By Jacob Wizgird ‘22
In 2021, Brother Rice’s JV and varsity lacrosse team had an excellent season. The group quickly exceeded expectations anyone had for them, including 1st year head coach Thomas Haggerty.
“The seniors raised the maturity levels of the younger players,” said Haggerty about the young 2021 team. “What I am incredibly proud of the team is that we did not have a single penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. Our character told other teams who we were, and we weren’t going to be like them or play like them.”
The Crusaders made it to the IHSA playoffs and won their first round matchup vs. Kenwood 8-3 before falling to St. Rita in the 2nd round. St. Rita would go on to the super-sectionals before losing to eventual state champions Loyola Academy.
Haggerty has high hopes for his program. “I want to develop this program so that we have players who come in from youth programs who want to be here [and] who want to be in competition with [St.] Rita, Mt. Carmel, and Providence Catholic,” said Haggerty.
Brother Rice lacrosse has certainly come a long way over the past decade. Coach Haggerty has done a great job recruiting local talent as well as current students to come out for the team. He has also added to the coaching staff by bringing his former players back as assistant coaches.
During his first season, he brought in two former players as assistants, Coach Patrick Reilly and Kyle Anderson. This year, he has added Coach Tommy Quinlan as offensive coordinator and assistant coach.
“It has been wonderful because Coach Quinlan and Coaches Reilly both played youth and high school for me and Coach Quinlan played all 4 years at Alma College. [He’s] just a wonderful addition.” said Haggerty. “He has a higher knowledge of running offense.”
Coach Tommy Quinlan played lacrosse at Alma College in Michigan for 4 years. At Alma, Quinlan was a part of a 2-time conference championship runner up team and helped design and implement their offensive sets.
In only his second year, Coach Haggerty is optimistic about the future of Brother Rice lacrosse and potentially having a JV team. “I think that having a JV program will drive this program to the next level and it will just feed our varsity [team] in the future,” said Haggerty.
Coach Haggerty and the Crusaders will be tested this season as they host the Kenwood Broncos March 15 at home.