Chris Tsetsekos sparks Haverford School lacrosse past Malvern Prep

At 5-foot-7, 160 pounds, Haverford School sophomore faceoff specialist Chris Tsetsekos in no way, shape or form resembles NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo.

The pair, however, apparently share a nickname.

“Greek Freak!” was shouted on the Fords’ celebratory sideline after Tsetsekos iced the game with a late goal in the Fords’ 12-9 victory on a chilly, blustery Friday afternoon at rival Malvern Prep.

“I have a lot of nicknames, but ‘Greek Freak’ is one of them,” Tsetsekos said. “I think that’s my favorite.”

His loyalty, however, remains local.

“The Sixers are my favorite team,” he said with a smile, “but then after that I’d have to go with the Bucks because of Giannis.”

For stretches on Friday, Tsetsekos, who transferred from Conestoga, dominated his position the way his 6-11 namesake sometimes overwhelms the NBA.

Senior attacker TJ Malone was also remarkable for the Fords, scoring five goals and adding an assist. Malvern senior Scott White also had five goals.

But Malone’s two third-quarter tallies also sparked the Fords’ critical five-goal run in the third quarter.

That run, however, likely wouldn’t have happened without Tsetsekos dominating on faceoffs.

He had already won possession several times in the first quarter, which helped the Fords take a 4-2 edge after the frame.

 

But in the second, the Friars used a long pole, Tsetsekos said, to attack his body, not necessarily play the ball.

As a result, Malvern controlled much of the second-quarter action and narrowed its deficit to, 4-3, at intermission.

 

“Something I stressed this week of practice was getting a good first quarter,” he said. “They ‘poled’ me in the second quarter, so I just adjusted and dominated throughout the rest of the game.”

By game’s end he had won 18 of his 26 faceoff attempts.

Turns out, Tsetsekos is a quick study.

He started playing lacrosse in second grade after his brother, Peter, in middle school at the time, got Lacrosse for Dummies at their local library.

Peter later got two sticks so the two could practice.

Peter, currently a senior at Drexel, was in attendance Friday, filming the game for his brother as a hobby.

Their father, George, was born in Greece.

Their mother, Niki, comes from a Philadelphia family of Greek heritage, and her first name means “victorious,” Tsetsekos said.

If victory truly does run in the family, it appears Tsetsekos is in the right place.

“Our coach said this week that we’re [Haverford School and Malvern], the two best teams in the past decade in Pennsylvania, and it’s going to come down to who works harder,” he said. “This win means a lot. We’re going to roll into the [Inter-Ac] season with momentum.”

Haverford School    4    0    5    3 —  12

Malvern Prep           2    1    2    4 —  9

HS: TJ Malone 5, Scott Deck 2, Luke O’Grady 2, Adam Salvaggio, Payton Hollway, Chris Tsetsekos.
MP: Scott White 5, Quinn McCahon 2, Jack Traynor, Seamus Glynn.
Saves: HS — Harrison Fellheimer 8; MP — Evan Pettit 11.