Taking place outside of Baltimore, the third annual Project 9.9 concluded on Monday afternoon after a series of closing scrimmages. Each team played two games, providing extra motivation for the kids to play well in hopes of cementing their award status after rankings were posted earlier that morning.
It was an excellent weekend, as Paul Rabil, Mark Millon and a plethora of other MLL standouts housed an instructional and development-focused event. The event worked wonders on tons of promising recruits.
Here’s more on the five players who brought in awards:
Game MVP – Brian Smyth, M/FO, Westminster (Conn.)
The talented three-sport athlete concluded an impressive weekend by dropping an unofficial three points in the scrimmages, also doing an awesome job at the face-off X. Verballed to Duke and ranked No. 20 in the junior class, Smyth almost plays a Canadian-esque style with his crafty hands and stick work, often beating defenders down the alley with fakes and close range shots rather than speed dodges and outside shots from up top. He has a thick, sturdy frame and is a quiet assassin who is also a force on the defense side of the field.
Most Outstanding Attackman – Grant Ament, Haverford (Pa.)
Though one of the more accomplished attackmen in the 2015 class, this Penn State recruit steadily improved and overtook Duke’s LC teammate Curtis Zappala for the No. 1 attack spot thanks to one goal & three assists in Monday morning’s closing game. He’s an outstanding quarterback who understands the game impeccably and showed off great hands, vision and the ability to turn the corner. Most importantly, the third year Project 9 attendee was very coachable, taking what Millon taught him and showed during individual review before demonstrating it on the field.
Most Outstanding Midfielder – Joey Froccaro, Port Washington (N.Y.)
Out of all of the talent present this weekend, I was probably most looking forward to watching the youngest of the Froccaro clan, considering he’s been snakebitten by injury so it was the first time scouting the Princeton recruit in person. Boy, did he impress. Coaches were blown away at his complete game, hustle and two-way play among other things, showing a relentless dodging style and heavy, accurate shot on the run. So, he essentially plays just like his brothers, Jake and Jeff. He’s a horse who freelances but gets it done, also thriving at the face-off X and on groundballs.
Most Outstanding Defenseman – Austin Haynes, Moorestown (N.J.)
The future Delaware Blue Hen consistently brought it, outshining early defensive recruits headed to Virginia, North Carolina, Syracuse and other powerhouses. He’s nasty off the ground, aggressive in the middle of the field and demonstrated phenomenal stick skills, allowing him to be much more of an asset at the LSM position. One of the biggest compliments you can receive as a longpole is being called a “pest”, and Haynes was just that, sticking to his man’s hands and creating turnovers. Excelled at keeping his stick in the passing lanes for interceptions and pushing the tempo.
Most Outstanding Goalie – Philip Goss, Deerfield Academy (Mass.)
Here’s another kid who already brought to the table a rather impressive skill set but kept absorbing tips from goalie coaches Scott Rodgers and Tim McGeeney. The Brown-bound junior has awesome size, excellent leadership qualities and shot-stopping ability. He clears the ball with precision and confidence, holding onto each save cleanly and getting it up and out. Goss is lights out from both short range and from 10 yards and beyond, polishing his technique to finish a complete performance on the weekend. Tons on upside on this one.