Boys' Lacrosse Notebook: Vol. 6

By Alex Frazier

Players of the Year
National Conference
Doug Rheiner, Council Rock North
For Doug Rheiner, lacrosse is a family sport.
His father played at Gettysburg and later for a club.
There was no doubt he would become involved.
“It’s his passion so he kind of handed that over to me, and I love it too now,” said Rheiner. “He’s everything to me for lacrosse.”
Rheiner was surprised he was named Player of the Year.
“There’s a lot of really good players in our league, so there was stiff competition,” he said. “It’s definitely a nice reward to get because it’s voted on by the other coaches. It says a lot when your opposing team’s coaches recognize you.”
Council Rock North coach Joe Kivien wasn’t surprised by the accolade.
After all, Rheiner had been a two-time team MVP and a captain.
“He is one of the most competitive athletes I have ever coached, as he has excelled in both cross country and as a wrestler,” said Kivien.
Both Rheiner and his sister are excellent cross country runners, but when spring rolls around, they give up running or rather start running with a stick.
Rheiner values his years of running cross country because it taught him the value of hard work. Last year his team placed sixth at states.
“It’s great sport,” he said. “It’s something that definitely helped me in other sports in high school.”
Rheiner’s speed is one of his assets on the lacrosse field.
“On the field he is just a step faster than anyone else and has a motor that does not stop,” said Kivien, who even moved him from attack to take faceoffs.
“When I needed a faceoff won, I always went to him instead of my normal faceoff guys,” he said.
This year Rheiner racked up close to 31 goals and 20 assists.
Not only is Rheiner a skilled player, but he was also a role model.
“He was a true team leader,” said Kivien. “He was a vocal team leader as well as leader by example on and off the field.”
Rheiner started playing at three years old for Lower Bucks Lacrosse, which he continued through eighth grade.
In ninth grade he made the high school varsity playing attack and has been an integral part of the team ever since.
Despite interest from some Division One schools, Rheiner will attend Muhlenberg University, where he expects to major in some area of business or finance.
Muhlenberg appealed to Rheiner for several reasons. It was close to home, good academically and most important, a place where he could play.
“My final decision came down to where I would feel most comfortable,” he said. “It just felt right between the coaches, the guys on the team and everything like that. It was the place I knew I wanted to be.”
Rheiner will definitely be difficult to replace next year.
“I truly thought anytime he stepped on the field he was the best player, and obviously the other coaches in the area agreed in voting him as Player of the Year even with him missing some time,” said Kivien. “It has been a pleasure coaching him these last four years and realizing I was getting an opportunity to coach such a special player.”
Continental Conference
Chris Pianko, Central Bucks West
It’s not surprising to those who know him that Chris Pianko was named Player of the Year.
In fact there were those who were disappointed that he didn’t make all-state.
“Nearly every coach we played outside the SOL made a comment about him following the game in recognition of his talent,” said C.B. West coach Matt Coverdale. “He is one of those special athletes that ‘gets it,’ what it takes to be successful and brings the ‘total package’—work ethic, leadership, sportsmanship, responsibility, talent, athleticism and determination.”
For Pianko, however, the honor came unexpectedly.
“I was very surprised,” he said. “Usually something like that would go to (C.B.) East of Hatboro or someone going Division One.”
Pianko will not be going to a Division One school. He had been considering Dartmouth and Lehigh, but they didn’t work out.
Instead, he will be traveling out the turnpike to Carlisle and Dickinson College.
Muhlenberg was also in the mix for a while, since his brother goes there, but he decided he would rather have “a little separation.”
On his overnight visit, Pianko liked the coach, the campus and the players.
Pianko will be one of 17 incoming freshmen recruits.
For two years in a row, Pianko was named First Team long pole midfield, which certainly attests to his skills as a player.
“He is a superior ball handler, a tenacious defender, and an outstanding athlete,” said Coverdale.
Pianko stared playing lacrosse in fourth grade for the Central Bucks Athletic Association.
As a freshman at West, he played midfield, but in 10th grade when Greg Brown went down with an injury, he was asked to take over as a long pole, a position he’s come to love.
