Corto family helps Team Pennsylvania's 'cardiac kids' to Maverik National Lacrosse title
- Team Pennsylvania won the 2019-2021 division at the Maverik National Lacrosse Classic.
- York Suburban's Dom Corto was a member of the team, which was coached by Dom's father, Frank.
- Team Pennsylvania was also known as the "cardiac kids" for their come-from-behind wins at the event.
Most of the boys' lacrosse tournaments that take place over the summer are geared toward allowing high-school-age players to showcase their individual talents.
The players enjoy them because it gets them looks from college coaches, which could lead to scholarship offers.
Those kind of tournaments, however, are not really what York Suburban High School standout Dom Corto would consider "fun."
It's for that reason that Corto was more than happy to play in the Maverik National Lacrosse Classic in Frederica, Delaware, last week.
Instead of working to show off for the coaches in attendance, Corto was mainly interested in helping Team Pennsylvania bring home a championship in the 2019-2021 high school division.
Competing in a 16-team bracket that featured talented teams from all across the nation, Corto and Team Pennsylvania did what no other squad from the Keystone State ever did before — win it all.
"Usually I'm there just to get recruited," Corto said. "But I was there to win. I was there to represent my state."
"Cardiac kids:" The self-proclaimed "cardiac kids" rallied to down Team Carolina, 7-6, in the first round. Then, after falling behind 7-2 in the semifinals against Long Island, Corto and his squad rallied to score the final seven goals to claim a thrilling 9-7 victory and a spot in the final against New England.
Keeping up with their theme of late-game heroics, Team Pennsylvania rallied from a 6-4 deficit with just more than three minutes left by scoring three times to earn a 7-6 triumph.
The victory not only earned Team Pennsylvania its first-ever title, it also secured the right for the squad to represent Team USA in the Brogden Cup this December against Team Canada in Jacksonville, Florida.
"Everyone there was just there to play as a team instead of get recruited," Corto said. "And that's something that I really enjoyed more than just a showcase tournament. Being in a tournament where the goal is to win was really fun for me."
Sharing title with his father: Corto's fun was a little more special because he was able to do it with his father, Frank, who coached the Pennsylvania team.
"I just had a huge smile on my face the whole time," Dom said. "It was just very exciting."
Frank couldn't have been happier to win it, not only with his son, but also with a handful of other area players that played key parts in the team's success. That list includes Mark Sickler from Hershey, and Sean Curcio, who helped Manheim Township win the PIAA Class 3-A title back in early June.
"The great part about it was that Dom, Curcio, Sickler, and the Covey twins, Logan and Connor, who are from Westminster, Maryland, were all pretty much our biggest cogs in the wheel," Frank said. "It was crazy."
They kept coming back: While Dom will always cherish the camaraderie of playing with new teammates, his father will remember all the moments where it looked like his team was dead in the water, only to come to life just in the nick of time.
"In our semifinal game against Long Island, we were down 7-2 at halftime," Frank said. "And we ended up winning 9-7. And we were down 4-1 against Florida (in pool play) and then we came back to beat them 10-7. And then we beat New England in the final, and we were down 6-4 before we scored three goals in the last three minutes. We're the cardiac kids for sure."
Putting region on lacrosse map: Frank is hopeful that winning the title will help put south-central Pennsylvania on the lacrosse map. When most people heard that he was coaching the Pennsylvania team, many figured the roster would be filled with players from the Philadelphia area, which is considered the state's biggest lacrosse hotbed.
Not so according to Frank.
"The goal is for us to eventually be able to allow our best kids to stay local," he said. "Right now, if they want to go up against the best competition they have to go to Philadelphia or Baltimore. We're proving right now that we have the talent in this area. The kids are getting recruited and getting to play for some of the best schools in the country."
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.