Magarity thinks PC is OK

PHILADELPHIA >> Colleen Magarity used to refer to “PC-GA Day,” the biggest sports participation day of the year between rivals Germantown Academy and William Penn Charter, as “GA-PC Day.”
That, of course, was when Magarity was a four-year starter for the GA soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams.
Now, she jokes, she’ll have to switch the schools around again.
That’s because Magarity, the Patriots scholastic star and Oreland native who went on to win three national lacrosse championships at Northwestern University, is back — and coaching lacrosse at Penn Charter.
“It’s not that big of a deal,” she said. “I actually interviewed at both places when I was choosing a high school, and I know a lot of the people there.”
The hiring of Magarity was a combination of availability and timing.
Serving as an assistant lacrosse coach at the University of Colorado, Magarity was contacted by Billy McKinney, a former PC coach and lacrosse standout at the University of Denver.
“He reached out to me and let me know of the opportunity that was available,” Magarity said. “I knew I wanted to be a head coach at the high school level, so it worked out. It was a perfect fit.”
Magarity, who has already overseen victories in her first two games as PC’s head coach, said the most fun in the job is working with young athletes and trying to make them both good people and good players.
The most rewarding part of her new job, she said, has been watching some of those young players mature into confident players.
“I actually played basketball my whole life,” she said. “I got into lacrosse rather late.
“What I’ve found out is that the on-the-field concepts are easy to translate to the young players. The toughest part is learning the fundamentals.”
Magarity said one of her light bulb moments was her first practice at Northwestern.
“There I was, playing for a program coming off a national championship,” she recalled, “and our first practice (under head coach Wendy Amonte Hiller) was nothing but catching and throwing.
“I was shocked. But really, that’s what the young players need.”
Magarity was a part-time player in the midfield for her first two seasons as a Wildcat, but switched to a defensive position for her last two and earned All-League honors while setting a personal high for groundballs, and being named both an Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-American and an NCAA All-Tournament team member.
After graduation, Magarity spent a year in the insurance industry in Chicago, then bolted to the University of Colorado, which was beginning a women’s lacrosse program, and where she was reunited with college teammates Ann Elliott and Alex Frank. Elliott was the head coach and the trio of former Wildcats had instant success, guiding the Buffaloes to postseason appearances in each of their first two seasons.
But after her recent conversation with McKinney, Magarity decided to return home — with a predetermined purpose.
PC turned out to be the perfect fit, and Magarity is now driven to make it a career.
“I’m very fortunate to be doing what I love,” she said. “It’s been awesome. I really love working with the girls every day. It’s been great.
Magarity also said that this is no fleeting fancy — she’s in it for the long haul.
“High school coaching is going to be a career thing,” she said.
She’s also passed her first test when she came “home” to GA as a PC basketball assistant coach.
“I couldn’t believe I was actually coaching basketball against GA,” she said with a giggle. “It was weird to be coaching on the other end of the big rivalry.”
She also has not backed off her season’s goal.
“My goal is to win the Inter-Ac,” she said. “It’s a tough goal, but you have to dream big.
“It’s a tough league to be in, and our day-to-day goal is just to get better. But the season’s goal is to win the Inter-Ac.”
And also, one assumes, to make sure she remembers what school to mention first when it comes to PC-GA day.
Around the area, these were some of the highlights from Week One of the scholastic lacrosse season:
***Matt Cilbanoff had two goals, including the game-winner with 15 seconds left to play, to lift La Salle over Conestoga, 6-5.\\
***Garnet Valley got four goals each from Cam Faith, Emily Mathewson and Kam McNear in a 23-6 win over Hatboro-Horsham.
***Laura Pansini had five goals as Agnes Irwin topped CB West, 18-7. Finley Ueland had four goals for the Bucks.
***Rachel Morris had four goals to help Abington defeat North Penn, 10-7.
***Natalie Schwartz had six goals, including the 100th of her career, to help Springside Chestnut Hill defeat Baldwin School, 18-10.

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