Old Central New York Lacrosse Friends Now Aiming for NCAA Title
They're all grown up now, but now they're teammates AND opponents.
Three lifelong buddies from Madison County will represent Central New York and their Cazenovia families and roots when they take the field Sunday, May 19, in a NCAA Division One quarterfinal lacrosse tournament game. T.J. Connellan, P.J. Brown and Cole Willard have transitioned from just kids playing games to young men vying for collegiate lacrosse glory.
Connellan and Willard (far left and right, respectively, in the photo) play for the #1-ranked Penn State Nittany Lions, while Brown plays for the Loyola Greyhounds, who knocked out the Orange in first round tourney action this year. The two teams were set for a Sunday match-up and a shot to advance to the lacrosse final four. Here's a look at the young men currently, from their respective bio pages:
They all played under Jim Longo, the affable head coach of the Cazenovia High School team. In another CNY connection, Connellan and Willard (below) now play for Jeff Tambroni, who previously coached at Cornell and starred for the prestigious West Genesee high school program.
Willard is shooting for a goal that eluded his dad and his uncle. Brian and Phil Willard both started for the University of Maryland, but came up just shy of national championships in the 80s with great Terrapin teams.