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La Salle’s Coleman redeems himself in helping lead Explorers to state championship

Saturday, 8th June 2013

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  
 

By Matt Chandik
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/8/13

HERSHEY – La Salle’s Sean Coleman can finally discard the DVD copy of last year’s PIAA state championship game loss to Conestoga.

The Explorers senior midfielder told reporters recently that he used the tape to motivate himself all year. Today at HersheyPark Stadium, Coleman earned his redemption by scoring two goals and dishing four assists in helping lead the Explorers to a 13-4 victory over the three-time defending champion Pioneers in the PIAA title game.

Sean Coleman

Sean Coleman

For Coleman, the impressive win served as the perfect capper to a brilliant career. He was a freshman when La Salle fell to Conestoga in the 2010 title game, 10-6, and admits he did not play his best game last year when the Explorers fell to Conestoga in the finale, 10-7.

But he was all smiles after this one.

“It’s definitely 100 percent better,” said Coleman. “It killed me (that we) lost them both to ‘Stoga, so it feels awesome to come out (on top).

“‘Stoga’s always going to be a great team every year. I was kind of hoping the whole year that if we were going to make it, we would see ‘Stoga in the final. It just feels awesome to beat them.”

Coleman’s road back to Hersheypark Stadium, though, was even more arduous than the rest of his teammates’ trek. The Harvard-bound midfielder broke his tibia and tore ligaments in his leg during La Salle’s 42-35 loss to Coatesville in the PIAA Class AAAA Eastern football championship.

A dynamic slot receiver and return man, there was some initial trepidation that he wouldn’t be back for a promise-filled lacrosse season, but he managed to make his way back, ironically enough, against Conestoga April 19. The Explorers won that game, 13-5. Last year he never was close to 100 percent after coming back from a football-related injury.

“I think my ankle (a previous injury) is 100 percent, but it’s just my speed (that’s been affected,” Coleman said. “Football was really good for it, then I got hurt.

“But it feels fine. There’s no excuses. … The toughest part is just staying motivated (through physical therapy) because you don’t see a lot of gains. You can’t run, but honestly, it’s just going in every day and trying to get better. Mentally, that’s a big part of getting an injury. You’ve got to be positive throughout the whole time. Obviously, it’s frustrating, but there’s no reason to be negative about it.”

It was fitting, then, that he started and ended his season against the Pioneers. In those 17 games, he played well enough to garner All-Catholic, All-EPLCA and Under Armour All-American honors. When the U.S. Lacrosse All-American list is unveiled, he will likely be on there, too. Oh, and he’s got a pretty bright future lined up as a student-athlete in Cambridge.

Saturday, though, all he was worried about was a state title – and he got one.

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