Groton’s Eipp helps power US U19 men’s lacrosse team to world title
After helping power the United States men’s U-19 national lacrosse team to a world title in Finland last weekend, Harvard University junior Daniel Eipp of Groton sampled French cuisine with his family.
“The food is so great, I’ve taken pictures of every meal as a memento,” Eipp said in a phone interview from Paris.
His gusto at the dinner table after a strict training regimen was matched by his hunger for success on the field.
The U-19 squad dropped two of four pool play games, the first losses ever suffered by a US team at the tournament.
But the Americans made the finals after defeating Germany, then winning against the Iroquois Nationals and Canada last weekend, teams that had beaten them earlier.
“Our backs were definitely against the wall,” said the 5-foot-10, 160-pound attack, who started every tournament game, and netted nine goals while quarterbacking the offense.
“We had a meeting without our coaches, and we talked about how we were the most talented team, but that we were playing a little selfishly and that had to stop,’’ Eipp said. “Losing twice was a wake-up call, especially as the favorite going in.”
Eipp, who transferred to Groton-Dunstable Regional his senior year after moving from upstate New York, was an All-Ivy League second team and All-New England first team selection last season for Harvard after ranking second in scoring for the Crimson (24 goals, 18 assists).
As a freshman, he registered 16 goals and 8 assists, earning All-Ivy honorable mention, and was named the New England Rookie of the Year.
“It’s a great accomplishment just to be selected to the U-19 team, and the fact he played such a prominent role is a testament to his exceptional ability,” said Harvard coach Chris Wojcik.
“From the moment Dan stepped on campus, he’s been an impact player. His experience at the world championships will make him an even more confident, dynamic, and productive player.”
Eipp was named to the 23-member U-19 squad a year ago from among 2,000 applicants and 120 invitees who had to endure high temperatures and humidity during five days of tryouts at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
“But that’s my favorite weather to play in, and I just told myself to embrace the pressure,” said Eipp, a three-sport athlete at Groton-Dunstable.
His sister, Erika, captained the girls’ lacrosse team at Groton-Dunstable, and will suit up next spring for the women’s team at the University of Louisville.
“I’ve never been outside the United States before, so this has been a great experience,” Eipp said from Paris.
Before he captained the Holy Cross football team during the 1962 season, and lined up in the defensive backfield for the Boston Patriots, Tom Hennessey was considered one of the greatest athletes to come out of Brookline High.
“Tom was just a tremendous competitor and had such great speed,” recalled Ed Schluntz, who was an assistant football coach and head basketball coach at the high school in the late 1950s when Hennessey, a Hall of Famer at Brookline High, starred in both sports and also in track.
Hennessey, who had a long career as a teacher and administrator in the Boston school system and served on Brookline’s School Committee, died last Sunday at age 71.
Hennessey’s brother, Jim, the quarterback on Brookline’s undefeated 1954 football team, and his daughter, Maria, are also enshrined in the school’s athletic hall. Tom and his daughter were unbeaten as high school runners.
Hennessey, who racked up a school-record 104 points in 1957 when he was named a Globe All-Scholastic, was the water boy for the ’54 team.
“Tom was being recruited by Boston College and Holy Cross, and our head football coach, Harry Downes, was a BC guy, and our hockey coach, Clem McCann, went to Holy Cross,'' recalled Jim Hennessey.
“I finally told Tom to flip a coin, which didn’t work. He wound up at Holy Cross and it was a great choice, since he’s also in their Hall of Fame. I’m sure Clem reminded Harry of that a few times.”
Hennessey was a prime mover in the establishment of the James M. Thornton Memorial Scholarship at Northeastern University, honoring his boyhood friend and NU football standout who died in 1986.
“There wouldn’t be a Thornton Scholarship if not for Tom’s effort,” said former Watertown High and NU football star Bob Cappadona, Hennessey’s 1966 Patriots teammate.
The Hennesseys and Thorntons stayed close over the years.
One of Jim and Dorothy Thornton's three children, Chuck, is now an assistant football coach at Needham High.
The host Milford High boys’ basketball team defeated Brookline, 65-53, last Sunday to win the inaugural tournament honoring Wally Seaver, the former Milford assistant and Franklin High head coach who is battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
The tournament’s proceeds and prior donations — with more pledges expected — exceeded $10,000 as of Tuesday, and will benefit the Falmouth-based Compassionate Care ALS organization and research into the disease.
The 16-team tournament was initiated by Seaver’s son, Paul, a former Milford High basketball captain. His father attended the Milford-Brookline finale.
“Putting together a tournament is not an easy job, but Paul has done it with tremendous emotion for me,” Wally Seaver said in an e-mail. “I have had so much comfort from family, friends and the community. There has been unbelievable love and support.”
Marvin Pave can be reached at email@example.com.