By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/15/14
Frigid temperatures and a last-minute move to a new venue did little to remove the luster of the annual Philly Charity Showdown Friday night in South Philly.
The NXTsports event, originally slated to be held for the second year at the Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park, was moved (due to weather concerns) just hundreds of yards away to the South Philly Supersite, a high school stadium that nonetheless provided an ideal backdrop for an event that featured six games, drew over 70 college coaches and benefited the Thomas Jefferson University Foundation’s Comprehensive Concussion Center.
Below are quick recaps of the games and interviews with players that shined:
LB3 Atlanta 4, Freedom (PA) 3
LB3 built a 4-1 lead and held off a late rally by Freedom to claim the tight win. Mick Upchurch,a 2017 defenseman from McCallie School (TN), helped lead the LB3 defense.
“It’s great to come out and play for a great cause,” said Upchurch. “Any lacrosse is fun, but whern playing got a great cause like this ujnder big lights and great competition is amazing. I really wanted to prove that I could play witht he older kids and show the coaches at LB3 that I could hang iwth them and play with anybody in the country.”
Did Upchurch see the coaches on the sideline? “There were a good bit of them, but I try not to think about it too much since it’s a little bit of an intimidation factor.”
What went well today? “We talked really well on defense and our offense played really well together. Our goalies played great. Brad Hodoval (Mercer commit) probably had 10 or 15 saves – we just played really well as a team.”
Mesa Fresh (PA) 8, HEADstrong (PA) 7
Connor Mosebrook (2017 MF, Haverford School) and JohnNostrant (2017 MF, Haverford, Penn State) each had two goals for Mesa. Tyler Kostack (2016 attack, Marple Newtown, High Point) and Michael Gerzabek (2016 MF, Springfield-Delco) each had two goals for HEADstrong.
Mosebrook:“It’s really cool to come out here and play for a real cause. We’re all here for one thing and it’s cool to be a part of it. It was a close game; we know a couple of the kids, some attend my school so it’s a lot of fun. I just wanted to get better and take a opportunity for our team to get closer.”
Laxachusetts (MA) 7, NXT (PA) 5
Thomas Hale (2017 ATT) scored two goals for Laxachusetts to overcome three goals by NXT’s Colby Smith (2017 MF, Hempfield, Ohio State).
Laxachusetts 2016 ATT Allen (St. Mark’s, MA, scored one goal): “It’s a lot of fun; lacrosse is the best sport around. And it’s aalways a lot of fun playing for a good cause and having two good teams. I think at Laxachusetts we always play hard, we are always riding hard and even if you make a bad play you’re always giving that effort. You try to tune them (the college coaches) out and earn your spot.”
St. Augustine Prep (NJ) 8, Episcopal Academy (PA) 3
Joe Eisele (2015 ATT, committed to Delaware) scored two goals for the Hermits. Substitute player Matt Dellacroce won 7 of 11 face-offs for EA.
St. Augustkine’s Drew Lewis, a 6-7 uncommitted 2015 defenseman, helped lead the defense: “It’s a good feeling that we can play the game that we love and do it for a good cause on a big stage.
“I just wanted to play my best and get some looks. I did whatever I could to get some looks. I am looking to play club, D1, D3. We’re getting ready for the season and looking to go farther than we did last year and shot for a state championship.”
8th Grade All-Star Game: New Jersey 7, Pennsylvania 6 (Braveheart)
James Pendergist (Brielle Elementary/Middle School, Manasquan) scored the winner in Braveheart to cap a back-and-forth game. Andrew murphy scored two goals for NJ while Adam Salvaggio notched two goals and Jack Henderson and Gavin Tygh combined to win 10 of 15 face-offs for PA.
Pendergist: “It was great. It was tiring, but great all-around. I was involved in (community service) at school, so this is great. I was nervous; I didn’t think I was going to have to go Braveheart.”
What was Pendergist’s plan when he gained possession in Braveheart? “I heard everybody on the sidelines say, ‘He’s a lefty, he’s a lefty, but I’m a righty. It feels great to beat Pennsylvania; coming in I didn’t think we would win, but we pulled it out.”
7th Grade All-Star Game: Pennsylvania 7, New Jersey 6
Champ Doyle (Malvern Prep) scored the game-winner with just under a minute remaining after New Jersey had rallied from a 5-1 deficit with the help of two goals each by Maxwell Drift and Bailey Lanzi. Danny Mallee scored twice for PA.
Doyle: “It was very exciting to be in this venue and play fro a great cause. I think we kept our composure and didn’t let them get into our heads and relaxed and just scored the winning goal.”