Lancers lacrosse in action last season (Photos courtesy of Stephen Innamarato)
By Yvonne Dennis (246)
Finishing at the top of their division and making it to the playoffs in their inaugural year was great for Central’s boys lacrosse team, but this season the Lancers want nothing less than the Public League championship.
To win it, Coach Stephen Innamarato for starters would like to bulk up the team to about 30 players from last year’s 25.
“I don’t like to have a roster of more than 30 because of playing time,” said Mr. I, as most everyone at school calls him. “I want to make sure students get their playing time. But at the same time I have to develop younger players and get them on the team.”
To get the team started last school year, Central Athletic Director Rich Drayton (246) was able to purchase new uniforms and the School District bought the helmets, goals and a few other things, said Mr. I. The district also directed the coach to get as much donated equipment as possible. The Philadelphia Lacrosse Association came through with some unused but older equipment, and sports-equipment maker STX donated goods to be shared by teams districtwide.
While players have had time to recover from last year’s bruising, some of the equipment can’t be healed.
“Unfortunately, the shafts on the sticks are like the absolute least expensive that you can get and bend when you just look at them,” Mr. I said only half kidding. “I can’t tell you how many sticks we broke last year.”
Most players have their own sticks, said Mr. I, but depending on a player’s position, equipment can last one game or ten years. Sticks of defensive players take a battering virtually every game.
Coach Stephen Innamarato (crimson sweatshirt) with Lancers lacrosses during their inaugural year and below, Mr. I (bottom left) as goalie with the U.S.A. team that competed in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2002
“When you’re trying to show someone how to play defense and you say you have to go out and buy a $200 stick that’s a pretty outrageous thing to ask.”
The coach, who also plays lacrosse in a league he runs called the Philadelphia Box Lacrosse Association, recently placed a notice on his Facebook page asking friends if anyone could donate gently used equipment.
Central alum Joseph Carlini (239), who has generously supported the Central Robolancers and football teams in past years, got wind of the request and recently gave the team $1,000.
You can help Lancers lacrosse through https://www.gofundme.com/k3a957es