By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/23/20
Garnet Valley senior Jake Morin admitted it may not have been a District 1 or PIAA title game, but nothing could tarnish the feeling he had today in his one last shot at playing with the Jaguars lacrosse team.
“This doesn’t make up for it (the lost high school season), but it was really sweet to end it like this,” said Morin after Garnet Valley won a 6-5 sudden death overtime decision over Central League rival Conestoga at the PA High School tourney at Maple Zone Sports Village.
The event, created by La Salle first-year coach Rob Forster, featured 16 Philly high school teams – many of them the top squads in the region – competing as they would have, with seniors, in the 2020 season that never was.
Garnet Valley and Conestoga were two of the teams most felt would have contended for league, district and PIAA Class AAA titles. Also in their division were Malvern Prep – the defending Inter-Ac League champion and a pick by most to be at least among the top 15 teams in North America – and 6-time defending Friends Schools League champion Academy of the New Church. Malvern went 3-0 and Garnet Valley was 2-1; all games in the division were highly competitive.
The Jags won it on a goal by 2021 Bishop Barnes.
“It was great to go out and play with all my friends again,” said Morin, a First-Team All-Phillylacrosse.com attackman and an All-American last year who is headed to Penn State. “It was the last time I was going to get that chance. It was a great tournament and great to get the win in our last game. We played Conestoga every year in the playoffs and it was great to get a win a against them.”
Last year Conestoga defeated Garnet Valley, 7-6, in the District 1 final. Conestoga also reached the state final before bowing to La Salle – which rallied past Garnet Valley in the semifinals.
Morin said he had to move forward and not stay down after learning the season would not commence during the heart of the pandemic.
“Not a lot of us dwelled on it,” he said. “A lot of us have aspirations to play in college so everyone kept working out. Everyone was ready for today. We played great team lacrosse.”
Another GV senior standout, attackman Mitch Lachman (Second-Team All-Phillylacrosse.com pick and Bryant signee), said his team had expectations of gunning for a PIAA crown.
“It was devastating, obviously,” he said. “I thought this was our year to get a ring and I am pretty sure everybody did.
“But we just kept working hard and going at it. Everybody was working out and shooting every day. We got with guys – social distancing – during quarantine and worked on what we could.”
Lachman said the PA HS Tourney was everything he expected.
“It was so much fun, I missed it a lot!” he said. “I just wanted one more chance to get out there with my boys and ball.”
Barnes said the effort was for the seniors.
“Today was basically playing for the seniors and giving all for them their last hurrah. It was a lot of fun getting one more chance for them.
“It really did suck not having season – your junior season is a big year for recruiting. We just stayed in shape, kept lifting and stayed ready.”
Barnes, who is playing club lacrosse for Mesa, said it’s nice that some normalcy has returned to summer lacrosse.
I didn’t take my foot off the pedal,” he said. “I just kept going.
“We ‘re working as a team (with Mesa), it’s our last chance and I am working my butt off, looking for the right spot to play at the next level,” he added. “This is getting us ready for our senior year.”
Tags: Garnet Valley