Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/13/09
The Eagles, a Grand Master’s (45 and over) lacrosse team comprised mostly of Philadelphia men’s players, participated last weekend in a special benefit event called the 3rd annual John Mack Shootout in Binghamton, N.Y.
The event, which drew mostly high school teams among the field of 44, raises money to prevent the deaths of athletes on the playing field by providing defibrillators and training to schools and sports institutions in the Binghamton area.
This tournament, and another one held in the summer (The John Mack Memorial), was named after John Mack, a 17-yerar-old Binghamton player who died in November of 2006 after going in full cardiac arrest following a stick check to the chest in an indoor league game. It took 19 minutes for paramedics to get a defibrillator to the field to restart John’s heart and he had to be removed from life support three days later.
Mack’s father, Jim Mack, of Binghamton, has been a member of the Gray Eagles, and their big brother team, the Gray Eagles (Super Grand Master’s level, 50-and-over) for five years. Mack also helps run the Eagles and Gray Eagles with Bob DiPuppo. The Eagles have played in the summer and winter tournament in the name of John Mack since they bore his name two years ago.
DiPuppo said 20 members of the Eagles played in the tourney and that his team went 2-1 overall.
More than $130,000 has been raised in the two years of the winter and summer tourneys to purchase 30 defibrillators and provide Automatic Electronic Defibrillator (AED) training as well as CPR training to nearly all high school students at Binghamton and Seton and Union Endicott High Schools.
Last weekend’s Shootout was considered one of the largest winter lacrosse tournaments in the country. Jim Mack played against the Eagles on a team from Binghamton and was limited by a shoulder injury, but he said the spirit of the cause was the major focus.
“The theme of the event is to let parents know they should never let their kid go out on the field, at every level, without a defibrillator on site,” said Jim Mack. “When my son was hit, without the defibrillator, his chances were next to none.
“It was fun to play against the Eagles,” added Mack, whose brother Rob was the tournament director. “They are a classy bunch of guys. Many of them came to my son’s funeral. They also dedicated their efforts to Johnny in 2007 and 2008 when they played in the Florida Lacrosse Classic.”