The annual Chicago Showcase took place at the gorgeous Max McCook athletic complex over MLK weekend, drawing talent from all over the Midwest.
Several Division III coaches – including Salisbury’s Tyler Granelli and Cortland’s Steve Beville from the powerhouses – made the trip to eyeball the Midwest’s rising talent. The weekend ended with the All-Star Games, with Patrick Donahue winning overall MVP. Recruits from Illinois really shined, though there were also impressive players from Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and other states. Check below for the players who stood out:
Patrick Donahue ’16, A, Fenwick (Ill.) – In my opinion, this versatile (he also plays midfield) and excitable uncommitted prospect was the most talented player at the event. Donahue has an awesome first step, showing off his craftiness and quick hands on the wings and at X, which he did in the All-Star Game in the form of four goals. In that game, he had a beauty of a goal from the left side, picking the far side top corner as well as a sweet one at the final buzzer.
Noah Moderwell ’16, A/M, Libertyville (Ill.) – Coaches loved Moderwell at the event, and for good reason. Tough and savvy, he’s a deceptively quick dodger with range on his shot and a great release, notching a hat trick in the ASG. The lefty flourished at attack but also showed the ability to play midfield when called upon. Curious to see where he winds up college-wise, as I can probably see him as a D1 player.
Dominic Haight ’16, M, Waukesha Catholic Memorial (Wis.) – The True Wisconsin standout and Fall Nike Blue Chip alum started the weekend with a six-goal outing in game one, finishing it with a pair of tallies in the ASG. He’s a big athlete who could shoot it with either hand, showing prowess off the split dodge more than anything. Liked how he took long strides upfield and gets his hands free in transition.
Ben Marquis ’18, A, Oakwood (Oh.) – Arguably the best freshman there, Marquis blossomed more and more as the weekend went on. He’s a player who was great on the crease, always keeping his feet moving when the ball was in the stick of one of his talented attack mates. As one of just four 2018’s in the All-Star Game, the Dayton native registered a nice goal in the second half.
Luke Mallette ’16, LSM/D, Whitney Young (Ill.) – Though he can improve his off-ball defense and reel it in a bit physically in 1-on-1 play, Mallette is another impressive athlete with upside for True Lacrosse. Had some great takeaway checks with slaps as well as great playmaking ability in transition, scoring a handful of goals throughout the weekend. With some coaching, Mallette could be a strong prospect.
Jack Lambert ’17, A, Fenwick (Ill.) – Not related to the former member of Pittsburgh’s ‘Steel Curtain’ in the 70’s, this Lambert showed that he’s just as tough. Loved his foot speed, ability to shake off contact and crafty stick work. Buried some nice shots in traffic or in transition, stinging some corners and making plays with either hand.
Peter Schmidt ’16, G, St. Viator (Ill.) – This keeper, who already has experience as a starter on varsity, got a lot of votes for the All-Star Game. Perhaps the most skilled and consistent goalie there, he made all of the saves that he should and a few of spectacular variety. Liked Schmidt’s communication and outlets in addition to his ability as a stopper.
Max Brooks ’17, A, Hamilton Southeastern (Ill.)
Ian Griffith ’16, A, Loyola Academy (Ill.)
Patrick Murphy ’16, M, St. Viator (Ill.) – I dug what I saw from the Fire’s offense in limited time, especially Brooks, a player with a lot of upside and excellent vision. He showed confidence and IQ when feeding from X, setting up Griffith and Murphy. Griffith is a nice shooter on at the attack end, while Murphy had some really solid goals on the run and off the simple catch and shoot up top.
Craig Beebe ’16, A/M, Providence Catholic (Ill.) – The alley dodger, who appears to be a transfer a year or two ago from the Kansas City area, is an athletic and quick-footed recruit that impressed me here and there all weekend. Also showed that he was a workhorse between the lines.
Carl Nelson ’16, A, Glenbard West (Ill.) – Nelson had a handful of multi-goal performances at the Showcase, demonstrating a nice lefty shot from different release points and in a hurry. Got his hands free with regularity, including in the All-Star Game, where he had a pair of tallies – really nice EMO player.