By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 12/5/18
Ben McCarthy admitted he never expected to vie for a 2024 championship last weekend at the prestigious Faceoff Academy 2018 National Showcase at the Super Dome in Waldwick, N.J.
“I didn’t expect to win and my main goal was to get as far as I could and just have a good time there,” said McCarthy.
The Haverford School 7th grader sure enjoyed himself, defeating highly-seeded Michael Frieri (True Illinois) for the 2024 title,
“After I won the second round, I felt I had a real shot at taking it home,” said McCarthy, who trains with Mike Gurenlian at Philly Faceoff Academy and John Bodnar at Philly Faceoff League. “It took a lot of adjusting to get used to the different kids FO styles.”
McCarthy fell behind early against Frieri in the final, but did not panic and swept the final three draws to win, 3-2. “He was very good and at one point I was down 2-0, but I came back.”
McCarthy was one of many Philly players to excel. including his brother Jake (Shipley School), who was sixth in the 2021 class. Also in the 2024, Aidan Cabahug-Almonte (Malvern Prep) was 5th and Griff Meyer (Springside CHA) was 6th.
In the 2022 division, Dylan Cabahig-Almonte (Malvern Prep) was second and Mitchell Lloyd (Moorestown) seventh while Matthew Riley (Salesianum School) was the 2021 runner-up and Matt Brock (Perkiomen Valley) was fifth and Bobby Blewitt (Haverford School) was seventh in the 2020 division.
McCarthy said going against his older brother regularly will keep him grounded.
“This does gives me some confidence, but me and my brother now train everyday after school,” he said. “I just felt very proud and thankful to have my brother Jake and my coaches.”