Standouts and Notes from Adrenaline’s Black Card Showcase and Platinum Cup

IMG_7411Attracting triple-digit college coaches and the lion’s share of the most reputable club programs out there, Adrenaline put on a massive weekend of lacrosse at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School this weekend just outside of Philadelphia. The weekend started with Black Card Showcase, which featured a ton of great uncommitted players in the classes of 2017 and 2018 in an individual format. The following day, many of the players stayed on for Saturday and Sunday with their club teams for arguably the most competitive team tournament around. Here’s a look at the top players of the weekend as well as additional notes:

Champions in each division:
2019 – Team 91 over LI Express
2018 – Team 91 over Laxachusetts
2017 – Leading Edge over Team 91
2016 – Prime Time over Mesa Fresh

BLACK CARD STANDOUTS

Henry Stites ’18, A, Louisville Collegiate (Ky.) / Titanium Elite
Perhaps my favorite player to watch on Friday, Stites was virtually unstoppable when turning the corner. He has a compact frame, but due to his explosiveness, change of direction and ability to handle contact, it’s not enough to scare off recruiters. When he didn’t score or assist, the Kentucky native got the ball back by riding his tail off. Very curious to hear where he ends up committing.

Lloyd DeLatour III ’18, F/O, Greater Atlanta Christian (Ga.) / Thunder
The Friday performances that DeLatour put together certainly put him on the radar, as he was dominant in the time that I watched him. He anticipated the whistle without ever committing violations and won draws with ease, whether that consisted of popping it to himself or directing it to a wing. Also stung a nice goal in one of his later games.

Myles Hamm ’17, M, Centennial (Alb.) / Mustang Starz
I had been hearing rave raviews about this Ivy League commit for nearly a year, so it was a pleasure watching him live up to those expectations. He’s tall and athletic, getting to the cage almost effortlessly before getting off accurate shots with a tremendously quick release. Very polished and isn’t one dimensional like many Canadians. Probably the top rising junior there.

Jake Keller ’18, LSM/D, Hun School (N.J.) / Duke’s LC
After the spring that Keller had with MV Whitlow’s surging Hun program, combined with a lights out campaign at Black Card, I’d expect many of Division I’s elite programs to be all over him this summer. He was picking up GB’s left and right, eluding opponents while traveling upfield with a sick handle and awesome foot speed. Armed with ideal size and smarts, he has all the makings of an impactful player at the next level.

John Psyllos ’17, A, Manhasset (N.Y.) / LI Express
The lefty caught the attention of many sideline scouts, impressing with his opportunistic and heady play. Psyllos went hard to the rack and also had some great goals off in catch and shoot situations as well as impressive assists. Underrated prospect that deserves looks and would fare well in an conference like the Patriot League or CAA.

Jake Calnan ’18, D, Noble & Greenough (Mass.) / Laxachusetts
Calnan is another player that came into the weekend with an excellent reputation, leaving with an even better one. He’s rangy, has great footwork and is fundamentally sound, routinely putting the ball on the ground by staying heavy on attackmen’s hands and executing great stick checks. He’s getting looks from Notre Dame, Harvard and Princeton, among others. Also liked teammate Wilson Stephenson, another big d-man from Brunswick School in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Ben Baranker ’17, D, Lawrenceville (N.J.) / NJLC
Having recently made New Jersey’s Under Armour underclass squad (a first for the NJLC club), Baranker came into the showcase with some momentum. He played outstanding position defense, subtlely making life difficult for his matchups and taking excellent angles. His work around GLE and up top was superb, and I liked how Baranker consistently got the ball off the floor and moved it up the field.

Spencer Grant ’18, F/O, Torrey Pines (Calif.) / West Coast Starz
A seasoned technician who often won it forward to himself, Grant put together a string of solid performances throughout the day. He wasn’t a liability with the ball either, scoring a handful of times or dishing it to a teammate. Part of a strong nucleous of 2017s and 2018s for the Falcons, Grant should reel in some top D1 interest with an above average summer.

