By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/16/13
It’s an idea that has been floated around for years – especially after the demise of the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association five years ago and the loss of a true state boys’ lacrosse champion.
The question: How can we get the top Philly boys’ high school and club lacrosse program together for a championship tournament? Cabrini College men’s coach Steve Colfer has not quite answered the question, but his inaugural Philly Lax Cup has laid a foundation for a tournament that one day could serve as a major Philly event.
Nine Philly club teams and eight Philly high school teams competed this weekend in the Philly Lax Cup. Man Up won the cub championship Saturday with an 11-6 win over Twist Blue (see recap below) and today Salesianum School defeated Ridley, 10-5, for the high school title.
More importantly for Colfer, feedback for the tourney was positive from coaches, players and the more than 25 college coaches that attended.
“We’ve talked to a lot of coaches in the club and high school area,” said Colfer. “The club guys always seemed to be going out of the area to play and the high school guys don’t have a venue to play one another (in the summer).
“We have seen the first generation (this weekend). Maybe we can develop (something like) a tournament of champions like New Jersey does where they have a state tournament for the public and private teams.”
New Jersey’s Tournament of Champions is a rare tourney where the champions of each Group (four) and the non-public champions (two) meet for a true state champion. Because the Inter-Ac League is not associated with the PIAA, that concept is probably not possible in Pennsylvania. But an early summer tourney pitting the top teams would make for great interest, Colfer said.
“Really, (if you were) using the Phillylacrosse.com poll, potentially as the top 12 teams, and including (a team like) Salesianum because it draws so many Philly kids, you could have a regionally based tournament of champions,” he said. “We’re looking at different models, while also keeping the club piece.
“It’s nice because early in (summer season), the local teams get their competitive juices and get their legs underneath them while not doing in the mega huge venues.
“This can be where they (coaches) can see where their strengths are what they need to work on. That’s the conception. It’s our first year so we are learning as we go. We made some mistakes, but I think mostly we had successes and Mother Nature has cooperated.”
Colfer said the college coaches like the location of Cabrini – located between the big tourneys in Franklin and Marshall (NSCLA Cup), Delaware (MVP) and Lehigh (LaxFest).
“They came through because Philly is on crossroads,” he said. “Some guys were at MVP in Delaware and stopped by last night on the way to Lehigh. Or guys were at F&M and stopped by before going to Lehigh.
“Once we get the word out, it will help. Coaches can be our biggest resource. If they had a good experience they’ll tell someone.”
Man up wins Club title
Ryan Hilburn (Malvern Prep) was named the MVP of the championship game as Man Up toppled Twist Black, 11-5. Man Up Coach Jim Schorn also noted the contributions of several younger players: midfielder Drew Schantz (Malvern Prep rising junior), defenseman JC Carroll (West Chester East rising freshmen), LSM Ryan McNulty (Bishop Shanahan rising sophomore), midfielder Jarrett Donaghy (Malvern Prep rising sophomore)
“We played pretty well and the young guys really stepped up,” said ManUp coach Jim Schorn. “We beat NXT and Philadelphia Freedom and that’s two strong club programs.”
Twist Blue is strong runner-up
Twist Blue, a team of all rising juniors, reached the club finals behind a balanced offense, a strong defense and a dominating face-off man.
Jack Auteri (La Salle) won 52 of 76 face-offs in the tournament, including a 13 for 17 performance in the final against Man-Up.
Twist played six games and had no player in double figures in goals, though eight had at least four. Connor Howell (Wilson West Lawn HS) lead the team in goals (nine) and points (17), while Michael Major (Holy Ghost Prep) had eight goals.
Defensively, James Oeth (Springside Chestnut Hill) had a team-best eight caused turnovers. Goalies Ian Davies (Germantown Academy) and Greg Price (Holy Ghost Prep) combined for a 3.83 goals-against and .641 save
Salesianum School wins HS title
Jason Kelly took MVP honors as Salesianum School went undefeated and toppled Ridley, 10-5, for the crown.