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Loyola lacrosse partnering up with Newtown once again

Posted on 10 January 2014 by WNST Staff

Men’s Lacrosse Makes Return Trip For Newtown Clinic

NEWTOWN, Conn. – Twenty-four members of the Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse program gathered in Newtown, Conn., yesterday to participate in a clinic for the Newtown Youth Lacrosse Association for the second-straight year.

Last year, then-freshman Jason Crane led a group of 14 Greyhounds to the town where weeks before lives had been changed by the events at Sandy Hook Elementary School. On Thursday, Crane and his teammates returned to lead a clinic with the youth and families who have formed a tight bond with the Loyola lacrosse program.

“It was once again wonderful to spend time with a group that become part of our extended family,” said Charley Toomey, Loyola’s head coach. “We hold the families of Newtown close to our hearts, and we draw from the strength that they have exhibited.

“When the youth took the field, I saw the excitement in our players’ faces to work with them. It was the first time I’ve been able see our players after a long break, and it made me even more excited to take the field for practice on Monday. Once again, we want to thank (Newtown Youth Lacrosse Association’s) Jeff Tousignant and Jim Wallace for assisting in our stay in their town.”

The Greyhounds led a clinic for the Newtown players, working with various age groups from elementary-age through middle school, teaching skills and team concepts.

“For me, it was awesome because of the amount of smiles that we were able to see,” Justin Ward, a senior co-captain, said. “I wasn’t there last year to know exactly what it was like, but the coaches and parents talked about what their kids were able to experience. This was a great time to be with them, teach them a little bit about the game and just have fun. One of the Newtown coaches mentioned how strong the bond has become between their program and ours, and that is something that is very important to us as players.”

Loyola’s connection to the Newtown Youth Lacrosse Association has gone beyond the two clinics. More than 100 members of the Newtown community – children, coaches and parents – attended a Loyola home game last year, spending the weekend touring Baltimore and fellowshipping with the Greyhounds.

For his work last year, Crane was named the winner of the 2013 Yeardley Love Unsung Hero Award.

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Loyola’s Crane Named Yeardley Love Unsung Hero Award Winner

Posted on 23 May 2013 by WNST Staff

Loyola’s Crane Named Yeardley Love Unsung Hero Award Winner

BALTIMORE – Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse player Jason Crane (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake High School) has been named the 2013 male recipient of the Yeardley Reynolds Love Unsung Hero Award, the One Love Foundation announced today.

Crane joins the University of North Carolina’s Zoe Skinner, the female award winner, as this year’s honorees. Now in its third year, the award celebrates selfless acts of initiative and commitment performed by Division I lacrosse players.  The duo are being awarded based on their exceptional dedication, integrity, humility, hard work, community service, leadership, kindness and sportsmanship, traits Love exemplified on-and-off the field.

In January, Crane organized a trip to Newtown, Conn., with teammates to put on a lacrosse clinic for youth players in the town affected by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Crane gathered many of his teammates, and they departed Maryland, or their homes as it was during Christmas break. A total of 14 Greyhounds gathered in Newtown to lead a clinic in the town where 26 adults and children were killed just weeks before.

Crane reached out to Jim Wallace, the Coach Training Coordinator for the Newtown Lacrosse Association, and Wallace invited the Greyhounds to lead the clinic. The clinic drew more than 100 Newtown youth players, ranging from third through eighth grades, despite the fact that Crane and the Greyhounds put their plans together in less than a week prior to coming. At the clinic, the Greyhounds taught lacrosse skills and team play, as well as interacted with the kids on the field.

“In recruiting, it is hard to measure the intangibles of a player, but we recognize that we hit a home run athletically and intangibly,” Loyola Head Coach Charley Toomey said. “The initiative and leadership skills that Jason showed in organizing this were incredible, especially considering he was only a freshman at the time. The relationships we have developed with the families from Newtown are ones that we will continue to hold close for years to come.”

Wallace added, “Jason knew that words were not enough, and he took action. His action brought smiles and laughter to our community; I can’t begin to tell you the importance of that. Jason and his teammates didn’t just run a lacrosse clinic, they brought hope to our community. He is the kind of student-athlete that you want your child to look up to and to emulate. We will always be thankful to Jason for what he did for our community during our darkest hour. Jason has shown us that good can come out of tragedy, and what great people do without being called upon to help: to take matters into their own hands to provide comfort. He has inspired us to find the good, to remember that people care and that there is good in this world.”

Since then, Crane and many of the players kept in regular correspondence with the Newtown youth, and more than 100 residents of the town attended Loyola’s April 13 game against the University of Denver at Ridley Athletic Complex where they took in a tour of the facility, watched the game and then played on the field with the team after the game.