Bryce Kirkwood ’18, A, Ridge (N.J.) / Leading Edge

A product of one of the state’s top high school programs, Kirkwood has the potential to be a can’t miss college prospect thanks to a well rounded game. He’s shifty and can separate from big defenseman, shaking off contact and showing prowess as a head up dodger at X. Will need to bulk up but is a good young player that makes the right play every time.

Jimmy Gabrielsen ’18, M, Malvern Prep (Pa.) / Mesa Fresh

After a standout fall, Gabrielsen has continued to stand out thanks to his hustle and overall play. He’s not big by any means but runs the field well, plays tough defense and has a polished shot on the run. Did a good job separating from his man and changing planes on his shots.

PLATINUM CUP STANDOUTS

Jacob Buttermore ’17, M, Mesa Fresh / Garnet Valley (Pa.)
Billy Coyle ’17, A, Mesa Fresh / Malvern Prep (Pa.)
It’s pretty easy to say why Syracuse picked up Buttermore back in January, as he’s an explosive three-sport athlete who is impeccable coming out of his dodge. Saw him thread some beautiful passes inside with relative ease and hammer a few nasty shots into the top corner. His teammate Coyle, a fellow UA Philly selection, is a reliable lefty scorer who goes to the cage with confidence. Possessing great hands, the uncommitted rising junior has a ton of snap shooting with time and room, consistently scoring big goals for Mesa throughout the weekend.

Luke Gaydos ’18, D, Express North / Ridgefield (Conn.)
I love this kid’s game. A starter for the state runners up as a freshman, Gaydos is physical and really uses his stick well, getting into his man with his long arms  and playing tough defense around GLE. In a game against the Starz, the lefty with a big frame knocked down passes and intercepted passes, helping his team in transition and the clearing game. He’ll be getting some increased attention after this weekend.

Nicky Petkevich ’16, A/M, Baltimore Crabs / Bullis (Md.)
An excellent pickup for Colgate, the lefty rising senior is coming off of a great year for the Bulldogs. He’s always able to find success off-ball with V-cuts or backdoor moves before putting the ball in the back of the net as a high percentage shooter. His brother Drew is bound for Penn State in the fall, earning 1st team All-Met honors to pair with Nicky, who was honorable mention.

Owen Caputo ’18, M, Team 91 / Apex Middle Creek (N.C.)
The son of Duke assistant coach Ron Caputo, it was enjoyable watching this prospect play this weekend. The fact that he’s a coach’s son is more than apparent, as he was always putting himself in the right spots to finish and seldom made mistakes. In particular, he did a great job shielding his stick when shooting the ball to make it hard for the goalie to read. From what I’ve heard, he’s looking at schools like Yale and Georgetown in addition to the Blue Devils.

Zion Dechesere ’17, G, West Coast Starz / Coronado (Nev.)
The Michigan-bound athlete played the game of his life in an 8-4 win over the Turtles, who topped WCS in last year’s Platinum Cup final. Dechesere made upwards of 10 saves that he had no business making, eating up some tough low shots in acrobatic fashion. He’s an outstanding communicator, takes up a lot of the cage and clears with confidence. In addition, his attitude is infectious, as he was often rallying his teammates in important times. Scary to think that he has two more years remaining.

Connor Morin ’17, A, Leading Edge / Morristown-Beard School (N.J.)
I definitely took notice at how much Morin – a Villanova pledge – has grown since the fall, both physically and skill wise. A bonafide finisher, he’s developed his speed and overall confidence, turning the corner hard with the rock in his stick or often catching a feed, face dodging and sticking an accurate shot. There were also some standout uncommitted players on his LE squad, namely midfielder Alex Choy (Ridge), defenseman Patrick Tully (Summit), attackman Jack Kiernan (Ridgewood) and a handful of others.

Ricky Miezan ’18, M, Madlax / Episcopal (Va.)
Austin Stewart ’18, M, Madlax / St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.)
You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger and better athlete in the rising sophomore class. Bound for UNC, Miezan demands constant pressure from longpoles and was the go-to scoring option for Madlax, who engaged in a phenomenal game with the Crabs on Sunday morning. He’s able to get GB’s on the defensive end and fly to the opposite restraining line in the blink of an eye with his long strides. Stewart, meanwhile, is a Denver verbal and another athletic type and confident dodger. Shortsticks weren’t able to stop his split or face dodges, and Stewart did a great job drawing slides and dishing to cutting teammates.

