In the summer of 2012 as a rising sophomore, Boys’ Latin (Md.) attackman Devin Shewell pulled the trigger on Johns Hopkins after tallying 100 points for the JV and an excellent summer campaign with the Baltimore Crabs.
How could a local product turn down the Blue Jays’ tradition, coaching and education?
Fast forward 23 months later to when the versatile shooter reconsidered his commitment to Hopkins, fresh off of an astounding six-point performance in the MIAA title game for the undefeated Lakers. Considering Fairfield, Michigan, Notre Dame and DIII power Stevenson, Recruiting Rundown watchlist senior Shewell ultimately decided that Syracuse would be the best fit.
He’ll be the first Laker standout to suit up for ‘Cuse since Brian Nee, a 2004 national champion crease finisher who now helps coach the offense on Bob Shriver’s varsity squad at BL. Junior lefty Logan Wisnauskas, who is expected to join Shewell and No. 29 senior Patrick Spencer (Loyola), will also play for the Orange after his high school career finishes up, so they’ll be able to work on their chemistry early.
If he can stay healthy, the senior is capable of a monster senior year. The Lakers only need ten more wins to get Shriver, who heads into his 36th and final year as the head coach, 500 wins all-time. Shewell’s on-field swagger and leadership – apparent down the stretch in 2014 – will be pivotal to not only help the legendary coach reach the milestone but also make it easier on a team that graduated a ton of offensive playmakers.
The crafty senior has a highly impressive field sense, letting the game come to him while creating his own shots. He’s great off-ball, takes quick dodges from the wings and has a dangerous time-and-room shot. His vision is underrated, as he’s developed an assist game over the last year or two and is also a tremendous asset with his shot on EMO. Shewell’s 200-plus pound size helps him become a matchup issue and though he’ll have to adjust to taking the No. 1 or No. 2 defenseman in 2015, he has what it takes to be a crucial piece for the Lake.
I recently spoke with Shewell, who also excels in football and basketball, on his decision to play college ball in the Carrier Dome.
First off, why was Hopkins no longer the best fit? What struck you about the Orange staff that made you want to play there?
When I initially committed, I sort of felt pressured and also thought that being close to home would be great. At this point, I want to get out of Baltimore and maybe try to carve a new path for MIAA kids.
At Syracuse, the coaching staff seems way different than any other staff I’ve come across. The practices are still hard but they’re laidback in a way, a lot of offensive creativity and freelance type of stuff. When I was on my visit there, it was a really cool on-field atmosphere with kids throwing BTB’s and the coaches just letting them play. I really liked that.
What were some other factors about Syracuse?
I loved the family atmosphere – it seems like all of the guys are really close. Watching them scrimmage the alumni when I went up there [in October] was awesome and just seeing all of the legends come back and support their school and talking with them definitely had a major impact.
I’m a huge sports guy so having insane basketball and an ACC football team is pretty cool. It’s such a great college town, I just loved it up there and enjoyed the big school atmosphere. The entire state’s support of the lacrosse program is great as well and will make playing for Syracuse a lot of fun with those fans.
What was the experience like winning a national championship with BL?
Last year was really unbelievable and bittersweet in a way because of those seniors. We definitely had that 2013 loss in the back of our minds and I knew we weren’t going to let it happen again. When we won this past year, there was no better feeling than getting that win and running over to celebrate with the student section.
What is the outlook for 2015, especially knowing that this is Shriver’s last season?
We’ll be younger and won’t return many starters but I really think our attack will be great. Patrick [Spencer] and Logan [Wisnauskas] are two players who are great to play with so I’m looking forward to that. The midfield will be rebuilt completely so we’ll need to prove ourselves in between the lines for sure. It helps having junior goalie Jack Pezzulla back for sure.
It’s awesome to end with Shriver, we just gotta get him those ten wins so he can get to 500 all-time victories. He’s a legend up there and if BL didn’t have him, we’d be nothing. I truly wouldn’t want to go out of my high school career with any other coach.