As Wednesday, May 15, is Senior Night for the Boys Lacrosse team as the squad hosts the Barrington Broncos on the John Davis Stadium turf at 6:30PM. Let’s send the seniors off in style!
(Glenview Announcements) When one door shut, Cam Irwin opened another.
After being cut from the hockey team as a freshman at Glenbrook South, Irwin decided to devote all of his attention to lacrosse. Although he played hockey for nearly his entire life, Irwin was ready to move on.
Irwin said it turned out to be the best thing to have happened to him.
“Looking back, yes,” the senior midfielder said. “Obviously, I miss playing hockey, but I was able to focus on lacrosse.”
In his fourth season on varsity, Irwin arguably is one of the best players in the area and he plans to play the sport in college at Tufts in Massachusetts.
Last week, Irwin was instrumental in leading the Titans to two wins. Glenbrook South beat Lake Forest 12-8 on Saturday after earning a 16-4 win over Maine South on April 24. Glenbrook South came into this week with a 5-1 record.
(Glenview Announcements) Thomas Hampton scored four of his game-best five goals in the first half to lead the Glenbrook South boys lacrosse team to a 16-4 win Wednesday over Maine South.
The Irwin brothers — Cam and Jackson — each scored three goals apiece to run the Titans’ record to 4-1 on the season.
“We wanted to bury them quickly,” said senior Cam Irwin, who plans to play at Tufts (Mass.) in college. “We knew we were the better team. We also wanted to get some of our reserves some game time, and we were able to do that. It was a good chance for them to play.”
The Titans led 8-1 after one quarter behind three goals from Hampton and they were up 10-2 at the half. Cam Irwin and Jackson Irwin both scored goals in the first two minutes of the second half to effectively put the game away.
(CSL Insider) GLENBROOK SOUTH BOYS LACROSSE PREVIEW
COACH: Steven Brooks (2nd season)
2011 RESULTS: 5-14 overall record; lost 12-4 to Loyola in first round of Illinois High School Lacrosse Association playoffs
VARSITY RETURNEES: Seniors Billy Savino (attack), Charlie Day (attack), Josh Marinan (defense), Sonny Valcin (defense) and Zaid Allmanseer (goalie); and juniors Cam Irwin (attack/midfield), Spencer Ford (midfield), Jack Washburn (midfield) and Ben Ach (midfield)
VARSITY NEWCOMERS: Seniors Ryan Hauldren (goalie), Ryan Anastasia (defense), Daniel Mailk (defense), Erik Grey (defense), Miguel Morales (defense), Daniel Lyndon (long-stick midfield), Brendan Burke (midfield), Avery Warso (midfield), Luke Comiss (midfield), Mark Ishkan (midfield) and Brand Lanphere (midfield); juniors Thomas Hampton (attack), Nikolas Halkias (attack), Chris Thomas (attack), Michael Jobski (long-stick midfield) and Greg Abbott (defense); and sophomores Jackson Irwin (midfielder), Evan Marinis (midfield) and Will Reynolds (defense)
OUTLOOK: At first glance, the Glenbrook South boys lacrosse team’s 5-14 record from a year ago may be underwhelming.
What it doesn’t show is how many of those losses could have easily been wins.
In his first season as coach a year ago, Steven Brooks saw the Titans drop too many games down the stretch – a pattern he hopes is fixed this season.
“Last year we lost (seven) one-goal games, five of them being overtime and four being double overtime,” Brooks said. “From a 4-12 season, that could easily be a 10-6 season or better. Our focus this year is just to make sure we stick with fundamentals and make sure we play the game the right way.
“It boils down to making sure the kids are fundamentally sound and, most importantly, conditioned. I feel like a lot of our losses last year were in the end of the third and fourth quarters because we broke down fundamentally because we weren’t as conditioned as we should’ve been.”
The Titans opened their season with a 6-1 victory over Palatine March 19. The win was encouraging to Brooks after graduating last year’s defensive leader, Chris Schwanz, and watching GBS struggle on that end of the field in two preseason games against highly-ranked Culver Academy (Ind.) and Lake Forest.
