Over A Dozen Rising Sophomores That Impressed At Crabfeast & Other Standouts

IMG_0575In what is annually one of the more heavily attended team tournaments of the summer, Crabfeast took place this weekend in the Baltimore area, battling unfortunate weather but attracting 40 notable club programs from all over North America. Saturday’s action took place in Harford County, as all teams were able to play three games despite constant rain at Cedar Lane Park. Due to bad field conditions, Sunday’s games were moved to the two turf fields at Boys’ Latin School, featuring the top 10 teams from the previous day. Games were extremely competitive throughout the day, providing surprising results, OT thrillers and a championship win by Maryland-based FCA, defeating Mesa Fresh 7-4 in the title game.

Tons of Division I programs made the trip to Maryland for another great tournament put on by Ryan McClernan and the Baltimore Crabs organization. Among those spotted were Denver, Maryland and Loyola (who each sent two coaches), as well as North Carolina, Notre Dame, Navy, Georgetown, Harvard, Colgate, Air Force, Hofstra, Richmond, UMBC, Fairfield, Army, Holy Cross, Rutgers and several others.

Here’s a look at the standouts:

Alex Reid, M, FCA / Loyola Blakefield (Md.)
After playing on the Dons’ all-freshmen second midfield this spring, the left-handed Reid has blossomed into an athlete with a ton of skill and potential. On both days, he was really impressive on both ends on the field, feisty and tough when going for GB’s and consistently making heads up plays. He’s got vision and great wiggle with a split dodge that is a thing of beauty, showing no signs of trouble getting his hands free with either hand.

Will Vitton, G, Leading Edge / Summit (N.J.)
One of my standouts from the fall’s Philly Showcase, this southpaw is an intimidating presence in cage. Vitton gobbled up most of everything with tremendous reflexes and hand speed, frequently making eye-popping and acrobatic stops. His technique is on point and he plays angles very well, also getting the job done out of cage with confidence. Intrigued to see where Vitton winds up, as he appears to be one of the more skilled netminders in the entire class.

Max Verch, D, Team 91 / Syosset (N.Y.)
What’s most impressive about Verch, who verballed to Maryland in February, is that he has seemingly improved considerably each season of the year. He’s another player that is clearly playing with confidence after having a prominent role on the varsity this spring, taking a step forward from the November circuit and now carrying all of that momentum into the summer. Verch is athletic and blessed with phenomenal footwork and an incredibly active stick, keeping it in the passing lanes and also making his presence felt when the ball is on the ground in a scrum.

Jack Myers, A, Crabs / Gonzaga (D.C.)
From my viewpoint, this weekend is some of the best lacrosse that Myers has played. A big and poised lefty, his crafty stickwork and dodging prowess are off the charts, making goalies move with lethally quick fakes in 1-on-1 situations and stymying defensemen with moves from X. He picked up a key GB to start double OT against FCA, also scoring a key go-ahead goal with three minutes left, though the Crabs fell short. Myers scored 30+ points this spring and has a multitude of notable D1 programs pursuing him hard.

Colby Gendron, M, Laxachusetts / Bedford (N.H.)
Towering over the competition at 6-foot-5 (he can apparently already dunk a basketball), this raw yet promising midfielder has been a joy to watch since he came onto the scene. Gendron scored two first half goals in an exciting OT win on Saturday over Madlax, depositing step-down shots with power and often flourishing in transition. This prospect can improve his stick skills and shot selection, however he has many of the tools to become a great player when it’s all said and done.

Zach Green, A, FCA / Calvert Hall (Md.)
Peter Ilardo, A, FCA / Calvert Hall (Md.)
This pair absolutely lit it up this weekend. Green, more of a known commodity after thriving in November, was always getting to 5×5 and putting the ball in the back of the net to lead the way for FCA. He shoots the hell out of the ball from 8-12 yards, doing a great job creating his own shots while also playing unselfishly. Also loved how he seldom made mistakes and showed tenacity in the riding game. Ilardo, meanwhile, had his coming out party – on more than one occasion, college coaches turned to me and made Will Yeatman comparisons, referring to the former Maryland standout who now plays offensive line in the NFL. A lefty who looked to be somewhere around 6’3 and 200 pounds, Ilardo’s basketball background is more than apparent, as he used his body impeccably around the cage. I had him down for three goals and an assist in the championship game.

Jack Traynor, A, Mesa Fresh / Malvern Prep (Pa.)
Malvern has groomed a number of standout attackmen over the last few years and they seem to have another in Traynor, who I name-dropped a few times after great performances in the fall. What he may lack in size, he makes up for with burst, brilliant off-ball work and high percentage shooting. Traynor put in a couple low-to-high beauties this weekend and regularly beat d-men with face and split dodges from the corner. Also rode like a demon, creating scoring chances for Mesa.

