By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 6/10/17
Emmie Dressel considers the Kennard-Dale girls’ lacrosse team a true champion, despite the 20-8 loss the Rams suffered Saturday to Radnor in the PIAA Class AA title game at West Chester East.
Dressel was proud that her team was the first from out of the Philadelphia region (Districts 1 and 12) to reach a PIAA final.
How they got there was a story in itself.
On Tuesday Kennard-Dale’s team learned that Scott Swegon, father of senior standout Calie Swegon and a favorite of the team, was admitted to the hospital for emergency surgery as he fights colon cancer for the second time. Later that day the Rams rallied behind their teammate and whipped Susquehannock, 15-7, to avenge a loss in the District 3 final and earn a ticket to the finals.
It may have been the team’s top performance of the year – as players wore “Swegon Strong” on their arms – but it was dwarfed by what the Rams did the next.
Dressel, a La Salle signee and Swegon’s close friend, helped the team organize a 3-hour fundraiser that raised more than $4,500 Friday. During the short period, players and supporters worked the streets and businesses of Shrewsbury and Stewartstown in York County, stopping cars and for donations.
“After our game on Tuesday Calie went home with her mom and I pulled the team back on the bus and said we really need to do something for Calie and her family so we decided to do a coin drop,” said Swegon. “We went all over school and used social media and local restaurants and the streets and asked for money from oncoming cars.
“We raised over $4,500 dollars, which is going to go directly to family medical bills.”
Dressel said seeing the team step forward made the loss Saturday easier to swallow.
“Even though the score doesn’t show it, it feels like we won in our hearts with what we did for Calie’s family.” she said.
Swegon said the fundraiser and the support she has received from her teammates made the weekend a success no matter the score. Also, being a member of the first team from the district to reach the state finals was a thrill.
“Somebody had the idea of writing “Swegon Strong’ on their wrist and that touched me,” she said “They did that to support me. People keep coming up to me giving donations; I am so touched. It’s just incredible.”
Swegon said her team had high expectations this year, especially once it learned that the state would split into two classifications.
“In our winter indoor league, our coach said they had changed the brackets and that we could get to the state championship,” she said. “It’s unbelievable we’ve gotten here. We have such a small school and we really did work as hard as we could to get to this point.”