“From (last) Saturday to (the Palatine game) was night and day for our defense,” Brooks said. “Defense is the most important aspect of a team. If you can’t play team defense, let alone save a shot, you’re going to have a rough day. But we broke down film before the game, and they went out there, came together and played great defense all game.”
Goalie Zaid Allmanseer returns from last season and will also be joined by Ryan Hauldren. Seniors Josh Marinan and Sonny Valcin are the only long poles who return with varsity experience, and Brooks is still sorting through all of the newcomers on defense. Regardless of who’s on the field, he’s hoping they play as one unit.
“We have some new fresh faces on defense, but it’s no different than any other lacrosse style we’ve been playing the last couple of years,” Brooks said. “Our goalies are a tossup right now because they’re both playing very well. We’re still trying to figure out who our go-to guys are on defense, but it’s a team game on defense, so if they work together we’ll be successful.”
Spencer Ford, Jack Washburn, Cam Irwin, Charlie Day, Ben Ach and Billy Savino all return and figure to be the primary sources of the GBS offense – something Brooks feels will be its biggest strength. Irwin, Ach and Washburn most likely will carry the scoring load early on as Savino remains sidelined with an injury.
“They’re our big-name, go-to guys,” Brooks said. “Last year we were defensive oriented. This year we’re offensive oriented. We’re depending a lot on our offensive guys this year. We need them to be able to take over the game and control the ball. They’re athletes and have been playing together for the last two years and know how each other move. Most importantly, they communicate when they’re playing back there.
“Cam’s at attack, Jack is at forward and Ach is up top, so when Cam dodges from behind and he draws a slide, he can find one of those guys knowing they can catch and shoot the ball.”
As the Titans look to re-establish themselves as one of the best teams in the conference, they will face difficult competition this from seven-time defending state champion New Trier, Glenbrook North and Highland Park.
No matter who the opponent is, Brooks is hoping the Titans mentality doesn’t change going into each game.
“We just want to compete,” Brooks said. “Coach (Justin) Porter and I just want to train these kids to be able to compete and be the best players they can be. It’s our job to get these kids as prepared as we can for their next opponent, then go from there. We never look ahead in our schedule, and our focus is building from the mistakes from yesterday to today.”
QUOTABLE: “I tell the guys all the time to remember every game we lost last year, and how many of (those teams) we’ll face this year. It’s really sticking in the back of our minds of how we were so close to being successful last year.”
(Glenview Announcements) Though Glenbrook South couldn’t get past nemesis Loyola in the IHSWLA playoffs this spring, it was a successful season all the same, as head coach Annie Lesch’s crew (13-5 overall) earned the No. 7 spot in the state power rankings.
The program has been on an upward climb ever since Lesch took the helm several years ago.
“She not only has done a great job with the high school girls, but Annie has promoted the game of women’s lacrosse with the junior high school girls,” said Rich Berkowitz, president of the GBS Parent Lacrosse Board. “Now our younger lacrosse players aspire to play for Annie at South. It perpetuates the great girls lacrosse tradition Annie is developing.”
In contrast to the girls program, the GBS boys team was not as successful in 2011, finishing 5-14. Typically one of the top teams in the state — behind New Trier and Loyola Academy — the Titans suffered a significant number of overtime losses and other one-goal defeats.
“I have never seen a team so snakebitten before,” said head coach Steven Brooks. “We would play great for three quarters — we’d be leading — but just couldn’t finish in the fourth quarter.”
Brooks, an All-America selection for perennial powerhouse Syracuse University, served in his first year as GBS skipper. He indicated that there were growing pains, as he and assistant Justin Porter instituted new defensive and offensive schemes.
“The defense seemed to come along faster than the offense,” Brooks lamented.
That defense was led by seniors Chris Schwanz (who will play at Ohio Wesleyan University next season), defensive midfielder Kevin Stevens (the 2011 GBS Brian Kennedy Award winner) and faceoff specialist Josh Berkowitz.
“Once the boys learned to trust what coach Porter and I were teaching them, the offense started to click,” Brooks said.
