The 31st Peddie Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place on June 1. Read more about the Sports Hall of Fame here.
It is easy to be awed by the numbers surrounding the 2001 Peddie boys' lacrosse team. Their undefeated record of 16-0 is in itself incredible, but accomplishing it against one of the toughest schedules in the state made it that much more remarkable. Finishing with a top 15 national ranking amidst some of the most storied and respected high school programs in the nation brought the team to even higher levels of inspiration. But Coach Bob Turco would argue that what made this team unique, special and worthy of our deepest respect was their sense of team.
The 2001 boys' lacrosse team was a team of well-seasoned seniors as well as many contributing underclassmen including two highly-talented freshmen. Many of the players continued their careers in college, and more than a few became captains of their college teams. Seniors and PGs included leading scorer and four-year letter winner All Pitt Division Eliot Dahood (Stevens) who was an assist specialist. Two-time captain Rich D'Andrea, also a two-time All American and two-time Dietrich von Schwerdtner award winner for the best goalie in the state, remains aruably the best goalie in Peddie lacrosse history. He went on to captain at Georgetown twice. Among the many other fine players in this senior/PG class were Del-Von Award winner Peter Friedman, the leading goal scorer for the team who moved on to be a captain at Bates, and All Pitt defender Brian Dower (Rutgers).
Two talented Navy post graduates, including exceptional long-stick midfielder and All Pitt defender Matt Meehan and defenseman Matt Alt, locked down the opponents with impunity and resolve. Another extremely talented post graduate midfielder and attackman, Dave Paolisso (Georgetown) overcame a frightening early season injury to help Peddie win some key games at the end of the season with his outside shooting prowess. Rounding out the team were nine juniors including strong contributors Jackson Kiniry (Butler), Tim Weigand (Villanova) and Rob Lemming (future captain, Stevens). One sophomore, David Bauer Jr., would finish his career as an All American and go on to captain Georgetown, and two freshmen phenoms, Ryan Spitz and Mike Cummins, would continue their careers at top programs (Lafayette and Brown, respectively).
On their way to an undefeated season, the 2001 team beat two teams ranked above them in the state and beat Lawrenceville twice, the second time in a one-day playoff for state and MAPL championship bragging rights. But most impressive of all was beating the future state tournament champions, Moorestown, in a one-goal epic game that to this day marks one of the most impressive victories in Peddie lacrosse history.
But through all of the struggle, the team was held together by their leadership and their love for each other. Coach Turco provided the masterful leadership that earned him NJ Lacrosse Hall of Fame honors. Along with trusted assistant Dacque Tirado, they extolled the team concept, and the boys at the time embraced it, and each other.