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One of the catalysts in Darien’s 23-0 season and Connecticut Class M state championship this past spring was three-year starter Phil Huffard.
Huffard has taken his goaltending talents to Yale University, meaning the Blue Wave will have a new netminder in 2015.
One of the leading candidates to take over for Huffard is another Phil — senior Philip Rech.
But for now, Rech has secured a spot on one of the nation’s leading Division III programs, verballing to Washington & Lee, a decision first reported by Joe Lombardi on LaxLessons.com’s Lacrosse Insider premium coverage section,
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Rech, a righty, has a strong lacrosse IQ and awareness of the Blue Wave’s defensive packages as well as the ability to lead the defense.
Now, here’s a Q&A with Phil on his commitment.
What were the main factors in your decision?
Because my entire family is from the south, W&L is extremely appealing as I have a lot of family in Virginia and love being in the south.
The outstanding academics at W&L were another crucial factor that influenced my decision.
The uniqueness of Washington and Lee’s liberal arts education while still having a business school was something that I really appreciated as well.
When I went on my visit to the school was when I knew that W&L was my No. 1 choice.
Washington & Lee’s beautiful campus along with its welcoming atmosphere was a combination that was irresistible.
Finally, I chose Washington & Lee because of its highly esteemed lacrosse program and the coaching staff — (Head Coach (Gene) McCabe and (Assistant) Coach (Mark) Miller — who both recruited and encouraged me throughout the entire process.
What other schools were you considering and what schools did you visit?
I visited and considered Amherst, Hamilton, Wesleyan,and Middlebury.
What are your strengths as a player and how would you describe your style of play?
Lacrosse IQ. I pride myself in knowing all of my team’s defensive packages to the fullest extent. I believe that if I can better understand the slide packages within our defensive scheme, I can properly fulfill my role of orchestrating my defensive teammates.
What areas of your game do you need to work on?
My greatest weakness is my clearing. I spent a lot of time this summer working on my outlet passes to make sure that they are consistently crisp and accurate, but this is an aspect of the game that I will need to continue to improve throughout my lacrosse career.
How did you get introduced to lacrosse and what other sports have you played?
Being from Darien, a lacrosse stick is practically in your hand on the first day of school. My dad, Bob Rech, played lacrosse at Penn Charter (PA) and Dartmouth (for a year until he quit for football). He introduced me to the game and helped me develop my love for lacrosse.
I played football until the beginning of high school, and I also love playing recreational basketball.
What travel team do you play on what showcase events did you participate in?
I played for the Connecticut Chargers with Coach Jackson Kinry.
Over the past two summers I attended New England Top 150, Good to Great, National Invitational 175, Fab Frosh and Super Sophs.
Any final thoughts?
I would like to thank my old lacrosse coach and former goalie, Wes Hays, a W&L alumni, who was instrumental in this process.
My commitment to Washington and Lee would also not be possible without my high school coaches, Coach (Jeff) Brameier, Coach (Bobby) Lutz, and Coach (Chris) Madalon who developed me into the player that I am today.
Finally, I would like to thank Coach (Gene) McCabe for believing in me and being extremely supportive and positive throughout this entire process.
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