Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 3/30/17
Excuse Brendan Clark for being a little winded today in his first game of the season for Springside Chestnut Hill Academy.
After all, only 46 days ago he had a brain tumor removed and just 3 weeks ago he endured a follow-up procedure. But here he was, entering the game late in the first period of the Blue Devils’ 15-3 win over host Archbishop Curley in Baltimore.
Not only did Clark take a massive hit early on, he scored a goal as the Devils won their first game of the year.
“I felt good; I was definitely out of shape,” said the senior attackman who has signed with Wagner. “I can’t run up and down the field. A couple times I had to pull myself out.”
Emotionally, Clark was in perfect shape.
“Its awesome,” he said. “Words don’t describe it. I was hyper the whole game.”
Clark’s return was a big boost for the Devils, who were off to an 0-4 start. Several losses were against highly-rated teams such as Hill Academy and La Salle, but Clark said the team needed to play better than it did in Tuesday’s 8-6 loss to Hill School.
“We needed a win,” he said. ‘We have been taking some L’s and granted they are good teams, but there will be good teams we’ll be facing in the Inter-Ac and we need to beat those teams.”
Clark said he participated in two full practices and got the OK to play from his doctor Wednesday. He had to FAX a letter to coach Mike DelGrande to confirm the doctor’s OK.
“I got in probably with 2 minutes left in the first quarter and maybe two minutes into the third period and within the first minute and 30 seconds I got lit up!” he said. “I got right back up and felt fine. It didn’t hurt.”
DelGrande said Clark’s determination and love of lacrosse have helped him recover so quickly.
“He texted me last night and said he had permission to play in the game and I told him before I put you in a game I need a note from your doctor,” DelGrande said. “You know he was going to get that note and he did.
“We got him in the game in the first half which was great to see. Just having him out there and the energy he gave the team was great to see. Watching him and all of his teammates celebrate was one of the best moments I have ever had as a coach.
“I have been a part of some great games, but nothing could match what took place today. It is truly a miracle after what he went through less than 6 weeks ago that this young man has been able to come back, and not only be a part of the team, but play again this season.
“He told me when I went down to visit him in the hospital that he would be back and I did not doubt him. He is an inspiration for all of us and his positive energy is something he shares with everyone around him.”
Brendan Clark 1g
Mac McLaughlin 5g, 2a
Chris Maienshein 2g
Joe Toutkoushian 1g
Jack Lamb 2g, 3a
Zach Messerle 1a
Ethan Gyllenhaal 1g
CJ Sweitzer 2g, 1a
Matt Bown 1g, 1a
Bern Popky – 6
Delaney Sweitzer – 3