Taking place at the turf fields of Blandair Park in Baltimore’s Howard County, the Big 12 Invitational was a success not only in giving dozens of 2018 and 2019 players looks from colleges, but raising money and awareness for ALS. Fourteen clubs – Dukes, SweetLax, Orange Crush, Annapolis Hawks, Rock Lacrosse, FCA Maryland, MadLax, Blue Star, Team Carolina, C2C Atlanta, Iron Horse, TWIST, Loggerheads and Long Island Jesters – attended the inaugural event.
Run by Kevin Mayer, who lost his father in 1999 to the disease commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, the event partnered to raise funds for the Baltimore-based Brigance Brigade. OJ Brigance, a former Baltimore Ravens linebacker during their Super Bowl XXXV win, even came out to the tournament. Read more about the event and ALS at this link.
MORE COVERAGE FROM NOVEMBER
NLF Fall Frosh Showcase (11/1) – 2019’s
Quaker Lax Fest (11/1) – 2017’s, 2018’s, 2019’s
Big 4 Champions League (11/8) – 2017’s, 2018’s
Big 4 Champions League (11/7) – 2019’s
Terrapin Fall Classic (11/8) – 2019’s
Adrenaline Invitational (11/14) – 2017’s, 2018’s, 2019’s
Taylor Musa ’19, A, Madlax / Riverside (Va.)
Musa really shined in the game that I witnessed against Rock. The standout scorer showed really good hands around the cage and exceptional lacrosse IQ, knowing when to pull the ball out, shoot with space, dodge to feed, etc. He’s on the skinnier side but was fearless when the ball was in his stick, getting to the right spots in order to be successful. Expect to hear a lot more about Madlax’s offensive prospects in the 2019 class as they get closer to commitments.
Griffin Aslanian ’19, D, Blue Star / Westfield (N.J.)
The most impressive prospect I’ve seen out of MV Whitlow’s new Blue Star program, Aslanian passes the eye test with impressive range and athleticism. On top of that, he made some really nice plays in transition, scoring a bouncer in the 8am game. Liked how well he communicated and did the little things like running balls out to the endline.
Jack Sawyer ’19, A/M, FCA Maryland / Calvert Hall (Md.)
I really appreciated Sawyer’s game on Sunday and have to think that he’ll be a pivotal piece of CHC’s puzzle for the next four years. At first, his stellar off-ball play jumped off the page, but he thrived more as a carrier running FCA’s offense . His head was always up and he routinely blew by his man to get shots off in front of the cage. Defenses started to smarten up and throw everything at Sawyer just because of how dynamic a dodger he is.
Bryson Rhee ’19, M, Duke’s LC / Ephrata (Pa.)
This kid absolutely slings it from 10 to 12 yards out, doing so with consistency on Sunday to boost the Duke’s offense. When he wasn’t demonstrating an eye-popping shooting stroke with time and room, Rhee was creating offense coming down the alleys with a strong array of dodges to create separation from his man. Just as impressive, he gave some opposing middies trouble while locking them down down on the defensive end.
Kelan Duff ’19, D, SweetLax / Culver (Ind.)
When Duff is covering you, you’ll know. He’s mean, throwing hard takeaway checks and using the body around GLE to prohibit dodging attackmen from getting to where they wanted. Fleet of foot and athletic, the Maryland commit is already an outstanding 1-on-1 cover man and even showed that he can be offensively minded when running breaks. Reportedly shut down the November circuit’s most dominant 2019 in Madlax’s Hopkins-bound attackman Connor Shellenberger in the last game of the day that I missed.
David Sprock ’18, M, Iron Horse / Dallas Jesuit (Tex.)
It’s apparent just how much Sprock’s game has grown since the summer, so it wasn’t a surprise to see UVA take his verbal late in the summer. The Texas product is a phenomenal athlete who had shake in his step with a nasty split dodge as well as several other strong moves in his arsenal. On a few occasions, Sprock even made things happen with his back to the cage and was always looking for cutters.
Mitch Pehlke ’19, A, SweetLax / Stone Bridge (Va.)
Dan Maltz ’19, A, SweetLax / Riverside (Va.)
This pair from Northern Virginia – bound for Ohio State and Maryland, respectively – put on a show at the Big 12 event. Maltz didn’t have many issues filling up the goals on Sunday, scoring often whether from the hash or simply turning the corner. He sees the field impeccably and had a day vs. the Annapolis Hawks, acting as SweetLax’s reliable catalyst. Pehlke, meanwhile, took a beating but dodged hard from the wings and got shots off no matter what was thrown his way. Also had a few great ‘one more’ passes and boasted an impressive understanding of the game.
Hunter Jaronski ’19, LSM, Duke’s LC / Academy of the New Church (Pa.)
Adam Paymer ’19, LSM/D, Duke’s LC / Hershey (Pa.)
Despite playing for lesser known programs in PA, I’d have to imagine that this defensive pair will be getting their fair share of recruiting attention going forward based on what I saw this weekend. Jaronski made a ton of impressive plays, blanketing his matchup by staying heavy on the hands and moving his feet well around the cage. A lefty, Paymer did his best work between the boxes, making his presence felt with a sturdy frame and hard stick checks. They both got themselves in the sin bin a handful of times due to overaggressiveness, so they’ll need to tone that down if anything.
OTHERS WHO DESERVE NAME DROPS
BJ Burlace ’19, LSM/D, Annapolis Hawks / St. Mary’s (Md.)
Brad Santore ’19, M, Annapolis Hawks / Salesianum (Del.)
Trevor Deubner ’19, A, Blue Star / Glen Ridge (N.J.)
Nathaniel Raeder ’18, M, C2C / Mount Paran Christian (Ga.) – NAVY
Aidan Tocco ’19, M, Duke’s LC / St. Augustine Prep (N.J.)
Gavin Tygh ’19, FO/M, Duke’s LC / Penn Charter (Pa.) – VIRGINIA
Liam Rosenthal ’19, G, Duke’s LC / Central Bucks East (Pa.)
Caton Johnson ’18, G, Duke’s LC / Manheim Township (Pa.) – UNC
Andy Andrews ’19, M, FCA Maryland / Gilman (Md.)
Jacob Snyder ’19, D, FCA Maryland / Calvert Hall (Md.)
Liam O’Hara ’19, M, FCA Maryland / McDonogh (Md.)
Grayson Hassell ’18, M, Iron Horse / Dallas Jesuit (Tex.) – NAVY
Tim Ley ’18, M, LI Jesters / Massapequa (N.Y.) – BOSTON U.
Jonathan Bender ’19, M, Madlax / St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.)
Michael Grogan ’19, LSM/D, Madlax / Episcopal (Va.)
Connor Shellenberger ’19, A, Madlax / St. Anne’s Belfield (Va.) – HOPKINS
Will Cory ’19, A, Madlax / Episcopal (Va.)
John Danforth ’19, M, Orange Crush / Skaneateles (N.Y.)
Robert Lobello ’18, D, Orange Crush / Marcellus (N.Y.)
Nicholas Pell ’19, LSM, Rock / Mt. St. Joe (Md.)
Ryan Leonard ’18, A, Rock / Churchill (Md.)
Chase Buckwalter ’19, A/M, Rock / Westminster (Md.)
Brady McDermott ’18, A, SweetLax / Brighton (N.Y.)
Jack Brennan ’19, A, SweetLax / Irondequoit (N.Y.)
Lad Howell ’18, G, Top Left Loggerheads / Wando (S.C.)
Jarrod Marenger, M, Twist / Spring-Ford (Pa.)