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No. 15 Top Story of 2010: Evanfest grew bigger with addition of game between host Malvern Prep, St. Joe’s Prep

Sunday, 2nd January 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School, Youth  

This is part of a series of articles counting down the Top 20 stories of the Year in Philly lacrosse, Posted 1/2/11

In 2010, the 4th annual Evanfest Lacrosse Festival added a new twist.

Along with its typical format of a boys’ youth tournament (20 teams), last year’s one-day fundraiser in April also featured its first high school game.

Malvern Prep, the host team, met St. Joseph’s Prep in a battle of Philly powers. The Prep claimed a hard-fought 7-5 victory, also defeating its former coach, new Malvern mentor Dan Keating.

Most importantly, the event raised $95,000 for famolies dealing with a child that has a life-threatening illness. In all, Evanfest has raised $350,000 and helped 100 families. Evanfest was created by Bill Brady, the father of Evan Brady, a standout youth lacrosse player who passed away in 2005 due to osteogenic sarcoma (bone cancer) shortly after graduating from Malvern Prep.

Many people, especially Evan’s friends, have rallied behind the cause. Dozens of former Malvern players and other supporters of Evanfest have been selling Evanfest t-shirts during the past few years to raise money and awareness.

This year’s 5th annual Evanfest is slated for April 16 at Malvern Prep. The schedule is pending. (click here to see Evanfest website or to make a donation.)

Also last year, one of Evan’s closest friends, Dickinson College quarterback Ian Mitchell, was elected the “Rare Disease Champion.” Mitchell, a Malvern Prep grad, raised $95,000 for Evanfest during a period of several years through sponsorships, based on his excellence on the gridiron.

The St. Joe’s Prep-Malvern Prep game had added meaning. St. Joe’s coach Eric Gregg attended Episcopal Academy with Keating and his top assistant and brother, Mike. All are good friends.

In the contest, junior Jeff Heath tallied four goals to lift the Hawks to a see-saw victory.

“Malvern is a great program and they are very well coached,” Gregg said. “I went to high school with the Keatings and the guys were fired up to face them. Heath and the team rose to the challenge.”

Dan Keating also was humbled to coach a game that meant so much to the Malvern lacrosse community and beyond.

“Hats off to Eric Gregg and his players,” he said. “Our message before the game to our players was to be thankful we’re all healthy and use the great opportunity to play today for a great cause. Our game with St. Joe’s Prep was a very hard-fought game.

“It went back-and-forth and it was really fun to coach. They squeezed it out and it was a testament to their toughness. All in all, it was just a great day.”

Malvern (5-1 before the game and ranked No. 6 in the state) came out strong and took a 2-0 lead as senior midfielder Bob Hill scored two goals within the first five minutes of the game. Heath then put in his first of the game, but junior attackman Mike Dougherty soon gave the Friars a 3-1 lead.

St. Joe’s (3-3, and ranked No. 8 in the State PIAA Poll) caught fire in the next two periods as Heath scored three more and Cory Scheuerle added his first to give Prep a 5-4 lead going into the fourth.

In the fourth period, Dougherty added his second goal on a man-up penalty to knot the score at 5-all. Soon after, Prep junior Brady James gave Prep a lead it would not surrender. Prep iced it on an insurance goal from Anthony Marini.

Heath gave all the credit to his fellow teammates and his coaches. “Coach Gregg got us well conditioned for this game during this week’s practices because he thought we were not in shape. Everyone did their part today. Our man-down defense and midfielders were great.”

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