By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/4/09
Radnor’s Joe Donnelly and brother Zack have signed letters of intent to play together next year at Rutgers University.
Joe, a goalie, is a Radnor High graduate and now a post-graduate at Northfield/Mt Hermon School (Mass.). Zach is a senior midfielder at Radnor. The two were recruited together, and they were happy to be able to play college lacrosse as a team.
“A lot of it had to do with me and my brother playing together,” said Zack, who earned first-team All-Central League and second-team All-Phillylacrosse.com honors last year for the Red Raiders. “Having us go together played a huge role in my decision.
“The coaches met with both us together and addressed us as a pair – and I didn’t take offense to that at all.”
Added Joe: “They really liked us as a package deal. They wanted me to take a PG year. My dad did it when he finished high school and I always considered it. I figured, ‘Why not?’ I can go with my brother and it would be easy for my parents to watch us play.
Zack, who plans to major in business, likes the potential of the Rutgers’ program.
“Right now they are young,” he said. “But they are up-and-coming and I’d like us to be a part of that.”
Zack said he and Joe have played together for years in youth, the Duke’s Lacrosse Club and at Radnor middle and high school.
“We get along great,” Zack said. “We’ve been doing everything together and playing together every year except for his first year in high school.”
Joe, who plans to major in business, liked the campus at New Brunswick.
“First and foremost I like the size,” he said. “I really wanted to experience the big college atmosphere with big-time college sports. I definitely did like the urban campus; it’s a good match of a college campus in a city.”
Right now, Joe Donnelly is far from any city. Mount Hermon is located in North Central Massachusetts and cell phone coverage is hard to get at times. The team mascot is called the Hoggers, but the lacrosse is impressive in the New England prep scene and Donnelly is receiving a strong post-graduate education to prepare him for next year.
“They are helping me with my English and writing,” said Donnelly, an honorable mention All-Phillylacrosse.com pick last year. “It’s giving me another year of development to help my academics before I go to college. And the competition here is really good in lacrosse.”
Speaking of good competition, Radnor is seeing exactly that this year with a tough non-league schedule and the always-rugged Central League. The Raiders (4-1 and ranked ninth in state in Media Rankings) have a number of Division I signees and are gearing for a shot at a Central League crown and a District 1 run in the first year of Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association-sanctioned play .
“I think this year the key part of our success is going to be a lot mental,” said Zack. “When we’re on, we’re on great team.
“We have great senior talent and great underclassmen. We also have great team chemistry and we’ve been playing a number of years together.
“We have to play every game like it’s our last game of the season. This year the Central league is shaping up to be a great challenge for any team. If we work hard, we can achieve anything we want.”
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