Oct. 7, 2012
BALTIMORE - The road to the 2012 NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship was paved with many milestones, victories and pep talks for the Loyola University Maryland Greyhounds. One pre-practice speech on a Wednesday afternoon stands out for the players.
Baltimore Ravens All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis stopped by Ridley Athletic Complex on May 16 as the team was concluding a film session. By way of introducing Lewis that day, Head Coach Charley Toomey only said that the coaches were bringing someone in who needed no introduction, and he was right.
Lewis stepped from an adjoining conference room to a chorus of gasps and applause, and he delivered a 12-minute pep talk about preparation, what it takes to be a champion and having the back of teammates. Click here to watch Lewis' speech.
The 17-year National Football League veteran has made it a habit to deliver speeches similar to the one he gave the Greyhounds the week before they defeated the University of Denver in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
"We were fortunate to have the father of (then-senior) Kevin Moriarty (Ravens' Vice President of Football Administration Pat Moriarty) who served as a liaison between the team and us," Toomey said. "We talked to the team about how with each step through the (NCAA) Tournament, special things would continue to happen, and to have Ray Lewis was absolutely amazing. His message was on-point, and I know our players will remember it as long as they remember the championship."
A camera crew from ESPN's NFL Countdown visited Ridley this summer and talked to several Loyola players about the experience. The segment aired today on the show.
Junior Pat Laconi was featured in the piece that showed some of Lewis' speeches and an interview from the two-time Defensive Player of the Year.