Carrying on a sibling tradition

Next fall, Loyola senior Joe Lennon will become the fourth brother to enroll at the Naval Academy and the second to play lacrosse there



When Loyola senior midfielder Joe Lennon enrolls at the Naval Academy in the fall, he will become the fourth - and last - sibling to do so.

The trend began with his oldest brother, Clipper, who played football and lacrosse at Loyola before graduating in 2001. A 2005 graduate of the Naval Academy, Clipper, 22, lives in Monterrey, Calif., attends graduate school and eventually will enroll in flight school, Joe Lennon said.

The next Lennon to attend the Naval Academy was Billy, , a 2003 Loyola alumnus who ran track and played volleyball in high school. Billy, 20, is a sophomore majoring in economics at Navy.

Bobby Lennon, 18, is a plebe at Navy and played football and lacrosse at Loyola before graduating last year. He plays long pole midfield for Navy's lacrosse team.

"When I first started thinking about playing lacrosse in college, I thought I'd want to buck the trend and go somewhere else," said Joe Lennon, an A student. "In the end, though, I realized it was the best place."

The Lennons' military interest began with their father, Robert, 57, who attended West Point for a year, completed ROTC at the University of Richmond and served in the Army Reserve.

"The guys [at Navy] are real cool, they come up and talk to you. I got along with them well," Joe Lennon said. "Being able to go to flight school afterward, that all factored into it. It's hard in the beginning, but it's going to pay off in the end."

Generals on the rise

Before this lacrosse season got underway, Towson girls coach Kathy Brave tried to remain cautious in her optimism, but she could barely contain her enthusiasm about her talented Generals.

The season opener on March 21 showed why, as the then-unranked Generals pulled off the first upset of the season in edging then-No. 5 Broadneck, 13-11.

The Bruins, who fell to Dulaney in last year's state Class 4A-3A final, have been to the state tournament three times in the past four years, winning in 2002 and 2003. The Generals, ranked 13th this week, haven't been there since 1999, two years after they won their only state title.

"I knew the talent was there," said Brave, formerly known as Kathy Lavin. "Now I know the heart is there and I know the mind-set is there. This is a strong group of kids. They're strong physically and strong mentally and I'm extremely proud of way they work together."

The visiting Bruins jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but once Towson pulled ahead 3-2, the Generals never again trailed. The game was tied once after the 6-6 halftime deadlock, but Towson took a four-goal lead with about 10 minutes remaining.

Along with Lacey Mahley and Emily Franke, who scored four goals each, the Generals got strong performances from midfielders Claire Hubbard, Sarah Flynn and Meghan Wienecke and defender Cathy Bachur.

For Brave, who didn't have much control over her schedule until this season, beefing up the competition was important for this Generals group, which includes only four seniors.

"Last May, I started calling every team I could think of that would be good for us to play, and Broadneck agreed. A lot of times, teams ranked in the top five want to play each other and they don't look toward teams that might be up and coming," said Brave, in her fifth season as Generals' coach.

The Generals also added No. 14 Chesapeake of Anne Arundel County and have a top opponent in perennial rival No. 3 Dulaney.

Charm City Challenge

Mount St. Joseph's Louis Birdsong, The Sun's 2006 All-Metro Player of the Year, and two-time All-Metro selections DaJuan Summers of McDonogh, Rodney Spruill of Walbrook and Jamal Barney of Southwestern are among the local members of the Baltimore All-Stars squad that will participate in the sixth annual Charm City Challenge Sunday at Towson Center.

They will face a team of college-bound U.S. senior all-stars from around the nation. The game starts at 5 p.m. and is preceded by a city-suburban game at 3.

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