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Here’s Why You Should Pay Attention to GW Lacrosse

SidelineSwap is putting the spotlight on MCLA programs doing big things on and off the field. George Washington gear can be purchased here. 

GW Wrap 2014

Facta non verba, George Washington was fond of quoting. Deeds, not words.

Deeds. Like huddling in central Pennsylvania during 1777’s version of the Snowpocalypse. Like sneaking across the Delaware River to attack battle-tested Hessian mercenaries. Like harrying the biggest, baddest imperial power on the planet until it said, in so many words: “Uncle.”

Deeds, Not Words

JD Englehart, who helms the up-and-coming MCLA team at Georgie’s eponymous university, is a deeds-first guy – and he knows a thing or two about underdog stories. He played at Dulaney High, the public school juggernaut often overshadowed by Baltimore’s better-resourced private schools. He walked on at Washington & Lee and made captain his senior year. This year, he has the Colonials very close to matching their win total in 2013 and 2014 – and they’re only three games in.

And unlike their namesake, whose army wore tattered, homemade clothing during the winter at Valley Forge, these guys are doing it in style.

Snow

Here are three reasons you need to pay attention to GW:

1. They’re good, and they’re getting better.

They’re 2-1, with wins over Central Michigan and Rhode Island. They’ve done that behind senior attackman Charlie Frattini, who led the MCLA in points per game in 2014 (a “physical dodger with a cannon,” says Englehart), and stout netminder Kyle Webb. Frattini and Webb are savvy players who’ve grown into leadership roles. Best of all, both are pursuing careers in the armed forces after college.

In the summer, Englehart will be busy kicking the recruiting tires. He’ll be at the big summer circuit events, to be sure, but his main focus will be on GW’s talent-rich backyard. “One of the biggest things I’d like to rectify in my tenure as head coach is attracting talent from the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (“the DMV”),” he says. “Right now, our roster of 30 has zero DMV players, which I have been addressing by aggressively connecting and engaging with as many high school programs and coaches as possible.” [In the DMV area and looking to play at an up-and-coming MCLA power? Drop Coach a line.

2. The MCLA is getting better – and so is GW’s league. 

“As someone who knew very little of the MCLA before coaching in it, I am constantly raising my expectations for the talent and product of the MCLA,” says Englehart. “It’s been an awesome education and compeuppance, and now I feel like it’s on me to pass that on to more people like me, who maybe grew up in a hotbed area and wasn’t exposed to the MCLA until it was too late.”

Englehart has his eye on Virginia Tech (#10) and Liberty (#14). “Those two games are ones that we have circled for a very long time,” he says. “I think the guy to watch at Tech is senior captain Joe Rittenhouse who has had back-to-back 35+ goal seasons. A few hours east, Liberty junior Ryan Miller, a DC-area native, is the type of attackman you have to account for at all times, and just burned a stout Davenport team for 7 goals this past week.”

GW wrap 2015
3. Their gear is very, very cool. 
Coach delegates designs to a player “committee,” which has delivered in a big way. This season, look out for a matte grey helmet with navy and gold wrap featuring DC icons: the Capitol, the Monument, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. The look also incorporates General Washington’s regimental battle flag, which is the white stars on the blue background. [The Wrapz can be ordered here.]
“I tend to stay out of the design process,” says Coach, “because it’s the student-athletes’ program. Us coaches just want to facilitate and help steer the ship, and the guys love the swag and the culture that surrounds it, so it’s a logical place for them to step up. We’ve had a great partnership with the folks at HeadWrapz and Lax WorldOn the gear and apparel side, GW is a Nike school, so we stay consistent with what the wider GW sports community is doing and wearing.”

 

In 2009, Adam O’Neill, Harry Alford and Thomas Alford launched Lacrosse Playground as the preeminent site for lacrosse gearheads. For years Lacrosse Playground provided lacrosse fans with tutorials and tips on how to string a lacrosse head, up-close looks at the gear the top players used and sneak peeks at equipment and uniforms before they were released. More than 10 years and millions of visits later, Lacrosse Playground has relaunched with a focus on storytelling. Our mission is to provide comprehensive coverage of the latest lacrosse news, share insights into the sports betting and fantasy lacrosse world and showcase the lifestyles and personalities of the sport of lacrosse through articles, videos and podcasts.

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