PNC Bank and Corrigan Sports Enterprises are continuing their effort to bring some of the top lacrosse teams from around the Mid-Atlantic region together to broaden the sport's roots.
Corrigan Sports Enterprises, a sports marketing and event management firm in Elkridge, Md., will partner with PNC for the second annual PNC Lacrosse Invitational. The two-game showcase will again be held at Loyola University's Ridley Athletic Complex at 6:30 p.m. March 28 and pits local powerhouses St. Paul's School versus Georgetown Prep and McDonogh against Episcopal Academy (Pa.).
Perennial Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference powers McDonogh and St. Paul's return after playing during the inaugural event, while two-time defending Interstate Athletic Conference champion Georgetown Prep and Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association member Episcopal Academy make their debuts.
"Putting together events like this is a jigsaw puzzle," Corrigan Sports Enterprises event manager Andy Bilello said. "You have to find the right date that works for a good venue, like Loyola University. Then, based on that, you're also trying to figure out who are the good teams, who has games on certain dates and finding out if those dates correspond to the dates you can get at the stadium.
"In this particular case with the PNC Invitational, PNC is really interested in showcasing teams from the markets they have business in. They want teams from Baltimore, Philadelphia and D.C., so that adds to the mix of matchups we're trying to find."
PNC, which sponsors the MIAA, Interscholastic Athletic Association and Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association, has contributed more than $185,000 to local area high school lacrosse programs and organizations to support competitive play since 2010. PNC also has a commitment Charm City Youth Lacrosse, an organization that provides lacrosse training to kids in the underserved communities in Baltimore City.
PNC market director of institutional asset management Joshua Kakel, who played high school lacrosse at Dulaney and collegiately at West Virginia, acknowledged that PNC's relationship with Corrigan Sports Enterprises has been instrumental in that growth.
"We're really trying to grow the sport, so it's just not concentrated in certain areas," Kakel said. "That's a big commitment from PNC. We're just looking forward to continuing to build on that momentum with the partnership we've had with Corrigan Sports."
Scott 'Booker' Corrigan, Corrigan Sports Enterprises' vice president of media, will serve as the play-by-play announcer for both games, which will be aired on tape delay on local CW stations March 29.
Corrigan, who will team with ESPN lacrosse analyst and former Johns Hopkins standout Mark Dixon for the broadcast, said the caliber of teams, media coverage and buzz surrounding the event will be key to its success.
"I can envision that in five or 10 years, this event will be played on June 10," Corrigan said. "I can also see it as the marquee event and official crowning of the high school national champion, because PNC has the drive. [PNC] has the drive, and we certainly have the resources and ability to bring a great product to the viewing public."
To propel the event onto the national stage, Corrigan Sports Enterprises would like to eventually bring a team from Northern New Jersey or New York City into the fold.
"With New York and New Jersey being in the equation for PNC, it helps the potential of this becoming even bigger than just having two games in one day," Corrigan said. "Again, that could be a five or 10-year plan, but [PNC] certainly has the foresight to make that happen."
This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Scott 'Booker' Corrigan's name and Josh Kakel's title. PressBox regrets the error.