Hampton players hope to jump-start new Allegheny lacrosse program
Thursday, June 20, 2019 | 7:50 PM
Jake Schwarzbach was on varsity lacrosse for four years and emerged as one of the team’s better faceoff players. Alex Winklosky always was on his wing during those faceoffs.
That might happen for four years more because both committed to Allegheny.
“We’ve been playing with each other ever since freshman year,” Winklosky said. “It really has been quite a ride. We have this chemistry now, and going to Allegheny, I’m excited Jake will be taking faceoffs, and I’ll be on my wing there.”
The duo combined to give Hampton one of its best seasons in recent memory.
Though the team finished second at WPIALs again, it won a state playoff game for the first time in program history.
Part of the reason for Hampton’s strong season (the team went 17-4) was the masterful work of Schwarzbach and junior Ben Horvat, who controlled the majority of faceoffs, earning the squad extra possession time.
It’s something the now-graduated senior started working on with his teammate a long time ago.
“Hampton needed a faceoff guy,” Schwarzbach said. “I found out that’s the thing I really like to do and I knew that Ben focused on faceoffs.”
Schwarzbach talked of many days spent with Horvat and his father doing “whistles” at Fridley Field outside of practice.
“From then on, it became a dynamic duo, I guess.
“In the offseason, we went to Fridley all the time, had the apps on our phone with the whistles. It’s just something we loved to do and kept learning to get better and pushing each other.”
That practice paid off one night at Fox Chapel when Allegheny coach Tommy
Pearce was scouting the faceoff player from the opposing team and noticed Schwarzbach’s work.
“I had a really good game against them, and he talked to my parents,” said Schwarzbach. “I just went and fell in love with it right away. The campus, facility, coaches, guys on the team.”
While Schwarzbach was a late commitment to a class that will play its inaugural year in Division III, Winklosky made his decision last year.
His brother, Drew (Hampton ’17), stood out at Hampton. He spent part of his youth in Charlottesville, Va.
Coming from a military family, Winklosky is well-traveled. He spent time in North Carolina and Japan before moving back to the states.
“Virginia is where I really started to pick up lacrosse,” he said.
“I joined a club team. Virginia is just a hot bed of lacrosse … I really loved lacrosse. There’s no other sport like it. I was good at it, so I kept that going. Playing with my brother was really cool for a couple years, too.”
Winklosky most recently played for club team Low And Away Pittsburgh.
Schwarzbach helped lead Hampton hockey to to the playoffs each of the past four years. This year’s group featured many multisport athletes.
“I think that’s one of the coolest things about it,” said Schwarzbach, who played this year with fellow hockey standouts Will Meglio and Andrew Coholich.
“Then we have the football guys, the soccer guys. Everyone has their friends from their team, but this year’s team was the closest team we played on. All these kids from different sports come in and get along so well.”
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• WPIAL girls lacrosse standings through Sunday, May 9, 2021
• WPIAL boys lacrosse standings through Sunday, May 9, 2021