Michael Sowers ’16, A, Mesa Fresh / Upper Dublin (Pa.)
Considering the fact that he put up a whopping 118 assists this spring, one could say that Sowers is a pretty special feeder. He’s becoming one of my favorite kids in the class to watch, playing with a ton of confidence from all spots on the field whether it’s a skip pass on a rope or a finalizer from behind. He’ll be heading off to Princeton after his senior year.

Matt Benus ’17, M, Tenacious Turtles / Syosset (N.Y.)
Though the Turtles shockingly lost two games on Saturday (their only day at the tournament due to exams), Benus is another kid that looks to have upped his game over the past few months and had a great spring with the Braves. The future Loyola Greyhound is a well-rounded player with great change of direction and vision up top, taking wings and playing hard-nosed defense. Teammate James Avanzato (Sachem North HS / Maryland) also had a few superb outings.

Jason Yoquinto ’16, G, Dukes / Bishop Shanahan (Pa.)
The Navy commit was off the charts in a game against the Crabs 2016s, making a number of beautiful stops to his offside as well as some tough low saves. Opposing shooters weren’t able to solve the rangy keeper, who also threw awesome outlets. The Midshipmen have a multitude of talented goalies headed their way over the next few years and Yoquinto’s stock is certainly rising.

Owen Colwell ’16, D, Leading Edge / Westfield (N.J.)
Over the past year, there’s been a load of top college prospects coming out of Westfield, starting with Hopkins verbal Colwell. After playing LSM for the Blue Devils this spring, he bumped down low and was a force both days for Leading Edge. His footwork and stick skills are both terrific, allowing Colwell to effectively shut down well renowned scoring options while also igniting transition for his team. JHU will be able to use his abilities right away whether it’s up top or down on close.

Beau Pederson ’18, A, West Coast Starz / Park City (Ut.)
The Utah native was extremely impressive, going to the rack with fearlessness and leading the Starz all weekend long. I love how well he uses his big body, backing down his mind and then quickly making moves around the cage before burying his shots. Saw him score a few nice dive goals as well as some rapid stepdown shots when the opportunity came up, playing hard in the riding game as well. Expect him to commit to a Top 20 program before the end of the summer.

Griffin Gelinas ’18, A, Prime Time / Brunswick (Conn.)
Harrison Caponiti ’18, M, Prime Time / Brunswick (Conn.)
Brunswick School head coach David Bruce has to feel great about having these two (as well as a few other stud rising sophs) for another three seasons. Gelinas, a Syracuse commit, is an excitable, fleet-footed and high IQ player who gets to 5×5 and makes plays. All of those qualities make up for his lack of size, especially his speed and stick skills. Caponiti is a monster, running the field well with awesome athleticism, hammering shots from long range. A few other standouts for PT ’18s were defenseman Braden Burke (John Jay, N.Y.), attackman Matthew Baugher (Greenwich, Conn.) and middie Matthew Magnan (Fox Lane, N.Y.), another commit to ‘Cuse.

Taylor Strough ’17, M, Team 91 / Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.)
Fresh off of a state championship with the Seahawks (scoring four goals in the title game), Strough was wildly impressive at the Platinum Cup. The Fairfield commit has developed a ton since the fall, asserting himself in the midfield with his downhill dodging and seasoned shot on the run. His lacrosse IQ, off-ball play, toughness and hustle were on display in a Sunday game against the Crabs. Great get for Andy Copelan’s Stags.

