The tone of Garnet Valley coach Frank Urso‘s voice said it all.
Much lower, a lot more subdued and filled with grief and shock, Urso struggled to describe it all. Kip Taviano, an attackman at The Haverford School who played for Urso at the Brandywine Youth Club, was killed Tuesday when he lost control of his car on Smithbridge Road in Concord Township and swerved into the path of an oncoming vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The kids are devastated,” Urso said. “I coached him for a few years and he was just an unbelievable kid. The type of kid who cares more about others than himself. He was giving back a lot. Giving a lot of time to the youth league. He was a great teammate and he came from a great family. He’d ref games and be helping the kids all the time. It’s just terrible.”
Urso and Taviano’s father, Jim, coached together for four years at the BYC, meaning that Urso and Kip had also forged a very close relationship. Many of Urso’s Jaguars players were friends with Taviano, who had committed to Furman University, so Urso will have his hands full in getting them ready for tonight’s state tournament game against Great Valley.
“We were out on the field (at practice) when we found out,” Urso said. “We stopped everything and there was a candlelight ceremony for him on the field. They had their senior trip to Hershey, too, so it was a long, draining day. I don’t know what they have left.”
Urso was also tasked with breaking the news to his Garnet Valley players, and when he was finally able to deliver the message, it had a major effect on everyone.
“When coach Urso said that name, I had no words. It was just shock,” GV senior midfielder Jonathan Vandenberg said. “He was going to be my teammate again (at Furman) and I was just so excited playing back with him again. I knew that in the first practice, I’d have someone I knew to throw the ball with.”
“We just told his dad, you know, ‘we’re going to play this one (today) for Kip’. We’re all wearing shirts with No. 10 on the back. That was his number at BYC.”
Senior attackman Robert Raucci knew something was up when the Jaguars’ coaches were all crying and a BYC practice next to GV’s was halted at the same time.
“We knew something tragic happened,” Raucci said. “And finally, it felt like 10 minutes before coach Urso got the name out. He said, ‘one of your friends died in a car crash,’ and finally said the name, Kip Taviano. I’ll just remember the great times we had. We won a lot of championships as a team through BYC and he was just a great kid, always cracking jokes.”
“I know he’ll be watching down,” Raucci said. “I really feel like we can use it to our advantage. I know Kip would be happy if we made a run at states.”
From a school press release…
“It is with great sadness that we report the death of Haverford School senior Kip Taviano, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident Tuesday evening.
The School community is shocked and saddened, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Taviano family and Kip’s many friends. Kip was loved by all who knew him, and he will be missed dearly. We will work together today and in the weeks to come to support our boys and community in dealing with this tragedy.
Taviano entered The Haverford School in ninth grade and will be remembered for his affable personality. He was a respected member of the varsity football and lacrosse teams. In October 2012, Taviano committed to play for the new Division I lacrosse program at Furman University beginning in fall 2013.
We will share more information as details become available. Thank you to all for your continued support and the outpouring of thoughts and prayers for the Taviano family.”