“You have free rein to run all over the field,” he said. “I get to carry the ball up on offense; I get to play defense. You’re the one hitting people instead of getting hit. That’s always nice too.”
Pianko’s season-ending awards didn’t come without a lot of effort.
“Chris is a hard working, dedicated, responsible leader and was the heart of our team and defense this year,” said Coverdale. “He has worked very hard, for the last several years to continue to develop his naturally gifted talent.
“He almost never missed an off-season lifting/training session in all his high school years and played on the LB3 tournament team during his summers to continue to develop his technique-as well as our fall and winter leagues.”
And not surprisingly, Pianko was a strong team leader.
“During the season, he would push himself and others to get their best and not just lead through words but also by example,” said Coverdale. “He would play through fatigue, illness, and injury to give his team everything he had left in every game and practice.”
American Conference
Scott Beury, Upper Dublin
It’s ironic that Scott Beury, Doug Rheiner and Chris Pianko have all been playing on the same LB3 summer team for the past few years.
Next year the three of them will be playing against each other. While Rheiner will be going to Muhlenberg and Pianko to Dickinson, Beury will be playing at Franklin and Marshall.
Beury, too, had a few looks from Division One schools, but he wanted to play as soon as he could, so he ended up going Division Three.

“I wanted to play for a team that was successful,” he said. “I wasn’t necessarily getting looks from the most successful Division One teams, so I thought of a Division Three team that was in pretty good shape and was winning a lot.”
He will major in business.
Beury started his lacrosse career in third grade. After seeing his neighbor and future teammate Tim Duke playing with a stick, he decided to pick one up. After that football and basketball fell by the wayside, as lacrosse became his first love.
He played for Crooked Crosse all the way through to high school.
For his first two years at Upper Dublin, he played attack, for which he was named second team all-league as a sophomore.
But in his junior season, he switched to defense.
“We lost a lot of good players the year before, and a couple of kids weren’t coming out the next year,” he said, “so we had a hole in the defense.”
In summer league, Beury tried out defense and decided to give it a try for his high school team.
“I wanted to help the team out and it started to work out,” he said.
“We were a little light on the defensive end, while we had a decent amount of offensive talent,” said Upper Dublin coach Jon Levine. “He is just better suited as a defenseman. It was obviously the right choice for him.”
Admittedly, transitioning to a stick twice as long was a challenge at first. But he had some experience “messing” around with long sticks, so with a little practice he was able to adapt.
“At first it was hard to pass and catch,” he said, “but I just worked, hit the wall and got used to it.”
The position also called for a different mindset, but in one respect, having played attack, gave him some insight.
“In terms of what an attackman is looking for and what an attackman is doing, he had that,” said Levine. “The biggest thing is being able to change your fundamentals, being able to change the way your feet work with your mind and your reacting and making somebody else react to you as opposed to you having the ball in your stick.”
Beury admits he missed scoring goals, but he did manage to hit the net a few times.
Defensively, Levine usually matched him up with the opponent’s best player.
“He always wanted to be perfect,” said the coach. “It didn’t always happen, but that’s what he strived for. He never went less than 100 percent whether it was practice or a game.”
In his first year at defense, Beury was named to the First Team all-league.
“This year he took that to a whole new level,” said Levine.
Aside from being a good player, Beury was also an excellent leader, one of four captains.
Beury helped communicate to the team about different goals whether it is a practice segment, an overall practice or a season goal.
“He was one of the leaders with the other captains,” said Levine. “He was part of that group of leadership and probably the most vocal one that kept everybody focused on what those goals were.”
Being a leader wasn’t something he had a lot of experience with, but as he said, “It took a while for me to get used to leading the team. It wasn’t something I was used to. I made it a point to work on it a lot this season, and I got to where I needed to be.”
Evidently, he was successful, as he received the team’s Leadership Award.
Beury will be missed next season.
“He was a great kid to coach, a great kid to have for four years,” said Levine. “To make a switch after playing two years of attack to defense isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but he did it rather seamlessly.”
