The most highly regarded college programs in the land flocked the sidelines of the fields at Radnor HS on Sunday to check out rising talent at Quaker Fest, witnessing a lot of the East Coast’s most elite club teams.
This was my first time attending the event and I must admit that I was blown away by the prowess of the recruits in the 2018, 2017 and 2016 class. Even though dozens of them were off the board, college coaches at seemingly every Division I program had plenty of uncommitted prospects to eyeball, braving the cold winds to look to fill spots in their respective recruiting classes. Thanks again to Penn’s Mike Murphy and the rest of the staff for having me – phenomenal, well run event from start to finish.
For more pictures, check out Kevin P. Tucker’s gallery on LaxMagazine.com, while the schedule and list of teams can be found here. Below you’ll find write-ups on 15 players who impressed as well as several more namedrops of players who excelled during Sunday’s action.
Grayson Sallade ’18, M, Duke’s LC / Manheim Township (Pa.)
If I had to guess, I would predict that Sallade (pictured above) will be one of the next kids in the class to commit, as he’s been to Virginia, Penn State, Notre Dame and North Carolina off the top of my head. He’s quite ambidextrous and confident getting to the rack, knowing what it takes to beat his man. Really just love the way he plays and can see why he’s getting so much college attention.
Danny Kielbasa ’17, A, VLC / Paul VI (Va.)
I’m going to respect anyone who has the last name of a tasty smoked meat, but even more so I’m going to respect someone with a skill set as strong as Kielbasa’s. The Army commit is a relentless rider and lights out shooter from ten yards and in, showing off a rather strong understanding of the game. Smooth attackman with a high ceiling.
Brett Hobbs ’18, M, Duke’s LC / Salesianum (Del.)
Possessing some serious height for a freshman, the lefty jumps off of the page right away with more athleticism than you can shake a stick at. He’s a strong two-handed alley dodger who goes hard to the cage and consistently made the right look after drawing the slide. Really impressed with how polished Hobbs is already.
Alex Vardaro ’18, M, FLG / Hewlett (N.Y.)
It didn’t take long for Vardaro – who goes to the same high school that produced Max Seibald – to stand out to the college coaches beside me. He’s super athletic and fearless going to the cage, showing that he can run all day, which makes sense considering that the kid is said to be a standout soccer player. Protects his stick well and is a force running down the alleys, possessing considerable upside.
Bobby Bohner ’18, LSM/D, Duke’s LC / La Salle (Pa.)
I’m a big advocate of Bohner’s style of play, constantly pushing the ball upfield thanks to fantastic speed and vision. Although it’s early, he projects very well at the next level as long as he continues to gain muscle (that’s a trend in this article regarding freshman) and polish his cover skills. You have to think that due to the fact that he has some well renowned coaches, including Tony Resch in the spring, he will become a stud.
Aidan Olmstead ’17, A, SweetLax / Corning (N.Y.)
The No. 24 sophomore in the land, Olmstead dazzled just as he’s done on a regular basis in the last six-plus months. His vision and prowess from X is superb for his age, distributing and finishing well for Kevin Martin’s loaded SweetLax squad. If he improves his right hand, he’ll shoot up in the rankings. Outstanding addition for the Loyola Greyhounds last month.
Roman Puglise ’17, A, VLC / Paul VI (Va.)
There are still some parts about his game that are raw, but I’m a huge fan of where Puglise’s game is and more importantly, where he’s capable of taking it. He’s got really strong wrists, demonstrates a strong face and split dodge and is simply a bull when moving up and down the field. Saw him have a wicked shovel goal in close in the final game of the day too that raised some eyebrows. Promising local recruit for the Maryland Terrapins.
Jack Parr ’17, A, Baltimore Crabs / McDonogh (Md.)
With some of the Crabs’ more accomplished players sidelined by injury, Parr was able to shine on Sunday from what I saw. You can tell that he’s been working hard on his shot, He had a beautiful low-to-high goal, using great snap and overall looking very solid over on the wings. For whatever reason, Parr strikes me as a player who would thrive in a conference like the Patriot or Ivy League (and he has the grades to match), he’ll just need to continue to add size.
Patrick Tully ’17, LSM/D, Leading Edge / Summit (N.J.)
I continue to be impressed with Tully’s overall skill set, as he takes superb angles and gets the ball off the carpet quickly. The lefty is aggressive with his stick, collapsing on the ball carrier while also showing that he’s a tremendous help in the clear. His checks are surgical, using fundamentally sound stick work. It’s easy to see how well he understands the game and where to be.
