Haverford School Junior McCallion Commits to Penn

By Chris Goldberg, PhillyLacrosse.com

Haverford School junior midfielder/face-off specialist Joe McCallion has made a verbal commitment to play Division I lacrosse at the University of Pennsylvania.

McCallion becomes the second Haverford School junior to commit to Penn; the first was attackman Chris Hupfeldt. McCallion is the eighth Haverford junior to commit to a Division I college. The others six are Conor Kelly (goalie, Notre Dame), Goran Murray (LSM, Maryland), Carl Walrath (midfielder, Virginia), Brendan McGrath (midfielder, Princeton), Alex Beatty (defenseman, Princeton) and Matt Walters (midfielder, Syracuse).

McCallion also considered Johns Hopkins, Duke, Cornell, Army, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Maryland. He said his connection with first-year Penn coach Mike Murphy, formerly the head coach at Haverford College, was a key factor.

"I got a chance to be coached by coach Murphy at Haverford College for Team Philly (in the King of the Hill tournament)," said McCallion. "It was a great chance to start a great relationship with him. I love the campus and it's really close to home. Also, the academics are a big key for me."

McCallion is confident Murphy can make the Quakers a national contender. "When I talked to coach Murphy, coach (Brian) Dougherty and (Chris) Wojcik, all they talk about is how Penn is going to be on the uprise," he said.

McCallion was recruited to play on the field and to take face-offs. He said his best attribites are his skills in setting up plays and passing. He noted that his advantage at the X is regular work against All-American teammate Liam O'Connor (signed with Notre Dame) every day at practice,.

McCallion's sister, Kelly, a freshman, is on the Penn women's team. She starred at Notre Dame Academy. McCallion's older brother, Rob, an Episcopal Academy graduate, is a standout at Army.

McCallion missed most of the regular season last year after breaking a bone (L-5) in his spine during the basketball season for Haverford school. He returned to the lacrosse field in time to help the Fords defeat Malvern Prep for the Inter-Ac League playoff championship. Haverford School (16-8) shared the Inter-Ac crown with the Friars and finished fourth in the final PA Media Lacrosse Rankings.

McCallion also competed in the Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (EPSLA) Showcase last year and played for the Philly team in the Under Armour Underclassmen Games after his freshman year. He plays club lacrosse for Seven Nations and for the Duke's Lacrosse Club. Last summer he helped the Duke's win the title at Champ Camp.

Along with the eight juniors already committed, Haverford School has three seniors that are signed with Division I colleges: O'Connor, Stephen Aitken (Penn State) and Billy Annesley (St. Joseph's). The remarkable list of Division I recruits is sure to make the Fords a highly-ranked team when the preseason polls come out.

"Of course, we have really high expectatiosn this year," McCallion said. "We still have a lot to live up to, with everyone hyping us up. We have a lot of work to do.

"Everyone who saw us last year at the end of the season knows what we're capable of doing. There is no hiding, we're not sophomores, like last year when we were under the radar. We have to come and play."

McCallion thanked Haverford School coach John Nostrant and assistants Mark Petrone, Travis Loving and Doug Knight for helping develop his skills and assisting in the recruiting process. He also thanked his brother and sister as well as his parents (Rob and Maribeth) and younger sister (Nora) for their support.

2010-02-20



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