By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/4/15
Here is a switch: an Eastern lacrosse player trekking West to compete in a major lacrosse tournament.
That’s what Shipley School 2018 defenseman Devin Gilligan did last weekend when he played with many upperclassmen for California’s T12 Committed in the Palm Desert Classic (CA).
Gilligan, a Michigan commit who missed all of the 2015 high school season due to a broken collarbone, helped T12, comprised of some of his fellow Michigan commits from the West, edged Crush, 4-3, to win the Elite Division championship.
The experience was all positive for Gilligan, who also played with many of his T12 teammates in summer tournaments this year. T12 is part of the Bunch Nation club program from Orange County, CA, and headed by highly-respected coach Tom DeMaio.
“After committing to Michigan I got in touch with another Michigan commit, Jack Schlendorf, who has played for Bunch Nation before,” said Gilligan, whose regular club programs is the Duke’s LC. “I thought it would be good to get to play with some of the other commits that I will most likely be going to college with and so I sent in an application to play for Bunch. After I sent in an application to play, the coach, Tom DeMaio, invited me to play with them out in Vail (CO) over the summer.
“I played for Bunch Nation at the Adrenaline Summer tournament at United Sports in Downingtown, Champ Camp in Baltimore, and two more tournaments this fall before Coach DeMaio created T12 Committed. I enjoyed my time out in Vail and wanted to visit California and so Palm Desert was a creative way for me to do so as well and play with a great team.”
Gilligan enjoyed playing for coach DeMaio.
“Most of my teammates were from Southern California, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Oregon, and Colorado,” Gilligan said. “I had played with most of my teammates before out in Vail and so I knew some of them going into the tournament. Coach DeMaio invites certain types of players, those who he, or a player, think fit the standard; which is respectful, honest, and a good player. I think that I, along with the team, meshed quite well.”
Gilligan said that T12 at times struggled to reach its potential during the tourney, but jelled for the playoffs.
“We were the most dominant team there and in some cases we got unfocused and allowed for some teams to close the gap and make us refocus to win,” he said. “One of the key factors to our success was the fact that the seniors on our team have been playing with each other for years and have gone to this tournament for three or more years.”
Did he enjoy playing out West and with older players?
“It’s always a good experience for me to play with older players, especially those who will continue to play in college, and take a break from the constant grad year tournaments,” he said. “Every time I play for this team I learn something new. I get a different perspective than what I get in the East. Although Coach DeMaio is originally from Boston, I still get to learn how some of the players in the West are taught to play.”
Gilligan said he has fully recovered from his injury and is looking forward to helping Shipley challenge two-time champion Academy of the New Church for what looks to be a an exciting race for the Friends Schools League title in 2016?
“I have fully recovered from my collarbone breaks and the time I missed really let me take a step back and just watch lacrosse,” he said. “During the spring season I had to sit on the sidelines with my coach and look at what the defense was doing right and wrong and from this I was able to see what teams need to do fundamentally and what I would do in their position.”
Tags: Shipley School