UPDATED: Navy, Maryland to honor fallen lacrosse player
Prior to Navy’s home game against No. 6 Maryland, there will be a brief ceremony honoring the memory of Brendan Looney.
Looney, a Silver Spring native who played midfield for the Midshipmen, was one of nine U.S. military personnel killed in a helicopter crash in September in southern Afghanistan. He was a lieutenant in the Navy SEALs and a 2004 Naval Academy graduate.
Looney’s alma mater, DeMatha Catholic, will meet La Salle College High, the alma mater of Looney’s academy roommate Travis Manion, at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis at 3 p.m. Then before the scheduled 7 p.m. start of the contest between Navy and the Terps, the Navy SEAL Foundation will present the American flag to the Looney family.
“Brendan sacrificed his life in defense of our country,” Midshipmen coach Richie Meade said Wednesday. “He was an unbelievable kid, a great man, and he had a great future in front of him. We can all remember him and honor him by the way we live our lives. That’s what I think about when I think of Brendan Looney.”
Maryland coach John Tillman, who spent 12 seasons at the academy and grew close to the Looney family, said witnessing the ceremony will be emotional.
“It is very well deserved, but emotionally, knowing that he’s gone, that will require a lot of mental toughness and discipline to stay composed because he is a hero,” said Tillman, who said he has yet to take up an offer from the Looneys to spend thanksgiving with the family. “He was one of the finest young people I ever had the chance to be around, and it’ll bring up some great memories or being around him. Seeing his family is always a treasured time for me. They’re just awesome, awesome people. I’m still very tight with [younger brothers] Billy and Stephen. … Certainly, we’re happy to be a part of it. Anything we can do to honor a hero like Brendan, we’ll go above and beyond.”
UPDATE: It should be noted that Manion was killed by a sniper in 2007 while serving in Iraq. DeMatha and La Salle will take part in the inaugural Travis Manion-Brendan Looney Memorial Lacrosse Game. Thanks to Matt for pointing out those omissions.