Cherry Hill East Cougars are snubbed in Flyers Cup due to geography…

March 21, 1983

The fourth Flyers Cup opens tonight with two games in Penn’s Class of 1923 Rink, with the team that may be the best in the area not included. The reason? Cherry Hill East, champion of the powerful Suburban League, is on the wrong side of the Delaware River. Cherry Hill East and Bishop Eustace Prep of Pennsauken, N.J., were admitted to the Suburban League this winter, the first-time non-Pennsylvania teams were not full-fledged members of any of the four area leagues that send their champions to the Flyers Cup.

Egan’s Bobby Lawrence heads to the box in a recent game.

The leagues voted, 3-1, not to permit non-Pennsylvania teams in the Flyers Cup, and at the time no one thought much about it. After all, powerful Germantown Academy, the defending cup champion, was expected to breeze to the Suburban League title. But Cherry Hill East served notice on Southeastern Pennsylvania when the Cougars tied GA in the season opener. But GA waltzed through the rest of its season unbeaten and untied, and East went 14-7-2 the rest of the way.

Problem solved? No way. East won the league playoff in three games last week and may well be the area’s best team. Unfortunately, the Cougars won’t get a chance to show it. So, what the cup needs now is a rousing showing by Bishop Egan, Conestoga, or Malvern Prep. GA enters the cup as the Suburban League’s highest-finishing Pennsylvania team. But a second straight GA cup would mean the real champions are in Cherry Hill. That’s why more than a few area hockey officials will be rooting for Egan, which is 22-0. The Eagles are the first team ever to carry a perfect record into the Flyers Cup and. in forward Bobby Lawrence, have a legitimate Division I college prospect. a rarity in this area. Conestoga also lends a hint of glamour to the cup. The Pioneers are one of the originators of scholastic hockey in this area but never have made the cup tournament. They finished 20-5-1 and ousted defending state champion West Chester in the finals of the Inter-County League playoffs. But picking Conestoga would be a gamble because Malvern Prep twice defeated the Pioneers in nonleague games. Malvern (17-4-2) entered the cup as the champion of the Eastern League. The Friars lost to Archbishop Carroll in the championship game of the first cup and haven’t been back since.

The Flyers Cup championship goes to the first team to win three games. Tonight’s action matches Germantown Academy and Egan at 7:30; Conestoga meets Malvern at 9:30.

CREDIT: The Philadelphia Inquirer