By Rick Woelfel
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/9/11
The Albright Lions made history at the 5th annual Nicholas Colleluori Fall Classic today.
The Lions took the field on Sunday at Ridley High’s Phil Marion Field for the first game in the program’s history. The 11-8 loss to Stockton College won’t count on Albright’s record next spring, but it still marked the program’s jumping-off point after a year of preparation.
Albright coach Jake Plunket, a graduate of Homer High (N.Y.) and a standout at Syracuse University, was hired on Oct 1t of last year and has been working to build the program’s foundation ever since. In a conversation with Phillylacrosse.com, Plunket’s enthusiasm was readily apparent.
Q: What are you selling to potential recruits?
Plunket: “With a first-year program you kind of have to sell playing time. A lot of freshmen come out of high school and they want to go somewhere and really compete from that first day on campus. I think what we had here was a very unique opportunity for them to come to a very athletically oriented school and play right away, and contribute, and start a tradition, which a lot of guys don’t get the opportunity to do.
Q: What are the adjustments a freshman has to make to adapt to the pace of the college game?
Plunket: “Freshmen coming in are trying to get used to the work, they’re trying to make new friends, to build relationships; and it’s a process that has to happen really quickly if you want to be successful. I think we’re starting to do that.
“We’ve only been together for three weeks now. We do have the entire winter to get used to each other. But I think we’ll be fine once we start making the right decisions on the field and getting away from the high-school mentality of just tossing it in the middle and hoping for the best. It’s good to have some guys learning and you can see them learning every single day.
Q: What is it like to kick off your program at an event like the Colleluori Classic, which benefits the HEADstrong Foundation and its fight against blood cancer?
Plunket: “This is extremely special. We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to come here and compete and help raise money for a foundation that’s so great and working for a cause like blood cancer and cancer in general.
“My uncle has MS, which is a different disease, but it attacks a lot of the population. The more than we can come together as sports teams and come to events like this and raise awareness of those causes, the better it is.”