Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/14/16
Just about everything went perfectly for Everest Academy (Ontario) this weekend at the NXT Philadelphia Indoor Lacrosse Championships – until its bus broke down at 3 a.m. Sunday near Rochester.
While in Philly, Everest got to see a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game and also to shoot for its fourth straight PILC High School AA title. And there was no doubt, as Everest blitzed through the field undefeated and capped it with a 12-3 championship win Saturday night over Blue Star (N.J.) at Feasterville’s Sportsplex.
“Our team was stronger than it has been before,” said Everest coach Clem D’Orazio. “It was the strongest team we’ve had at the tournament.”
D’Orazio, whose team came through a blizzard three years ago to Philly, was talking after a 5-hour wait near Rochester where his bus died. He said his team relishes the opportunity to come to the tourney, which features full box regulations.
“It makes for a great weekend; other than the bus,” he said. “We got to see a Flyers game on Thursday and we had a team day Friday. A couple kids visited Drexel for a tour and then we had the tournament on Saturday.
“The team has really bonded together this year. This is probably the deepest we’ve ever been, top to bottom.”
Everest was led on attack by 2017 Corson Kealey and 2016 Tyrus Rehanek. Everest’s defensive/transition unit also excelled, led by Curtis Conley (2018), Adam Wols (2017) and Mike Harris (2017)
D’Orazio said Conley had the highlght goal of the event, when he caught a top-f-the-crease pass behind his back with several players draped over him and went in and scored.
The Everest goaltending, always a team staple, was strong again behind Jackson Brown (2018) and Anirudh Kilambi (2019).
D’Orazio acknowledged that many teams enter the tourney with one goal – to knock off Everest in a box tourney.
“NXT does a great job and we have a good time,” D’Orazio said. “The competition gets better every year. The (American) kids are starting to understand the game more, and some of the goalies are really looking strong.”
Everest has established itself in the field game in the past year as well and will play its first season of high school field lacrosse this year. On April 3 Everest will meet mighty IMG Lacrosse Academy (National) at a neutral site in Buffalo and on May 14 it faces another power, Culver Academy in Indiana. Everest also will play Indiana state champion Carmel and it also expects to play Canadian power St. Michael’s, and in several Canadian tournaments.
In the semifinals, Everest topples Jags Lax (PA), 11-2, while Blue Star edged Team 91 (N.Y.), 8-7.
In the HS A tourney, Build Blocks Elite (N.J.) clipped Blue Star, 8-6, for the crown.