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Serving the scholastic field hockey and lacrosse community since 1998

Dec. 9, 2017 — An appreciation: Neil Rosa, athletic director, Moorestown (N.J.)

The first time I met Neil Rosa, he was a little busy.

Moorestown (N.J.) was hosting a girls’ lacrosse showcase tournament featuring a number of the top-ranked teams in the LaxPower national computer rankings. In the middle of wrangling volunteers and maintenance workers for the multiple pitches on the school campus, he was on the phone.

It seems that one of the two teams ready to take the field for the interstate match was not certain it was allowed to do so given the number of matches already on the team’s fixture list.

A few well-placed calls later, the game went on as scheduled.

We lost Rosa this week at the age of 63 to leukemia. It was a loss to a number of athletic communities in central and southern New Jersey, but especially to the girls’ lacrosse program on which he doted.

Rosa wasn’t much about the bureaucracy of today’s interscholastic competition. He was all about putting good teams on the field, even if one of the teams wasn’t Moorestown Quakers.

For the most part, he wanted to see his black and gold in competition against the nation’s best. There was that one Saturday evening back in 2005 which saw Moorestown travel to Ellicott City, Md. to play Mount Hebron, a program which was in the midst of a 105-game winning streak.

It was an electric, unforgettable atmosphere as Hebron won 11-6.

The following year, the game at Moorestown yielded a throng of nearly 2,000 people jamming the sides of a pitch tucked around the corner from the football stadium. That, I think, is a function of Rosa’s leadership and promotion of the team in the city of Moorestown.

These days, Moorestown’s girls laxers not only play a challenging schedule, they also make a trek to Long Island for the Gains for Brains showcase, a fundraising tournament for spinal cord injuries that brought teams from three states to Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.).

I’d love to see something similar at Moorestown one of these days, shared between the main campus and the North Church Street facility, to raise money to fight leukemia and other blood cancers.

The Neil Rosa Memorial Showcase. Has a nice ring to it; how about it?

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