Oliver Hollo, LSM, Patriot / Deerfield (Mass.) 
Passing the eye test at 6’2 and 180 or so pounds, Hollo is a force to be reckoned with when the ball is in his stick and he’s chugging past the midfield line. Though he wasn’t the offensive weapon that he was when he won MVP honors at the Philly Freshman Showcase, he created breaks with groundballs off the wing and had an assist or two in the time that I watched him. Hollo plays with a ton of intensity, energizing his teammates on the sidelines and making important plays all over the place (even if many of them weren’t while playing on-ball D). I was also impressed with his LSM partner in crime, Lawrenceville School’s Jake Robertson, an athlete who ran the field well and even scored.

Drew Betch, M, Annapolis Hawks / Severna Park (Md.)
Though I was only able to watch the Hawks for a game, Betch jumped off the page with a multi-goal performance. His end-to-end acceleration and two-handedness caught my eye, as did his overall hustle and ability to play lights out defense. Betch is capable of being a strong shooter when given the opportunity, blowing down the alley on his final goal on a comeback effort against Mesa Fresh. Though on another club team, Severna Park teammate Josh Coffman (Crabs / UMD verbal) also dazzled with his tremendous speed, often acting as an one-man clear.

Matthew Baugher, A, Prime Time / Greenwich (Conn.)
Brian Calabrese, A, Prime Time / Wilton (Conn.)
On an attack unit with the likes of Syracuse verbal Griffin Gelinas, it might be a bit easy for others to get overshadowed. Prime Time, however, has the good fortune of possessing a plethora of speedy albeit undersized attackmen that share the ball well and create fantastic separation while dodging. Baugher is yet another lefty at Crabfeast, demonstrating range on his shot and a variety of flashy and effective moves when going up against bigger defensemen. Calabrese is a relentless dodger when he wants to be, keeping his head up at all times and finding open teammates. Loved some of the plays that these two made this weekend.

Evan Egan, D, West Coast Starz / Oak Park (Calif.)
Despite the fact that the Starz went just 1-2 on the weekend, there were some bright spots, Egan in particular. To give you an idea of just how daunting it is to go up against him, one Top 20 college coach watched the Tar Heel commit for a half, looked over and remarked, “Well, guess I’m not scheduling Carolina for a while.” He’ll need to fill out his wiry frame but swarmed the ball and attacked his opponent’s hands with tenacity, kept his head on a swivel and also helped in the clearing game.

Other 2018’s Deserving Of A Shoutout
Korbin Pecora, M, Bulldog / North Haven (Conn.)
Aleric Fyock, G, Crabs / St. Mary’s (Md.) – PENN ST.
Chris Cabral, FO/M, Crabs / St. Paul’s (Md.)
Christopher Smith, D, Crabs / McDonogh (Md.)
Jack Connelly, LSM, FCA / Calvert Hall (Md.)
Alec Cerasoli, LSM, FCA / Loyola Blakefield (Md.)
Michael Swirbalus, M, Laxachusetts / Milton Academy (Mass.)
Ryan Decker, M, Leading Edge / Chatham (N.J.)
Joey Epstein, A, Madlax / Landon (Md.) – HOPKINS
Michael O’Grady, D, Mesa Fresh / Roxbury Latin (Mass.)
Luke O’Grady, A, Mesa Fresh / Haverford (Pa.)
Tate Kienzie, M, Mesa Fresh / Conestoga (Pa.)
Dalton Pascale, M, Mesa Fresh / Malvern Prep (Pa.)
Andrew Geppert, D, NH Tomahawks / St. Thomas Aquinas (N.H.)
Zac Tucci, F/O, NH Tomahawks / Bedford (N.H.) – CORNELL
Zach Ludd, A, NH Tomahawks / Governor’s (Mass.) – OHIO ST.
Dylan Barnacle, A, Patriot / Delbarton (N.J.)
Tommy Beeby, M, Prime Time / John Jay (N.Y.)
Billy Chabot, M/FO, Prime Time / Rye (N.Y.)
Shahe Katchadurian, G, Prime Time / John Jay (N.Y.)
Sam Camacho, D, Resolute / Oletangy (Oh.)
Skylar Wahlund, G, Resolute / Mason (Oh.)
Harrison Schertzinger, M, Resolute / Summit Country Day (Oh.)
Henry Schertzinger, M, Resolute / Summit Country Day (Oh.)
Jordan Ginder, FO/M, Team 91 / Deerfield (Mass.) – DUKE
Sean Kuttin, M, Team 91 / Chaminde (N.Y.) – HOPKINS
Scott Bower (2019), D, Texas Mustangs / Episcopal Dallas (Tex.)
Patrick Skalniak, M, Texas Mustangs / Episcopal Dallas (Tex.)
Alston Tarry, M, Westchester Predators / Bronxville (N.Y.)

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