First title comes to fruition
The glimmer of Freedom’s gold medals from last week’s District 11 3A lacrosse championship still has its shine and probably will forever.
The Patriots decisive 12-2 victory over Easton in the title game was a historic moment for a program that has been building toward this ever since the boys’ lacrosse program was conceived six years ago.
With the Pates now sitting atop the mountain, head coach Tony Fabrizio still feels numb about the success this year’s team has achieved.
“It honestly still doesn’t feel real and it’s been a few days already,” Fabrizio. “I’m beyond proud of this team, and their attitude and effort they give. Their never give up attitude was one of the biggest reasons why we were able to win the district championship.”
Coming in as the fourth-seed in the tournament didn’t deter Freedom’s path, as they topped Emmaus in playoff opener before dispatching top-seeded Delaware Valley in the semifinals.
Being able to trump the likes of Emmaus and Easton in postseason play showed exactly how special this year’s group is and has proved to everyone that Freedom lacrosse is now officially in the top tier of programs in the Lehigh Valley.
“I think the coaches knew last year that this team would be special,” Fabrizio said. “I think it really hit with the players this year after the first Emmaus win. They knew they could compete with anyone.”
With a matchup against St. Joe’s Prep in their first state playoff game yesterday, the Pates were hoping to make more history (contest was played past Press deadlines).
Needless to say, no matter what the result was, this season will always be remembered got what they’ve achieved and the benchmark they’ve left for the future players and coaches.
With the Pates being the top model of the programs in the city, Fabrizio understands that the culture they’ve built has paid dividends
“I think what sets Freedom apart from the other Bethlehem teams is the players buying in to the culture we have been able to build,” he said. “I also can’t forget the support we have gotten from Freedom Administration, our booster club, and parents.
“St. Joe’s Prep will be a tough game. They have some pretty good players and a few D1 recruits. I think our boys will be excited for it and will give them one of our best games this season.”