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Friends finds new lacrosse coach in neighborhood

Philadelphia Wings

Tom Marechek will have the responsibility of running the Friends boys lacrosse program, from top to bottom, when school resumes in late August.

And if any of his players are looking for advice on how to start or finish a scoring play, Marechek, 43, could tell them a thing or two.

After all, the decade-long Homeland resident totaled a whopping 1,302 points in four seasons as an All-America attackman at Syracuse University and during an even longer career as an all-star in the professional ranks for the Philadelphia Wings of the National Lacrosse League and Major League Lacrosse's Baltimore Bayhawks.

After 15 years of coaching at Glenelg Country School, Marechek is also very familiar with the prep game in and around the Baltimore area.

In other words, the Victoria, British Columbia native is happy to teach less experienced players how to excel at the offensive end of the field.

In his playing days, not many of his peers were as elusive or tricky around the crease as Marechek, whose stick-handling feats — including a memorable between-the-legs shot against Rochester in the 2005 MLL playoffs — are legendary.

That's why he'll run the Quaker varsity's offense and let assistant Mike Rogers guide the defense for the defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference champions.

While Marechek said he's not going to "try to reinvent the wheel," he will still have some tweaking to do on a team that return to the title game in 2012.

"I'm not going to change much," Marechek said. "There's no need to fix what isn't broken. They (head coach Jon Garman and assistant Rich Seiler) left me in pretty good shape."

Marechek will also enjoy the shorter commute from just across North Charles Street in order to spend more time with his wife, Katherine, and sons Koerner, 5, and Cade, 3.

Moreover, he plans to become an unofficial ambassador for the school.

"My goal is to put Friends on the map," he said. "We have a lot of competition in the neighborhood from Gilman and Boys' Latin, and I want to bring in more kids to Friends and keep them there, from the lower school through the upper school."

Marechek says that part of the attraction to the school is that he likes the way Quakers operate.

"I like the philosophy at Friends that nobody is better than anybody else," he said. "It's already a great academic school. I just want to help make it better athletically, too."

To that end, athletic director Greg Whitley said that Marechek will have full control of the program.

"He's a big plus for us," Whitley said. "He's a good fit with his personality and his belief in the system. And he's well known in the area. He was the best candidate to apply for the (physical education) job. And his lacrosse background is icing on the cake."

This summer, Marechek will continue to run the Tom Marachek All-Pro/Under Armour lacrosse camps.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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