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Glenn Clark: Baltimore, Go Watch Loyola Lacrosse's Pat Spencer

February 14, 2019
When I was preparing to launch the Glenn Clark Radio partnership with PressBox in 2014, I did a fair amount of outside media to help promote what we were doing. 

Among the many interviews I did was one with Nick Frisone from the Baltimore Media Blog, who asked me about my favorite Baltimore sports memories in my career. I'm going to guess that he expected me to respond by talking about being on the field as the Ravens won Super Bowl XLVII or being at Camden Yards as the Orioles finally returned to the playoffs in 2012. 

Instead my answers were a little more unique -- moments that folks outside of Baltimore almost certainly have no recollection of whatsoever. One was the 2011 summer league basketball game at Morgan State's Hill Field House featuring LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Baltimore's own Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) and so many more major NBA stars. Even if you weren't in the building that night, you might be able to understand why it was such an incredibly memorable evening. 

The other actually also occurred at Hill Field House and happened only a year earlier. Then-Morgan State star Reggie Holmes (St. Frances) celebrated his Senior Night in mega-style. After an unforgettable pregame ceremony in which seemingly everyone from his Cherry Hill neighborhood joined him on the floor, Holmes posted a spectacular 36-point effort to beat rival Coppin State. It was an incredible send-off for the only Division I player in Morgan history to be named an All-American. He also led the Bears to back-to-back MEAC titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. 

That moment was a truly unique Baltimore sports moment. Unlike winning a Super Bowl or watching an ALCS game, no one in New England or Wyoming or Mississippi or maybe even as close as Delaware could possibly understand how truly magical it was to watch what was unfolding at Morgan State. It was our moment. It sort of felt like our special secret and it was an honor to be there for it. 

There are plenty of other unique Baltimore sports moments that have occurred in recent years. Certainly watching Jairus Lyles play at UMBC the last couple of seasons could fall into that category. Seeing high school basketball legends like Aquille Carr (Patterson) or perhaps even going back as far as Tamir Goodman (Talmudical Academy) in person have been magical Baltimore sports moments. I've described before how incredibly unique it has been to be in attendance for a Maryland-UMBC soccer match at Retriever Soccer Park in Catonsville, Md. And the Maryland-Johns Hopkins lacrosse showdowns at Homewood Field are equally the stuff of legend. 

This year provides another such opportunity to see something truly spectacular and truly unique in terms of being a real Baltimore sports moment. 

I implore you to not miss out on the next one. I implore you to figure out a way to get out and watch Pat Spencer play lacrosse this season. 

Three years into his Loyola career, the Boys' Latin alumnus is already a three-time All-American. He's already arguably the greatest athlete in Loyola history and one of the greatest lacrosse players in the history of the region. His knack for making the jaw-dropping play look routine is a calling card. 

And yet, sitting above Ridley Athletic Complex as the Greyhounds throttled Virginia (one of the stalwart programs in the sport) in their season opener Feb. 9, I can confirm that even those who have watched him most frequently still had their eyes pop out of their skulls while watching the sensational senior. 

Take for example this absolutely insane play. Spencer first backs down a defender basketball-style -- not surprising when you remember that Spencer is an incredible two-sport athlete who will almost certainly be spending a season playing DI hoops -- maybe at Loyola -- after he finishes his lacrosse career. He then spins inside, leaps through two defenders and finishes for one of his five goals on the day. It's somehow equally breathtaking and yet because it's Spencer, sort of routine. 

You don't have to be an obsessed lacrosse super-fan or even someone who has a major grasp of the sport to understand how truly special this is. 

Spencer already holds the school and Patriot League records for most career assists. With 168 already, he has a real chance of pushing Albany's Lyle Thompson for the all-time career record of 225. Although in fairness, Loyola coach Charley Toomey has said that he's asked Spencer to think about getting his own more as a scorer this season -- and his five-goal outburst in the opener was proof he's ever capable of doing just that. 

And getting out to see Spencer this season will not only give you the chance to see one of the area's great athletes in recent memory, it will also give you the chance to see a viable national title contender in Loyola. The Hounds' throttling of Virginia served notice that they are very much a threat to win the title for the first time since 2012. 

Goalie Jacob Stover (McDonogh -- and you've perhaps heard of his Super Bowl winning father) was equally spectacular against the Cavaliers, compiling 18 saves. This is a thrilling, quality squad that is well worth the couple of bucks it costs to get into a game or the chilly temperatures during the early portion of the season. 

I implore you. Don't lie in a few years and tell folks you saw Pat Spencer play live. Get out and see him. Witness the next uniquely great Baltimore sports moment for yourself. 

Follow Glenn Clark on Twitter @GlennClarkRadio

Photo Credit: Amanda Keovongmanysar/Loyola Athletics