Double-header will also feature Roland Park County vs. Notre Dame Prep at Loyola University
If the late comedic genius Rodney Dangerfield were still alive and familiar with the high school lacrosse landscape in Maryland, he might work the plight of the MIAA lacrosse powers that happen to reside in Anne Arundel County into one of his jokes, before dropping in a modified version his signature punchline, “They don’t get any respect.”
Despite annually producing top-notch talent for major college lacrosse programs and competing at a high level in the nation’s premier prep league, Archbishop Spalding, Severn and, to lesser extent, St. Mary’s are overshadowed by their league rivals that reside inside the Baltimore Beltway.
Saturday evening at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex, however, Spalding and Severn will have the spotlight to themselves as they open MIAA A Conference league play while headlining the 2018 PNC Lacrosse Invitational.
The Cavaliers and Admirals will face-off at 7:00 p.m. as the nightcap of double-header that also features a girls game between IAAM A Conference powers Roland Park Country and Notre Dame Prep, which will take its opening draw at 5:00 p.m. The PNC Lacrosse Invitational, now in its eighth year, is an event operated by Corrigan Sports Entertainment and both games will be taped and broadcast locally on CW-54, Sunday evening.
Spalding coach Brian Phipps, a Severn alum who is in his fourth year as the Cavaliers’ head coach is thrilled to represent Anne Arundel County on such a big stage.
“Severn School and I are very excited to have Anne Arundel County teams included in the big time match-ups,” said Phipps. “We kind of get forgotten every now and then down there. I am very excited for Spalding lacrosse. I think we have a great thing going. This my fourth year as head coach and it is exciting to see how far we have come.”
Severn brings back a veteran team which just missed out on a second straight appearance in the MIAA A Conference playoffs last year, but the Admirals are sailing under a new head coach, Joe Christie, this spring.
“I’m honored and humbled to be here today,” said Christie at the event’s press conference earlier this month. “I want to thank PNC and Corrigan Sports for the opportunity to put our team on a stage like this. It’s great exposure for us. It’s an exciting opportunity on a number of fronts.
“We have an amazing group of seniors, 11 in total. They are athletic, they’re leaders, on and off the field, and I am excited to allow them to match-up with one of their cross-town rivals on a stage such as this.”
This is the second year that the event has included a girls game and the RPCS-NDP battle could be a classic as it features the last two runners-up in the IAAM A.
Notre Dame Prep coach Mac Ford, a one-time star for the University of North Carolina men’s team, is in his fourth year with the Blazers and he has 21 seniors back on a squad that went 19-3 last year.
“We have tried and true senior leadership with our seniors,” said Ford, who has a roster of 42 players. “We are looking forward to it. Roland Park has been an incredible school throughout all of the sports. We want to thank PNC and Corrigan Sports.”
RPCS coach Kim McNemar, also in her fourth year, expressed similar sentiments.
“I would like to thank PNC, Loyola University and Corrigan Sports for putting on an amazing event that showcases our athletes and their respective schools,” said McNemar. “To be able to play in a great facility like Loyola University and be part of a press conference is very exciting for these young competitors.
“I am very fortunate to coach young women. They are extremely hard workers who bring a new level of commitment and dedication to our program.”
Laura Gamble, PNC Regional President for Greater Maryland, explained why the event is so important to her bank.
“The PNC Invitational is really one of the very best things we do in Greater Maryland,” said Gamble. “We really believe here at PNC that lacrosse is the iconic sport of Maryland. That is one of the reasons we as Marylanders own it and that is why PNC is so happy to be a part of it.”
Corrigan Sports President Lee Corrigan expressed pride over the event’s impact.
“This event has served as a stage for the region’s to talent,” said Corrigan. “PNC provides an amazing opportunity and platform for these young student-athletes to showcase their talents at a pristine Division I venue.