St. Anthony's players celebrate their win during the CHSAA boys...

St. Anthony's players celebrate their win during the CHSAA boys lacrosse game between St. Anthony's and Chaminade on Tuesday May 7, 2024 at St Anthony’s High School Credit: Bob Sorensen

The last day of the St. Anthony’s boys lacrosse season ended the way it usually ended in recent years. The Friars owned the top prizes: the NSCHSAA Class AAA title and the CHSAA AAA state championship.

So were they feeling the pressure to keep the plaques coming?

“Yeah, a little bit with the greats that have been behind us,” said Quinn Langton, the senior attackman who gave them the lead for good on their home turf in a 10-6 win over Chaminade that clinched both championships that day in May. “But we keep it rolling.”

St. Anthony’s took those league and state titles for the fifth straight time, beating Chaminade each time to claim those crowns. They’re the only two schools in that AAA grouping.

The dynasty lived on.

“I think from Day 1 these kids just competed at an extremely high level,” said coach Keith Wieczorek, whose Friars have won eight consecutive games against Chaminade. “I mean, they just were relentless." 

They finished 12-2. The losses came against Malvern Prep of Pennsylvania and Lawrenceville of New Jersey. Inside Lacrosse ranked the Friars first in the state and third in the country. They finished second nationally last season.

“We played a national schedule,” Wieczorek said. “. . . We played some great teams that are all nationally ranked, and our kids competed from the jump. I think we had one poor half all year, against Lawrenceville in the first half. Then we came back and competed well in that second half. We had a great grit and determination this year with this group.”

“I think with the schedule we play now, I think the pressure is to compete and stay nationally relevant,” he added. “I think the one thing we try to do is connect each team to the past years. We’re big on honoring the past and doing your part to leave your mark, whether it’s winning it all or competing nationally and doing the job.

“I do think they sense that and carry that with them a little bit. I hope it doesn’t become a pressure thing. But I think they’re definitely aware of the success and the history of the program.”

Senior attackman Luke Breslin topped them with 42 goals and 62 points. Langton had 35 goals and 25 assists. Senior Kyle Bilello and junior Gary Merrill stood out in the midfield. And seniors Tommy Snyder and Dante Vardaro excelled as defensemen. All six are committed to Division I programs.

“Our team’s a brotherhood,” said goalie Sean Forde, who was another of the Friars’ 17 seniors and 16 D-I commits. “After these four years, we’re still going to be talking to each other, still going to be connected with each other. That’s what it’s all about.”

Now the question is: what’s ahead next season?

“I think we’re blessed here,” Wieczorek said. “I think the underclassmen learn from usually our senior-led teams. I anticipate we’re going to be a little bit younger next year, but I think we’ll compete and be real strong again.”

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