By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/20/08
The memory of Philadelphia lacrosse legend Ralph “Rip” Davy, III continues to live on for the North Carolina men’s lacrosse team.
The Tar Heels have dedicated their season to the former North Carolina great by wearing Rip’s old uniform number, 13, on their helmets. They opened their 2008 season Saturday at Chapel Hill by crushing Bellarmine (Ky.), 15-2.
North Carolina, ranked 10th in the nation in the USILA Coaches Poll, returns all but two members of a squad that went 10-6 last year.
Davy, a 1975 graduate of The Hill School in Pottstown, died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 51 in Wilmington, N.C. the Broomall native was a high school All-American under coach Harry Price and was captain of the football, wrestling and lacrosse teams while also serving as school president. Davy became one of the first players from the Philadelphia area to excel at the collegiate level and earned All-American honors as a defender at North Carolina (Class of 1979).
Davy was inducted into the Pennsylvania Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2000.
Attending Saturday’s game were Davy’s wife, Margo, and sons, Brooks and Will, as well as his mother, Nancy, sister Wendy, brother Kirk and his two teenage daughters.
“The day was just a regular game for the Heels but for us, it was a lifetime memory in the making,” Margo Davy said. “John Haus (North Carolina’s coach) called me to ask if it was OK for the team to wear Rip’s number on their helmets this season, and of course, I gave the thumbs up.
“He invited us to the season opener against Bellarmine. Once on campus, we found John and he introduced Will and Brooks to the captains, then the boys went with the captains to the locker room. From there they got to follow the team on to the field and eyewitness the coin toss. They spent the rest of the afternoon watching from the sidelines.”
Margo Davy said her sons have been lifelong Tar Heel fans and were thrilled to get this special treatment.
“I just think it was spectacular of John to give our boys such attention,” she said. “As lacrosse players themselves, they have followed UNC since they were old enough to walk. I remember Rip’s dad giving them both sticks the day they were born. It was a thrill for them to be with the team and see John coaching from close up.”
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