During the last 10 days of the season, senior attack Geoff Harty (who will play at the United States Merchant Marine Academy next season) — as well as sophomores Spencer Ford, Cam Irwin, Jack Washburn and Stuart Pomeroy — seemed to get untracked.
The Titans, who won three out of their last four regular-season games, beat Palatine in their first state playoff game but were eliminated by No. 1-ranked Loyola 12-4 in the second round.
“I think the boys learned a lot this year,” Brooks said. “And although we’re graduating 17 seniors, we are expecting great things, as we have a very talented group of sophomores returning next year.”
Off the field: Records aside, the best performance — by both teams — likely occurred off the field.
The two programs hold an annual mulch-sale fundraiser, during which players sell mulch in the community and deliver it the first Sunday in May, every year, to help support GBS boys and girls lacrosse programs. And this year’s version took on greater significance.
“When coach Brooks took over the team and heard about the fundraiser, he wanted to make it something special,” Berkowitz said. “(Brooks) thought it would be a great way to take this project and incorporate it into the Titan Booster Club’s Going Beyond Sports program, started several years ago by parent Rick Pullano.”
During a fall meeting of the Parent Lacrosse Board, it was decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to charity.
“My mother died of cancer when I was a teenager, which obviously impacted my father, brothers, and me significantly,” Brooks said. “So I asked if we could donate a portion of the proceeds to a cancer research organization.”
After a brief discussion with the board, and mulch-sale chairmen Bill Frothingham and Tom Fox, it was decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to Children’s Memorial Hospital and pediatric cancer research.
Fox, whose daughter plays on the girls varsity team said, “What better cause than pediatric cancer research. I think many of us have been personally impacted by cancer in one way or another, and the players are certainly aware of some of the South students who are suffering from or have succumbed to this awful disease.”
Added Frothingham: “This is exciting, and I really think it teaches the student–athletes, simultaneously, how fortunate they are to be healthy and playing, and that giving to a good cause, such as this, is so important.”
Berkowitz said, “Our initial goal was to raise at least $2,500 for the cause, but we thought we wouldn’t be able to reach our goal, as we had a snafu with the mulch delivery from Ohio.”
The Ohio distributor who supplies the mulch was unable to deliver half of the order in time for the May 1 deadline.
“We weren’t sure what to do. This never happened in the past,” Berkowitz said. “Regardless of the cause, we have a one-day window to make the delivery because that’s what we sign up and plan for. We knew if we extended the sale to the next weekend we would incur extra costs for delivery, not to mention the difficulty in trying to get people to change their schedules for a second weekend in a row.”
But Frothingham and Fox said the GBS lacrosse community came up big.
“Rich sent out a compelling e-mail explaining what happened, and without hesitation people responded to us that they would be there,” Fox said. “This is why I love living in this community. When we really need help, especially for such a great cause, our athletes and their parents respond. We even had help from parents who don’t have players in the program.”
The student-athletes responded to the cause and sold over 50 tons of mulch this year in one of the most successful sales ever, but the club received an added surprise a couple of weeks after the delivery was completed.
“The owner of the mulch company felt so bad about what happened that he made an extremely gracious gesture,” Frothingham said.
“We couldn’t believe it when Dick Posey told us he wasn’t charging us for any delivery or for two of the six truckloads of mulch,” Berkowitz said. “When he did that, it made all of it worthwhile. With the students’ overwhelming hard work and the kind-of-heart gesture from Mr. Posey, we were able to cover our extra costs and double our donation to Children’s Memorial Hospital to $5,000.”
(yourseason.com) Family is the new way at Glenbrook South.
First-year head coach Steve Brooks has brought this new concept to the Titans and he’s seeing strides in the right direction.
“All these kids were mediocre lacrosse players and I’m taking them to a full-figure lacrosse team,” said Brooks. “You can’t win games with individuals; you need a team and you need a family and that’s a good family right there that we have and we’re all getting better.”
Brooks was a midfielder for Libertyville, won two national championships with Syracuse and is currently a pro with the Chesapeake Bayhawks of Major League Lacrosse, but this is his first shot as the teacher of an entire team.
