All-Delco: Supinski stirred greatness in Haverford School

HAVERFORD — It’s any given day in the spring as members of the Haverford School lacrosse team filter in for practice at Sabol Field.

As they dispense with the pleasantries of a day spent cooped up in a classroom in blazer and tie, they break into their discreet groups. Long poles space out for passing drills. Goalies ease into facing shots.

At an empty cage, after loosening up with a little light catch, the attackmen and midfielders congregate. They commence shooting drills, unleashing savage amounts of ferocity into shots, balls whizzing through the air before the journey ends with the resonant thud of the net.

Among this collection of All-Americans and players earmarked for Division I programs, some whose commitments predate their high school careers, Drew Supinski is tough to pick out. He’s not where you’d expect him to be, eschewing his spot in the shooting line for another objective.

“I love facing off,’ Supinski said recently. “When everyone’s shooting, I’m facing off with the guys before practice. I really love it. I think it’s a really cool part of the game, and it’s really competitive. It’s like wrestling in there, and I just love how competitive it is.’Supinski’s faceoff days date to his early experience with Mesafresh Fever lacrosse in middle school, a talent that put the Collegeville native on Haverford School’s radar. He took draws extensively as a sophomore and junior, augmenting fellow 2015s Brian Casey, Jake Hervada and Colin Bosak, a corps that blossomed this year. But even as Supinski has accumulated a points tally that suggests more finesse than the brute force, he’s never strayed far from his lacrosse roots.

That preference speaks volumes about Supinski’s approach on the field. So does the manner in which he invokes what, from others, would seem like platitudes about team and family, their triteness undercut by the way Supinski conveys that he still gets chills about what his team accomplished. It lies in the way Supinski’s discussion of his achievements inevitably drifts back to his teammates, rattling off names of contributors to Haverford School’s undefeated season and unanimous ranking as the top boys lacrosse team in the nation.

But the consensus was that one player was the straw that stirred the drink. And for that, Supinski is the 2015 Daily Times Player of the Year.

Supinski is joined on the All-Delco team by three teammates, attackman Grant Ament, midfielder Dox Aitken and defenseman Noah Lejman. Also on the team are Episcopal Academy’s Curtis Zappala and Christian Feliziani, Radnor’s Drew Ryan and Jack Norton, the Springfield trio of Lucas and James Spence and Pat Smyth, Penncrest’s Ryan Kinnard, Ridley’s John Lyman and Garnet Valley’s Matt Moore.

It’s the third pick for Zappala and Lucas Spence. Norton, Moore, Ament and Supinski each land on the All-Delco squad for the second time. The All-Delco team is selected in consultation with area coaches.

The first rule of aspiring to an undefeated season, Supinski will tell you, is to never mention that “u’ word. Supinski and the Fords had their superstitious reasons for warding off potential jinxes. But their aversion to mentioning history was more pragmatic: Supinski’s leadership didn’t require so bluntly pointing at what was at stake.

“We all knew,’ he said. “We’d come out to practice and really work hard. We didn’t want to talk about it, but it was all in our minds. We all knew that this was what we wanted.’

Murmurs as to how high this team’s ceiling could be started long ago. But by preseason, they crescendoed to levels that couldn’t be ignored. And for a group of upperclassmen who watched as eighth-graders as the 2011 squad authored an unbeaten season, the standard of what constituted legendary at Haverford School didn’t have to be articulated.

Regardless of the talent and acclaim, though, it had to be earned through a scheduling gauntlet. When the Fords withstood one-goal challenges by fellow powerhouses IMG Academy and Brunswick School for wins six and 10, respectively, the belief that something historic was imminent became palpable.

Supinski’s biggest role in fanning those flames of promise wasn’t always under the brightest of lights. He starred as an irreplaceable cog in Haverford’s indomitable machine. He finished second on the team with 52 goals and third with 64 points. But those numbers only quantify a portion of his contributions, especially his defensive input, a rare two-way standout on a team stocked with enough talent to afford hyper-specialization of roles.

It’s the highest praise when coach John Nostrant places the Johns Hopkins signee among the toughest players in his pantheon of program greats. In the most crucial moments, the Fords needed precisely that, someone equal parts willing and able to do the dirty work.

“I really just try and do anything for our team to win,’ Supinski said. “If it’s playing man-down, defensive middie, attack sometimes and then extra-man, I’ll literally do anything for us. I think anyone on our team would do that for us.’

Behind the scenes, Supinski was the compass helping the Fords stay focused and grounded through the success. He helped foster the competition that proved so beneficial.

And when push came to shove, Supinski didn’t mind stepping up to make the big play, either. He scored a second-half hat trick in the Inter-Ac Challenge finale against Hun School, turning a nervy game into another comfortable win. When the Fords trailed in the finale with Culver, 25 straight wins threatening to be marred by a loss, Supinski scored three times to create some valuable breathing room and cement the stellar credentials of his and his team’s season.

“I’m going to remember this forever,’ Supinski said. “I think it’s how much we loved each other and just our right mindset. No one was ever hanging their heads. We were all just positive about it every time, and I think we just kind of knew that we could do this, and we worked so hard.’

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply