It’s tough to imagine considering how good he is and how lofty of a reputation he’s already carved out for himself despite only taking two faceoffs at the varsity level, but a year ago, Daniel Lanham had no idea how to face off.
But when his brother Mike, who took home second-team All-Delco honors as a FOGO this year, committed to Saint Joseph’s, the younger Lanham decided to take a closer look at the X. Originally a defenseman, Dan started to give more thought to facing off and in one year, he’s already developed into one of the most highly-sought after faceoff men in the area.
“In practice, I’d go up against Mike and (All-Delco Zach) Penfil and that helped me out so much,” Lanham said. “Mike still humbles me when we face off, though, but I think I’m catching up to him already.“
They’ll get to practice more against each other when they reunite at Saint Joseph’s as Dan chose the Hawks over Villanova, Delaware, St. John’s and Lehigh and it took a visit to VU Friday to seal the deal.
“I’ve been to talking to SJU for a while, but I kind of wanted to look around and check out my options,” Lanham said. “So I woke up today and wanted to check out Villanova and I didn’t really feel at home there.”
With the bevy of options at his disposal, Lanham couldn’t have really made a bad decision, but his brother being a freshman at SJU next year and wise words of advice from his father, Robb, prompted him to make the call to spend his college career on City Ave.
“My dad just talked about going to the school that’s going to best help me get a job when I’m out of college,” said Lanham, who plays club for HEADstrong’s 2015 team. “He talked about how important that is and that’s what I’m getting with a St. Joe’s education. I really like the business program, too.”
“It was definitely a big sell playing with my brother, too. I felt like when he committed there, I just kind of felt like I had to go there.”
The problem with being on the same team as his older brother and Penfil is that Lanham only saw two varsity faceoffs this year, winning both of them in the state quarterfinal loss to state champion La Salle. But his name has been out there for a while after he won the King of the X tournament last year and faring well at the Top 205 Lacrosse Camp and Under Armour Underclassmen games. Next year, though, he’s GV coach Frank Urso‘s go-to guy.
“I feel like I know everything I need to know, especially with everything that Mike has taught me,” Lanham said. “I just need the experience. Mike is really strong and quick and Penfil is really good, so going against really good kids like that helps me figure out what I have to do.”
The Jaguars were hit hard by graduation, but there’s still a good amount of talent coming back and they’ll be expected to contend for the league title again.
“Summer’s been really good for us,” Lanham said. “We’ve got some good leaders like (fellow Saint Joseph’s verbal defenseman) Jake Matier and (attackman) Kyle Roberts. We just need a little more time. Once we see what we’re going against, we can compete with them.”
And as far as personal goals, the bar has been set high at the X, especially in his household. Mike claimed around 77 percent of his faceoffs this year, so naturally, Dan wants to go higher.
“If he was 77, I want to get 80 or 85 (percent),” Lanham said with a laugh. “Even if I get 78, that’s fine. I just want to do better than him.”
Lanham is the 15th public Delco verbal and the second from Garnet Valley, joining attackman/midfielder Dylan Lee. The full list of Delco commitments can be found here.
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