Oct. 6, 2007

NOTES: St. X's first Fall Brawl title augurs more


Chase Carraro is returning kicks for the top-ranked football team these days, and twin brothers Connor and Eamon McGetrick were taking the SAT.

But even without those three players, who were Kentucky’s representatives on the All-Tournament Team at the Gait Cup in July, St. Xavier won all four of its games in Stickhead Louisville’s Fall Brawl at E.P. “Tom” Sawyer State Park on Saturday to take home its first title in the annual seven-on-seven tournament.

“The group we had out here today is a very cohesive unit,” St. X coach Scott Howe said. “It’s a good nucleus of kids.”

Add Carraro, the McGetrick brothers and several other football players, and the Tigers could have their best shot yet to dethrone four-time defending Kentucky Lacrosse Association Boys’ Division 1 champion Trinity next May.

“We fully intend to be in the championship game, and we fully intend to win it,” St. X coach Scott Howe said. “But that’s our goal every year.”

In the absence of those veteran offensive players, Hugh Madison, Hank Wall, Trevor Senn and Peter Murphy led an attack that produced 74 goals.

“Hugh Madison had a big day,” Howe said. “He was tough to handle.”

Aaron Benz, St. X’s starting goalie last season, played in the team’s first three games but sat out the finale against Collegiate with an injury. David Brown subbed for him and backed a 13-8 win over the Titans and their new coach, Chad Wabrek. Collegiate had beaten St. X in the final last year.

In their other games, St. X defeated Trinity Green 21-10, Trinity White 18-9 and Ballard 22-18; and Collegiate defeated Manual 18-4, Trinity White 16-10, and Trinity Green 16-14.

Wallace makes Ballard debut

Unlike Collegiate, which hired from within, Ballard’s search committee looked far and wide to find a permanent replacement for former coach Jay Johnson.

The result of that exhaustive effort, Kansas City native Ryan Wallace, made his competitive debut on Ballard’s sideline on Saturday and guided the Bruins to a pair of wins in four games. He’s looking forward to bigger and better things.

“I’m excited about the possibility of making Ballard a top-level program in this part of the country,” said the 26-year-old Wallace, who played on the first club team at the University of Kansas and recently worked as the national development officer for the English Lacrosse Association. “You can be the best of the worst, but I’d prefer to be in there with the best.”

The Bruins lost eight of their 10 KLA Division I games last season but have most of their key players back.

“They had a rough year,” Wallace said. “But we have good kids, a really good parent organization, and a school that’s supportive. All the pieces are in place. That’s why I came here.”

Wallace is a full-time substitute teacher at Ballard and already has been holding practices five days a week, which has given the players plenty of time to get to know him.

“He’s a great guy,” senior goalie Jeremy Stein said. “He definitely knows what he’s talking about. He’s young, but he has a lot of experience. And he runs with us and pads up with us. Our last couple coaches would stand on the sidelines and yell. He gets in there and shows us what to do.”

Shamrocks split squad

Trinity coach Pete Schroeder broke his team into two - Green and White - so that more players could get on the field with Division 1 competition.

Trinity Green won two of its four games, while Trinity White lost three of its four.

“We had all those seniors,” he said, referring to the 22 players that graduated. “So we wanted to take a look at a lot of kids here.”

Complete Division 1 results

Collegiate 18, Manual 4

St. Xavier 21, Trinity Green 10

St. Xavier 18, Trinity White 9

Ballard 23, Manual 3

Collegiate 16, Trinity White 10

Trinity Green 20, Ballard 16

Collegiate 16, Trinity Green 14

St. Xavier 22, Ballard 18

Trinity White 17, Manual 11

Trinity Green 14, Manual 4

St. Xavier 13, Collegiate 8

St. Xavier

St. Xavier-Collegiate

Ballard coach Ryan Wallace and players