Greensburg Central Catholic Lacrosse: Joking Around to Get Rid of Nerves before the Championship Game

It’s what they do on the team bus, so I made them lighten up after practice today. After all, they’ll be facing rival Hampton tomorrow; a team they are facing for the second championship game within three years. What could make this the year they win?

Back row (L to R:  James Newman, Norman Czarnecki, Chris Johnston, and Greg Kemerer.

Front row (L, R): Matt Pezze, John Bursch

“We’ve got a good team,” says Head Coach Mike Evans. “We have six senior leaders – it’s one of the most skilled senior classes I’ve ever had.”

Evans notes that Christopher Johnston, John Bursch, Matt Pezze, and Norman Czarnecki are All Section First Team, so they are even getting some individual recognition. Czarnecki even has lacrosse running in his family; I watched Brooke Czarnecki score five goals for Chartiers Valley in their playoff victory against Shaler on Tuesday.

The GCC seniors are safe from concussions, even in this picture.

James Newman sheds some light on the Centurions’ success. “We build off each other really well,” he says. He explains that if Bursch or another teammate is having a good game, the team is good at catching the momentum.

Chris Johnston adds that getting hyped up on the sidelines is key. “Even something like a big hit gets everybody going,” he says.

“Wait, what are you trying to say?” Bursch cuts in. (The guys all laughed.)

WPIAL playoffs means a lot of road time, and the guys all listen to music on the bus. “I listen to Lil’ Wayne,” says John Bursch. There wasn’t any particular team anthem, though. They did note, however, that Waka Flocka Flame would be a funny answer. (Waka Flocka Flame is always a funny answer.)

“Mostly we just joke around, whatever it takes to get rid of the nerves,” says Czarnecki about the time on the bus.

“Some people sleep,” adds John Bursch. (John Bursch is the one who sleeps.) It works for GCC!

Check back to SG tomorrow night for a report from Coach Evans on the 2011 WPIAL Division II Boys’ Lacrosse Championship Game.


Cara De Carlo is the admin/editor of

Published in: Lacrosse

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