Put on by the Dallas-based club program, the third annual C2C Spotlight Top Prospect Camp took place on Saturday and Sunday. It was not only extremely successful in terms of the talent level, but also impactful on the players and their families.
On Saturday morning before the games took place, several highly regarded Division I, II and III coaches put on a three-hour clinic with station work. The game is growing in Texas (and the South in general) and the athletes are rampant, so the fact that so many coaches came down to teach some pointers was pretty cool. The kids were all extremely polite and were sponges to everything that was said to them, taking those skills and putting them to use throughout the weekend once the whistles blew.
Spread across three fields (there was also a girl’s event on the other fields), games at this particular individual showcase were just under an hour long, going from 12-4 on Saturday and 9-1 on Sunday. All Star Games took place as well – one for 2018’s & 2019’s and the other for 2016’s & 2017’s – showcasing the very best players from the weekend.
Thanks again to the awesome people at C2C for having me down there. Great lacrosse, people, food & overall hospitality – definitely going to be back next year!
Here are some of the players who impressed:
Michael Booth, A, Palo Verdes (Calif.) 2016 – A member of a high school program coached by pro laxer Jimmy Borell, this prospect is a tough cookie who bounced off defenders and kept performing at high level. He’s athletic and rather fleet-footed, possessing deft stick skills and a solid understanding of the game in terms of where to be in order to become successful. Uncommitted recruit who scored a pair of goals in the ASG and will be one to watch going forward.
Ben Wilkinson, M, Woodward Academy (Ga.) 2017 – A member of the Thunder down in the Atlanta area, Wilkinson is a recruit that college coaches are going to be all over soon. He’s a tall drink of water at 6’4 or so, moving extremely well in space and setting up his dodges impeccably plus there’s some nice sizzle and accuracy on his shot. Apparently can also flourish at the attack position.
Kirby Bennett, M, Parish Episcopal (Tex.) 2018 – Bennett was probably the most jaw-dropping athlete at the Spotlight. He floats between the restraining lines and has a nasty overhand shot from the outside, often making defenders look silly when dodging downhill. I tweeted this while highlighting the kid, but if he works on his stick skills then he’ll be playing at one of the nation’s best programs, playing defensive midfield at the very least.
Holden Markoff, G, Episcopal Houston (Tex.) 2017 – Love this player. Taking up a lot of the cage, Markoff has excellent technique and communication skills, two qualities that help make him an impressive Division I prospect. He made eye-popping save after eye-popping save and confidently tossed out outlets with precision. Attacks the ball in close and seldom lets in ‘bad’ goals.
Chris Walker, LSM, Highland Park (Tex.) 2017 – A beast between the lines, Walker stands 6-foot-1 and 175 pounds and extremely impactful on the ball. His off-ball IQ needs some work but at this point, he’s a great recruit who a lot of programs would like to have, possessing strong footwork, stick skills and clearing ability. Looking forward to seeing where he winds up.
Dean DiBello, M, Southlake Carroll (Tex.) 2016 – I watched him a year or so ago at a top individual event and though he stood out, I’m impressed with where DeBello has taken his game. He breezes down the alley and has an impressive amount of snap on his shot, demonstrating that in the form of two great tallies in the All-Star Game. With awesome grades as well, he’d be a nice fit for a Patriot League school or any program with great lacrosse and academics.
Jack Kozmetsky, M, Highland Park (Tex.) 2017 – It’s easy to see what UNC head coach Joe Breschi saw in RR’s No. 71 sophomore. Kozmetsky is a gazelle in the open field, having no trouble beating his man and making all sorts of big plays – whether it’s a big goal, groundball or hockey assist in transition. For a sophomore, he’s becoming awfully complete so it will be fun to see where his game stands a few years from now.
Brenner McCutcheon, D, Whitefield Academy (Ga.) 2017 – Based on what I’ve seen, this kid’s going to garner more honors during his career than the All-Name Team. He’s got awesome footwork and is strong around GLE, bullying opposing attackmen while also showing that he’s a tremendous asset in the clearing game. Very disruptive and impactful in the All-Star Game.
Owen Seebold, A, Highland Park (Tex.) 2017 – The Fighting Scot standout is one of the better uncommitted 2017’s that I’ve seen and after a great weekend, he should be feeling confident about finding a collegiate home soon. Seebold is awesome with either hand, surveying the field with great vision and either turning the corner for a finish or setting up a teammate. A pure hustler, he’s excellent in the riding game as well, balling out in the ASG with at least three points in a five-minute span.
Thatcher Thornberry, D, Allen (Tex.) 2018 – Another All-Name Teamer, Thornberry is a really impressive player with high upside. He communicates amply, takes over when the ball is on the ground and has timely slides. There’s no doubt that he can work on a few areas of his game but overall, I think he’s a great college recruit who has great fundamentals while also doing the little things well.
Jack Zarnik, M, Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) 2018 – A slick initiator from up top, Zarnik is a really polished player with phenomenal wheels. The Raleigh native (who plays for C2C National) consistently made the right decision both with and without the ball and provided a big boost to his team in the championship game for Team Rock. Certainly a player to keep an eye on coming out of the South.
Jack Schlendorf, G, Oregon Episcopal (Ore.) 2018 – This netminder is going to be become the next stud to come out of the Pacific Northwest and his college looks (Michigan, Ivies and a few more) back that up. His size is great considering his young age and he talked and made huge stops throughout the weekend, commanding the defense and corralling tough shots with a tremendous amount of poise. Plays club for the West Coast Starz, Rhino and Brady’s Bunch.
Tommy Reilly, M, Viewpoint (Calif.) 2017 – Playing club primarily for the LA Lazers, Reilly is a great athlete, something SoCal sends plenty of into the D1 ranks on a yearly basis. Forming a nice 1-2 punch with line mate Paul Rodriguez, Reilly is a smooth dodger with a growing lacrosse IQ. He’s confident with the ball in his stick and sets up his fellow offensive players well, also doing a great job on the defensive side of the ball.
OTHERS WHO STOOD OUT
AJ Carney, A, McKinney (Tex.) 2016
Kaveh Torabian, D, Oaks Christian (Calif.) 2016
Jackson Durham, D, Highland Park (Tex.) 2016
Chris Buell, M, Highland Park (Tex.) 2016
Cameron Acuff, A, Braircrest Christian (Ten.) 2016
Trammel Robinson, M, Memphis University School (Tenn.) 2016
Cade Clawinski, A, Memphis University School (Tenn.) 2017
Bennett King, M, Holy Innocent’s (Ga.) 2017
Reed Randolph, D, Vandegrift (Tex.) 2017
Ryan Darby, G, Plano West (Tex.) 2017
Jonathan Partamian, M, Loyola (Calif.) 2017
Tillman Gallagher, M, Sunset (Ore.) 2017
Ripken Reynolds, M, Coppell (Tex.)
Ryder Mora, M, Loyola (Calif.) 2017
Adam Barry, A, Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) 2018
Scully Jenevein, A, Highland Park (Tex.) 2018
Landon Hovey, A, Regis Jesuit (Colo.) 2018
Andrew Mitchell, D, Hebron (Tex.) 2018
Tommy Reilly, M, Viewpoint (Calif.) 2018
Cooper Kneese, A, Highland Park (Tex.) 2018
Jack Van Slyke, G, Westminster (Ga.) 2018
Mason Marano, A, Greenhill (Tex.) 2018
Brandon Meaux, A, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.) 2018
Luke Policke, M, Cedar Park (Tex.) 2018
Peyton Jefferson, D, Allen (Tex.) 2018