By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/18/12
Mesa Fresh junior goalie Brent Millichap said playing Friday night in the Philly Charity Showdown at PPL made him “feel like a professional.”
“It was a great experience and awesome playing under the lights,” said Millichap, who attends Bayard Rustin. “It was great to play here with the team I’ve been playing with a log time.
“There were all those coaches there. It was a real cool feeling.”
Millichap and Mesa played to a 6-6 tie with Laxachusetts, a Massachusetts power, in one of the five games. More than 100 coaches attended the event, which raised money for HelpHOPELive in honor of Logan Schweiter. Logan, a 13-year-old recovering from a major brain injury incurred 15 months ago.
The event also kicked off the Philly Showcase weekend, which continued Saturday and Sunday at Episcopal Academy with individual and team events.
Millichap noted that it’s quite rare to see that many coaches at a team event.
“It’s a great way to get seen and get your name out and get recognized,” he said. “You just put everything on the line and do the best you can do.”
HEADstrong junior midfielder/face-off specialist Brian Sinex had three goals for his team in an 8-6 defeat to Leading Edge (N.J.).
“It’s pretty cool; I am a Philly guy and playing in a Philly stadium is great,” he said. “Playing in front of all these coaches and showing what I got is a great opportunity.”
How did Sinex (Ridley) feel he fared?
“I thought I did well today,” he said. “I wanted to give it my all and play like Nick Colleluori.”
Hill Academy was perhaps the most impressive squad Friday. The elite club team from Ontario, Canada – coached by Philadelphia Wings captain Brodie Merrill – toppled a young Haverford School squad, 13-2. Austin Lane, a sophomore lefty attackman,scored three goals and was one of many on his team that had coaches brushing up on their French.
“It was amazing playing in the big stadium,” said Lane. “It was breathtaking; we were so happy to be here playing a great team.
“It was great to come in and have a good game. The whole team played well.”
Lane said his team took a 10-hour bus ride to a hotel and then a 45-minute ride to the stadium. Hill Academy played an intra-squad scrimmage Saturday at Episcopal Academy during the Showcase and then went Sunday to Long Island to compete in a tourney at Shoreham-Wading River High.
“It was fun hanging out with teammates,” Lane said of the bus ride. “My heart was racing when we saw all the coaches at the stadium.
“It was so nice to get the opportunity to play for them and hopefully it leads to something else.
“We don’t have a lot of veterans coming back on the team. We have a lot of new guys and we’ve been bonding well together and playing well.”
Sophomore attackman Steve Hildebrand score twice to help Irish Road Lacrosse Club down Episcopal Academy, 8-6. Hildebrand did not make the mistake of thinking too much about the many coaches on the sidelines.
“I wasn’t really thinking much, I was just really looking forward to playing at PPL Park,” said Hildebrand, who attends Conestoga. “I was like of nervous at the start, but I got the feel of the game and then I felt comfortable out there.
“We were pumped up to come and play. Nobody expected us to play as well as we did. It was good to get the win.”
NXT junior LSM/defenseman Liam O’Donnell(Penncrest) said his team came out a little nervous in its 10-3 loss to Titanium Elite (Ohio).
“Games like that happen,” he said. “But it was an amazing experience. That was the nicest grass I have ever played on.
“Playing in front of these coaches gets you nervous, but it also pumps you up.”
O’Donnell said he was happy to get seen, but noted that he will focus his college choices on academics first.
“I’m still looking at schools and matching up majors first,” he said.