By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/22/09
La Salle senior Anthony Cognetti now has the rare distinction of being able to cherish state championships in two sports.
Cognetti and the Explorers football team claimed the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) quad-A (large school) crown Saturday when they downed State College, 24-7, at snowy Hersheypark Stadium.
Just over six months ago at the same stadium, Cognetti and La Salle toppled Conestoga, 7-3, to win the first PIAA state lacrosse title, the team’s second straight state championship (first was the Keystone Cup).
Recently, Cognetti, who starred at middle linebacker and fullback for the Explorer football team, signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division I lacrosse at St. Joseph’s University. He plays midfield and takes face-offs for La Salle.
Cognetti said he felt strange going home Monday because he did not have practice for the first time in so long he could not remember. He said it felt special to be a part of two state title teams.
“I think being a state champion last year in lacrosse transferred over,” he said. “It was kind of like the same feeling; you’re best in the state and nobody can take that away from you. To be a state champion in football and lacrosse is a great feeling.
“On this (football) team, we had a great group of friends on and off the field. And as the season went along, that translated onto the field. We all played together and we wanted to fulfill our goal, which was to win states.”
Cognetti, a member of the National Honor Society and a Student Ambassador, plans to major in Biology and hopes to become a doctor.
“I visited twice in the summer and in the fall and got to meet the team,” said Cognettim, who plays club lacrosse for LB3. “I like being close to home and I liked the feel of the campus. Plus, they have a great Biology program.
“And next year they are going into the Colonial Athletic Conference so they’ll get to play teams like Penn State, Hofstra and Delaware.”
Cognetti noted that a number of La Salle lacrosse players played key roles on the football team. He started alongside Ryan Saracini at linebacker and top lacrosse junior recruit Kevin Forster (committed to Maryland) played free safety while Vinny Migliarese was a cornerback.
Also making major contributions were defensive backs Patrick Resch and Mark DiFrangia and special teams player Sean Coleman.
“I think it’s nice to play two sports,” Cognetti said. “It’s two extremes. You’re not playing lacrosse all the time and you’re not playing football all the time.
“It’s kind of nice to have a break and to do something you love. I have bene playing football since I was 10 years old and I always loved football.
“I always loved lacrosse, too. It’s nice to be able to play both and to be successful with the guys. Being a two-sport athlete is hard and time-consuming, but it’s definitely worth it because of the success.”
La Salle has had plenty of success in lacrosse. And even though the Explorers have graduated a host of seniors, incluing four All-Americans, no one is picking them to drop too far. So far, Resch (Dartmouth), Shane Pierce (Mount St. Mary’s), Forster and junior Jack Bogorowski (Johns Hopkins) have committed or signed with Division I colleges and plenty of talented players are ready to step in.
“Obviously, we were very senior-oriented,” said Cognetti. “We lose 14 or 15 guys and it’s going to be difficult to replace some of them. We had quite some talent the past two years.
“But I think we’re up for it. We hope to get back to the state championship game this season and we feel pretty good about it. We still have some good underclassmen and we’ll see where it goes.”
Cognetti is one of four Philly boys to sign with St. Joseph’s; the other three are Haverford School’s Bill Annesley (midfielder), Strath Haven’s Mark Dolphin (attackman) and Central Bucks East’s Brian Urban (attackman).
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