday, broadcasted live on ESPN.
“He has good anticipation speed,” Chanuchuck said of Ethan. “He knows where the ball is going versus reacting to where it went. He anticipates the play, and in turn makes his teammates better because he sees what’s about to occur.”
While the boys were nervous stepping out onto the championship field with all the cameras in their faces, Ethan said they were quickly calmed down when his goalie stuffed the side of the crease to avoid a goal being scored on during a one-v-one with Madlax-Capital’s best scorer.
“It was crazy. That was a great save and our team was really motivated after it,” Ethan said. “It gave us momentum.”
Chanuchuck said it was also thanks to his team’s playing style, likened to that of a college-level team.
“We play a very fast-paced game of lacrosse,” he said. “Ethan is very good at it. He’s very good at moving the ball. He’s very good at getting ground balls, and can transition the ball nicely from defense to offense. He has a lot of the lacrosse attributes that we look for.”
Next year, the World Series of Youth Lacrosse takes place in Denver, and the coach said his team is primed for success. His Express team won the tournament two years ago, and while Chanuchuck said he can’t say his team is going to win it, he likes his chances.
What doesn’t hurt is Ethan is the son of Pierson Athletic Director and former graduate Eric Bramoff, whose wife Brooke, a Syracuse native he met in college, was a three-time lacrosse All-American.
“He has a good gene pool,” Chanuchuck said. “He has a future as long as he works hard at it. He’s already very dedicated.”
Ethan’s parents are too, driving him and his nine-year-old brother Dylan two hours to and from practices at St. Anthony’s High School and New York Institute of Technology. The brothers tried out with 75 to 100 kids to make their age-level teams. Only 25 make the cut. Dylan “D-Dog,” in his second year, made the “A” team. He was also the Express team’s water boy during the National Lacrosse Federation championship tournament.
Ethan said he’s enjoyed the bonds formed because of the sport, maybe almost as much as playing the game itself.
“Our family, even our grandparents always come to the tournaments, so it’s an awesome bonding experience,” he said. “We go out to dinners with the team and our families, and it’s just really fun.”
Eric Bramoff said even though on school days, when his wife makes the trips to practice and he sometimes won’t see his sons until bedtime, his family has embraced the new lifestyle.
“We have a lot of fun traveling on the weekends to tournaments,” he said. “For a living I watch kids play sports, and you think a little differently when it’s your own kid. I don’t think Ethan can realize how special the team is because he’s on it, but when you look at it from afar, you’ve got kids from all over the Island that are elite players, and they just clicked — we’re all gaining a lot from this.”