By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/18/21
Luke Sykes says the Chosen 2022 travel lacrosse team was special in many ways.
“Chosen was more than just a club team to me and my teammates,” said Sykes, a 2022 midfielder who attends Pope John Paul II. “It was all about the lacrosse experience and teamwork.
“Chosen did not exist before and will not again so I think it is very cool to say we were part of a one-of-a-kind team.”
On Sunday Chosen 2022, based on western Montgomery County, played its final tournament and closed with a 3-0 record in the Red AA Division at the Victory Events Liberty Elite Fall Classic at Chase Field House in Wilmington, Del. Chosen was formed in 2013 by coach Dallas Pulliam; it had just a 2022 team and most members stayed with the club for most or all of the entire 9 seasons, with Pulliam as the lone coach.
The players were aware from the start that Pulliam – a captain on the Lafayette lacrosse team in 1998 and former assistant at Denison – did not take a salary. Pulliam, whose son, also named Dallas, was on the team from the start, wanted to provide the then-youth players with an alternative club experience.
“When we moved to Collegeville in 2013 my son played for the local Collegeville Cougars (youth) team,” said Pulliam. “I coached and we actually went undefeated that year and I thought I could give those same kids a local, low cost option for travel lacrosse.
“We picked up a few more kids from the Cougars and it went from there. Most of those kids from then, stayed with the team. We never had tryouts and we acquired more kids as the years past. Looking back, it has been one of the greatest things I have done with my lacrosse life. We have such an amazing group of young men and families. It has been really special.”
“It was always about the individual player getting better and Coach Dallas wanting us to succeed,” said Sykes. “Coach Dallas put so much time and effort, without taking any money, and we all knew that.
“I have learned some much from him and not just on the lacrosse side. I will always appreciate what he has done for us, I will look back and always remember this team. And we will all have have the bond of being part of Chosen and all growing up together playing the game of lacrosse.”
Chosen finished its summer with a 20-4-1 record. It played just the one fall tourney since Pulliam did not want lacrosse to interfere with the players competing in fall sports.
“Our team is not like the normal travel team, getting new players every year,” said LSM Gino Nave, of Perkiomen Valley, and a Capital University commit. “We started this team in 2013 and every single player is my brother. That how close we are.
“I grew up with these guys and with their families, going over their house for dinners and sleepovers. Also, to cap it off we have the best coach we could over ask for. He coached us since third grade and, yes, he made us great lacrosse players, but better people.
“I love every single guy on that team and I would not choose another team to be on. I could not ask for a better program. It was a awesome ride and I know will look back on it and miss it every day. Even though it ended the other day still to go out one more time with those guys. There is no better feeling.
Chosen’s success is not due to Division I commits. Seven players have committed to Division III colleges and more will be committing to D3 programs in the coming weeks.
One of the players who joined later was Logan Byers, a 2022 defenseman from Cheltenham who has committed to King’s.
“A Chosen player asked me if I wanted to take his spot during a tournament in 2018 and the connection that all the players had was amazing,” he said. “They accepted me into their family and it was unlike any team I had ever played for.”
Byers is trying to recruit enough players so Cheltenham can resurrect its lacrosse program, which has not had a team for several years. He said Chosen’s players and coach Pulliam would volunteer and help run a clinic.
“On most other club teams, you go play lacrosse and you leave,” said Byers. “This team was like being part of a whole new family. Everybody treats each other like brothers. That connection is why we did so well at tournaments.
“We had a connection like no other team. We could beat teams with D1 commits; that’s how confident I am with this team.”
Dane Hagen, 2022, Perk Valley
Matt D’Orsogna, 2022, Methacton
Jason Poole, 2022, Penncrest
Brendan Sanelli, 2023, Methacton
Matt Farrington, 2022, Perk Valley
Griffin Adams, 2023, Grosse Pointe South, MI
Paul Buckley, Att, 2022, Episcopal Academy
Gino Nave (LSM) 2022, Perk Valley, Capital commit
Matt Weber, 2022, Methacton
Ryan Matour, 2022, Methacton
Logan Byers, 2022, Cheltenham, King’s commit
Ryan Boozer, 2022, Perk Valley
Gage Young, 2022, Perk Valley
Colin Shoemaker, 2022, Spring-Ford
Owen Avelar, 2022, Methacton, Neumann commit
Luke Sykes, 2022, Pope John Paul II, Neumann commit
Dallas Pulliam (FO) 2022, Perk Valley, SUNY Cortland commit
Daniel Siaton, 2022, Great Valley, Christopher Newport commit
Carlo DeFilippis, 2022, Methacton
Jack Cooper, 2022, Perk Valley
Harrison Schlachta, 2022, Perk Valley, Penn Tech commit
Ethan Schauer, 2022, Perk Valley
Cole Snyder, 2022, Perk Valley
Nick Czincila, 2022, Methacton
Brody Borkowski (FO), 2022, Methacton