Pine-Richland boys lacrosse trio earns All-America honors
By: Karen Kadilak
Friday, June 29, 2018 | 11:00 PM
Jake Freedlander played a limited role on the Pine-Richland boys lacrosse team, but it was enough for him to be named a US Lacrosse Boys' High School All-American for Western Pennsylvania for the third consecutive year.
Freedlander, a senior midfielder and a Detroit Mercy recruit, was the face off get off, or FOGO, for the Rams. His job was to win the faceoff, give the ball to a teammate, then get off the field.
He recorded a 0.63 faceoff percentage with 161 wins this season. In his career, he had 750-plus wins.
“I absolutely love the kid,” Detroit Mercy coach Chris Kolon said. “He's interesting, athletic and talented.
“His position is such a high-pressure position that can really change the outcome of a game, and he handles it with grace.”
Freedlander was excited to be honored again.
“The way I felt this year compared the same to my first year getting the award,” he said. “It felt like I just won a trip to Disney World as a little boy.”
Freedlander is one of three Pine-Richland players to make All-America, tying it with Peters Township for the most from the WPIAL.
Sophomore attack Dane Dowiak and senior midfielder Dawson Goltz, a Wingate recruit, also were picked.
Junior midfielder Samuel Skirpan was an All-Academic selection.
US Lacrosse breaks the country into geographic areas, with a chairperson administering awards in each. The deadline for nominations was June 20.
Goltz, the Rams' all-time leading scorer who had 50-plus points this season, gave up a playing position to Freedlander.
“We always joke because I would take the faceoffs in eighth grade, and he took that job away from me,” Goltz said.
Wingate coach Tim Boyle said the Division II Bulldogs, who are based in North Carolina, are happy to be getting a player of Goltz's caliber.
Dowiak, a two-year starter, was surprised to be honored. He scored 58 goals this season, breaking a school record set by 2017 All-American Thomas Hanulak.
“To be honest, I wasn't really thinking of any individual awards,” Dowiak said. “We all thought about the team first, and that's what made us such a special group.”
The Rams placed third at the WPIAL Class AAA championship in May, earning the final spot at the PIAA tournament, where they were eliminated in the quarterfinals.
Pine-Richland coach Kevin Welty believes it is the most All-Americans the team has had in one season.
“I am not surprised that we had three,” Welty said. “They all love this team and this game.
“These awards are just a result of them pouring themselves into something fully.”
Karen Kadilak is a freelance writer.