Avon Grove aims to make history

Avon Grove's Eric Russo (right) celebrates his first-quarter goal with teammate Bryce Reid (27) during the team's semifinal victory over Radnor.                       CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Avon Grove's Eric Russo (right) celebrates his first-quarter goal with teammate Bryce Reid (27) during the team's semifinal victory over Radnor.                       CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer
Posted: June 08, 2014

Tanner Peck said that Avon Grove's berth in the PIAA boys' lacrosse final was "unbelievable" and "indescribable, to say the least."

And when Peck guides his teammates into Hersheypark Stadium for the 2:30 p.m. game Saturday against Penncrest, it also will be historic. The game is the Chester County school's first trip to a state championship since Avon Grove won the Class B boys' basketball title in 1970.

"Final year in the Avon Grove jersey, and to make school history, for us to do it as a team is a big step for the school and the program," Peck said.

The senior attack has scored 19 goals in the Red Devils' eight postseason games. He and goalie Will Schreiner are Under Armour all-Americans.

Both also have signed to play next season at Penn State. Peck committed to the Nittany Lions as a sophomore. Schreiner followed a year later.

Avon Grove has won 10 straight games. In that streak, Schreiner and the team's defense has held opponents to an average of 5.5 goals.

"To make school history is really humbling," Schreiner said. "We have one more game. Come out of that game on top, and our season is complete."

Penncrest (24-1) has won five straight games since being knocked out in the quarterfinals of the District 1 playoffs.

The Lions rely on Dylan Protesto, one of the area's premier faceoff specialists, to control possession, as well as Will Manganiello's play up front. The senior attack, bound for Delaware, scored five times in Penncrest's state-semifinal win.

Avon Grove attack Stephen Cyron said after the semifinals that he did not know much about Penncrest because the teams did not meet this season. But he said he knew his coaches would prepare the team with a game plan.

That game plan, to win a state title, will be four decades in the making.


mbreen@phillynews.com

@matt_breen

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