The senior had all the qualities a coach looks for in a captain. He was skillful, smart, fast, athletic and rangy. But Bickley wasn't interested in the job. He was content to let Craig Deiley, Marty Schmitt and Mike Sullivan wear the C's. Bickley had other things to do.
``This is my senior year,'' he said. ``I figured I'd have some fun.
``I'm the type of athlete who enjoys lacrosse naturally, and I don't want to put excessive time into it. I would rather do everything than focus on one thing.''
So he skied the slopes of the Poconos and Vermont, inhaling the cool mountain air while others were practicing their lacrosse skills.
``Chris is enjoying the game and doing whatever he wants,'' Abington defenseman Nick Pontelandolfo said. ``He's naturally gifted. He can play any sport he wants''.
Before the lacrosse season started, Bickley dropped off the varsity basketball team to pursue other interests. And last summer he didn't attend lacrosse camp because, he said, he didn't enjoy it.
``Historically, I have not gone to camps because I would rather work as a caddie at the Huntingdon Valley Country Club or do carpentry with an uncle,'' Bickley said.
Abington lacrosse coach Denny Ward gave his players a preseason workout schedule, including weight training and running at the school. But Bickley didn't get with the program. The fastest runner on the team admitted that weight training was what he needed, but he just didn't enjoy it. So he ran around the school and in his neighborhood, five miles a day, four days a week.
``I run because it's relaxing,'' said Bickley, who has the best time on the team in the two-mile run (12 minutes, 30 seconds).
Speed and stamina are what make Bickley the all-league player he is. His teammates marvel at the way he can switch from attackman to long-stick middie and not lose a step throughout the game.
On offense, he is hard to stop because he sees the field well while streaking downfield, and can shoot or feed with either hand. On defense, he can outrun most of the attackmen and middies he guards.
Ward recalled that during the Ghosts' championship season two years ago, Bickley didn't look as though he was going to make the starting attack rotation. So Ward gave the young man a long stick to see how he would do.
Bickley's recollection is that he pestered the coach into letting him play defense with a long stick because he enjoyed checking his opponents with it.
Ward had no regrets. The youngster impressed him with his ability to contain the opposition. And he did it with finesse, not overpowering physical play.
Deiley, an all-league middie, said Bickley was one of only a few defensemen who could distract an opponent by continually waving the stick in front of his face.
Pontelandolfo appreciates Bickley's defensive stickwork and theorizes that his fellow senior enjoys playing long stick because he can throw stick checks and strip the ball from opponents.
Bickley did just that to ANC middie Jordan Walter in the championship game. With the score tied at 4-4 in the final period, Bickley pressured his opponent into getting rid of the ball.
Off that play, the long-stick middie scored a defensive goal that turned around the game. Deiley, Dan Baumher and Dave Lamont followed with four consecutive goals in the next four minutes.
Unfortunately for the Ghosts (11-9 overall, 8-0 league), Bickley wasn't able to work his magic against Marple Newtown on May 19 in the first round of the state tournament. The Tigers eliminated Abington, 15-4.
Bickley said his lacrosse skills are in his genes because family members have been playing the game since 1977. His brother, Jim, plays for the University of Maryland. His uncle Dave Castle coaches at Stony Brook High on Long Island, and his uncle J.R. Castle is a former Philadelphia Wing. Jim Bickley, Chris' father, played middie for Drexel in 1977.
When asked if his relatives give him pointers, Bickley said no.
``They let me play my own game,'' he said. ``My game is to go out and do whatever is natural.''