Springfield has a couple money players in boys' lacrosse. "Money" in the sense - and dollars - of scholarships. Senior Greg Gurenlian and John Manners have been awarded lacrosse scholarships (to Penn State and Rutgers, respectively) after keying the Cougars to a 16-4 record and two victories in the Pennsylvania Lacrosse Association playoffs.
Manners and Gurenlian lead a group of seven Cougar all-stars on the 26-player NEWS of Delaware County first team. High school all-stars were selected after consultations with area head coaches. Brief player profiles follow.
CHRIS ECCLES - Junior midfielder from Bonner. Team captain for a squad that finished 6-2 in the Catholic League and took second place in the Southern Division.
Eccles was named South MVP of for his stellar play (44 goals and 29 assists). "He was a big part of our transition game," stated his coach Keith Mays. "Chris was on the field 100 percent of the time." Eccles, first-team All-Catholic in 2001 and 2002, received Honorable Mention as a sophomore and used every ounce of his 145 pounds(stretched over a 5-10 frame). "He is a heck of an athlete," stressed Mays. "He could play Division I in college."
Eccles is a three-sport athlete, named All-Catholic (as a defensive back) in football, also played basketball. In 2001, Eccles was expected to be more of a feeder to set up Sean Kirwan (now graduated, at Providence). He performed that role in more than capable fashion (25 goals with 42 assists). Now with the offensive burden shifted to his shoulders, Eccles responded admirably by basically reversing those stats (44 goals and 29 assists).
DAN COLLINS - Senior attack from Bonner. Named first-team All-Catholic this year. The Friar co-captain will be on the Pennsylvania State Lacrosse Association (PSLA) All-Star team. In 2001, had 27 goals and 13 assists for 40 points. This spring, he had 30 goals and 10 assists for 40 points, enjoying his first full season without injury.
"Dan was our offense in our first game this season (against Upper Darby)," said Mays. "We needed him to come up big and he did (five goals and an assist). Whenever we have a big game, Dan comes up big for us." Cases in point: Three goals and a pair of assists against La Salle; four goals and an assist against O'Hara. Collins will attend Cabrini this fall and play lacrosse. Older brother Joe also went there and is the school's all-time leading scorer. "At 6-2 (210 pounds), Dan is a natural crease man. He is so easy to find and we feed him the ball in the scoring zone," said Mays. CHRIS STRANO - Soph-
omore defenseman from Bonner. "He is a real vacuum cleaner on ground balls," said Mays "He attacks every attack player. His attacking personality will help us, but he is still young and learning." Strano is a long stick midi defenseman. It is a key position that calls a defensive specialist who, at the same time, excels at the transition game (feeding the ball ahead and/or carrying it into the offensive zone). Strano's persona is a natural fit in this regard. He finished the year with a goal and six assists. "He will only continue to get better," Mays advised. GREG GUERLIAN -Senior midfielder from Springfield.
He has a full lacrosse scholarship to Penn State after collecting 25 goals and 34 assists in 19 games for the Cougars. A tenacious competitor, he's renowned for winning just about every face-off. PHIL PLANK - Senior defender from Springfield. Tough hitter on defense, plans to play football at Valley Forge Military Academy for two years. He was a star linebacker on Cougar football team. In lacrosse, he was assigned to control rival's best offensive player. DAVE DERR - Senior midfielder from Springfield.
Had 20 goals in 19 games and was second on team in assists (23). Those numbers embodied his well-rounded game and great improvement from last season.
Derr plans to play lightweight football at the University of Pennsylvania.
JOHN MANNERS - Sen-ior midfielder from Spring-field. Earned a full lacrosse scholarship to Drexel University. Big, strong and fast, he has a rocket-like shot of close to 100 mph. One of the most feared shooters in the area. RYNE ADOLPH - Junior defense from Springfield. Renowned for stick skills and scored one goal from defensive position.
