ShareThis Page
Coraopolis’ Kehoe shines as star of Gettysburg lacrosse |

Coraopolis’ Kehoe shines as star of Gettysburg lacrosse

| Friday, May 29, 2009 12:00 p.m

No one is saying Tommy Kehoe is faster than a speeding bullet.

Just that he is the speeding Bullet.

Kehoe’s speed and accompanying fervor helped the Gettysburg Bullets lacrosse star become the 2009 NCAA Division III National Player of the Year.

It also helped him get drafted. Wednesday, the senior long-stick midfielder and Coraopolis native was selected by the Chicago Machine in the fifth round of the Major League Lacrosse draft.

“I don’t have a tip or secret,” Kehoe said of his skills. “I’m just lucky to be fast.”

Kehoe is the first Gettysburg player to receive the Player of the Year award, named by the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association.

Gettysburg coach Hank Janczyk, a member of the award’s voting committee, said it’s “very rare” for a long-stick midfielder who plays offense and defense to win the award.

“Going into the voting, I was hearing people talk about Tom, that he was better than anybody (at his position) by far,” Janczyk said of his star, who scored three goals and played outstanding defense this past season. “That got him the award, and it’s well deserved.”

Last Sunday, Kehoe helped Gettysburg to its first appearance in the Division III national title game since 2002. The Bullets lost, 9-7, to SUNY-Cortland, but that won’t tarnish Kehoe’s mark on Gettysburg lacrosse.

“He’s one of the finest young men I’ve ever had in my program,” Janczyk said.

He’s also one of the best to come out of Sewickley Academy. The 23-year-old Kehoe says his love for the game goes all the way back to middle school.

“Everything I’ve done goes back to Sewickley,” said the 6-foot-2, 178-pounder. “I’m still in touch with my Sewickley class, and that’s when we all bonded.”

Kehoe started getting attention from colleges in high school, but he didn’t indulge in the recruiting process. He went small and chose to play for Division III Franklin and Marshall in Lancaster before transferring in the spring of his sophomore year.

“I wasn’t enjoying it as much as I thought I would,” he said.

That spring, he took classes at Pitt and played on a club lacrosse team. He then called Janczyk to let him know he’d be coming to Gettysburg.

“That was one of the better phone calls I’ve ever gotten in my life,” Janczyk said.

Still, Janczyk didn’t know just how good Kehoe could be, at least initially.

“I knew he could be a lot better than I expected the first few days we saw him run,” Janczyk said. “With his athleticism, when he got his fundamentals down, we knew he could be something special.”

He didn’t disappoint. Kehoe was first-team All-Centennial conference all three years at Gettysburg, a second-team All-American as a junior and a first-team All-American as a senior.

And now he has a chance to play in the country’s premier outdoor lacrosse league. He joins Seneca Valley graduate Peet Poillon of Maryland-Baltimore County (3rd round, Boston) as a local draftee.

Most MLL players, Kehoe says, have other jobs and fly in for games on weekends, which he says he would do while working in a business development and sales position for Book Country Clearing House in McKeesport. That could be as soon as this summer, provided he makes the team’s 19-man active roster.

“Fortunately, I’m employed, especially with today’s economy,” Kehoe said. “It’s a good feeling. I think I’ll be able to work it out.”

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.