This is one of a series of articles counting down the Top 20 stories of the year in Philly lacrosse
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 1/3/11
For a few days, seven Philly boys’ lacrosse players got to shine on the big stage as part of the first ESPN Rise Warrior 40 held at Boston’s Harvard Stadium on July 8-9.
Haverford School’s Carl Walrath, Goran Murray and Brendan McGrath, La Salle’s Kevin Forster, Salesianum School’s Ryan Kilpatrick, Conestoga’s Brian Dailey and Penn Charter’s Joey Sankey showed the rest of the country what Philly has to offer in a national setting.
Phillylacrosse.com was fortunate enough to speak to each of the seven players that participated in the event, which earned the year’s No. 14 Story of the Year.
Sankey described the event, featuring 42 of the top rising seniors in the nation, as “probably the best lacrosse experience of my life.”
The players were flown in to Boston, fed a dinner in the Hyatt Penthouse and given a full set of brand-new lacrosse gear. They were then sent to Harvard for a full day that included a practice (by Major League Lacrosse All-Stars), the chance to coach in a youth clinic and the opportunity to compete in a skills competition.
Thursday night the players were treated to the MLL All-Star Game which matched the MLL stars against the US National Team, which is gearing for the FIL World Championships in England next week. The Warrior players were introduced at halftime before 11,771 fans and got to hang out briefly with the MLL and US players.
The event concluded today with a game between the 42 players, who had scrimmaged briefly on Thursday. In the contest, Sankey scored four goals while Forster and McGrath added two apiece for the Blue team in a 14-12 loss to the Orange squad.
The Blue team featured Sankey (now signed with North Carolina/attackman), Forster (Maryland/attackman), McGrath (committed to Princeton/midfielder), Kilpatrick (North Carolina/defenseman) and Dailey (Duke/long stick midfielder).
The Orange team featured Murray (Maryland/LSM) and Walrath (Virginia/midfielder). Orange assistant coaches included former Ridley greats Bill McGlone (MLL All-Star with Chicago Machine) and Brett Moyer, both of whom play for the Philadelphia Wings.
“They treated us like pros, when you look at how organized it was and how much we got,” Sankey said.
“It was run by pro players, like Matt Danowski, and they were all nice,” Sankey added. “They weren’t arrogant or anything and didn’t act like they were above us. They just communicated with us.”
The players did basic drills on fast breaks, 1-on-1s and 2-on-2s. They later enjoyed the competitions for fastest shot, agility and trick shots. Then they helped coach a youth clinic and went back to the hotel for a shower.
The players enjoyed the first half of the All-Star Game – a 13-12 victory by the US Team – at Harvard Stadium. Then after the first half ended they were paraded down to the middle of the field and introduced to the crowd.
“It was awesome,” Sankey said.
In today’s game, the Blue team jumped to a 5-0 lead and led, 7-6, at halftime. Kilpatrick added two assists – to Sankey and Forster – from his spot at close defense and McGrath also took half the face-offs for the Blue.
“I had heard about a lot of these guys and I had even played against some of them,” said Sankey. “They are all amazing players.”
Added Forster: “It was really good to get out and see the best guys. It was good competition and it was cool knowing they’re the best around and knowing I will see them in college. You had to get used to playing at the next level.”
Walrath said the players were shocked at how well they were treated.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but we got taken to a high-end hotel and ate in the Penthouse,” he said. “Everyone was blown away. Then it kept getting better!
“Practice was a lot of fun. Everything was organized. They gave us a schedule, listing everything hour by hour.”
Walrath, an attackman who played midfield for the Orange because the team was short on middies, said the game was well-played and competitive, but not rough. “Everyone was real good and we all were friends, but it was competitive,” he said. “Still, there wasn’t any chippy (play). We had a really good time.”
Kilpatrick enjoyed the game, too.
“It was a lot of fun playing against this type of competition,” he said. “Everyone had to step up from playing the normal high school game.
“Yesterday was awesome. After the practice and lunch, we had the youth clinic and it was fun giving back a little and helping out. Then at the All-Star Game we lined up on the field at halftime and later got to talk to players from the MLL and the US.”
Murray said the players received special treatment at the All-Star game.
“It was awesome to be recognized in front of the greatest players in world,” he said. “and to be recognized in front of the whole lacrosse community.”
Dailey noted that “it was a great honor being selected. It was fun to get out there against players we’ll probably see in the next couple of years. And I liked helping out with the kids. It was a good time giving back.”
