By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/4/09
Phillylacrosse.com wishes to honor the memory of anyone involved in lacrosse that passed away in 2008.
Two prominent people in Philadelphia lacrosse that passed were All-American player Ralph “Rip” Davy IIIand Haverford College coach Dana M. Swan II, both members of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Mr. Davy died of an apparent heart attack Jan. 16 at the age of 51 in his home inWilmington, N.C. Mr. Davy, a native of Broomall, was an All-American lacrosse player at The Hill School inPottstown and in his senior year, 1974-75, was captain of the football, wrestling and lacrosse teams while also serving as school president.
Mr. Davy became one of the first players from thePhiladelphia area to excel at the collegiate level and earned All-American honors as a defender at North Carolina (Class of 1979). He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2000.
At Carolina, Rip switched to defense at his coach Willie Scrogg’s urging, demonstrating his versatility. He earned Honorable Mention All-American honors his junior year and captained the Tar Heels his senior year.
That year, 1979, Rip was selected as his team’s Turnbull Award winner, given to the MVP of the team. Rip was also selected as a 1st Team All-American, earning national recognition as one of the top collegiate defensemen. At Carolina, Ripper will always be remembered for his leadership, as well as his legendary duels with Stan Cockertan, the Canadian sharpshooter who elevated NC State to national prominence in the late seventies. The North Carolina Men’s lacrosse team dedicated its 2008 season to Rip and brought his family to a game while giving an official presentation of his memory.
Following his career at North Carolina and after a stint working on oil rigs in Oklahoma, Rip became the first American athlete chosen to coach and help upgrade club lacrosse inManchester, England, which is now a hotbed of lacrosse in Great Britain. While in England, he also coached the Oxford University lacrosse team. When he returned to the States, Rip played club lacrosse with the Richmond Lacrosse Club and later with the Palm Beach Lacrosse Club, where he helped introduce, spread and grow the game he loved.
Mr. Swan, who also served as athletic director and associate director of admissions at Haverford in his 34 years there, died of Lymphoma June 10 at his residence. He was the first coach at the school.
Mr. Swan, a standout football, basketball and baseball player at Swarthmore High and Swarthmore College, first played lacrosse with the Philadelphia Lacrosse Club after graduating college.
He soon took a job as an assistant football coach at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., where he also became an assistant lacrosse coach. Later he became head lacrosse coach there.
Mr. Swan moved back to Delaware County to accept the job as head football coach at Haverford College in 1968, but the program was disbanded in 1972. At that time, he decided to start a club lacrosse program.
The following the year, the sport was moved to the varsity level and the school has maintained a strong Division III program for years. Mr. Swan remained as head coach until 1986 and was athletic director from 1969-82. He served in the admissions department from 1983 until retiring in 2002.
Others who will be remembered are:
*Doylestown’s Travis Manion (La Salle College High), a graduate of the Naval Academy and a heroic Marine Corps officer, actually died April 29, 2007, but he is remembered through the Travis Manion Foundation. This year the Foundation sponsored several events in his memory, including the Good Grief Seminar in July and the Marine Corps Marathon – and event that Mr. Manion cherished.
Mr. Manion died during his final patrol mission in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq while fighting courageously to defend against an enemy ambush. Returning from a successful tour in March of 2006, Travis set out to prepare his unit for a return deployment scheduled for March of 2007. Looking for experienced Iraq veterans, Travis was selected to be part of a Military Transition team and in September of 2006 he was pulled from 1st Recon to train with 10 other Marines that would be attached to an Iraq Army Battalion in Fallujah.
Travis deployed back to Iraq on December 26, 2006, for his second tour in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He and his fellow Marines worked diligently to change the outcome in Fallujah, building a brotherhood with the Iraqi Army units and setting the example with strong leadership and a passion for their mission.
Aggressively taking the fight to the enemy on multiple missions, Travis and his Marines fought bravely to change the tide in this critical battle ground. As a result of their incredible efforts, Al Anbar Province is now recognized as one of the more significant successes of the surge in Iraq.
*Maxwell K. Brindle, 20, of Wayne, a freshman player at Drexel, died June 18 as a result of neck injuries from a bicycle accident in Radnor Township.
Mr. Brindle first took up lacrosse at the middle school level and attended RadnorHigh School for two years before spending one year at the Oakley School in Oakley,Utah.
Mr. Brindle later attended Salisbury School in Connecticut where he was graduated. Mr. Brindle was a First Team All-New England selection as a senior and was named his team’s Defensive Player of the Year. He also played football, where he was an All-League selection and the team’s Defensive MVP at linebacker.
In 2008 at Drexel, the powerfully-built, 6-foot-2 Mr. Brindle played in five games as a defender, but had stamped himself as a player with a strong future. Also strong academically, Mr., Brindle was enrolled in the LeBow College of Business at Drexel.
*John Steinmann, 54, of Neffs, and affectionately known as the “Father of Lehigh Valley Lacrosse,” died Feb. 1, after suffering a myocardial infarction in his car on his way to work in Allentown.
John was active in youth sports, as a Coach, Board Member and founding Lacrosse Coordinator for the Schnecksville Playground Association. He was an avid supporter of Parkland High School lacrosse. A former member of the Penn Valley Lacrosse League board, he provided great opportunities for young athletes on the lacrosse and soccer fields, and in the gym on the wrestling mats.
*Andrew Peff, a recent Penn Charter grad who was attending Colby College in Maine, died Jan. 19 in a snowboarding accident at Sugarloaf Mountain in Maine, about an hour away from Colby where he was looking forward to playing lacrosse as a freshman in the spring.
Andrew played lacrosse with Abington Lacrosse Club from an early age and went on to excel at Penn Charter both in the classroom and on the athletic field. In addition to lacrosse, Andrew played soccer and football for the Quakers.