Ben Rubeor has been a champion at every level of lacrosse.
Now in his second year as head coach for Loyola Blakefield, Rubeor has the talent to make another run at a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association "A" conference title. The Dons fell short last season, losing to eventual champion McDonogh in the conference semifinals.
The goal now is to take the next step and win the program's 15th league championship. Loyola has won four titles since 2000 -- the most in the MIAA.
"I feel the school is behind our program," Rubeor said. "It supports everything we are doing. That means a lot to myself as a coach and to the players. We had a disappointing end to last season. I will say I've never seen a group of boys work harder in the offseason."
Rubeor, a 2004 graduate of Loyola, has an impressive resume as a player and coach, playing four years on varsity himself. As a senior, he scored 48 goals and had 27 assists. Rubeor was then named an All-American and won the C. Markland Kelly Award as the outstanding player in Maryland.
Rubeor committed to the University of Virginia, where he was a three-time All-American, two-time Academic All-American and two-year team captain. He helped the Cavaliers win the 2006 NCAA national championship. Rubeor also played eight seasons of professional lacrosse, serving as captain of the Chesapeake Bayhawks. He went on to win three Major League Lacrosse titles.
In 2015, Rubeor led St. Mary's to its first MIAA title since 1996 and was named the USA Today National Coach of the Year. After that season, Rubeor returned to his alma mater Loyola to take over the lacrosse program.
While Loyola fell short of winning the title in his first year, this year's group of players is primed for a deep run. The Dons have solid senior leadership with defenseman Koby Smith (Navy) and goalie Jake Stout (Towson). Loyola also has a deep midfield and attack led by junior midfielder Liam Bateman (Loyola), junior midfielder Robbie Olsen (Penn) and senior attackman Phil Wies (Towson).
Rubeor once again put together one of the toughest schedules in the nation, with nonconference games against Hill Academy, Malvern Prep, Bullis and Georgetown Prep. Those games should have the Dons fully ready for another tough season in the MIAA.
"I think we understand the challenge we have ahead of us," Rubeor said.