Keeping it all in the family


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To develop into a star lacrosse player, it doesn’t hurt to have the right genes. And in the cases of Peter and Tim Worstell, playing for an established high school program was a benefit as well.

The oldest two sons of former Syracuse player Gayl Worstell, Peter and Tim starred at Garden City High School in Long Island, N.Y. for coach Doc Dougherty. Tim even stayed behind for half of his junior and senior years with family friends, while his parents and younger brother were outside Lynchburg. Tim would spend the fall semesters at Brookville High School and go back to Garden City for lacrosse seasons in the spring.

From fifth grade through his four years at Stonewall Jackson High school, Tom Worstell was away from the East Coast’s most fertile lacrosse territory. Gayl’s jobs in medical sales moved the family to Lynchburg in 1976 and Manassas in 1978, but Tom still became an all-American at Maryland.

“Tom’s brothers grew up on Long Island and of course were surrounded by youth leagues the way you see a lot of kids start out with soccer now,” said Gayl Worstell, who now resides in Jupiter, Fla., with his wife, Peggy. “Then we all helped Tom ease his way into lacrosse.”

Peter, a 1976 Garden City graduate, even volunteered on occasion for Tom’s youth lacrosse team, which was affiliated with Virginia Episcopal School in Lynchburg. A 1981 Maryland graduate he missed an entire season because of back and shoulder operations Peter was a four-time all-American. Like his younger brother, Tom, Peter was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 50th Anniversary Men’s Lacrosse Team.

“It’s a real privilege to be part of that team,” Peter said. “My four years of lacrosse at Maryland made for a fantastic experience. To this day, it’s still the best experience I’ve had in lacrosse. I have a phenomenal passion for this great game, and to me Maryland is the best place for it in the whole country.”

With 126 career goals, the oldest Worstell brother ranks fourth on the Terrapins’ all-time goal-scoring list. He and his wife, Helen, celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary this June. They have a daughter, Jennifer (age 15), and a son, Patrick (age 8).

“Pete was amazing because he could go lefty-righty,” Gayl Worstell said. “He mostly played middie, but he played attack one year and was an all-American there, too.”

Peter Worstell, 44, now lives in Danville, Calif., and works as vice president for sales for Jockey International. He has made his own video, called “Basic Wall Work,” which he sold to U.S. Lacrosse. This year, he started a camp for youth lacrosse players from second grade through high school. Both of his brothers and current Maryland coach Dave Cottle were among the volunteers for the 175 students at the Peter Worstell Elite Lacrosse Camp.

“We all stay pretty connected to lacrosse and still go to plenty of Maryland games, but Pete is probably the most connected of the three of us,” Tom Worstell said.

Tim Worstell received national attention for his own wall work he was praised in a Life Magazine on high school sports phenoms in October 1979 for working two hours a day on throwing a ball off a church wall. In the same issue, Life featured California prep football sensation John Elway.

“I got a little something, but it was in high school though,” Tim said. “My first year in college was kind of an awakening for me, but what I’ll remember most is getting to play with my brother for two years.

“In 1981, we played Navy at Annapolis late in the season and I assisted on one of Pete’s goals. Then against Johns Hopkins in the playoffs, he assisted on one of mine. I can still remember he took the ball from a defenseman behind the goal in kind of a riding situation. He fed me and it was kind of a layup.”

A 1982 Maryland graduate, Tim has moved into a career in municipal bonds for Rafferty Capital Markets in New York City. He and his wife of 12 years, Kelly, also have one son (Jack, age 7) and one daughter (Kate, age 5).

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