By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 5/22/19
Malvern Prep coach John McEvoy said it’s always been bittersweet coaching against his close friend, Haverford School’s John Nostrant – because win or lose, one would have to face disappointment.
So Tuesday night at Cabrini, after McEvoy’s Friars won a game for the ages, a 9-8, double-overtime thriller for the Inter-Ac League championship, McEvoy was equally thrilled for his team and heartbroken for his friend – who was coaching his last game after 28 years at Haverford.
“I feel two things,” said McEvoy. “I feel so good for these kids and these seniors. That (Haverford School) is an awesome team and I am so proud of the kids.
“But I am also feeling really bad. This guy (Nostrant) is one of my best pals and I will miss my daily interactions with him. We’ll still cross paths, but there wasn’t anything that I wanted but for him to have a good ending. I don’t know what to say about that.”
Nostrant and Haverford School decided to part ways after last year’s season. He won almost 500 games and 14 Inter-Ac championship in 28 years, but now will leave Philly to serve as coach at Gilman School (MD) in the powerful MIAA.
McEvoy said Nostrant’s legacy will not fade quickly.
“All I know about coaching lacrosse in Phialdelphia is Notie,” McEvoy said. “Whether it was coaching with him or against him – or quite honestly, trying to chase him.
“Like I tell everyone, certainly he is iconic for Haverford School. I don’t want to speak for everyone, but he made our program – he doesn’t know it but he did. He was the model that we were constantly trying to keep up with and every time we felt like we were getting close, we were trying to catch up again.
“I think everybody else would probably say the same thing.”
McEvoy continued, speaking on his intense but respectful rivalry with Nostrant.
“The rivalry we had has always been healthy,” he said. “We have gotten after it a bit, but he knows me and I know him and we have this kind of unconditional love. He is a really phenomenal guy who wears his heart on his sleeve and loves his players, his friends and his family.
“They (Haverford players) don’t know how lucky they are. His passion and his love for those kids was always his obvious. It’s kind of a rare thing.”
Haverford School senior attackman Adam Salvaggio was one of many Fords noticeably weeping after the loss. The Haverford players wanted their coach to win his last game, but Salvaggio said Nostrant impact on them will last forever.
“I know since my freshman year, when I first started playing, Notie completely changed my game,” said Salvaggio, headed to Colgate. “The pressure he puts on you and and the stuff he demands from you makes you the best player you can possibly be.
“He always demands the best of his players. That’s why we’ve been so great and that’s why we have the success we do, and why he has success everywhere he goes. I am so grateful to him for what he’s done for me and for always making me the best player I can be.”