One year ago, Johns Hopkins University men’s lacrosse coach Dave Pietramala informed McDonogh’s Brady Faby, in a letter, that he had no room on his roster for another off-the-ball attackman, dashing Faby’s life-long dream of playing college lacrosse for the Blue Jays.
Earlier this year, however, things changed.
Faby, coming off a junior season in which he scored 31 goals for the Eagles, has officially accepted an offer from Pietramala and will join the Blue Jays for the 2012 season.
“It’s awesome. I’m really excited,” said Faby of his good turn in fortune. “They had a couple of players transfer which opened things up for me. They contacted me during exams in May and things progressed from there.”
McDonogh coach Andy Hilgartner believes the turnaround will also prove to be a windfall for Pietramala and Hopkins.
“Brady is an incredibly hard working lacrosse player. He understands the sacrifices and commitment you have to make to play at a high level in this sport,” said Hilgartner. “Brady is a great shooter, has excellent field sense, and shows tremendous passion every time on the field.”
Part of what made the original rejection so difficult for Faby is that it came around the same time that his older brother Michael, a face-off specialist at St. Paul’s, had committed to the Blue Jays. The Faby’s had played soccer and lacrosse together their entire lives, before Michael made the difficult decision to leave McDonogh and transfer to St. Paul’s in the ninth grade. The two had hoped, however, to be re-united to play college lacrosse together at Hopkins.
“Mike and I have always played on the same teams since we were little,” said Brady. “Playing against your brother is weird. You want him to do well, but not too well.”
In the spring, as McDonogh and St. Paul’s were battling for a division title and both Faby’s were playing key roles for their respective teams, the “weirdness” motivated Brady to move from the family home and into the dorms at McDonogh.
“It was strange. We were both doing a lot of talking and trying to get in each other’s head,” said the younger Faby. “I just wanted to get away from that during the lacrosse season.”
The two teams split a pair of regular season meetings and both advanced to the MIAA A Conference playoffs. Michael and St. Paul’s went on to win the league championship, while McDonogh fell to Boys’ Latin in the semifinals.
Someone who has worked hard to make both Faby boys better is their father Rick, who coached both of his sons in soccer and lacrosse, on competitive youth and club teams, until they reached high school.
This spring presented a great challenge for “dad” as he shuttled between games and stressed-out over how to watch the head-to-head meetings between his sons, as they both excelled in America’s most competitive high school lacrosse league.
According to Brady, the fact that both boys will play college lacrosse in Baltimore for the same team will be a real treat for their father.
“I am real happy for my dad,” said Brady. “He can drive 10 minutes from our home and see both of his boys play Division I lacrosse.
“He has done so much for me and really taught me the game. He is able to point out things that help me improve and he is very good at scouting opponents and helping me identify tendencies which has helped me in games.”
Faby has spent the summer playing lacrosse. He was in Lake Placid, NY, last week with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes U18 national team. Earlier this summer he traveled to Vail, Colorado with FCA, and he has spent time playing with McDonogh’s summer team as well as the Breakers Lacrosse Club.
He plans to rest up over the next 7-10 days before beginning summer training with the McDonogh soccer team. Faby is a backup goalkeeper for the perennial MIAA soccer power. After that, his full attention will turn to his final season of high school lacrosse and his future at Johns Hopkins.
It’s a dream come true.