By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/13/14
Malvern Prep senior defenseman Greg Pelton has been named a Phillylacrosse.com Co-Player of the Year for 2014.
Pelton led the Friars to a perfect 24-0 season as it won the Inter-Ac League and Inter-Ac Invitational championships. An Under Armour and US Lacrosse All-American, Pelton was an all-around defensive standout whose crunching hits and clutch takeaways were followed by swift clears and numerous rushes downfield that led to scoring opportunities.
Pelton was a force on a team that allowed 10 goals only once and finished as the top team in the Phillylacrosse.com Rankings and No. 3 team in the Warrior/TopLaxrecruits North American Rankings.
“He is an impact player and a game changer,” said Malvern Prep coach John McEvoy. “He is a quiet kid and somewhat unassuming, but when he is on the field the switch is flipped and he plays with and edge.
“He wants to make plays all the time, but he is also very disciplined and does not play reckless. He is one of the better stick-handlers for a defender and a great athlete. But when the ball is n the ground, he is really in his element.”
McEvoy was always amazed at Pelton’s ability when attacking.
“When he gets past the restraining line, something good usually happens,” he said. “He’ll find somebody or take a shot, or at the very least we’ll get a possession. And when the game was on the line, we’d look to him.
“Also, he was a nightmare for other people; he plays a heavy game and throws checks that are hard and a little bit intimidating.”
Pelton said Malvern Prep’s success was based on consistency and team camaraderie.
“I think it was a lot of mental stability; coming to practice everyday and listening to coaches and coming out and executing on game day,” he said.
“I think it was the closest team I have ever been a part of. It was the type of team where guys stayed together after practice and didn’t want to go home. We were always around each other.’
The Friars won seven games by one goal in 2014, including two over arch-rival Haverford School – the second being a 10-9 win in the Inter-Ac Invitational.
“I think we had to come in with the most fiercest mentality and compete ever harder than the first two times,” said Pelton of his team’s preparation for the final game. “We never felt we had to work to focus on being undefeated. We had won the Inter-Ac regular season title my junior year, so the goal this year was to win everything.
‘We never looked ahead, but we wanted to be there at the end of the year.”
Also named Co-Player of the Year:
Will Manganiello, attackman, Penncrest
High Honorable Mention
Tanner Peck, attackman, Avon Grove
Dylan Protesto, FO/midfield, Penncrest
Tags: Malvern Prep