Adolph played fullback last fall for Springfield football team. MIKE STEIN - Junior attackman from Springfield. Projected in a limited role this season, but playing time was greatly expanded when top scorer Brett Mooney was injured early. Despite 5-6, 150-pound stature, Stein finished with team-best 46 goals He added 16 assists to end season with team-leading 62 points. GEORGE CARAFIDES - Sophomore goalie from Upper Darby.
Named first-team All-State with a 67 percent save percentage. Carafides made well over 300 saves, a phenomenal mark. He started every game for the Royals. "For most of his first two years on the varsity, George was rather quiet. But that was to be expected for he was just in his freshman and sophomore years," pointed out his coach, Roland D'Ortone. "But now, he is starting to become more vocal and assume more of a leadership role.''
Voted team captain for next year by his teammates, Carafides' exemplary play was epitomized in the Ridley game. Even though the Royals lost, he came up with 20 saves.
"No matter what the situation George plays well," D'Ortone noted. MATT LEHMAN - Senior
midfielder from Upper Darby. Was a leading force for the Royals, a key offensive threat. Lehman's balanced efforts meant 45 points (24 goals and 21 assists). "He not only scores goals for us, but runs the offense," noted D'Ortone. Lehman will attend Widener this fall.
GEOFF LORENTZ - Junior attack from Upper Darby. Was team's leading goal scorer with 35 goals. "He is an outstanding finisher. He plays the creases well and handles the feeds superbly," said D'Ortone. At 5-8 (130 pounds), it would seem as it Lorentz would be stifled in the maelstrom of the crease, but it is quite the opposite. The attack man uses his size as an advantage, finding a way to get lost in the crowd and emerge at the most opportune time - when the team needs him to take a pass or score. GREG LEONARD - Junior midfielder from Marple Newtown. Scored 35 goals and added 19 assists for 54 points this year. A big, physical player. "If we needed a big goal, Greg went and did whatever he needed to do to win," noted his coach, John Levis. Leonard was vital factor to the Tigers' success, which led them to a berth in the Final Four of the district playoffs. "Greg's stats picked up as we played tougher and tougher teams," said Levis. The first-team Central Leaguer has been heavily recruited by Maryland and Johns Hopkins, both top collegiate lacrosse schools. TODD FAIRLIE - Senior attack from Marple Newtown. Led team with 53 goals and 25 assists for 78 points. He's going to Widener to play lacrosse and football, his two best sports at Marple Newtown. "Todd had the highest goals per game in the state," said Levis. One of Marple Newtown's captains, his leadership comes from an intense work ethic. JOHN PARK - Sophomore goalie from Marple Newtown. Has only played goal for a year. "John has come a long way for us," said Levis. Park registered 221 saves this season in 15 games. The converted midfielder was named second-team All-Central League. "He is a big reason why we won so many close games, like our big one-goal victory over Conestoga," Levis said. MATT MURPHY - Senior defense from Haverford.
Three-year starter and Ford tri-captain registered four goals and seven assists 11 points.
Accumulated 24 career points as a defenseman. Right and left- handed player who can run the field extremely well. "Matt's a leader on the field. He knows a ton about the sport," noted his coach Walt Udovich. Murphy was named co-MVP of the Keystone Games. The Fords' defensive MVP going to Hobart to play lacrosse. ALAN KRAWITZ - Senior attack from Haverford. With 66 points on 40 goals and 26 assists, Krawitz was a two-year starter on the attack. "He works harder than anyone in the offense," said coach Udovich. "He became our go-to guy." A precise shooter, Krawitz enjoyed multiple three-goal games. He plans to play lacrosse at Widener University. DENNIS MANN - Senior attack from Haverford. Another Ford tri-captain, he wound up the year with 42 goals and 22 assists for 64 points. Finished high school career with 123 points, ranking third on the all- time Haverford lacrosse scoring list. "Dennis was our finisher and, deservedly so, he was named our offensive MVP," said Udovich. "He does anything you ask him to do. He loves the game, plays lacrosse all year round." DAVE JONES - Senior defense from Haverford.