All-EPSLA – Congratulations are in order for three SOL players that were named to the All-Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association team. They are: Matt Hughes, Central Bucks East senior attackman; Joey Jones, Abington junior attackman; and Rich Rambo, Abington junior midfielder.
Sayonara – This will be the last Lacrosse Notebook of the season. I would like to extend my appreciation for all the cooperation I received from coaches and players. In the next few weeks I plan to do a story on Duncan Swezey (Hatboro-Horsham Notre Dame) and Brett Schmidt (Upper Dublin, University of Maryland), who played against one another in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
If anyone has any ideas for features or segments for next year’s notebook, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thanks again for a great season.
All-League selections
National Conference
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Doug Rheiner, Council Rock North
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD – Council Rock North, Neshaminy
First Team
Doug Rheiner, senior, Council Rock North
Joey Jones, junior, Abington
Peter Sweetland, senior, Pennsbury
Alex Forman, senior, Neshaminy
Rich Rambo, junior, Abington
Shawn Caven, junior, Pennsbury
Pat Sweet, senior, Council Rock North
Long pole Midfield
Dan Marr, sophomore, Pennsbury
Ben McDannell, senior, Pennsbury
Alex Cohen, senior, Abington
Tristan Emig, senior, Neshaminy
Jon Cairone, senior, Abington
Second Team
Chris Brady, junior, Neshaminy
Kenneth Warren, junior, Pennsbury
Ryan Ambler, freshman, Abington
Andy McPherson, senior, Neshaminy
Ricky Jutkiewicz, sophomore, Pennsbury
Matt Morton, senior, Council Rock South
Long Pole Midfield
Tim Lomady, senior, Abington
Ryan Brim, senior, Pennsbury
Paul Berger, junior, Abington
Bill Brush, senior, Council Rock North
David Cutler, senior, Pennsbury
Third Team
Sean Boyd, junior, Council Rock South
Anthony Hensley, junior, Abington
Calvin Hopkins, freshman, Pennsbury
Tyler Shablin, sophomore, Council Rock North
Tom Considine, junior, Pennsbury
Andy Lihani, senior, Council Rock South
Nick Walsh, senior, Harry S Truman
Long Pole Midfield
Steve Lewallen, junior, Neshaminy
Ken McHugh, senior, Harry S Truman
Casey Elfvin, senior, Neshaminy
A.J. Natale, senior, Pennsbury
Eugene LaBorde, junior, Neshaminy
Honorable Mention
Tyler Hamilton, junior, Council Rock North
Jason Thibodeau, senior, Neshaminy
Jake Nessen, senior, Harry S Truman
John Sutton, senior, Neshaminy
Shane Perdikis, junior, Council Rock North
Matt Figueroa, freshman, Abington
Matt Lomady, freshman, Abington
Matt Finor, sophomore, Council Rock South
Long Pole Midfield
Justin Moller, junior, Council Rock North
Kevin Cohill, senior, Council Rock South
Ryan Mawhinney, senior, Neshaminy
Josh Kluver, freshman, Abington
Sean Poritsky, senior, Council Rock South
Continental Conference
PLAYER OF THE YEAR—Chris Pianko, Central Bucks West
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD—Souderton, Central Bucks West
First Team
Jarrett Carr, senior, Hatboro-Horsham
Adam Bitzer, senior, Central Bucks East
Matt Hughes, senior, Central Bucks East
Ryan Kreston, junior, Hatboro-Horsham
Rich O’Brien, senior, Central Bucks East
Jon Hoynak, senior, Central Bucks West
Eddie Coombs, junior, Hatboro-Horsham
Long Pole Midfield
Chris Pianko, senior, Central Bucks West
Michael Bobrin, senior, Hatboro-Horsham
Tom Bashwiner, senior, Central Buck East
Brendan Whalen, senior, Central Bucks West
Chase Kulda, senior, Central Bucks East
Second Team
Scott Wilbur, senior, Central Bucks West
Kevin Figaniak, junior, Pennridge
John Rombach, senior, Hatboro-Horsham
Paul Reutemann, senior, North Penn
