Soud­er­ton sticks star in Sum­mer Siz­zle

North Penn Life - - Datebook - By An­drew Marcus amar­cus@mont­

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.”

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