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Facta non verba, George Washington was fond of quoting. Deeds, not words.
Deeds. Like huddling in central Pennsylvania during 1777’s version of the Snowpocalypse. Like sneaking across the Delaware River to attack battle-tested Hessian mercenaries. Like harrying the biggest, baddest imperial power on the planet until it said, in so many words: “Uncle.”
JD Englehart, who helms the up-and-coming MCLA team at Georgie’s eponymous university, is a deeds-first guy – and he knows a thing or two about underdog stories. He played at Dulaney High, the public school juggernaut often overshadowed by Baltimore’s better-resourced private schools. He walked on at Washington & Lee and made captain his senior year. This year, he has the Colonials very close to matching their win total in 2013 and 2014 – and they’re only three games in.
And unlike their namesake, whose army wore tattered, homemade clothing during the winter at Valley Forge, these guys are doing it in style.
Here are three reasons you need to pay attention to GW:
1. They’re good, and they’re getting better.
They’re 2-1, with wins over Central Michigan and Rhode Island. They’ve done that behind senior attackman Charlie Frattini, who led the MCLA in points per game in 2014 (a “physical dodger with a cannon,” says Englehart), and stout netminder Kyle Webb. Frattini and Webb are savvy players who’ve grown into leadership roles. Best of all, both are pursuing careers in the armed forces after college.
In the summer, Englehart will be busy kicking the recruiting tires. He’ll be at the big summer circuit events, to be sure, but his main focus will be on GW’s talent-rich backyard. “One of the biggest things I’d like to rectify in my tenure as head coach is attracting talent from the DC, Maryland, and Virginia (“the DMV”),” he says. “Right now, our roster of 30 has zero DMV players, which I have been addressing by aggressively connecting and engaging with as many high school programs and coaches as possible.” [In the DMV area and looking to play at an up-and-coming MCLA power? Drop Coach a line.]
2. The MCLA is getting better – and so is GW’s league.
“As someone who knew very little of the MCLA before coaching in it, I am constantly raising my expectations for the talent and product of the MCLA,” says Englehart. “It’s been an awesome education and compeuppance, and now I feel like it’s on me to pass that on to more people like me, who maybe grew up in a hotbed area and wasn’t exposed to the MCLA until it was too late.”
Englehart has his eye on Virginia Tech (#10) and Liberty (#14). “Those two games are ones that we have circled for a very long time,” he says. “I think the guy to watch at Tech is senior captain Joe Rittenhouse who has had back-to-back 35+ goal seasons. A few hours east, Liberty junior Ryan Miller, a DC-area native, is the type of attackman you have to account for at all times, and just burned a stout Davenport team for 7 goals this past week.”