By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/15/11
The Haverford School will host the 3rd annual Nike “Checking for Cancer” Lacrosse Invitational on Saturday to raise awareness and funds for three men’s cancers: prostate, colorectal and testicular.
The event features 12 top-rated boys’ teams, including a matchup between the two top-ranked teams in the country – the host Fords and No. 2 Darien (Conn.). For the first time, there also are four girls’ teams, all from Philly, competing in the invitational (see website).
The amazing talent on the field will be matched by the importance of the message for men: early detection and awareness. What’s more, two of the key figures of the event – Haverford School coach John Nostrant and his close friend and former buddy from college, Georgetown Prep (Md.) coach Kevin Giblin – both have been diagnosed with one of these cancers and have continued to be advocates for early detection.
Nostrant, a recent inductee into the Eastern PA Chapter of the US Lacrosse Hall of Fame, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2007 and is a cancer survivor. Giblin has received treatment for colorectal cancer.
The two were roommates at Washington College (Md.) and line mates on the lacrosse field as players. Always close friends, their fights against cancer and desire to prevent others from being diagnosed with the disease through education have brought them even closer and become one of the great stories of lacrosse in the region and beyond.
Haverford School enters Friday afternoon’s Inter-Ac League game at Episcopal Academy with a 9-0 record and the hold on the No. 1 spot in all three national polls: ESPN RISE, Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse and MaxPreps.
Darien improved to 4-0 Thursday by defeating Connecticut power Wilton, 14-7. Wilton (2-1) will be playing La Salle Saturday. Darien is No. 2 in the UA/Inside Lacrosse and MaxPreps rankings and No. 4 in ESPN RISE – so when the Fords meet the Blue Wave (3-0) at 11 a.m., it will indeed be the marquee game thus far this year.
Yet, ask John Nostrant what is most on his mind? The good health of Kevin “Gib” Giblin!
“I just heard tonight that Gib had a clean (cancer) scan,” said Nostrant on Tuesday after his team defeated Inter-Ac League rival Malvern Prep, 7-4, “That puts things in perspective.
“For us, hopefully we can win today (at Episcopal Academy) so we have the opportunity for a No. 1 vs. No. 2 game. I have a lot of respect for Darien and there are some great local teams and some good ones from out of state.
“It’s a great day for lacrosse. I hope this really makes the boys think about what they are there for and that it helps them think about what they need to do to stay healthy.”
Meanwhile, another Top 5 team is Philly’s Conestoga, the defending PIAA state champion. The Pioneers (8-0) are ranked No. 2 by ESPN RISE, No. 3 MaxPreps and No. 4 by UA/IL. They meet Greenwich (Conn.) at 1 p.m. Greenwich is 2-1.
The other 11 a.m. game features Ches-Mont League co-leader Downingtown East (6-1) and Radnor (4-3) in an all-Philly battle at 11 a.m.
Georgetown Prep (9-2, No. 10 in UA/IL, No. 11 in ESPN RISE), meets Delbarton (4-1, No. 15 in MaxPreps, No. 21 in ESPN RISE, 23 in UA/IL) at 1 p.m. in another marquee game. Georgetown Prep is coming off an 8-7 overtime loss to DC rival Bullis on Wednesday.
La Salle – last year’s PIAA runner-up and the 2008 and 2009 state champ – meets Wilton (No. 26 by ESPN RISE) at 3 p.m. The Explorers, ranked No. 49 in the ESPN RISE poll, are 4-3 and on a four-game win streak after Wednesday’s key 11-10 win over highly-ranked St. Joseph’s Prep.
The sixth game has Connecticut’s Fairfield Prep (4-0) playing New Jersey’s Chatham (5-1) at 3 p.m.
The girls’ games include Baldwin vs. Friends’ Central (9 a.m.) and Agnes Irwin vs. Germantown Friends (12:30).
The good news about the event is that the outlook for individuals diagnosed with prostate, colorectal or testicular cancer is better than ever, and the key to a positive prognosis is screening and early detection. Officials hope that greater awareness will lead to an appreciation of the importance of screening and heightened vigilance in the battle against these curable diseases.
The Nike “Checking for Cancer” Lacrosse Invitational, this past year and in future years, will serve to promote cancer literacy and remind us annually of the importance of early detection. Information on these topics will be provided to all fans.
Proceeds from the 2010 Invitational were donated locally to Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson (jeffersonhospital.org/cancer), Abramson Cancer at the University of Pennsylvania (penncancer.org) and The Great Guys Group, a suburban Philadelphia based organization dedicated to providing financial support to families hit with the expense of caring for sick family member (greatguys.org).
Nostrant credited the Haverford Schoo parents for organizing the invitational. At the event, literature on early detection and facts about the cancers being targeted will be passed out to all fans.
“My parents – who make up the committee – have put in so much that I can’t come up with the words,” he said. “I can’t wait for the day. It’s a lot of fun.
“You never know who you are going to get to come each year; but the field seems to get better and better every year. This year, with the addition of the girls’ teams, it’s even better.”
Supports can donate directly on the checkingforcancer.org website via PayPal.
Checking for Cancer Schedule – April 16, 2011 at Haverford School
9:00 AM. Grass Field. GLAX. Baldwin vs Friends’ Central
9:00 AM. Class of ’75 Field. BLAX. Haverford School JV vs Conestoga
11:00 AM. Sabol Field. BLAX. Haverford School (PA) vs Darien (CT)
11:00 AM. Class of ’75 Field. BLAX. Radnor (PA) vs Downingtown East
12:30 PM. Grass Field. GLAX. Agnes Irwin vs Germantown Friends
1:00 PM. Sabol Field. BLAX. Georgetown Prep (MD) vs Delbarton (NJ)
1:00 PM. Class of ’75. BLAX. Conestoga (PA) vs Greenwich (CT)
3:00 PM. Sabol Field. BLAX. LaSalle (PA) vs Wilton (CT)
3:00 PM. Class of ’75. BLAX. Chatham (NJ) vs Fairfield Prep (CT)
Tags: Haverford School