Just as the higher-ups trust Brooks, he believes highly in his players. He has been impressed by the play of Billy Savino, Geoff Harty and Chris Schwanz.
“It’s tough coming in as a first-time coach, teaching a new system and teaching new things, but eventually it’s got to start coming our way,” said Brooks. “The kids are coming together, they’re working on things that they need to work on and we are getting better in the long run, but things need to start happening now.”
No. 24 GBS (0-4, 0-1 CSL) dropped its fourth match to open the season Saturday, 13-2 to No. 7 Loyola. Bad weather ended the game after the third quarter.
Cam Irwin struck first for the Titans and after a goal from John Newman, the teams were deadlocked at 2-all heading into the second period.
“You have to give Loyola credit — they’re a powerhouse team, their kids can shoot, they can dodge and they’re coached very well,” Brooks said. “It’s unfortunate it didn’t fall our way and we just need to work on some things, go home, ice our wounds and go on to the next one.”
Brooks attributed his teams’ poor play to their inability to talk with each other.
“Communication is a key component to lacrosse and if you can’t talk, then you’re not going to be able to talk people through picks or backside stuff.”
In its conference opener, GBS fell 11-10 in overtime to Highland Park on April 13. Brooks emphasized his team needs to improve on corralling loose balls.
“We got a lot of ground balls in, but the problem is that we took away our physicality. We weren’t physical. We just need to be able to pick our poison, get everything working together and eventually it’s going to start going our way. It’s got to.”
(Pioneer Press) When Steve Brooks played at Libertyville High School, Glenbrook South won a state championship in 2000.
After spending last season as an assistant coach at his alma mater, Brooks couldn’t pass up an opportunity to lead the Titans another trophy.
“It’s tough being an assistant because you can’t be everything you want to be,” said Brooks, who leads Glenbrook South into its opener Thursday at home against Evanston. “I know I wanted to give myself a shot. I think down the road I’d like to be a college coach.”
Brooks knows a lot about overcoming odds and achieving success.
Coming from the Midwest, Brooks was able to play his way to Syracuse, one of the top college programs in the country, and help the Orange to a national title in 2008 as a senior. He also was named to the All-American first team.
Once Brooks finishes up his rookie season as a head coach, he will return to the playing field as a member of the Chesapeake Bayhawks. After leaving college, he played pro lacrosse for two seasons with the Chicago Machine before getting traded to the Bayhawks.
The pro season starts May 14.
In the meantime, Brooks will try to take the Titans past traditional powerhouses New Trier and Loyola. The Trevians own the last six state titles.
“I have had great coaches, and I learned a lot from them,” said the 26-year-old Brooks. “The East Coast plays the true form of lacrosse, and that’s what I am going to teach. I am going to get the athletes to learn the basics and go on from there.
“If they believe in me and trust me, all else is going to work out in the long run.”
Brooks will lean on seniors Doug Cummings, Geoff Harty, Chris Schwanz and Jon Newman for leadership on and off the field.
“I have a lot of faith in our seniors to lead the young guys,” Brooks said.
(CSLInsider.com) Steven Brooks has accomplished more in lacrosse than most players dream of, but he isn’t done.
After leading Syracuse to a national championship in 2008 as a senior, when he was a First-Team All-American and recipient of the Lt. Donald C. MacLaughlin, Jr. Award as the nation’s top midfielder, Brooks played Major League Lacrosse.
However, following two seasons with the Chicago Machine, he was traded to the Chesapeake Bayhawks last month. Before he begins his first season as a Bayhawk, he will embark on his first season as head coach of the Glenbrook South boys lacrosse team – something he has targeted since graduating from college.
“From the get go, my main goal was to come back to the state of Illinois and try and become a head coach to build a program teaching kids my philosophy and hopefully give them the opportunity I had when I was in high school,” said Brooks, who served as an assistant coach at Libertyville, his alma mater, last season. “Libertyville was a great experience for me, but I wanted to be able to run my own program, so when GBS knocked on my door about the opportunity, I couldn’t pass it up.”
