By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/30/09
Brett Manney found his way from Newtown, Pa., to Newark, Del., to San Jose, Cal., but now the Holy Ghost Prep graduate is heading to Everett, Wash., with the former San Jose Stealth of the National Lacrosse League (NLL).
Manney, recognized as the first from Lower Bucks County to make it to Division I men’s lacrosse, starred at the University of Delaware and helped captain the Blue Hens to their first NCAA Final Four appearance in 2007. After graduating in 2008, Manney was drafted by the Washington Bayhawks of outdoor Major League Lacrosse and played in several games.
But it was in San Jose of the indoor NLL that Manney found success at the professional level. This year, as a rookie defenseman, the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Manney scooped 36 loose balls and added three assists, playing a key role for a team that reached the NLL Western finals before bowing to eventual league champion Calgary.
The Stealth franchise announced on June 17 it was moving to Everett, and last week it announced the team would be named the Seattle Stealth. Either way, Manney is hoping to build on a rookie year that saw him go from undrafted free agent to a regular contributor on a solid defensive line.
“I was talking to Doug Locker, the assistant general manager and vice president of the Stealth, before the draft,” said Manney, known for his aggressive style on the field at Delaware. “They had heard about me through various people and they signed me as an undrafted rookie.
“I go the inclination during training camp that I was doing well, and I was adjusting to the indoor game pretty quickly. I never thought of playing indoors until until one of my best friends at Delaware (and now an assistant coach) Chris Collins wanted me to pursue it.
“He said it was my type of game and would fit the way I play the game of lacrosse. I was fortunate Doug Locker gave me a chance and the rest is history. I played every game except for the first game. It’s an awesome league and I wish more people would get the experience.”
Also on the San Jose roster last year was Germantown Academy grad Steve Holmes, a three-year defenseman who had 23 loose balls in only four games after recovering from an injury to his sternum.
Manney credited Holmes and the rest of his teammates for helping him through his rookie season.
“Usually, when we’d got the scoring report, my job was to go against the opposition’s best left-handed offensive player,” he said. “I had a lot of responsibility right away as a rookie.
“But whenever I played any sport – basketball, soccer, and lacrosse – I always played against the best player and that made the transition a lot easier. And any of the veteran guys would help me out. They made the transition to the indoor game a lot smoother,
While at Delaware, Manney worked as a play-by-play announcer and color commentator for Blue Hen football and basketball for the college’s student radio station. He also interned on Radio 610 WIP in Philadelphia and WBCB Radio 1490 in Levittown. He was an English-Journalism major.
That led to Manney’s current career as the Western Region content manager for LaxPower (parent is Active) in King of Prussia. He also did the PA announcing several weeks ago at the inaugural Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association Showcase at Haverford College.
Manney was a three-sport standout at Holy Ghost Prep along with his twin brother Ryan, who played one year of lacrosse at Delaware. Brett was a four-year letter winner in soccer and a mainstay on a basketball team that won the District 1 crown and did not lose until reaching the state finals.
Manney specifically wanted to thank all the people at Holy Ghost Prep who helped him gain the tools to be successful on and off the playing fields and courts.
“Holy Ghost transformed me into a man,” Manney said. “What they did for me when I came in to where I left is amazing. I was able to hold conversations and represent the school and the community at Holy Ghost. I always try to go back with my twin brother; I’d do anything for Holy Ghost Prep.”
The Stealth spent six years in San Jose. They will play at the Comcast Arena in Everett, just 30 miles north of Seattle. The 8,300-seat arena is also home to the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips.
“I think it will be a step in the right direction,” Manney said. “Unfortunately, at San Jose, we didn’t get the crowds and the excitement they originally thought they’d get when they moved there (from Albany in 2004).
“But when I talked to Doug Locker he said everyone in the organization is excited about the move. The surrounding cities of Seattle and the Greater Metropolitan area all welcome the idea of having the Stealth come there. It’s a growing area for lacrosse.”