Phil de Montmollin, Sports Information Director
BREVARD, N.C. – At this Saturday's Brevard College Men's Lacrosse Senior Day, senior goalkeeper Peyton Mooney will be wearing the uniform number 45 for the final time as a Tornado. Throughout his entire college lacrosse career, Mooney has worn no. 45 with a very special purpose in mind.
Mooney came to Brevard College from the Hill Academy, a highly successful, sports-intensive high school in Vaughn, Ontario with one of the preeminent lacrosse programs in North America.
In 2008, just the second season for the Hill Academy, a 10th grader named Jamieson Kulhmann was carried off the field following an on-field collision in a club lacrosse game in Newmarket, Ontario. After two days in the hospital, Kulhmann passed away devastating his surrounding community.
Kulhmann wore the number 45. For the past decade since his passing, Kulhmann's legacy has continued through the honoring of his uniform number both on and off the lacrosse field.
At The Hill Academy, Kulhmann's number was retired to go along with many other on-going tributes.
Mooney recalls being led by Strength & Conditioning Coach Daniel Nobles with the team chant of "45 Hill Pride!" before and after every workout, practice, and game at the Hill Academy, a tradition that continues to this day. The school even changed its name as a tribute to Kulhmann. The school's original name was "HIL", an acronym from Highest Level of Performance, Independent Thought and Leadership. However, a second letter L was added to the name's acronym for Legacy as a tribute to Kulhmann.
Meanwhile in the years since Kulhmann's passing, Hill Academy alumni as well as former players from Kulhmann's club team the Toronto Beaches have worn the number 45 throughout their college careers as a tribute for all that the teammate known as "Jammer" represented.
"Wearing #45 represents respect, effort and humility. Jamieson had a significant impact on the Hill lacrosse program and me personally," Hill Academy Coach Brodie Merrill told Inside Lacrosse in 2013. "Jammer was a quiet, humble, hardworking and genuine person who's missed terribly by family and friends."
The tradition of wearing the number 45 in college lacrosse began when Kulhmann's teammate Jason Noble initiated a pact with his teammates that they would all wear the number if it was available in college. Noble went on to wear the no. 45 at Cornell University as did teammate Zach Palmer at Johns Hopkins University. Jeremy Noble wore no. 45 the next year at the University of Denver to continue the tradition that has seen dozens of players, including Brevard College's Mooney, wear the number as a tribute to Kulhmann.
Mooney arrived at Brevard College in the Fall of 2015. Upon his arrival, then-Head Coach Michael Markland knew the back story of the number 45 and had the jersey reserved for the freshman goalkeeper. As a tribute to Kulhmann and to keep in the tradition of so many former Hill Academy players, Mooney has worn the jersey in all 34 of his career games played at Brevard College leading into this Saturday's Senior Day.
"Wearing the no. 45 has kept Jamieson's legacy alive and it has been an honor for me to continue his legacy at Brevard College," said Mooney. "So many of us have been able to keep his legacy going as a sign of respect for all he did as one of the first guys to get started at the Hill. For me personally, it has been an opportunity to keep his legacy going while also reminding me to keep pushing, never knowing if it might be the last game I'll ever play."
In addition to remembering Kulhmann, Mooney also keeps the legacy of former teammate Cody Shepperd who passed away in 2017. Mooney and Shepperd grew up together in Fergus, Ontario playing lacrosse and as a tribute the Tornado goalkeeper wears the letters "CS" on his throat guard in honor of his longtime friend.
"Before every game, I take a moment to look up to the sky and ask both Cody and Jamieson for help," said Mooney. "Many times, I will look up and say to myself 'all right boys, I need your help today'."
This Saturday, Mooney and nine other Brevard College seniors under the direction of Head Coach Jim Fritz will play their final game in a Tornado uniform when Brevard hosts Huntingdon at 2 p.m. at Ives-Lemel Family Field. Mooney's parents Scott and Tracey Mooney are making the trip from Canada and will escort their son for the Senior Day Ceremony scheduled for halftime of the Brevard-Huntingdon game.
Mooney is set to graduate from Brevard College with a B.A. in Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education and a Minor in History. The graduating senior plans to pursue a career in the outdoor industry while also remaining active in the sport of Lacrosse as either a player or coach.
2019 Brevard College Men's Lacrosse Senior Class
#3 Jackson McKaig, Attacker, Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz HS
#14 Huntley Davis, Midfielder, Greenville, S.C./Eastside HS
#16 Chris Efenecy, Longstick Midfielder, Waxhaw, N.C./Charlotte Catholic HS
#23 Sean Pratt, Attacker, Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic HS
#25 Hewitt Farr, Attacker, Santa Fe, N.M./Sante Fe HS
#32 Jack Shade, Midfielder, Lower Merion, Pa./Lower Merion HS
#33 Harrison Roberts, Midfielder, Columbia S.C./Flora HS
#34 Raheem Brown, Midfielder. Riverhead, N.Y./Riverhead HS
#40 Paxton Brown, Midfielder. Columbia, S.C./AC Flora HS
#45 Peyton Mooney, Goalkeeper, Fergus, Ontario/The Hill Academy