While Brooks figures to have a long playing career ahead of him, he also is focused on making Glenbrook South a powerhouse. The Titans won the state title while Brooks was in high school and he’s hoping to return the squad back to prominence, but not before he can hopefully attract future Titans to the sport.
“I would like to build a feeder program that builds into the high school like the New Trier and Loyola do,” Brooks said. “I truly believe that great lacrosse programs are built with the youth. So right now I’m trying to get my foot in the door with the park district trying to figure something out where I could start a junior Titans league. Therefore I can help out the youth, guiding them into the right direction and eventually build a system where they can get back like when they won state in 2000.”
Conference foe New Trier has had a stranglehold on the state championship, winning the last six years, but Brooks isn’t intimidated. High level Division I college lacrosse rosters are dominated by student-athletes from the East coast, and as a rare Midwest transplant, Brooks made sure he proved himself.
“I’ve always liked being the underdog,” said Brooks, who finished with 101 career points at Syracuse and 86 ground balls. “I grew up being the underdog in lacrosse and had an opportunity to go to Syracuse and did whatever I could to make sure I excelled at the highest level. I’ll preach on these kids the same thing. I want to get them prepared. The New Trier and Loyola guys play lacrosse just like we play lacrosse. It just boils down to confidence and being able to believe in each other. It’s the simplicity of ground balls win championships.”
Much of Brooks’ blueprint for team success was inspired by a couple former coaches, one with New Trier ties, so it’s not a surprise he has drawn upon his Central Suburban League counterpart’s state championship string.
“(Libertyville)Coach Schoney is a good friend of mine who helped teach me in lacrosse,” Brooks said. “John Combs is one of my bosses and he used to coach at New Trier as well. They’ve helped me out making sure I go down the right path and do the right things. They’ve been a tremendous help for me and I just want to be able to follow in those footsteps of building a program like New Trier.”
Less than a month into his first regular season as a head coach, Brooks is finding out how different running a team can be, but he feels good about the start.
“You take a different role when you become a head coach,” Brooks said. “You deal with parents, the kids and all the hard work most people don’t see behind the scenes. (GBS Athletic Director) Steve Rockrohr is a great guy and has helped me out tremendously. The big thing for us is that he’s a big frontrunner for lacrosse becoming a state sport. All his support means a lot to us because he sticks his neck out for us when most people don’t care about lacrosse.
“Coming into a new program, it’s very tough because you’ve got to get to know the kids faces, who they are, what their personality is and what they can do on the field. My main thing right now is making sure these kids grow from boys to adults and helping them become good student-athletes.”
Through the diligent effort of Glenbrook South High School, Athletic Director, Steve Rockrohr, and the GBS Parent Lacrosse board we are happy to welcome Steven Brooks as our new Varsity Boys Head Coach. As you may know Coach Brooks grew up in Libertyville, Illinois and played his high school lacrosse at Libertyville High School followed by a post- graduate year of lacrosse at the Bridgton Academy prep school. He then went on to a prolific career at national powerhouse, Syracuse University, where he became an All America and a member of two National Championship teams.
He brings with him an outstanding fund of lacrosse knowledge and experience, but most of all a great level of enthusiasm that we know he will impart on all of our returning and new lacrosse players of Glenbrook South. After speaking with Coach Brooks, he is extremely excited about this opportunity as we enter a new chapter in GBS Boys Lacrosse and he wants to get a running start into the program. He promises full dedication to the program and believes in hard work and maximal conditioning. As Coach Brooks stated, “GBS will never lose a game because we’re tired.”
I would like to take this time to, again, thank Mr. Rockrohr for his effort in procuring such a qualified and enthusiastic individual. I also want to thank Mr. Ron Brandwein for his undying loyalty to GBS lacrosse and his assistance in our search for a new coach so that GBS will remain among the elite in this great sport. Please join us in welcoming Coach Brooks to our great GBS and Glenview Community. Coach Brooks will be joined by Justin Porter, Jon Novotny, and Matt Jones to round out the GBS Boys Lacrosse coaching staff.
Rich Berkowitz and The GBS Parent Lacrosse Board
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