Feb. 21, 2012
WASHINGTON - The hard work in the weight room and on the practice field in preparation for the 2012 season by the Georgetown University men's lacrosse team has been matched in the amount of work and giving back the team has done in being strong members of the community. That is why the Hoyas awoke early on Sunday, February 12, the day after its first scrimmage at University of Virginia, to take part in Cycle for Survival, an indoor relay-style team cycling event that has raised over $9 million in support of lifesaving research on rare cancers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
Close to entire team, including coaches, took part in the event with some arriving at Equinox, a fitness club in Bethesda, Md. prior to eight o'clock in the morning to begin the first shift in the relay, as the motivation to brush off tiredness came from former Georgetown lacrosse player Larry Zimmerman.
"We were speaking with Larry Zimmerman and his daughter has been battling cancer since birth, she's nine years old now," Kerwick said. "He has been a big part of the Cycle for Survival since it started a few years ago and he asked if we could get involved. As a coaching staff, we got together, asked the captains and the whole team really wanted to do it. It's for a great cause and if it can somehow help Larry Zimmerman's daughter and all of the other people fighting the good fight against cancer than we thought it would be a great event to take part in."
The team arrived at Equinox early on Saturday morning, most of them participating in the event for the first time and not completely knowing what to expect. What they found was an excited, high-energy environment with hundreds of people, basically taking a spin class.
"The event was great," senior captain Neil McGroarty said. "As soon as we showed up we tried to bring a whole new vibe, trying to get everyone going and having a good time. We were there clapping and cheering people on the whole time and I think we were well received."
The coaching staff took the first hour from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., giving members of the team extra rest after playing Virginia on Saturday. The Hoyas freshman stepped in during the early part of the morning, with the juniors and seniors taking the second half of the event from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as overall, the team showed up in strong numbers and made the most of the opportunity to be of service.
"I was really impressed by our whole team," McGroarty said. "Most of our team showed up, the freshman showed up at 8 a.m., they were having a blast and sweating by the time the juniors and seniors showed up at 10 a.m. Our junior class really stepped up for the event."
"The response from the guys didn't surprise me," Kerwick said. "When they got there they kind of took over the room and a lot of people were coming up and thanking our guys for being there. To be a part of the cause and help raise money and awareness for cancer research makes for a day well spent. Overall, it was a great day to be a Hoya and be a part of the lacrosse program."
The response from the team is one that has become expected from a group that has positively attacked every opportunity they have had on and off the field since the fall season started. Their participation in Cycle for Survival has been one of many charitable activities that Georgetown lacrosse players have become involved with, as they have also excelled in the classroom and on the field throughout the year.
"We've been extremely impressed with this group from day one in the fall," Kerwick said. "They've been focused, they've been eager and excited about where this program is going this year. They've done it right all year. Socially, they've been very responsible, they've done a great job in the classroom, they've been working very hard in the weight room and they're practicing at a level that's necessary to compete for a national title and now hopefully it will all pay off on game day. This is an impressive group of young men and they showed that at Cycle for Survival."
Georgetown's current roster of players, who helped raise over $4,000 for the cause, are not the only Hoyas to have been involved with Cycle for Survival on Sunday, February 12. A group of 17 Georgetown lacrosse alumni, captained by Todd Cochran and including current Crease Club President Trevor Caseytook part at the Equinox in New York City on the same morning.
"It's great that everyone came out and showed support for Larry Zimmerman and his daughter," McGroarty said. "This is a great cause, it was a great team bonding experience and even better that our alumni up in New York could do their part for the cause."
"Our participation was more for the cause and more for LZ," Kerwick said. "A big part of the Jesuit education and the Jesuit way is to give back and to make sure you are helping in the community. This is a group that is motivated to help out and takes charge and has always done that."