If you’ve been following the recruiting scene over the last decade, it’s easy to notice that the amount of college prospects in the Lone Star State has gone up significantly and that the game is growing rapidly. With that in mind, it was a fantastic experience hitting Texas Top 99 in Dallas, a great opportunity to see the state’s blossoming prospects.
Run by Notre Dame’s Gerry Byrne, Colby’s Jack Sandler and Navy’s Ryan Wellner, T99 has been running for over a decade, giving the area’s standouts a recruiting event that their families can drive to rather than having to fly to the East Coast as they often do. Well over 100 college coaches attended this year’s event, which took place at Dallas Jesuit and University of Texas-Dallas. The city has seen a tremendous of flooding caused by nonstop rain over the last few weeks, so that made things interesting…. and caused a helicopter to be hired to dry the fields at UTD. Revolutionary.
As Arnold said in Predator: “Get To The Choppa” T99 Helicopter Fleet drying fields at University of Texas at Dallas pic.twitter.com/rc5svTH3z8
— ByrneMethod (@byrnemethod) May 30, 2015
All in all, it was the proper way to begin the summer. Having visited in October for another event, I was once again taken aback by how passionate, friendly and grateful the Dallas lacrosse community was. There’s so much talent in the state of Texas and I know for a fact that the dozens of Division I, II, III and MCLA coaches got just as much out of T99 as I did. A big thank you to everybody who made the event possible – here are the standouts.
David Sprock ’18, M, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.) / Iron Horse
Of all of the kids I hadn’t seen coming into the weekend, Sprock was the most impressive, and arguably one of the best at the entire event. Having already been a force on the Rangers’ varsity as a freshman, he showed the ability to beat his man with a strong reportoire of dodges and an excellent shot on the run. He also had some nice intercepted passes, caused turnovers and groundballs on the defensive end. Can’t imagine that he won’t have a ton of viable college options by the end of the summer.
Carson Reich ’18, M, The Woodlands (Tex.) / StickStar
Loved the versatility of this kid, who looks the part of a kid who could excel in the upper half of Division I. He took face-offs and made some outstanding plays between the lines, jamming opposing middies while on D and using his wheels to get the ball into the offensive zone. Possesses a rapid and accurate outside shot as well as a strong lacrosse IQ.
Josh Kerpsack ’18, LSM, Bowie (Tex.) / Marquee
Though his cover skills could use a little touching up, Kerpsack generally showed a nose for the ball throughout the weekend and made some nice plays. The Austin native did a great job getting the ball off the ground and pushing it forward when the opportunity was ample. Looked to be 5-foot-11 and 160 pounds – this kid may have been under the radar a bit but performed well in the time I saw him.
Emilio Ames ’17, D, Wylie (Tex.) / C2C
An absolutely massive on-ball defender who is apparently also a standout quarterback, Ames had two or three assists in his game on Saturday night, which shows how effective he is once the ball is in his stick. Also took some wings and did well in that area. A bit raw but definitely a nice prospect who did a nice job staying heavy on the hands.
Asher Wabrek ’16, A, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.) / Dallas Select
The third leading scorer for ESD this past year, Wabrek showed the knack for getting his hands free throughout the weekend. Loved his ability to put himself in the right spots to score, something he did a lot of, creating multi-goal performances for his team. Solid player with strong stick skills, hustling hard in the riding game.
Jack Tabor ’18, M, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.) / C2C
Though undersized and somewhat one-handed, Tabor is an impressive athlete with great foot speed, vision and overall playmaking ability. Very consistent and confident player who did a nice job getting accurate shots off when coming down the alley, often drawing the slide and getting it to his teammates.
Paxton Alexander ’18, M, Highland Park (Tex.) / C2C
Older brother Parker (2017) is a touted Carolina commit – there’s no doubt that the younger Alexander has the makings of an ACC-caliber talent. A high energy player who never seemed to want to come off of the field, he’s an athletic, savvy and complete player who led the way for his team throughout the weekend with his stellar play. Plays awesome D up top, got his hands free when dodging to the cage and ate up GB’s.
Keaton Jones ’18, M, Westlake (Tex.) / Iron Horse
I’d heard positive feedback on Jones’ potential from some folks in Texas for a few months and left the weekend feeling as though he backed it up. It wouldn’t be lofty to say that Jones was the fastest player at the event, getting from restraining line to restraining line in the blink of an eye. Loved his two-way play, hustle and decision-making in transition.
Holden Hill ’18, D, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.) / Iron Horse
I wasn’t blown away by the defensive talent, however Hill certainly jumped off the page. His team’s primary communicator, Hill was excellent off-ball, keeping his head on a swivel and never getting caught ball-watching like many young defenders often do. Showed some prowess covering his man 1-on-1 and getting the ball off the ground.
Coston Pendleton ’18, A, Vandegrift (Tex.)
My first note on Pendleton was simple but sums up his game: “scores goals”. A slick, two-handed player who showed determination and toughness getting to the cage, Pendleton was fun to watch and finished a high percentage of shots. Really liked how he protected his stick from his defenseman and rarely committed turnovers.
Brent Bishop ’17, LSM/D, Memorial (Tex.) / Dallas Select
A lefty, Bishop stood out instantly with his 6’2, 175-pound size and ability to take the right angles. The Houston product got really good footwork and has a great handle with his longpole, allowing him to be an asset in the clearing game. Certainly has a good amount of upside and will be one to watch this summer.
Sam Schroeder ’18, M, St. Mark’s (Tex.) / C2C
I’ve written him up before in a Highlight Reel of the Day feature, also noticing his play in several events, and was impressed with his development. He’s a remarkable athlete who was awesome on both sides of the ball, making hustle plays and really doing his best work in transition. If he can fine tune his shot a little bit, this is a kid who could have plenty of college options.