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Pennridge’s Frisch can appreciate impact of Strath Haven’s ‘Play for the A’s’ tournament

Wednesday, 17th April 2019

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 4/17/19

Pennridge LSM Conrad Frisch competed in the “Play for the A’s” tournament last year Strath Haven, but Saturday the event meant much more.

During the past year, the Ram sophomore learned that his grandmother has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. So after Strath Haven coach and tourney founder Jef Hewlings addressed the teams about the reason behind creating the tourney, Frisch decided to personally thank him.

Conrad Frisch

Frisch, whose team lost to Springfield-Delco, 12-2, in the first of three varsity games, was grateful that Hewlings helped create so much publicity and awareness for a disease that affects an estimated 5.8 million Americans.

“One day I was over at her house and my Grammy was telling stories and couldn’t remember,” said Frisch. “I started to catch on in August and when school started in September I asked my mom whether Grammy was having problems.

“My mom told us grammy has early dimentia that has led to Alzheimer’s. It broke my heart so I looked it up and learned more about it. I went to the tournament last year, but I didn’t know what I was playing for -I had no idea what the ‘A’ meant.

“But this year when the Strath Haven coach started to talk, I teared up. It really was more than a game for me.”

Hewlings started “Play for the A’s” 7 years ago, in honor of his late mother, Shirley, who passed away in 2009 from Alzheimer’s disease. The event has become a staple in the Philly lacrosse scene, raising over $73,000 for families affected by Alzheimer’s disease. One hundred percent of event proceeds are shared locally.

“It was awesome,” Frisch said. “I went there and everyone was chipping in right as we walked in. It was awesome to see everyone come together.

“I can’t thank Strath Haven enoug for helping families like mine that have a loved one with Alzheimer’s.”

Frisch has dedicated his play on the field to his Grammy by putting a patch on the side of his helmet.

“After I chatted with him (Hewlings) he said to remember all the good times I have with her,” Frisch said. “I will always cherish talking with him. It was awesome to hear his message because I knew someone had to deal with what I have to deal with.”


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