Tennis has the Bryan twins. Lacrosse has the Corbolottis.
The mirror twins — Tom is a righty and Mike’s a southpaw — first picked up lacrosse sticks their freshman year at St. Ignatius. Recruited by smaller lacrosse programs after stellar high school careers at S.I., the San Francisco natives decided to take their chances as walk-on’s at Cornell, where the midfielders played all four years for the Ivy League champion Big Red.
After graduating from Cornell in 2008, Mike stayed in New York, while Tom moved back home.
“Unlike the Bryan twins, we’ve actually separated,” Tom said.
On Saturday, Tom Corbolotti will be on the field in an administrative role at Kezar Stadium for the second annual San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic. Although his collegiate playing days may be over, the Richmond district resident stays involved in lacrosse as a Bay Area Youth Sports (BAYS) Foundation board member.
Nearly 5,000 fans watched the University of North Carolina defeat Brown in last year’s inaugural lacrosse classic. With the proceeds, BAYS contributed $50,000 in grants to five youth sports and education programs.
This year’s classic features perennial lacrosse powerhouse Johns Hopkins taking on Notre Dame, a team that lost in sudden death overtime to Duke in the last season’s national championship game.
“It’s great to get premier teams out here live so people can see it, the speed combined with the skill of kids who’ve been playing since kindergarten,” Corbolotti said.
Considering their late introduction to the game, the Corbolotti boys made up for lost time by putting in extra time together on the practice field.
“It’s a coordination sport, just repetition, shooting the ball hundreds of times, and making sure you do it the same way each time,” Corbolotti said.
At Cornell, the twins used their freshman and sophomore seasons to adjust to the speed of lacrosse on the East Coast, the hub of the sport. Junior season, though, they cracked the starting lines, and each made their mark. In his first start, versus Harvard, Tom scored and had an assist. He exudes the same pride reflecting on the goal that older twin Mike (older by 12 minutes) scored at the 2007 Final Four.
Playing for the Olympic Club’s lacrosse squad, Corbolotti keeps one hand on his lacrosse stick while juggling the long hours as an analyst at J.P. Morgan. On the weekends, he coaches John Corbolotti, a freshman at S.I. who is hoping to follow in the footsteps of his older brothers.
San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic
WHO: Johns Hopkins vs. Notre Dame
WHERE: Kezar Stadium
SCHEDULE: 11 a.m., gates open; 11:30 a.m., coaches clinic; noon, youth clinic; 3 p.m., game