For the past few weeks, we have been profiling our players
and coaches in this segment to give our new fans in Washington a better idea
about whom they will be cheering for this winter. We’ve given you a look into the lacrosse careers of the
Stealth and asked some more personal questions, but one has to ask, “did I
really get to know the Stealth?”
So to better illustrate who these incredible athletes are, “Get to Know the Stealth” will not just talk about the lacrosse careers of our players and coaches, but also delve into their lives outside of lacrosse. Let’s start with second-year defenseman, Brett Manney.
There are very few players on the Stealth roster that illustrate the athleticism of the National Lacrosse League better than Brett Manney. He was a three-sport star at his high school in Newton, Penn., and was recruited to play Division I soccer, basketball and lacrosse.
“Basketball was my first love,” says Manney, who was a league MVP and county Player of the Year on a team that was a state finalist. He also earned All-Southeastern Pennsylvania honors as a soccer player.
But despite those accolades, Manney chose to advance his athletic career in lacrosse. Even though he didn’t pick up a stick until eighth grade, he excelled as a defensive midfielder and got the opportunity to pursue his education and play lacrosse at the University of Delaware. He was the first lacrosse player in his area to play at the Division I level. His junior year, the Hens advanced to the Final Four where they lost to Johns Hopkins and his Stealth teammate and roommate, Paul Rabil.
But while Manney has always excelled on the playing fields, his true aspirations lie in the broadcaster’s booth. “Ideally, I’d like to be a sports broadcaster either on TV or the radio,” he says. “In my teens, I’d watch guys calling college football and basketball games and I always figured they had the best seats in the house.’’
Manney got his opportunity to have the best seat in the house at Delaware football and basketball games, where he did play-by-play for their radio broadcasts. He is now looking to get his professional broadcasting career started. For the past year, he’s worked for ESPN partner Sportspower.com, where he covers high school basketball, football and lacrosse. He writes weekly articles and appears on podcasts for the website.
But that’s just his day job as he continues to work towards his broadcasting career goals. On the weekends, Manney terrorizes opposing offenses for the Stealth.
It was luck for the Stealth that brought Manney to training camp last year, as his talents flew under the radar of most NLL teams. He got the idea to consider indoor from his Delaware assistant coach Chris Collins. Collins played some indoor during his career and thought that Manney’s 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame and raw athleticism might translate well to the indoor game. Boy was he right. Last season, Manney emerged as one of the bright young defensive stars in the league, in just his first indoor season.
“I learned a lot in my first year,” he says. “We have a great group of guys on our team that were more than willing to help me adapt to the indoor game. Playing alongside guys like Colin Doyle, who is the best player in the league, and defensive guys like Curtis Hodgson and Kyle Sorenson really made it a lot easier. They’ve been playing indoor their whole lives and helped me along.”
Whether it is on the lacrosse field or in the press box, Brett Manney’s future is bright. Stealth fans will have the pleasure of watching this incredible athlete develop for years to come. Here are a few more questions we asked Manney for this week’s “Get to Know the Stealth.”
1. When did you start playing lacrosse and why?
BM: I first picked up a stick in eighth grade to have a pass with my sister who was playing in high school and played a little in the spring that year but did not really start playing till my freshman year of high school at Holy Ghost Prep. My dad encouraged my twin brother Ryan and myself to give it a try after one of our friend’s father, Kevin Casey really thought my brother and I would be great lacrosse players. Thank God he gave my dad the idea.
??2. Last season was your first of indoor lacrosse. What were some aspects of the game that you like the most???
BM: Well first off its great to play for an organization that is first class and that starts with our owners Bill and Denise Watkins. I never played box lacrosse before training camp so I had a lot to learn in short amount of time but in the end lacrosse is lacrosse. I loved the ability to compete on a weekly basis against some of the greatest lacrosse players to ever play the game. Playing alongside some of the games greatest players like Gary Gait and wearing the same sweater as the best player in the league Colin Doyle was truly awesome. In addition I enjoyed the fast-paced nature of the game, the contact and the tremendous crowd support like playing in front of a sell-out crowds.
3. What are you looking forward
to most this season with the Stealth?
BM: Winning a championship. I think we have all the pieces of the puzzle together to go extremely far. From leadership to talent I believe if we all work hard and listen to “Leon” aka Chris Hall and Artie the sky is the limit. In addition, I cannot wait to see everybody at training camp because the guys are great teammates on and off the floor I enjoy every minute I’m with them. Also, I think we have the opportunity to show the fans of Everett and the state of Washington how great the sport is.
4. What is your greatest lacrosse memory???
BM: My greatest lacrosse memory would have to be going to the Final Four with Delaware in 2007. It was the first time Delaware went to the Final Four in lacrosse and the most fans a Delaware sport has ever played in front of. We hit a rough bump in the middle of the season and really came together down the stretch for a remarkable run before eventually losing to my roommate and in my opinion the best player playing outdoor lacrosse and hopefully soon in indoor, Paul Rabil. It was a close game till the end of the third quarter till they started to pull away and eventually won 8-3. That team was able to put Delaware lacrosse on the map and have some memories which will last forever.
5. What are your hobbies outside of lacrosse???
BM: In my spare time I like to vacation in Stone Harbor New Jersey where my family has a shore house, it is my favorite place to go. In addition, I love to play basketball whenever I can because that is really my first love but I could not play at Kansas with an ok jump shot. I also like to stay in shape by going to the gym couple times a week. Other than that I really enjoy relaxing, hanging out with friends, and spending time with my two border collies Dutch and Bodhi.
6. Do you have any pregame superstitions???
BM: I always drink a five hour energy with Kyle Hartzell right before the game. I listen to my ipod and the last song I listen to is the song from Rudy the movie. I also say a prayer which goes all the way back to my CYO days.
7. If you were stranded on a
deserted island, what three items would you bring with you and why???
BM: can it be four? An exception for bmanney? Haha if I would leave one out it would be the matches
Sure Manney, take four.
1. Steve’s Prince of Steaks- a Northeast Philadelphia staple- they are the best. Like their slogan says, ‘I’m a loyal subject for life.’ Pat’s and Geno’s are for tourists
2. my dogs- border collies Dutch and Bodhi
4. Brooklyn Decker for obvious reasons (see photo above). She is gorgeous, down to earth and seems like the perfect chick
8. Who is your dream date, and what would you do on that date??
BM: It would be Brooklyn Decker. Ideal date for me is a nice dinner in the city and kick back and watch a movie after that. Pretty simple.
9. What Stealth teammate did you learn the most from last year???
BM: Well the obvious answer is Colin Doyle. He is the best leader I have ever had from the way he approaches every practice to every game is incredible. In addition he is an awesome ambassador for the sport and the rock for our team. Yet, since I was playing defense a few of the veterans welcomed me with open arms like Kyle Sorensen and Mike Kirk but most importantly Curtis Hogdson. He was always correcting my faults with constructive help and always was encouraging me. In addition he plays a great two-man game and always had a positive approach to everything.
10. What goals do you have for the rest of your lacrosse career
BM: I want to keep on learning and try to be the best player I can be. I know I can still improve and I want to win a championship first and foremost. It would also be nice to play in Philadelphia in front of my family and friends. Other than that, I want to encourage other Americans to play the sport to experience what it has to offer and the how good Canadians are. Finally I would like to be one day be an All-Pro.
11. Who is your role model?
BM: That is an easy answer and would be my father, Jim Manney. He went from being a father to my best friend. There are so many reasons why he is and I do not have enough time to say. The greatest man I have ever met or ever will.