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Virginia's "Greatest Recruiting Class Ever" Still Without Lacrosse NCAA Championship

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Senior midfielder Rhamel Bratton will be on the sidelines this weekend in the first round of the NCAA Championships against Bucknell.
Senior midfielder Rhamel Bratton will be on the sidelines this weekend in the first round of the NCAA Championships against Bucknell.

Here is a fantastic article by Shane Mettlen in The Washington Times that focuses on Virginia men's lacrosse's senior class, a class that was deemed by the media as perhaps the greatest recruiting class lacrosse has ever seen -- a class that, four years later, is still in search of an NCAA Championship.

The article starts off taking a look at the senior class -- a class that included big-time names like Shamel Bratton, Rhamel Bratton, Bray Malphrus and Adam Ghitelman.

Before they even arrived on The Grounds at UVa., the Cavaliers seniors had been dubbed as the class that might change the sport. Inside Lacrosse magazine put them on the cover with the headline "The Greatest Recruiting Class Ever?" But at the time it hardly seemed like a question. College coaches predicted they would win multiple national championships.

It covers the trials and tribulations the team has gone through over the past three years, including the apparent suicide of alumnus and former senior captain Will Barrow, the sudden heart attack of Michael Colley, the team's media relations director, and the death of women's lacrosse player Yeardley Love, with men's midfielder George Huguely arrested for her murder.

At times it all seemed like too much. They’d grieved and listened to critics call them losers and speculate about their character. But they can’t picture themselves anywhere else or going through life as part of any other group.

Heading into this weekend's first round of the NCAA Championships in Charlottesville against Bucknell, only two of those four aforementioned names will be on the field. Is there still hope for the season? Anyone who is even a passing fan of Virginia lacrosse, or who wants a little color as to the importance of this year's quest for a national championship should read this in-depth article.