“Jason’s compassion and enthusiasm to help those around him truly embodies the shared memories of Yeardley and she how gave herself to others without asking for anything in return,” said Jeff Tousignant, Newtown Youth Lacrosse’s president. “His offer to help our community and rally the support of his fellow teammates to visit our children in their darkest moment brought smiles to their faces and those of their families; it helped put laughter back in their voices.  It is something our children and parents will never forget.  I could think of no finer person to receive this wonderful award.”

Sharon Robinson, Love’s cousin and a member of the award’s selection committee added, “We are so impressed with both Zoe and Jason and are proud to celebrate the positive influences that each of them had on their teams and on the community at large. Like Yeardley, they both epitomize the goodness in collegiate athletics which is sometimes overlooked in our society.  They are amazing student-athletes and we salute them for their humble leadership.”

As a freshman long-stick midfielder, Crane played in 12 games this season, picking up five ground balls and causing a turnover.

The winners were chosen from a pool of applicants nominated by either a coach or person associated with Division I lacrosse programs throughout the United States.  The award’s selection committee highlighted 10 finalists (five women, five men) earlier this month and then chose the winners to announce leading up to the culmination of the NCAA lacrosse season.

Each winner will receive a silver bowl recognizing their accomplishment, and a $250 donation will be made in their name to a charity of their choice.

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Loyola to host Newtown youth players

Posted on 09 April 2013 by WNST Staff

Loyola Men’s Lacrosse To Host Newtown (Conn.) Youth Lacrosse Players

 

BALTIMORE – The Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse program will host nearly 50 players and family members from Newtown (Conn.) Youth Lacrosse on Saturday, April 13, when the Greyhounds host the University of Denver in their regular-season home finale at 1 p.m. at the Ridley Athletic Complex.

On January 3, Loyola freshman long-stick midfielder Jason Crane led a group of 14 Loyola men’s lacrosse players to the Connecticut town that was touched by tragedy just one month prior when a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 26 people.

Loyola players put on a youth lacrosse clinic in Newtown that was attended by over 100 young players. The team has stayed in communication with those players, and many will be making the trip with their families to Baltimore for Saturday’s game.

The players and families from Newtown will receive a tour of the Ridley Athletic Complex and be on the field with the teams prior to faceoff Saturday. After the game they will get to participate in a “throw-around” with Loyola players on the field and attend a postgame reception with Loyola players and their families. In addition to the game-day experience, Visit Baltimore!, the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Under Armour and other local businesses have come together to provide the group with several exciting activities while they are in town.

Tickets to Saturday’s game, which will feature two ECAC Lacrosse League teams ranked in the top-five nationally, are available at www.loyolagreyhounds.com/tickets.

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Defending national champs Loyola hold lacrosse clinic for Newtown

Posted on 03 January 2013 by WNST Staff

NEWTOWN, Conn. – Fourteen members of the 2012 NCAA Champion Loyola University Maryland men’s lacrosse team took time from their holiday break today to travel to Newtown, Conn., to lead a lacrosse clinic for youth in the town that was forever changed last month by the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

The trip, which was student-athlete organized, was the idea of freshman Jason Crane (Pasadena, Md./Chesapeake-AA High School).

Players departed Maryland on Thursday morning and picked up teammates on the trip to Connecticut. Others who live in the New England region met the team in Newtown.

Crane reached out to Jim Wallace, the Coach Training Coordinator for the Newtown Lacrosse Association, and Wallace invited the Greyhounds to lead today’s clinic.

“Obviously, we knew the town was hurting, and I found Jim’s e-mail address, and I asked if there was anything we could do,” Crane said. “He said it would be great if we could do the clinic and talk to the kids.

“When we got here today, Jim talked to us for a while, and he told us how many of (the clinic’s) kids were in the school at the time of the shooting. He said the town has been very quiet, and there is a lot of sadness. The kids are dealing with things that no elementary or middle school kid should have to deal with. He talked about how our presence helps the kids out in ways that we can’t even imagine.”

Today’s clinic drew more than 100 Newtown youth players, ranging from third through eighth grades, despite the fact that Crane and the Greyhound put their plans together in less than a week.

“As soon as I got (Crane’s) e-mail, I texted him and said I was in,” junior Brian Schultz said. “It has been a moving experience. We are trying to do anything we can just to raise spirits a little bit. In Maryland, you can’t really gauge what it’s been like here, but we’ve heard some really intense stories from Jim and others.”

At the clinic, the Greyhounds taught lacrosse skills and team play, as well as interacted with the kids on the field.

“Hopefully, we can influence them positively,” Crane said.

Loyola opens its season on Saturday, February 16, at the University of Delaware, and the Greyhounds open their home schedule on Saturday, February 23, with a NCAA Championship Game rematch against the University of Maryland.

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