Souderton sticks star in Summer Sizzle
As the Baltimore sun beamed down on players from Bucks Select 2014, a summer boys’ lacrosse team, the upcoming high school juniors battled back. They lifted their helmets up from their chin and rested on the top of their head just long enough to clench the closest water battle.
Fighting the heat and stiff competition the team based of Doylestown knocked off organizations from all over the FRunWUy Ln SRRO SODy DnG finLVKHG Dn undefeated tournament with a 4-2 win over a team from the Richmond area. With a number of high schools in Bucks and Montgomery County represented, the boys claimed the Brine Summer Sizzle Varsity Championship.
“It is a real big accomplishment because we are a younger varsity team,” coach Mike McGowan said. “We are an all-junior team and we played teams with seniors on them. We had a combination of players working off one another to create.”
Hard work during the heat of summer has helped Bucks Select 2014 make big strides. A few months ago an undefeated weekend against more experienced teams up to Michigan and down to Georgia would have been unfathomable. But after four previous tournaments with mixed results, the group of dedicated lacrosse players came together to cap off the summer in style.
“We were pretty good in the past, said Drew Nice, who has played BuFNV SHOHFW IRU IRuU yHDUV.” AW fiUVW this year we were OK because we had to play up against seniors. We played really well.”
Nice was one of four representatives from Souderton Area High. Along with Hunter McGowan, Cameron Trick and Chris Malanga, the Indians made sure to use the summer wisely. At school WKHy finLVKHG RnH JDPH RuW RI D GLVWULFW playoff appearance and were unwilling WR EH FRnWHnW ZLWK WKDW finLVK.
“It was rough to miss playoffs at school by one game,” Nice said. “We are all excited for next year.”
“These four kids I have coaches since third grade,” McGowan said. “It is really cool to see these guys stay together. And on the school team we only lose three seniors.”
Making the transition from school lacrosse to the ultra-competitive world of summer travel tournaments was slightly easier with McGowan, who was an assistant coach for Souderton this spring. McGowan has been a part RI BuFNV SHOHFW IRU fivH yHDUV nRZ DnG continues to see the numbers at tryouts increase annually at all age groups.
“We do tryouts at the end of September out of the Doylestown area,” McGowan said. “The organization as a whole has about 18 teams. We have a quite a few Souderton kids playing travel. We have about 25 players from Souderton playing in the Bucks Select organization.”
The Bucks Select 2014 team is the group under the most scrutiny. Heading into a big year, college coaches are around every corner with an eye on every move the young and talented lacrosse players make. While McGowan makes it known that opportunities can arise for individuals, the ultimate goal is bringing home tourney titles.
“For most kids up to this age it is recreational,” McGowan said. “Now we are at the level that is college recruiting tournaments. Directors invite and sponsor college coaches to come. The summer is about having fun, learning, but also putting your best foot forward.”
It was Council Rock South’s Shane McGrann’s offense and Nice’s possesVLRn ZRUN Ln WKH PLGfiHOG WKDW OHDG WR an 8-0 stint in Maryland. Longsticks Hunter McGowan and Malanga kept their opponents off the scoreboard, while Cam Trick impressed college FRDFKHV ZLWK KLV IDnFy finLVKHV. ,W DOO came in a mid-July weekend of work.
“We had games back-to-back-to-back ZLWK OLNH D fivH PLnuWH EUHDN Ln EHWZHHn,” Nice said. “Everyone was so exhausted by the time we got to the championship game. Shane McGrann had two games. It was a pretty good game.”
Nice and his fellow Indians hope the experience of a tournament such as the Brine Summer Sizzle Tournament will lead to a brighter immediate future in Suburban One League play and down the road playing at a college near you.
“They all stepped up and were major contributors in the tournament,” McGowan said. “What is really cool now is to see the college coaches calling and emailing the kids and me afterward. A bunch of our boys are potential Division-One players. At the end of the day it’s having fun playing lacrosse and opening doors to the next stage of life at college.”