May 14, 2010
BALTIMORE - Twelve Loyola University Maryland players joined the ranks of Greyhounds' alumni on Thursday afternoon, shortly before the team boarded its charter bus bound for Ithaca, N.Y., and the NCAA Championships First Round.
Commencement ceremonies for the rest of the University will take place on Saturday, but the graduating men's lacrosse players - Chris Basler, Kyle Cottrell, Michael Crimmins, Nick Disimile, Taylor Ebsary, Nick Federici, Collin Finnerty, Michael Haight, Kevin Hinton, Chris Hurst, Cooper MacDonnell and Brian Mullooly - will be otherwise involved that afternoon, and happily so.
The Greyhounds will play Cornell at 2:30 p.m. - broadcast nationally on ESPNU and available over radio airwaves on WNST-AM 1570 or LoyolaGreyhounds.com - in the NCAA Championships First Round.
"It's always a bit of a badge of honor for our players to have a special graduation ceremony," Head Coach Charley Toomey said. "It means that we're still playing and in the NCAA Tournament, something that is always our goal."
The 12 players received their degrees from Rev. Brian Linnane, S.J., President of Loyola University Maryland, with their parents, academic deans, many faculty members, teammates, coaches and athletic administrators in attendance.
A special commencement address was given by a Loyola lacrosse fan, Cam Cameron, Offensive Coordinator of the National Football League's Baltimore Ravens.
Cameron used his speech to encourage the players to continue to be leaders in the professional world, stay connected closely with their families, friends and teammates, and follow the Jesuit ideals outside of Loyola.
The veteran NFL coach then stepped from behind the podium and beckoned the entire team to the front rows to join the graduates, as he delivered a bit of a pregame speech. Cameron had the team's rapt attention as he urged them to leave everything on the field Saturday versus Cornell.