Zack Sharman, senior, Central Bucks East
Craig Hunsberger, junior, Pennridge
Shane Opperman, senior, Central Bucks West
Long Pole Midfield
Josh Krosskove, senior, North Penn
Shawn Cole, senior, Pennridge
Weston French, sophomore, Central Bucks East
Anthony Agostinelli, senior, Hatboro-Horsham
Dino Vitali, junior, Hatboro-Horsham
Third Team
Kevin Sonderschafer, junior, Central Bucks South
Dan Adams, senior, Central Bucks South
Brian Urban, junior, Central Bucks East
Ryan Hartung, senior, Central Bucks East
Tim Newcomb, senior, Hatboro-Horsham
Dylan Harris, junior, North Penn
Dan Fritch, senior, Central Bucks South
Long Pole Midfield
Parker Rushworth, junior, Central Bucks East
Andrew Argentieri, junior, Central Bucks West
Paul Renneisen, senior, Central Bucks South
Cory Hojnacki, senior, Central Bucks South
Cory Sonderschafer, junior, Central Bucks South
Honorable Mention
Alex Fetterman, junior, Central Bucks East
Matt Shaw, senior, North Penn
Sean Becker, senior, Souderton
Brett Poorman, senior, Central Bucks South
Billy Meehl, senior, Hatboro-Horsham
Dan Munsell, senior, Central Bucks West
Kenny Miller, senior, Central Bucks East
Long Pole Midfield
Steve Moran, junior, Central Bucks West
Johnny Kirchner, sophomore, Central Bucks West
Ryan Mullen, junior, Hatboro-Horsham
Colin Grubb, senior, Central Bucks East
Will Ferguson, senior, Central Bucks West
American Conference
PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Scott Beury, Upper Dublin
SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD – Cheltenham, Upper Merion
First Team
Colin Joka, sophomore, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Jimmy Trentini, senior, Upper Dublin
Nate Hare, junior, Upper Merion
Pat Nolan, junior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Eric Breuninger, senior, Upper Dublin
James Brennan III, junior, Upper Merion
Martin Goldfarb, senior, Springfield
Long Pole Midfield
John Quici, sophomore, Upper Dublin
Nick Scannapieco, senior, Wissahickon
Beau Gomez, sophomore, Wissahickon
Scott Beury, senior, Upper Dublin
Eric Painter, senior, Upper Dublin
Second Team
Tim Duke, senior, Upper Dublin
Heath Kupecky, senior, Upper Merion
Joe Hughes, senior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Casey Boyd, junior, Upper Dublin
Shawn Kaplan, junior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
John Simons, senior, Upper Merion
Jake Long, junior, Upper Dublin
Long Pole Midfield
Eric Lacrosse, senior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Pat McDermott, senior, Upper Dublin
Tyler Zeoli, junior, Upper Merion
Tom Bracaglia, sophomore, Wissahickon
Conor Crowe, sophomore, Upper Merion
Third Team
Shane Ziegler, junior, Wissahickon
Sean McLernan, senior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Willie Beury, sophomore, Upper Dublin
Brian Frankenfield, junior, Wissahickon
Eric Schlater, senior, Springfield
Sean Dugan, senior, Upper Merion
Steve Carrozza, junior, Wissahickon
Long Pole Midfield
Kevin Holst, senior, Upper Moreland
Charles Minehart, sophomore, Upper Dublin
Greg Zenner, senior, Springfield
Alex Phanthavong, senior, Upper Merion
Pete Orler, senior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Honorable Mention
Shane Franzone, junior, Norristown
Nick Barraclough, sophomore, Springfield
Jeff Gebert, junior, Wissahickon
Zach Schulman, junior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Justin Biesecker, senior, Norristown
Will Laurent, senior, Upper Dublin
Matt Gordon, senior, Upper Dublin
Long Pole Midfield
Ward McMasters, junior, Wissahickon
C.J.Myrsiades, senior, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Devin Cox, senior, Springfield
Ryan Kratz, senior, Norristown
Sean Smith, junior, Wissahickon