Checking for Cancer to Feature 12 Top Mid-Atlantic Teams

By Chris Goldberg,

Twelve top scholastic boys' teams from the Mid-Atlantic Region will compete in the Second Annual "Checking for Cancer" Lacrosse Invitational on April 17 at The Haverford School. The event will raise money for treatment, research and awareness of male cancers. The admission is a donation of $5 or more.

The event was created last year by Haverford School coach John Nostrant, a survivor of prostate cancer, and his college teammate and close friend, Georgetown Prep coach Kevin Giblin. Giblin is currently recovering from colon cancer.

The matchups include Haverford School vs. Chatham (N.J.) and Radnor vs. Hatboro-Horsham at 10:00 a.m.; Georgetown Prep (MD) vs. La Salle (PA) and Conestoga (PA) vs. Darien (CT) at noon; and Delbarton (N.J.) vs. Fairfield Prep (CT) and Yorktown (N.Y.) vs. Garden City (N.Y.) at 2:00 p.m. Conestoga and Haverford School also will play a JV game.

La Salle (21-4 last year) is the two-time defending Pennsylvania state champion and finished fourth in the final LaxPower National Coaches/Computer Ratings and eighth in the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse Power Rankings. Georgetown Prep (20-3) was the Interstate Athletic Conference champion and was ranked eighth in the LaxPower rankings and 13th in the UA/IL Rankings. The Hoyas defeated La Salle, 7-6, in double overtime last year.

Conestoga (24-2) was the runner-up to La Salle and was ranked 12th by LaxPower and 19th by UA/IL. Other teams ranked by LaxPower include: Yorktown (18-3, 16th), Darien (18-5, 19th), Delbarton (19-3, 23rd), Haverford School (16-8, 27th), Fairfield Prep (17-6, 33rd) and Garden City (17-4, 81st). Also, Chatham was 13-6 and both Radnor and Hatboro-Horsham were 15-4.

Nostrant and Giblin were roommates at Washington College and linemates on the lacrosse field. They served together as assistant coaches for the United States U-19 men's team in 2008 when it captured the International World Federation Championship in British Columbia.

Last year the inaugural "Checking for Cancer" Invitational raised about $15,000, Nostrant said. He is hoping this year's event will twice as much. Nostrant said the invitational program will have no ads, only stories of triumph and survival by cancer patients associated with the schools involved.

Nostrant said the Haverford community and people in and beyond the Philadelphia lacrosse community have supported the event.

"I think with anything like Katie Samson, Evanfest and HEADstrong, people are excited to get behind something like this," he said. "Everyone has their own personal story about cancer. Unless you have been living on Mars, cancer has touched somebody in your life; it's easy to get behind programs of this quality.

"My (Haverford) parents have been tremendous in organizing and raising money and volunteering their time."

Being a survivor, Nostrant obviously has a personal stake. But his thoughts frequently lead back to Giblin, the highly-respected Georgetown Prep coach who has undergone intense treatment for his cancer during the past year and continues to make great progress toward recovery.

"Kevin just got good blood work back the other day and I was with him Saturday at the US Lacrosse National Convention," Nostrant said. "he is back to being himself; but I'm not sure if that's a good thing."

Nostrant is thrilled to be able to joke about Giblin's condition now, but realizes he and many others face tremendous fights ahead of them. The goal of the program is for awareness for such cancers as prostate, testicular and colorectal diseases.

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