Was a three-year starter for the Fords. He played soccer and ran indoor track in addition to lacrosse. "We had Dave cover the top midfielders in the Central League," said Udovich.
Jones set the record for most ground balls by a Haverford player (310). Aims to play soccer at Temple University. MATT CARBERRY - Senior goalie from Carroll.
Patriots' MVP registered 190 saves for the season. "Matt did everything for us. He played huge in the big game against Bonner," his coach Jim Simmington noted. "He also came up with a tremendous 27-save game against Methacton.'' Captain was a leader by example. "The team fed off of him. He was an emotional sparkplug,"
Simmington pointed out. Will go to Penn State and try out for lacrosse as a walk-on.
J.T. CLEMENTS - Senior defense from Carroll. Another vocal Carroll captain and team leader. "He was our take- charge guy. It was like having a coach on the field," said coach Simmington. Clements won the Pats' "Dirt Doggie" award given to the player who gets the most ground balls in a season (65 for Clements). "He is a tough kid who throws his body, all 165 pounds of it at people," noted Simmington with pride. Played the majority of the season with a broken thumb but didn't miss any games. "He provides a great example of heart and spirit to the younger players," said Simmington. BRIAN EVANS - Junior atta-
ck from Carroll. Named first-team All-Catholic, he was the team's leading
scorer with 25 goals. "He always had to go against the other team's best defender," said Simmington. Very versatile on offense, Evans played the year with a bad back, but gutted it out. CURTIS COSTA - Senior midfielder from Carroll. First-team All Catholic was a star on Carroll team that won the Catholic League Blue Division crown last year. "Curtis played banged up all season long but never complained," said Simmington. "He is an absolute burner; he is so fast," Simmington added. Scored nine goals for Carroll and came up with a big game against Bonner, scoring four in one of the Pats' biggest games of the year.
He plans to play lacrosse at Neumann College. CHRIS KEOGH - Senior midfielder from Carroll. An all around midfielder, he excels on defense and offense. His biggest goal of the year was against Methacton, an overtime game winner. Named second-team All Catholic, Keogh plays terrific defense. He is the team's best short stick defender. JOE DOUBET - Senior midfielder from O'Hara. Dedicated student and athlete, his cool, calm and collected attitude was a major factor in helping O'Hara rally from a 10-2 deficit against Bonner in the playoffs and win. 12-10. Doubet scored 28 goals and added 29 assists for 57 points. "He contributes in so many ways beyond goals and assists," said his coach Randy Mills. "The younger players all look up to him and respect how self- motivated he is."
GENE GIALLOMBARDO - Senior defense from O'Hara. One of the most underrated defensive players in the Catholic League. Giallombardo will go to King's College to play football and lacrosse. "He is a great player and an outstanding individual," said coach Mills. "He could play for any team I have ever coached, and that includes the collegiate ones!" Good scorer as a defenseman, he added seven assists. Lions saw him as a leader vocally and by example.
TIM BROWN - Senior goalie from Bonner. Moved to goaltender just two years ago, making keeper a relatively new position for Brown. "Tim has progressed very quickly. He got through the pain barrier very rapidly," said his coach Keith Mays with praise. Brown, a natural leader, is a wall when on his game. "Tim makes saves at important moments during a game when momentum is ready to shift," said Mays. Brown is also a very good outlet passer. "We always look to him for the fastbreak pass out of the goal," Mays said.
Brown will attend St. Joe's in the fall, intending to try out as a walk-on. GREG AVATO -Senior defense from Springfield. Has partial scholarship to play lacrosse at Drexel University. Exceptional speed allowed him to create many fastbreak opportunities.
MATT ORLANDO - Junior goaltender from Springfield. Calm demeanor came in handy while shots came ripping at him. Skillful at clearing the ball after a save. Opposite of calm demeanor is expressed as a drummer in the popular local rock group Fake Bacon.
