By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/7/09
A new boys’ lacrosse travel team called Man-Up is big on winning games, but even bigger on winning in the community.
The Man-Up team consists of 19 U-15 level boys from Chester County that have committed to playing lacrosse while also upholding a mission of giving back to local male and female coaches that are in need due to illness or unforeseen events.
The Man-Up program has applied for official 501 non-profit status. It was formed by Jim Schorn, who has coached at the high school, club and youth levels and wanted to teach boys that lessons learned off the field help build a better student-athlete.
The squad, formed only a month ago, already participated in its first project – which culminated Saturday in a three-team tournament at Kelly Field in West Chester. In this project, the boys sold 170 wreaths and raised $1,500. Those funds, along with $800 in tourney fees donated by West Chester Youth Lacrosse President Mike Bauer allowed the Man-Up team to donate a check of $2,500 to the “Cuddle My Kids’ Foundation at the conclusion of the tournament.
Also participating in the tournament were 380 lacrosse from the 422 Sportsplex and the Skyhawks from Gonzo Lacrosse, of Allentown.
Cuddle My Kids is run by Cathy and Scott Gabrielson, of West Chester, and provides assistance to families that have children impacted by a parent that has cancer. Scott Gabrielson is a former Philadelphia Wings standout who coaches lacrosse in the West Chester Youth League.
Schorn, the newly-appointed head coach at West Chester East, said Man-Up was developed with parents’ support to help build values.The “Man-Up’ name means the boys will act in a mature fashion to provide a hand to the same coaches that are helping them grow on and off the field.
“We’re looking to not only teach the game of lacrosse, but also to go beyond the field lessons and move into a quality value system in the community,” said Schorn, who is assisted by Paul Meyers, also the head football coach at Bishop Shanahan. “With life lessons we can reach out and help build better young men.”
Schorn said the Man-Up will soon be helping other lacrosse coaches who have loved ones suffering from illnesses. Some projects will involve performing service and others will be for fundraising, he said.
Another aspect of the program is that the players will be raising money to pay for much of the club fees. What’s more, local businesses and families have donated equipment for the club after learning the team’s mission and what it already has accomplished. Also, a web site is being built and plans for more projects are being developed.
“They are so into being a part of helping that they showed it by selling 170 wreaths in 10 days!” said Schorn. “They are grasping the concept with their own real-life situations and can relate to what we are doing.
“Each and every player had their own unique story to tell me after I sat with them and their parents to discuss our direction. It was truly amazing to watch them process the concept and come back with their own experience to relate to what we want to achieve.
“I asked 20 boys and families to play for our team and 19 were on board after my first conversation with them. This is more than just the players committing to play it’s families committing to play a huge part in the cause.