Verified Newsletter: Rising to New Heights with AH Attack

By Allan Rabil

On July 22nd, 2021, the Jury and Bohn families were attending PLL Academy's Rabil Overnight in Florida at IMG Academy. They were quietly listening to a deep round table discussion from the PLL Pros of Paul Rabil, Troy Reh, and Alex Ready on recruitment to college, when suddenly their phones lit up. The breaking news from back home in North Eastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) was that the school board had sanctioned lacrosse to be fully funded as an athletic high school sport for both boys and girls.

The fruits of this work started some 20 years ago when Mike Naholnik and others petitioned the school board for funding lacrosse in their schools. Due to Title 9, the originators got a girls program started first, and not until 6 years ago did the momentum swing to a ‘pay and play’ model for both boys and girls.

“Just two years ago, we decided for our High School Program to be successful, we needed a youth feeder program in the Abington Heights school district. We created Abington Heights (AH Attack, PLL Verified) and a recreation youth program,” said Nick Jury, a key founder. This lacrosse program obviously works as the Jury, Bohn, and Naholnik families organize and coach youth lacrosse. “We certainly appreciate the incredible amount of effort these pioneers have done to pave the way,” states Andrew Billen, Head Coach at Abington High School, who heads up lacrosse play in their Wyoming Valley Conference.

AH Attack (Rec Program for kids in Abington Heights) has already run a PLL Verified clinic this past spring under strict COVID protocols and within the US Lacrosse guidelines at that time. All their work has resulted in over 100 boys and girls playing in the AH Attack program, and the future is bright as this Verified community promotes strong recreational play to grow an organic love for the sport. It is no wonder that this group roots for Penn State Lacrosse and stars like Mac O’Keefe of the PLL. “New heights” will certainly be achieved for both boys and girls in NEPA - can’t wait for the future!

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