Bryce Reid ’16, A, Duke’s LC / Avon Grove (Pa.)
Scratching my head trying to figure out how nobody’s picked up Reid yet. Blessed with unbelievable hands and craftiness, Reid has a delightful burst of speed and is able to get through heavy defensive pressure without many issues, limiting turnovers and unleashing the rock with a ton of velocity on it . He’s constantly keeping his feet moving on the way to the cage, making up for his lack of size. Stud two-handed player who dazzled on Sunday and helped his cause when it comes to finding a collegiate home.
Alex Semler ’17, FO/M, Tri-State / Hun School (N.J.)
A gritty workhorse who is fantastic at winning the ball forward, Semler has a sturdy frame and super quick hands, allowing him to win the clamp and get to the ball to his team’s offensive options. He has ample stick skills and even scored a goal in the noon game I watched against the Crabs.
Tyler Senerchia ’17, LSM, Tenacious Turtles / St. Anthony’s (N.Y.)
Stepping up big time on Sunday, the longstick midfielder is phenomenal off the ground and is equally adept at putting the ball on the ground thanks to top notch stick work. With some improvement and time spent in the weight room, ‘Gooch’ will become one of the better LSMs in the class. Senerchia was the first 2017 player on Long Island to verbal, selecting the Bucknell Bison last December.
Grant Ammann ’17, D, VLC / Woodgrove (Va.)
What an awesome steal of a commitment for Jon Torpey’s High Point Panthers. Ammann looks the part of a D1 defender at this early stage, demonstrating great 1-on-1 cover skills and great footwork. He’s fantastic off the ground and did a nice job in the clearing game, providing a big boost for the VLC Blue Crabs.
Matt Licciardi ’17, M, Tenacious Turtles / Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.)
This kid was on another level in the clash of the crustaceans, ripping home four first half goals against the Baltimore Crabs. Despite his underwhelming size, Licciardi can beat much bigger longpoles with a split dodge or rollback and for whatever reason, defenses didn’t slide early to him and they made them pay. The tough and intelligent Cornell pledge seems to be the heart and soul of a dominant Turtles’ squad.
Tommy Sopko ’17, A, NXT / Conestoga (Pa.)
Sopko was able to raise his stock and help his future after some strong showings not too far from his hometown. He’s great with either hand, sees the field impeccably and gets to the 5×5 with relative ease. I’m impressed with the bag of tricks he brings to the table as well as his seasoned lacrosse IQ and versatility.
OTHERS WHO IMPRESSED
Steven Attorri ’18, D, FLG / Poly Prep (N.Y.)
Jack Cash ’16, F/O, Leading Edge / Westfield (N.J.) – PROVIDENCE
Steven Cuccurullo ’17, F/O, Tenacious Turtles / Smithtown East (N.Y.) – IVY LEAGUE
Andrew Fowler ’17, D, VLC / Landon (Md.)
Brett Funk ’18, D, Duke’s LC / Shawnee (N.J.)
John Galbraith ’17, M, SweetLax / Pittsford Mendon (N.Y.) – COLGATE
Willem Juhlin ’18, G, Tri-State / Seton Hall Prep (N.J.)
Javon Johnson ’18, A, Duke’s LC / St. Anne’s Belfield (Va.)
Sean Leahey, M, Leading Edge / Seton Hall Prep (N.J.)
David Metzger ’17, G, BBL Black / Pingry (N.J.)
Brennan Mooney ’17, A, SweetLax Pittsford Mendon (N.Y.)
Charlie Olmert ’17, M, Crabs / Severn (Md.) – IVY LEAGUE
Nolan Pappas ’18, M, FLG / Garden City (N.Y.)
Tim Sanford ’16, A, Leading Edge / Westminster (Conn.) – DENVER
Luke Shilling ’17, A, Crabs / Boys’ Latin (Md.) – JOHNS HOPKINS
Colby Smith ’17, M, NXT LC / Hempfield (Pa.) – OHIO STATE
Jack Starr ’17, G, VLC / St. Albans (D.C.)
Frankie Tangredi ’17, D, Tenacious Turtles / Chaminade (N.Y.) – IVY LEAGUE
Dylan Tocco ’17, A, Duke’s Blue / Moorestown (N.J.)
Kevin Travis ’18, M, Tri-State / Moorestown (N.J.)
Jack Traynor ’18, A, Mesa Fresh / Malvern Prep (Pa.)