Though it would be lofty this early to make anything resembling a comparison, Team 91’s George Wichelns will come through Connetquot (N.Y.) just as fellow attackman Kieran McArdle, the 2014 MLL Rookie of the Year, did not too long ago. If there’s anyone for Wichelns to look up to, the former St. John’s and current Florida Launch standout would be a fitting option to try and emulate.
He’ll carve his own path, however, something that the Long Island product has started to do, netting 22 points in just seven games during his time on varsity. Perhaps most impressively, that’s competing in one of the nation’s more rigorous leagues – LI’s Suffolk County Class ‘A’.
From there, Wichelns (whose 3d Blue Chip highlight reel can be seen here) put together an excellent summer, including helping Team 91 to a championship at Adrenaline’s Platinum Cup that likely put him on John Tillman’s radar.
Playing on a squad that is tabbed by many as arguably the top 2018 team on the circuit, he’ll be no stranger to expectations. Becoming one of the first commits in his class will only bring on more from the general public.
Fortunately, he has the game to back it up.
A predominantly left-handed player with ample size (5’10, 145 pounds) for his age, Wichelns boasts great stick work, a quick release on his outside shot and the innate ability to let the game come to him. With time and development, he has the potential to be one of the ’18 players in the state. He’ll start with some of the better events this fall – Legacy, a playday hosted by the Crabs at Homewood Field and the Philly Freshman Showcase, all on top of playing QB and safety on the Thunderbirds’ varsity team.
About three weeks after his commitment to the Terrapins, I touched base with Wichelns for a quick Q&A:
Knowing how early the recruiting timeline is, did you ever feel pressure to perform well in front of college coaches this past summer? What about the pressure to commit?
This past summer, coach Sal Locascio told us that there would be college coaches watching us and to focus and play as a team. We played as a team and as a result, we all played well in front of the coaches. As for my decision, I did not feel pressured at all to make an early decision.
What was it about Maryland that stood out to you enough to pull the trigger so early? Who else did you consider and visit during the process?
Maryland’s academic options and high level of athletics were what stood out the most. Coach [John] Tillman gave me the freedom to discover what I wanted in a school and I found that in Maryland. My visit was during the summer and was great – the campus was beautiful and the atmosphere was great.
I visited North Carolina in addition to strongly considering Johns Hopkins and Loyola.
How does it feel to have the process over? As a player, what are some of the skills you bring to the table and what would you like to work on between now and college?
It feels good to only have to play with my team and not have to compete in the individual showcases. I would like to improve my size and speed and continue to work on my lacrosse skills. I feel as though I am a good dodger and distributor from behind and can help the team in any way that they need.