Other notes from the weekend

-High Division I coaches will be spending a good amount of time evaluating the Laxachusetts 2018s and 2019s over the next few summers. The boys from Boston fared well, advancing to the semifinals in both age groups and showing that they have plenty of intriguing talent with grades that will attract Ivy League institutions. On the 2018 side, crafty jitterbug attackman Brian Antonelli (Belmont Hill School / Brown verbal) led the charge with X along with big and athletic middies like Nick Loring (Noble & Greenough), Colby Gendron (Bedford, N.H.), William Plansky (St. Sebastian’s) and Charlie Pyne (BC High). Defensively, Alex Gainey (St. Sebastian’s) will be one of the nation’s most highly recruited keepers, protected by D guys like Tommy Joyce (BC High), Duke Lenaghan (Thayer Academy), Carolina commit Will Bowen (BC High) and the aforementioned Calnan. There were a few coaches lined up to the 2019’s, where face-off wizard Conor Calderone (who is apparently moving to Long Island) was close to perfect throughout the weekend.

-A big storyline over the weekend was the recent split between the Duke’s LC and Big 4 HHH, their feeder program that has some talent-laden ’17, ’18 and ’19 squads. While the move is still relatively confusing, players have been forced to choose what team to play with, and many college coaches remarked about how much this could hurt the Duke’s going forward (at least at tournaments where both squads are competing). However, the Duke’s 2018s still powered their way to an 8-4 win over HHH in Sunday’s playoffs, getting five points from speedy attackman Javon Johnson (St. Anne’s Belfield, Va.) as well as a strong performance in cage from Ben Pagesy, an uncommitted prospect out of Kingsway, N.J.

Big 4/HHH 2018 contained a whopping 10 commits but some uncommitted prospects to watch are middie Connor Devine (Great Valley), longpole Matt Lane (Lancaster Country Day) and middie Jack Mulcahy (Downingtown East), to name a few. The ’17 squad struggled at times but have loads of great college-committed players. Jordan Young, an ’18 at Springside Chestnut Hill bound for Maryland, and Avon Grove’s Brayden Peck (Penn State) were excellent on defense, while Anthony Giuliani (F/O, La Salle / Penn) and Joseph Wolf (attack, Allentown Central Catholic / Cornell) are a few more underrated players to watch.

-There were about a dozen notable Division I coaches watching 2019’s this weekend. I spent some time doing so myself and it was eye-popping how much of a difference there is between rising sophomores and rising freshmen. There’s no doubt that a few of these kids can ball, but there’s just a massive difference in size, maturity and skill sets. Although a pre-HS verbal wouldn’t be unprecedented (Landon’s Joey Epstein committed to JHU last August), the floodgates will soon open, as several campus visits have already went down.

Here are a few names to keep an eye on:

James Cipolla, M, HHH / Parkland (Pa.)
Zach Lee, D, HHH / Penn Charter (Pa.)
Carson Marano, G, HHH / Penn Charter (Pa.)
Connor Shellenberger, A, Madlax / St. Anne’s Belfield (Va.)
Jonathan Bender, M, Madlax / St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.)
Bailey O’Connor, M, Dukes /  Emmaus (Pa.)
Cole Witman, M, Dukes / Eastern York (Pa.)
Liam Rosenthal, G, Dukes / Central Bucks East (Pa.)
Conor Calderone, F/O, Laxachusetts / Robert Adams (Mass.)
Patrick Keefe, A, Laxachusetts / St. Augustine’s (Mass.)
Dylan Garner, D, Laxachusetts / Brown MS (Mass.)
Connor Drake, M, LI Express / Wilton (Conn.)
Matthew Olsen, D, LI Express / Plainedge (N.Y.)
Colton Teitelbaum, G, LI Express / Locust Valley (N.Y.)
Caleb Monzon, M, LI Express / Long Beach (N.Y.)
Dillon Morgan, M, Prime Time / Fox Lane (N.Y.)
Andrew Calabrese, G, Prime Time / Wilton (Conn.)
Christian Mule, A, Team 91 / Half Hollow Hills West (N.Y.)
Jake Caputo, A, Team 91 / Apex (N.C.)
Gregory Campisi, LSM, Team 91 / Farmingdale (N.Y.)
Angelo Petrakis, F/O, Team 91 / Massapequa (N.Y.)
Graham Bundy, M, West Coast Starz / MICDS (Mo.)
Elijah Myers, M, West Coast Starz / MICDS (Mo.)
Alex Pistorius, A, West Coast Starz / Torrey Pines (Calif.)

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