ANTHONY TORI - Junior attackman from Springfield. Impressive handling of groundballs made him very valuable to Cougars. First year starting, he finished with 33 goals and 16 assists for 49 points. DAN PLANK - Junior midfielder from Springfield. "All we need is 10 Dan Planks to win,'' Cougar coaches have often said, Considered most energetic and fun player on the team. The 5-8, 165-pounder was Cougars' top offensive lineman in the fall.
MIKE MILLER - Senior defenseman from Upper Darby. Truly a dedicated athlete, he rehabbed furiously for three weeks just to get back for the team's final game.
"He tore an ankle ligament. A lot of kids would have just packed it in for the season but not Mike," pointed out coach D'Ortone with admiration. "That shows what kind of person he is." Miller's commitment and passion for sports was recognized by his peers: He received the Central League's George Kruse award given for Sportsmanship. "Mike is an outstanding leader on defense. He is a very heady player," said D'Ortone. Miller is going to play lacrosse at Lycoming. CHRIS BARNES - Senior attack from Upper Darby.
Led team in assists (26) for the second year in a row. A versatile athlete, Barnes played in this year's Hero Bowl as a center. "He is one of our catalysts for the offense," said D'Ortone. An exceptionally hard worker, Barnes won the Royals' "Head, Heart & Hustle" award. Plans to attend Wesley College in the fall. DAN RAUCH - Senior mid fielder from Marple Newtown. Another Tiger captain. "Dan did a great job interacting with the younger players. He provided a great example to them," said coach Levis. Rauch plans to attend Rutgers in the fall. He had 20 goals and 31 assists as a high school senior and was one of the best at face-offs in the Central League. MIKE PIERI - Junior midfielder from Marple Newtown. Very good student, recruited heavily by the University of Pennsylvania.
Pieri amassed nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points. "He was one of our top two defensive midfielders," noted Levin. He was effective getting ground balls, did great defensive work against opponents' short stick midfielders. MATT SEIBOTH - Senior attack from Haverford. Scored 26 goals to go along with 16 assists for 42 points.
He also played soccer and basketball. "Matt scored half of his goals on a man-up situation. He was our man-up specialist," noted coach Udovich. Seiboth plans to play lacrosse at Elizabethtown. PAUL AMENT - Junior midfielder from Haverford. "He was our best midfielder," said Udovich. Ament totaled 91 ground balls, accumulating 23 goals and 36 assists for 59 points. He played every minute of each game. Also played wide receiver on the football team. "Paul will be back as one of the top midfielders in the league," said Udovich. MIKE KEOGH - Soph- omore attack from Carroll. Brother of Chris Keogh plays basketball as well. He scored 21 goals for the Pats, had final 12 goals in the last four games. "He got on fire toward the end of the season," said coach Simmington. "He is a bright, bright star for our future.'' Known for scoring at crucial times. JOHN La FRANCE -
Senior defense from O' Hara. Was a major factor in helping Lions fashion a 9-5 league record. He also played hockey and will pursue a hockey career when he graduates.
MATT DALEY - Freshman attack from O'Hara. Scored 31 goals and had 17 assists. Showed a tremendous amount of poise as a freshman and was one of the team's leading scorers. "This kid is going to be unbelievable. His potential is unlimited. He will definitely be Division I material," said coach Mills. PATRICK GOLDSMITH - Junior goalie from O'Hara. Made second-team All-Catholic. Honor roll student made first-team All-Catholic as a soccer goalie. "He has a nice future. The thing he has to work on is instructing the defense. Once Patrick gets that done, his game will improve 100 percent,'' said coach Randy Mills. STEVE LONG - Junior attack from O'Hara.Came on strong this year with 40 goals to pace the O'Hara attack. Also had 19 assists to finish with 59 points. "I look for Steve to step forward into a leadership role in his senior year,'' said coach Mills. "I'm looking forward to a big year from him as a senior.''Long played a major role in the Lions' 9-5 record this season and helped key a dramatic first-round comeback victory over Bonner in the Catholic League playoffs.