By Phil DeSana
Once again this year’s Philly Showcase lived up to it’s billing as the premier fall recruiting event. All one had to do was look up and down the sidelines of the pristine fields at Episcopal Academy and see every major college and university represented by at least one lacrosse coach, and in some cases, due to the sheer volume of players to evaluate, they had two or three. Cars were lined up down Route 252 by 6:30 am with the parking lots filled to capacity shortly thereafter. NXT continues to do an outstanding job of hosting a weekend of great lacrosse between the individual and team events. Below I have listed the players that I felt stood out at this years Showcase. Please keep in mind their were nine fields and hundreds of players to evaluate, but NXT had already done a great job through their selection process of making sure that each player deserved to be playing this weekend.
Saturday – Individual
Matt Rahill ’17, D, Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.) / Twist
Matt stood out for many reasons this Saturday, he was not on the original roster due to a football injury, a broken hand that required surgery as SCH starting Quarterback. Matt had speed and great footwork,coupled with a quick stick that caused several passes to be knocked down. He shut down every player he went up against and showed why he was selected to the Fab 40.
Owen Weathersby ’18, LSM, Avon Old Farms (Conn.) / Prep Lax
Weathersby had great size, and he was very physical on the defensive side of the ball. He also showed the ability to get the ball off of the ground to start fast breaks for his team.
Jake Guarino ’17, M, Westlake (Tex.) / Iron Horse
Jake was definitely the best player that I saw all day that was not selected for the Fab 40. He had great size, athleticism, and fantastic vision as a passer with both his right and left hand. When driving to the goal, Jake consistently drew contact, and dealt with it like a seasoned player.
Kyle Milliron ’18, A, Olentangy (Oh.) / Titanium
Based off of his play while I was watching, this was the one player that was most deserving of making the Fab 40 but did not, in my opinion. He had outstanding speed and he displayed a smooth athleticism, and he consistently found the open man on the cut. Milliron showed the ability to drift into open space to be able to finish off feeds.
Andrew Estella ’17, D, St. John’s Prep Shrewsbury (Mass.) / Team Central
Estella consistently put the ball on the ground with a variety of takeaway checks, he also got the ball off the ground to start several fast breaks,showing sound positioning and a high lacrosse IQ.
Clayton Miller ’18, A, Cumberland Valley (Pa.) / Lax Factory
Miller showed the ability to pass and shoot well with both hands. His game showed a lot of creativity with behind the back passes and shots that all seemed to find their mark.
Ronan Jacoby ’17, A, Glastonbury (Conn.) / 3d
A lefty that dodged from X and consistently worked to get the inside shot, Jacoby displayed great stickwork. He took a beating while getting to the net, but it did not deter him from driving again.
Chris Woodings ’17, F/O, Shady Side Academy (Pa.) / Titanium
Woodings won 7-of-8 draws while I was in attendance. He was able to get the ball off the ground to start numerous fast breaks that resulted in goals for his team.
Paul Miller ’18, A, Brooks (Mass.) / Fighting Clams
Miller consistently attacked from X with power drawing double teams that did not seem to stop him from finishing off either side. Played with good vision that also allowed him to find the open man when necessary.
Jed Hanson ’18, A, Upper Dublin (Pa.) / NXT
Hanson had great size with a big shot to match. He had a quick release and used his size to his advantage, drawing contact on his dodges.
Michael Wilson ’17, A, Lakeland Regional (N.J.) / NJ Riot
Wilson was very quick at X and consistently drew a double team, dealing with them well and splitting his defenders. He was able to get his shot off quickly, requiring very little space to shoot on both left handed and right handed dodges.
Evan Campbell ’17, M, Cherry Hill East (N.J.) / Braveheart
Campbell displayed outstanding speed and drew contact on his dodges and dealt with it comfortably. He showed great passing ability with both hands. Campbell proved to be a polished athlete, and showed ability both offensively and defensively. The St. Joe’s commit rode hard and played solid defense.
Zachary Tucker ’18, M, Taft (Conn.) / 3d
Tucker had great size and speed while displaying great field vision. He made fantastic cuts to the ball and played well in traffic. Also very aggressive on the defensive side of the ball.
Sean Coughlin ’17, A, Garden City (N.Y.) / GC34
Coughlin displayed solid passing ability with both hands, and he had a good shot on the run both righty and lefty. He played to contact, and he used it to his advantage.
Max Pinilis ’18, M, Randolph (N.J.) / Patriot
The Hobart commit used his size to back down defenders. He had a big shot from the outside and proved to be very difficult to get the ball away from on dodges. Pinilis played well on the defensive side of the ball and showed prowess in the riding game.
Ryan Lipsky ’17, A, Wando (S.C.) / Top Left Loggerheads
Lipsky consistently found the open man on the cut while finding the holes in the defense to generate his own shots. He consistently finished the ball when he had the opportunity.
Cooper Isaacs ’18, LSM, Agoura (Calif.) / LB3
Isaacs was tall and thin but was still incredibly aggressive. On the wings, he consistently came up with the ball off of the faceoff deep into his own zone. He showed unselfish play by dishing the ball to his teammates to set up the offense.
