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District 1 Class 3A Boys Lacrosse: Kennedys’ family affair at heart of Springfield’s finals run

Springfield's Jimmy Kennedy moves the ball against Conestoga in the second half of a District 1 Class 3A quarterfinal on Tuesday. (PETE BANNAN-DAILY TIMES)

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield’s textbook 14-1 win over Wissahickon in the District 1 Class 3A boys lacrosse semifinals Thursday was a team effort.

It was also a family affair.

Senior Jimmy Kennedy scored three goals, sophomore goalie Jackson Kennedy stopped six shots, including a couple of tracers from All-American Kyle Lehman, and freshman Jared Kennedy worked up a sweat while his brothers got a breather in the fourth quarter.

The next stop for the Cougars (16-2) is a district championship date Wednesday with Radnor. The Cougars have won 13 straight games since a 6-5 overtime loss to the top-seeded and two-time defending state champion Raptors, who also are on a tear. They cruised to a 10-1 win over Downingtown East in the other semifinal.

But back to the Kennedy brothers, who are close but rarely see each other at high school, the are all business on the field. They’re not the first Springfield lacrosse siblings to put it all on the line.

Coach Tom Lemieux watched the Ryan, Danny, and Patrick Flaherty show, the latter two still part of the team. Patrick contributed three goals and two assists Thursday. The 2016-17 state champion Cougars had the indomitable Spence brothers, James and Jack. James is the Cougars’ goalie coach.

The Kennedys are as tight as brothers can be. They don’t talk a lot during games, but they have each other’s backs and are proud of it.

“I’ve played with them before but this year having all three of us playing together, it’s just great,” Jimmy Kennedy said. “There’s nothing better, honestly.”

The Kennedys … sorry, the Cougars were never in trouble Thursday. It was 5-0 before Lehman got the Trojans’ only goal with 3:49 left in the first half. By the intermission, Sean Donaldson had scored three times, and the defense of Brian Delaney and Nick Labutis had all but stymied Lehman, who is headed to Penn State.

“They’re an excellent team,” Trojans coach Matt Conway said. “All season it’s been Radnor and Springfield-Delco 1 and 1A, basically. So, we knew what we were walking into. They are really good.”

Aidan Kreydt and Tyler Gougler scored two goals apiece for the Cougars, Gougler dishing two assists, Kreydt one. AJ Clark added a goal for Springfield, which led 13-1 entering the final frame.

There is no denying the bond the Cougars have. Even the in-game chatter from the sideline is rhythmic and on point.

In the middle of that camaraderie are the Kennedys. Jimmy and Jared are in different in-game huddles from Jackson, who is with the goalies. Yet they’re sure to give a brotherly hello.

“When we’re on the field,” Jackson said, “it’s fist bumps.”

Their interactions are interesting. When Jackson hesitated upon being asked if he’d played his best game of the season, Jimmy respectfully took over him.

“This was one of the bigger stages you could play in and he made it look easy out there,” Kennedy said. “I’m looking over there and it was save, save, save. It was crazy.”

While that game action going on, Jared Kennedy was keeping himself ready “and getting hyped up.”

“It’s all fun,” Jared said.

After homework, sleep and an early rise Friday, the Kennedys probably won’t see each other until lunch. But they won’t sit together because, well, they’re brothers. You probably have to be one to understand why.



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