By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 2/9/14
FEASTERVILLE, Pa. –The Everest Academy had an easier trip from Ontario, Canada to Philly for this year’s Philadelphia Indoor Lacrosse Championships.
Last year Everest braved a tremendous snowstorm, arriving just in time to win the High School AA championship. But this time coach Clem D’Orazio took his team to Philly Thursday and the Screaming Eagles enjoyed, among other highlights, a Flyers hockey game, a trip to see downtown and the Liberty Bell, a run up the Art Museum steps, some vintage Philly cheesesteaks and a seat at a Drexel University men’s lacrosse practice.
The final highlight occurred at the end Saturday night as Everest defeated the host team, NXT L.C. 2015, 5-2, to claim the team title.
“The top highlight off the court was going downtown and seeing Philadelphia itself,” said Everest senior Matthew Lee, who had two goals in the title win and was a member of last year’s team. “On the court, the highlight was winning the championship. That’s what we came here to do. We have a fun time playing.”
Everest swept all its games, but struggled early on adapting to the box style of the slightly less experienced American players.
“It was really weird getting used to the American style,” said Everest goalie Jerryd Jensen, who was named the unofficial tourney MVP. “I saw different types of shots from what I see from Canadians. I was never sure where the shot was coming from.”
Jensen is the box goalie for the Newmarket Saints Jr. B Lacrosse Team. He is big and mobile, but admitted that he had to adjust to the offenses.
“We play a lot more physical,” he said. “Here it’s split dodges and players getting around guys and using their speed. I had to get used to it and we all had to get used to it. At first we kept giving penalty shots (for all penalties).
In the finals, Jensen held NXT 2015 scoreless in the first half while Lee and Jeff Wittig (2015) scored. Chris Brady (Conestoga 2015 midfielder, Lafayette commit) closed the gap for NXT, but Bailey Fournier (2016) made it 3-1 and Brett Erskine (2016) added another goal before the Everest defense and Jensen finished the job.
We are better defensively and a little more disciplined this year,” said D’Orazio. “That was our strongest point. We don’t have a lot of guys with huge numbers in midget or junior lacrosse and some of the young guys were playing box for the first time so I was proud of them.”
D’Orazio was glad his team got to see all of Philly this year. He also thanked Drexel coach Brian Voelker for his hospitality.
“We had an awesome time,” he said. “Thursday we got the Flyers game and Friday we saw Drexel practice and ate some Philly cheesesteaks. We did the Liberty Bell and the Rocky steps at the Art Museum. Everyone had a great time, and NXT always runs a great event.”
Added Lee: “Drexel is a great university and a great lacrosse team. I think they dropped the ball two or three times the whole practice. It was good for the young kids and seniors to watch and see what’s needed and the next step you need to take for the university level.”
Jensen also enjoyed seeing Drexel practice.
“I’d say seeing Drexel was the highlight,” he said. “Getting to see them on TV is one thing seeing them in real life is another.”