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Alumni: Brown, John finally on the field for Hobart

Hobbled as they once were, finally a Salamanca connection is making an impact on Hobart College’s men’s lacrosse team.

After each sitting out most or all of last season, Tanner John, a 2013 Salamanca graduate, and Frank Brown, a 2012 Silver Creek graduate from Salamanca, have broken into Hobart’s playing rotation in the second half of the Statemen’s season.

Hobart lacrosse (7-6), the lone Div. I sport at the school, plays Bryant University in the Northeast Conference semifinals Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in Philadelphia.

“They’re both two of our more talented guys,” coach Greg Raymond said. “Last year, our record was a result of guys like Tanner going down, like Frank going down and Alex Love went down. Anybody that played significantly for us was either in and out of the lineup or out for good. Having those guys back, having them healthy and in the lineup has allowed us to have a camaraderie out there.”

John, a 6-foot-4 former quarterback, is a physically imposing midfielder, while Brown, at 6-foot-3, plays a shifty attack game.

“He’s a big, strong athletic kid, who’s a bear to stop,” Raymond said of John. “We knew that we had a raw athlete, a football guy really in a lacrosse guy’s body. So we knew we had some work to do to get him to fit into a system. We knew we had a piece of clay and we’re molding it.

“Frank’s as skilled as they come. He catches everything, he’s got an excellent stick, he passes everything on the ear. The thing that stands out about him is his innate IQ for this sport. He knows how to move a ball, what to do without the ball. It’s something that’s very difficult to teach.”

John and Brown played together at Salamanca before Brown’s move to Silver Creek and roomed together last year.

John, the 2013 Louis Foy award winner for Salamanca male athlete of the year, initially planned to play both football and lacrosse, but decided to focus solely on the latter.

He arrived at Hobart last season with a nagging knee injury from his senior football campaign. Raymond, then in his first year, met with John and decided to hold him out for the year, keeping his year of eligibility and letting him recuperate.