UPPER DUBLIN >> Coming off a season where it shocked District One and the powers that exist in the places like the Central League, not much was expected of Upper Dublin’s boys’ lacrosse this year.
The Cardinals lost virtually the entire team that carried them to the upper reaches of the district for the past three seasons and had to rely on a group of inexperienced underclassmen whose varsity experience consisted of mop-up duty in the past couple of seasons.
Yet, if the Class AAA playoffs began tomorrow, the Cardinals would be in the 24-team field.
Head coach Dave Sowers says it’s not a fluke.
“These kids have come out and given everything they have to make this team as good as it’s been,” Sowers said. “We’re not looking to win a district championship this year, but I could see it happening over the next couple of years if these guys continue to play as they have.”
While the Cardinals have just two seniors on this year’s team, Sowers says the two of them – Sanjay Foster and Chase Preston – have been partially responsible for the team’s prowess.
Neither are stars, but both have given their younger teammates an example of what it takes to play up at a higher level.
Foster’s father, Jay, was a standout at Abington in the mid-1970s and a standout at Washington & Lee where he was a four-year starter.
After graduation he played lacrosse in Australia, where he was once named the continent’s Player of the Year.
Foster is a non-stop worker who is always looking to get better.
When the Cardinals senior class embarked on its class trip to Disney World, Foster consulted Sowers on what he could do while in Florida to make himself better.
“He’s that type of kid,” Sowers glowed. “He’s always looking to improve himself. I told him to go have a good time, and not worry about working out.”
Preston, on the other hand, is a first year player, a football player who was talked into coming out for lacrosse after a number of upper classmen chose not to play this season.
“I used to play baseball,” Preston said, “but I’ve come here and it’s been fun. I’ve gotten an example of how to be successful.”
“It’s an expectation here that we’re supposed to come out and work hard,” Foster added. “Everyone says. ‘Hey they only have two seniors. But that’s not important. What’s important is coming out, working hard.
“And everybody here wants to be in a position to step up if they need to.”
The pair has given the Cardinals underclassmen an example of the type of commitment it takes to be successful.
“Hey, we’re not going to win a district title this year,” Sowers said. “But when you have kids like Sanjay and Chase, you know you have something good going.”
Speaking of the upcoming district playoffs, if the field were to be assembled today, six Class AAA area schools – Souderton, Hatboro-Horsham, North Penn, Pennridge, Upper Dublin and Plymouth Whitemarsh – would be in the playoff field, although it was stressed the seeds were unofficial.
Springfield-Montco would be in the Class AA field.
Among the ladies, Pennridge, Abington, Upper Dublin, Methacton, Souderton and Hatboro-Horsham would (unofficially) be in the AAA field, while Upper Moreland, Mount St. Joseph’s Gwynedd Mercy, Jenkintown, Upper Merion and Springfield-Montco would be included in the AA bracket.
Congratulations to Maryland senior and Abington resident Matt Rambo who recently became the all-time leading scorer in the University of Maryland’s men’s lacrosse program.