Sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Kern’s top priority is making enough saves to help the Navy men’s lacrosse team win its season opener Sunday against Jacksonville. His next objective is finding a way to watch the Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII later that evening.
Faceoff between the Midshipmen and the Dolphins at D.B. Milne Field in Jacksonville is set for 12 p.m. But the Southwest Airlines flight carrying the players and coaches back to Annapolis is not scheduled to depart until 7:15 p.m. and land until 9:05 p.m.
The timing of the plane ride has left Kern, a Middletown, Del., resident and senior long-stick midfielder George Uhrich, an Ambler, Pa., resident scrambling to watch the game.
“I will have my Eagles jersey in my bag, and me and George Uhrich found out that it’s Southwest Airlines,” Kern said Thursday. “So they should have the game up [via WiFi]. I have the NFL Network on my phone, so that I’ll be ready to load it up and watch it as soon as we get on the plane. I have it figured out. But I’m still more focused on the Jacksonville game.”
Navy coach Rick Sowell said the game against Jacksonville was initially set for Saturday, but school officials cited a scheduling conflict with another sporting event and asked Sowell about moving the game to Sunday. That was fine with Sowell, a Dallas Cowboys fan.
“So I have no vested interest,” he said. “I almost said, ‘Hey, let’s play a doubleheader or a night game.’ Nah, just kidding there. With my Philadelphia Eagles players, I was kidding them and asking, ‘Are you guys going to be able to focus earlier in the day with the big game coming up?’ So we’ve been sharing a few laughs back and forth about that.”
Kern said goalie coach Rob Camposa has been teasing him and freshman goalie Spencer Rees, a Sykesville resident and Boys’ Latin graduate who is somehow a fan of the Eagles.
“Coach Camposa, two weeks ago when the Eagles won, he said, ‘I know your birds are in the Super Bowl, but we’ve got a game to win on Sunday,’” Kern said. “So I’m definitely more focused on the game.”