Kyle Gilroy ’18, M, Fayetteville-Manlius (N.Y.) / Orange Crush
Gilroy displayed a great lacrosse IQ and he had great speed. His passing was crisp and he used it to consistently find the open man.
Shahe Katchadurian ’18, G, John Jay (N.Y.) / Prime Time
Katchadurian had great size and was very vocal when the ball was in his own end. He commanded the defense and threw laser outlet passes that consistently found their mark.
Charlie Winsor ’17, LSM, Avon Old Farms (Conn.) / Denver Elite
Winsor’s size and speed allowed him to scrap for ground balls in ground ball scrums. He consistently came away with the ball in tight situations to start fast breaks. He showed solid stickwork both defensively and offensively, in the clearing game.
OTHERS WHO DESERVE A SHOUTOUT
Greyson Wolfram ’18, M, Brunswick (Conn.) / 3d
Connor Ringwalt ’17, A, Episcopal Academy (Pa.) / NXT
Rainier Lee ’18, M, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes (Va.) / VLC
Tommy Sopko ’17, A, Conestoga (Pa.) / NXT – Bucknell
Brody LaPorte ’18, LSM, Menlo School (Calif.) / 3d
Matthew Gill ’17, G, Horseheads (N.Y.) / FCA
Nolan Crognale ’18, A, Hopewell Valley (Pa.) / NXT
Matthew Russo ’18, M, Smithtown East (N.Y.) / LI Express – Fairfield
Max Brooks ’17, A, Hamilton Southeastern (Ind.) / Mad Cats
Sunday – Team
This year’s Philly Showcase Team Invitational was loaded with some of the premier high school and club lacrosse teams. The weather was slightly colder than yesterday’s individual event, but it did not affect the quality of play. It is amazing how totally different the events can be from each other. Saturday the ball moved up the field through individual effort culminating in shots from players making diving one handed shots on net, while on Sunday the teams ran controlled clears followed by offenses set up to attack the short stick defender with an all around great team effort. There was a noticeable difference in the quality of team play. Despite many great teams, two stood out above the rest: Jamesville Dewitt High School and FCA 2017. Below are the players that I felt stood out in today’s team event:
Tucker Dordevic ’17, A, Seattle Starz / Edison (Ore.)
A Delaware commit, Dordevic was a solid overall player. He displayed athleticism, and was able to use both hands well. He was playing midfield while I watched him, showing the ability to double well on the back side and he was able to get in to the middle on the offensive side of the field.
Griffin Cook ’18, A, Jamesville-DeWitt (N.Y.)
By far the fastest player that I saw all weekend, Cook showed great passing ability and he was able to score in traffic. He took an unbelievable beating from defenders but was still able to find the goal. Recently committed to the Syracuse Orange.
Carter McDaniels ’18, D, Seattle Starz / Tahoma (Wash.)
McDaniels has a great size and reach. He through a variety of takeaway checks that allowed him to put the ball on the ground. He was able to get the ball off of the ground and was able to generate numerous fast breaks for his team.
William Jacobs ’17, M, Fighting Clams / Yarmouth (Me.)
Jacobs showed exceptional movement, and was able to find space off ball. He required very little time to release the ball, and he always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. His off-ball movement stood out.
Jack Traynor ’18, A, Mesa Fresh / Malvern Prep (Pa.)
Traynor, a Penn State verbal, had a high shooting percentage while I was in attendance. He was far and away the best player on the field while I was there, finishing both in close and from the outside using both hands. When he wasn’t scoring, Traynor found open teammates cutting across the offensive side of the field.
Will Thompson ’18, D, FCA / Calvert Hall (Md.)
Thompson is a great athlete with a strong repertoire of hard hitting takeaway checks. Multiple times he was able to separate his opponents sticks from their hands.
Brendan Curry ’17, A, FCA Maryland / Calvert Hall (Md.)
Curry consistently beat double and triple teams from both behind the net and off of the wing. He was able to throw bullet passes into the middle, and had a good hard outside shot.
Michael Biddle ’17, M, Fighting Clams / Andover (Mass.)
Biddle had multiple highlight reel goals. He consistently inverted to the X position where he was able to dodge and finish with ease. Committed to UMass.
Carson Gaeger ’17, M, FCA Maryland / St. Paul’s (Md.)
Bound for Towson, Gaeger backed down his defenders and displayed great vision by always finding the open cutter. He was able to finish from both sides, and he showed a high lacrosse IQ.
Nate Hammond ’18, M, Mesa Fresh / Avon Grove (Pa.)
Despite his smaller stature, Hammond won every face off while I was watching. Recently committing to Navy, his team scored numerous goals off of fast breaks generated by Hammond’s face-off wins.
Brendan Clark ’17, A, Springside Chestnut Hill (Pa.)
Reilly Nelson ’17, D, Seattle Starz – Colorado Mesa
Cam Kelleher ’18, A, 3d National / Deerfield (Mass.)
Adam Goldner ’16, A, Malvern Prep (Pa.) – Penn
Kyle Pecci ’16, G, Conestoga (Pa.)
Jack Siebert, A, Fighting Clams / Melrose (Mass.) – Lehigh