Colgate Welcomes 15 Newcomers for the 2014 Lacrosse Season

HAMILTON Colgate head coach Mike Murphy unveiled his latest signing class with Saturday's announcement of 15 newcomers to the men's lacrosse roster. The Raiders coaching staff went near and far to bolster a lineup that next season will be without a pair of noteworthy members from the 2013 everyday lineup.

"These 15 guys will help us replace the graduation of one of the most decorated classes in Colgate history as we say goodbye to Peter Baum and Jimmy Queeney," Murphy said. "Eight different states are represented in the class, which shows not only East Coast guys but also the Midwest and the West as we continue to recruit nationally."

Murphy balanced his class, signing five for the attack, five midfielders, four defensemen and one goalkeeper.

"I'm very excited," he said. "It's a decorated group of high school All-Americans, state champs, All-Conference players from some of the best high schools in the country from Canandaigua in upstate New York to the D.C. area and all the way out to Colorado.

Strecker Backe
6-3, 190
Fairfield, Conn.

Coach Murphy on Backe: "Strecker is a great athlete and has the ability to play down low or long stick midfield. He has a championship pedigree and will allow us to improve on defense."

High School: Team captain as senior at Fairfield Prep, which won Connecticut's Class L state title his final two seasons ... Three-time Southern Connecticut Conference winners ... Selected as Under Armour Underclass Elite-Star, and played on Team New England at UA Underclassmen games in 2012 ... Team captain as senior, but missed regular season because of injury ... Names by Inside Lacrosse Magazine as one of nation's top 40 defensemen for 2013 recruiting class ... Three-year varsity performer in both lacrosse and football ... Starting quarterback for football team ... Awarded Chris Boyle Memorial Award for Perseverance, Loyalty and Determination as football senior ... Volunteered teaching lacrosse at Wakeman Boys and Girls Club ... Also coached youth football for Fairfield Pop Warner League.

Personal: Parents are Henry and Tara Backe ... Born in Bridgeport, Conn. ... Has two sisters and one brother ... Full name is Henry Strecker Backe.

Brandon Burke
5-8, 170
Potomac, Md.

Coach Murphy on Burke: "Like many of the guys in this class, Brandon comes from an outstanding high school program where he enjoyed great success. Brandon has the ability to be a great player in our league."

High School: Named to Under Armor Underclassmen All-America team as senior ... Twice named All-Interstate Athletic Conference ... All-State, All-Gazette and second-team All-Metropolitan D.C. as senior ... Junior year saw second-team honors for All-State and All-Gazette, along with All-Metropolitan honorable mention ... Team captain and Bullis School MVP as senior ... Posted 4.97 goals-against average, with 145 saves that final season ... For his career, GAA was 6.5 with 313 saves ... Also lettered in ice hockey ... Member of Booster Club and Sports Debate Club.

Personal: Parents are Glen and Michele Burke ... Born in Silver Spring, Md. ... Has one brother, Jordan, a goalie for the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse ... Full name is Brandon Eric Burke.

Chase Cowan
6-5, 215
Wilmington, Del.

Coach Murphy on Cowan: "Chase is the kind of young man we want in our program. Not only is he a gifted player with great skills, he is a guy that is cut from the same cloth as Jimmy Queeney and we all know what Jimmy meant to this program."

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