When Suffern’s lacrosse program was just starting to earn its stripes as a dynasty in the making in the early 1970s under Coach John Orlando, no Mountie player figuratively carried a bigger stick than Kris Snider. Suffern’s first lacrosse superstar and one of the finest in Rockland history, Snider—a two-time Rockland Player of the Year—put his definitive stamp on the county record book before taking his prodigious scoring talents to the University of Virginia.
By the time he had concluded his three-year career on the Suffern varsity, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound attackman owned a fistful of Rockland County records, including career marks for points (194), goals (101) and assists (93). By his sophomore year in 1972, he had already refined the stick-handling, passing and shooting skills that would distinguish him from other elite players in the county. That year, he set Rockland records for goals in a game, six, and assists in a season, 42.
Each year brought another level of maturation and all-round development to Snider’s game. As a junior in 1973, he set the county record for points in a game with nine, and eclipsed his own mark for points in a season, raising the standard to 65. And in his senior year, 1974, Snider tied the record for assists in a game with six, and broke the season marks for assists (43 in league games, 74 overall) and points (67).
With Snider as the linchpin, Suffern captured three straight Rockland Public School Athletic League titles in 1972, 1973 and 1974—the last one a co-championship with Nyack—as well as three Section 9 (Rockland, Orange, Ulster, Sullivan counties) championships. Those banners were part of a Mountie streak of five PSAL and seven Section 9 crowns in succession.
Snider also a two-year varsity standout on the Suffern basketball team. In the 1972-73 season, he played on the Mounties’ Section 9 title team that defeated Newburgh in the finals of the Cross Class (AA vs. A) championship. The following season, he was a key contributor to a Suffern team that reached the Section 9 tournament semifinals.
At the University of Virginia, perennially ranked in the top 10 in Division I, Snider certified his status as the centerpiece of the offense. In his four-year varsity career, he set school records for points in a career, 209 (65 goals, 144 assists), and career assists, and was ninth on the career list in goals when he graduated. Today he remains second in school history in career assists and fifth in career points.
Although he was a prolific scorer himself, Snider’s forte was getting teammates the ball in position to score. He led the nation in assists per game (4.7) and points per game (7.1) as a junior in 1977. He still holds the school record for assists per game and points per game for both season and career.
At one time, Snider held school records for assists in a game, 8; points in a game, 10; points in a season, 64; assists in a season, 42; assists per-game average, career, 3.3; and points per-game average, career, 4.9. He still holds the latter two records. He was ranked first, third, fourth and 12th nationally in assists and also ranked in the top 12 twice in points.
All told, Snider led Virginia in scoring and assists all four years, led the Atlantic Coast Conference in assists for three years—1975 (when the Cavaliers won the ACC title), 1976 and 1977—and led the ACC in scoring two years. The team captain his senior year, Snider was named to the All-America team in 1976, ’77 and ’78, as well as All-ACC in 1977 and ’78.
Within the ACC, Snider wound up his career second all-time in scoring and assists, and still remains third in career assists and 11th in career scoring in the conference. He capped his career by being selected to play in the North-South All-Star Game in 1978. Snider also made the ACC Academic Honor Roll his senior year.
Snider’s supremacy on the lacrosse field earned him several post-season awards. After his junior season, he was bestowed the Dr. A Voshell Award as outstanding team player. In 1978, he garnered both the Harry Gaver Memorial Award, for outstanding leadership, and was honored as the 1978 outstanding male athlete, for all sports, at the University of Virginia.
He is also a member of three other halls of fame: Suffern High School; Hudson Valley lacrosse; and state of Virginia lacrosse.
Snider, 45, is a partner in a landscape architecture firm in Seattle. He also maintains a fervent interest in the sport at which he excelled. Snider is the president of the Washington state boys lacrosse league; coaches a middle school lacrosse team; and runs a summer youth lacrosse league for boys ages 11 to 17.
Still a participant as well as a coach and administrator, Snider has played on an open team that has won the Pacific Northwest Lacrosse Association championship the past eight years. This summer he intends to play in the grand masters division (age 45 or older) of the World Lacrosse Championships in Perth, Australia.
Snider and his wife of 20 years, Jacqueline, have three children: Drew, 14; Catherine, 11; and Will, 6.