Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/6/19
Duke’s Mainline Lacrosse Club 2023 started three summers ago with the five original members pictured below: Joey Holland, Brady Bennett, Sam Peterson, Brian May, and Connor Gentile.
That summer those five blended with two other clubs to compete in two tournaments and found success with those clubs, but they still could not call it their own team. Just one summer later, coaches JP Bennett and Kevin Matthews did some recruiting and they were joined by some very talented 2023s from Ridley, Interborro, Springfield, Hatboro Horsham, and Marple Newtown to compose a team they could actually call Duke’s Mainline 2023.
Last summer that complete 2023 team went 0-4 in its first tournament, 3-1 in its second, where it missed the semi-finals due to goal differential. Then, finally, it went 3-1 in its last tournament, losing in the semi-finals of the Liberty Rising Tournament in North East, Maryland.
Fast forward to summer 2019 and you will see this group has continued to improve and gel as a team and as a brotherhood. In the exact same tournaments from last year, this group went 2-2, 2-1-1 in the second (again missing the semi-finals due to point differential while playing in a division higher than last summer), and in its final tournament of the 2019 summer the team went 4-1 and won the first ever Duke’s Mainline 2023 Championship at the Victory Series Liberty Rising Tournament in North East, Maryland.
This was a dramatic win for two reasons, one because six members were unavailable for this last tournament and two because Dukes avenged a 5-1 loss to Blak Widow in the Championship game by winning in overtime.
Duke’s Mainline used standout defense before getting the game-winner in the final minute of overtime. Coach Bennett has been with the 2023 group since Mainline LC was formed.
“It has all been worth it, and these boys have worked hard to get where we are today,” he said. “I have been coaching for 10 years and this is the greatest group of young men I have had the pleasure to coach!”
Duke’s Mainline LC Director Evan Bohner adds, “We are beyond proud of coach Bennett and Coach Matthews for all the hard work and dedication they have put into the ‘23 Mainline team. This Liberty Rising Championship is truly the culmination of three years of hard work and persistence by two fantastic coaches. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that the ‘23 team is lucky to have them, as are we. Personally, I am very excited to see what the future holds for this group as they enter high school.”
Duke’s Mainline LC is always looking to add players and will be holding evaluations during the up coming Ricky Whelen Clinics at the end of August. For more information, please visit its website at www.dukesmainlinelc.com or contact Mike Mackrides at firstname.lastname@example.org.