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Last run: Brothers Derek, Dylan Maltz savor final season together at Syracuse

first_img Published on April 15, 2014 at 1:30 am Contact Jesse: [email protected] | @dougherty_jesse Derek Maltz’s high school career was ending. Dylan Maltz’s was just beginning. The only thing either of them could do was stand at midfield and cry.Derek, a Stone Bridge (Va.) High School senior at the time, was Syracuse bound. Dylan, a freshman, didn’t know the first thing about college recruiting, but had proven to be more than just “Derek’s younger brother” in a short time.But their lone year together was slipping away in the regional quarterfinals of the 2010 Virginia state playoffs, with Wilbert Tucker Woodson High School leading by five goals and the final minutes ticking off the clock. So the brothers stood side by side as the season came to an unceremonious end. “It’s not going to be the last time we play together,” Dylan said to Derek, if not to predict the future, then to lighten the sting of the loss. “I know it’s not.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIt only could have meant one thing, and four years later the Maltz brothers are reunited as teammates at Syracuse. Once again, Derek is a senior and Dylan a freshman, and just a handful of games separate them from another parting. And while they’re doing the most to savor that time and help the Orange back to the national championship game, they’re also closing a chapter of family history.Their father, Derek Maltz Sr., was a walk-on in the early 1980s, on the team that won the program’s first national championship in 1983 and kick-started 22 straight years of final four appearances. He didn’t push his sons to play at Syracuse, but their devotion to the program and each other are a product of his guidance. Derek has bounced in and out of SU’s starting lineup this season, and has scored 10 goals while collecting seven assists. Dylan’s minutes have been scarce, but he’s shown flashes of playmaking ability when given the chance. “Coming here and playing with Derek has been awesome,” Dylan said. “We knew it was coming, but I couldn’t ask for much more from this season with him.”Growing up, Dylan and Derek took every opportunity to be around each other. They often played sports with their friends and were always a package deal. Derek a center and Dylan his point guard. Derek a quarterback and Dylan his receiver. And above all, a duo around the lacrosse net. Dylan was just 3 years old when they first started playing “mini lax” in their basement, and Derek — whose size has allowed him to dominate around the crease throughout his Syracuse career — could always use his size against his younger brother. As they grew older they took the game outside and started regularly watching SU lacrosse with their dad. They learned the names of the players, wore blue and orange gear and absorbed the rich tradition. “They fell in love with the game when they were little,” Derek Sr. said. “I did my best to show them good lacrosse, and that just happened to be Syracuse lacrosse at the time.”But when Dylan got to Stone Bridge and the two were finally on the same high school team, Stone Bridge head coach Scott Mitchell put them on different practice lines to see what they could on their own. “Hey Coach, can I play with Derek?” Dylan asked as his line left the field and Derek’s went on. “Can I try being on a line with my brother?” Derek asked when he came off. But when games came, Mitchell paired the two like he always knew he would.“Guys like that, you can’t split them up,” Mitchell said. “They had a great chemistry and were phenomenal together.”At season’s end, Derek’s decision to attend Syracuse was an easy one. He wasn’t heavily sought after and getting an opportunity at Syracuse was always his dream. But in the three years after Derek left Stone Bridge, Dylan became one of the top players in an area not traditionally known for its lacrosse. He surfaced as the sixth-ranked attack and No. 18 player in the Class of 2013, according to Inside Lacrosse, and drew interest from a variety of programs.Then in the summer of 2011, Dylan and Derek sat on their back porch while Dylan called SU head coach John Desko. It had been a little more than a year since he promised his older brother they’d run on the same field again, and he stuck to that.“He made the decision on his own, and Derek had a lot to do with it,” Derek Sr. said. “He wanted another chance to play with his brother.”Now, after just one more season where Derek is doing his best to help a deep attack unit and Dylan is scratching at the surface as a freshman, they’ll soon part again. But Dylan will carry on the family tradition after Derek graduates, and the youngest Maltz — 13-year-old Danny — is a budding lacrosse star. “He could be the best of all three of us,” Derek said. And when he was asked if Danny could end up at Syracuse, Derek smiled and said, “With our track record, why not?”In the short term, Syracuse is chasing a national championship and the Maltz brothers are doing anything they can to win a ring, just like their dad. Derek’s collegiate career will soon end. Dylan’s is just beginning. But gratuity has replaced their tears. Derek said: “We’re just happy we’ve been able to play another year together. It’s been a blast. We’re always going to be able to look back on it and that’s what’s important.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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