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While December on the East Coast is a normally down time for lacrosse players, two York Suburban athletes will soon play in the most unique tournament of their lives.

Dominic Corto and Justin Shocker will fly down to Tampa, Florida, to represent the United States in a tournament against a Canadian all-star team. The series, called the Brogden Cup, will take place between Dec. 27-29.

“I’m really excited,” Corto said. “I’m looking forward to it. It’s a new experience I may not experience ever again.”

Corto and Shocker are members of Team Pennsylvania, a group of high school lacrosse players, that won the National Lacrosse Classic to represent the U.S. in the Brogden Cup.

“When we first found out it was in Tampa, we were really excited,” Shocker said. “It’ll be the first time I’ll be spending Christmas away from most of my family. It’ll be different for sure, but I’m super excited for it.”

Team Lacrosse: Frank Corto, Dominic’s father and head of Team Lacrosse of Central Pennsylvania, expects the trip to be a memorable experience.

“It’s a unique experience,” said Corto, who runs the organization that represents 27 school districts with 160 players across several teams. “I’ve been around the game of lacrosse for about 40 years. I’ve never had an opportunity to represent the United States as a player or coach. It’s going to be fun, I’m looking forward to it.”

This year’s NLC title is the first Team Pennsylvania has won since it started competing 11 years ago.

“What we’re doing at Team Lacrosse is to grow the game (in) central Pennsylvania. In a short amount of time, we’ve been able to grow. We’re only going to be getting bigger and better.”

Most of the players are from the Philadelphia area, but Mark Sickler (Hershey) and Sean Curcio (Manheim Township) are also on the squad.

“Some of the kids I didn’t know before are definitely some of the best players I’ve ever played with,” Shocker said. “The community is super cool, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

About the players: Dominic Corto, a junior attackman, is one of the top players in the York-Adams League and is being recruited by NCAA Division I colleges.

“I would say I’m a dodger and a feeder primarily,” Dominic Corto said. “I could shoot and finish if I need to, but that’s a secondary thing.”

Shocker, a senior defenseman, is being recruited by Division III schools. Frank Corto said he’s one of the most dependable players he’s ever coached.

“If I had 18 Justin Shockers, I’d never lose a game,” Frank Corto said.

“I’m definitely smaller among defensemen,” Shocker said. “I definitely overcome that the best I can using my head, thinking before I react. Because I’m small, I can use my speed a little bit more and I can rely on my stick skills, whereas other defensemen rely on their size.”

Brogden Cup: Shocker said he’s excited for the challenge of playing Canada’s best.

“It’s about the experience, but it’s also about winning to a degree,” Shocker said. “I don’t know anything about Team Canada, but I know about our team. There’s definitely no team they can put together that we can’t beat.”

Frank Corto, a former Johns Hopkins lacrosse player, said this is a trip that the players will never forget.

“To fly down there and put on a United States jersey, it’s exciting for me and I’m 48,” Frank Corto said. “I know I won’t forget it. I hope they look back in five, 10, 20 years and it’s a vivid memory.”

Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at jmeyer@yorkdispatch.com

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