Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 4/25/19
Tony Resch was head coach at Penn Charter when Bill Leahy launched the La Salle College High lacrosse program from scratch in 1992. Resch said he had a suspicion that Leagy would have success.
“We knew each other from (playing on) the Wings and the first few years we’d scrimmage each other,” said Resch, who came to La Salle as an assistant to Leahy in 2003. “His first kids were absolutely brand new to lacrosse, but it was crystal clear each year that he would be successful.”
Leahy has indeed fulfilled that prediction by Resch, considered himself to be one of the premier coaches from the region.
Today at Brady Field, Leahy’s Explorers thumped host St. Joseph’s Prep. 10-1, giving Leahy his 500th career win, the first boys’ coach from Philly to reach the milestone (Radnor girls coach Phyllis Kilgour had 574 wins). According to statistics compiled by LaxRecords, Leahy is the 19th boys’ coach in the country to reach 500 wins.
Leahy, in his 28th year, is 500-110 overall with 22 Catholic League titles and four states titles. The Explorers – who got four goals from Shane Osborne and solid goaltending from Christian Suter (8 saves) – are 8-4 overall this year and 8-0 in the Catholic League.
“When I came over to La Salle when I loved his consistency and his care and his knowledge as well as his ability to literally build a program from scratch,” Leahy said. “To do anything for that long is a fantastic accomplishment.
“The kids recognzie how much he gives to them not just as lacrosse players. Talk about longevity – this year he is coaching the son of a player he coached. To year-in and year-out produce really good teams; I’d like to think it starts with his leadership and playing the game the right way.”
“His players have respect for the game and respect for the opponent and that’s 100 percent due to his stewardship. La Salle is an equal partner in this and the school is so supportive. I coulnd’t be happier with his accomplishment.”
The players learned late in the game of the 500th win. Leahy, never one to relish in honors – and he has been inducted in every significant Hall of Fame in the region – did receive a water shower and many hugs.
What made it more special was defeating The Prep, the team’s arch-rival.
“They have given us some unbelievable wars in the past so it was nice to have a win over our arch rival be such a milestone win,” Resch said. “It certainly adds to the excitement and pride. For Bill it was a nice icing on a great day.”
La Salle 10, St. Joseph’s Prep 1
Zac Coar 1g, 2a
Daniel Mallee 1g
Shane Osborne 4g
Grant Pinto 1g
Robert Foster 1g
Kyle Cullen 1g
Mark Huntley 1g
Christian Suter 8 saves
La Salle wins 11 of 15 FO
David Shew 1g
Scott O’Connor 1a
Tommy McHugh 12 saves