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Montini falls on night to recall coach Thuma.

Byline: Gregg Voss Daily Herald Correspondent

There are times when life transcends sports, and Tuesday was one of them for the Marmion and Montini boys lacrosse teams.

Marmion won the Chicago Catholic League tilt 16-2, but for both teams it was more than just another conference game.

For Montini it was a night to remember former coach Mike Thuma, who passed away in December after a long battle with cancer. His wife, Mary, and his father, Bill, were in attendance Tuesday and honored in a pregame ceremony.

Marmion spent time thinking about its former coach, Kevin Griffin, who passed in 2016.

"You know what, we're happy," Montini junior goalie David Leonard said. "Because we know coach would be happy with this performance. The score, obviously, is not great, but coach never really cared about the score. He cared about the effort."

Added Montini junior Joey Knudtson: "It's always sad that we lost a great coach, but of course, it's always nice to honor his memory with this great game of lacrosse. He did so much for this entire team."

Across the field Marmion coach Angelo Carbonara thought about Griffin.

"He was our founder of Marmion lacrosse, and I played under him," Carbonara said. "Five of the other coaches on our coaching staff are alumni and have played under coach Kevin Griffin.

"We completely understand the loss," he said. "We were all devastated when (Griffin) left us, and that's why we're all back, because we want to carry on his legacy."

But there was a game to be played, of course, and Marmion (2-7, 2-3) seized hold of this one early, scoring seven times in the first quarter and putting up four more in the second to take an 11-0 halftime lead.

Leading the way for the Cadets was sophomore attackman Andrew Galle, who scored 5 of his game-high 6 goals in the first half. The prettiest may well have been his second, at 6:45 of the first quarter, when he emerged on the left side and buried a shot into the right side of the net.

The Cadets won the faceoff, and 35 seconds later they scored again, this time off the stick of sophomore attackman Ryan Chapski.

They never looked back, but Montini did make it somewhat interesting in the third quarter by scoring twice and holding Marmion to 0-for-8 shooting. The Broncos got their goals from freshman Mario Florio and junior Joshua Ulisano.

Montini co-coach Ted Fleckles said he felt Thuma's presence, especially in that big third quarter.

"We came out of halftime and we told the guys, it's never about the score, it's about how we approach the game, and that's what coach Thuma always taught us," Fleckles said. "It doesn't matter whether we win or lose as long as we're working together and playing the game the right way."

Leonard had 16 saves for the Broncos (0-5, 0-4).

"It just felt good to see everyone coming around and both teams cooperating and remembering those coaches that passed," Galle said.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Author:Voss, By Gregg
Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Date:May 8, 2019
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