McGrath said all the players respected the game and each other.
“We weren’t checking the scoreboard or anything, but the game was sure fun,” he said. “We were playing against great players.”
Blue: Joey Sankey 4, Kevin Forster 2, Brendan McGrath 2, David Solomon 1, Lyle Thompson, Tyler German, Steve Jahelka.
Orange: Christian Bennardo 4, Conor Doyle 4, Will Mazzone 3, Konor Beard, Ryan DeSimone, Wells Stanwick
Game Honors (as chosen by ESPN Rise)
MVP: Conor Doyle, Gilman (Baltimore, Md.)
Offensive Player of the Game: Will Mazzone, Ward Melville (East Setauket, N.Y.)
Defensive Player of the Game: Jake Gambitsky, Wantagh (Wantagh, N.Y.)
Warrior 40 Orange Roster
(college status as of July 8, 2010)
Konnor Beard Midfield St. Mary’s Annapolis, MD uncomitted
Jackson Meyers Defense Arundel Gambrills, MD uncommitted
Logan Connolly Attack St. Mary’s Davidsonville, MD Notre Dame
Conor Doyle Attack Gilman Towson, MD Notre Dame
Brian Fischer Defense Garden City Garden City, NY Harvard
Albert Kammler Defense St. Albans Mclean, VA Virginia
John Kelly Defense Bullis Sandy Spring, MD Johns Hopkins
Christian Bennardo Midfield St. Anthony’s Cutchogue, N.Y. Villanova
Bobby Gribbin Midfield Georgetown Prep Rockville, MD Penn State
Will Mazzone Attack Ward Melville Stony Brook, NY Army
Rhody Heller Goalie Regis Denver, CO Virginia
Sean Mahon Midfield Chaminade Garden City, NY Harvard
Goran Murray LSM Haverford School Merion Station, PA Maryland
Greg Danseglio Defense St. Anthony’s Islip, NY Virginia
Wells Stanwick Attack Boys’ Latin Baltimore, MD Johns Hopkins
Michael Pellegrino Defense Connetquot Oakdale, NY Johns Hopkins
Ryan DeSimone Attack Smithtown East St. James, NY Villanova
Carl Walrath Midfield Haverford School Glen Mills, PA Virginia
Ryan Tucker Midfield Gilman Towson, MD Virginia
Tanner Ottenbreit Defense Regis Parker, CO Virginia
Bob Wardwell Goalie Shenendehowa Clifton Park, NY Syracuse
ORANGE HEAD COACH: Jesse Schwartzman
ASSISTANTS: Brett Moyer, Bill McGlone (Ridley graduates), Dan Hardy
Warrior 40 Blue Roster
Name Position High School City College Choice
Jeff Chase Midfield Boys’ Latin Monrovia, MD Loyola
Eric Chadderdon Defense Hamburg Hamburg, N.Y. Ohio State
Jimmy Bitter Attack Deerfield Manhasset, N.Y. North Carolina
Jack Breit Defense Delbarton Essex Falls, N.J. Harvard
Brian Dailey Defense Conestoga Berwyn, PA Duke
Greg Coholan Midfield Irondequoit Rochester, NY Virginia
John Connors Goalie Chaminade Bellmore, NY Navy
Cory Dobyns Attack Georgetown Prep Highland, MD Maryland
Jake Gambitsky Goalie Wantagh Wantagh, NY Harvard
Thomas Grimm Midfield Carthage Black River, NY Syracuse
Kevin Forster Attack La Salle Jenkintown, PA Maryland
Tyler German Midfield Queen Anne’s Centerville, MD Virginia
Joe LoCascio Midfield St. Anthony’s Lindenhurst, NY Maryland
Brendan McGrath Midfield Haverford School St. Davids, PA Princeton
Steve Jahelka Defense Garden City Garden City, NY Harvard
Ryan Kilpatrick Defense Salesianum School West Chester, PA North Carolina
Joey Sankey Attack Penn Charter Warminster, PA North Carolina
David Solomon Attack St. Stephans SA. Fairfax, VA Maryland
Lyle Thompson Midfield Lafayette Nedrow, NY Albany
Brian Sullivan Defense Bishop Timon Buffalo, NY North Carolina
Peter Rossetti Defense Collegiate School Richmond, VA Georgetown
BLUE HEAD COACH: Greg Bice
ASSISTANTS: Chris Unterstein, Matt Bocklet