For the second year in a row, I made the trip down to Dallas for Texas Top 99, an event that has been going on for over a decade that now features well over 300 kids across four graduating classes. Put on by Notre Dame’s Gerry Byrne and Navy’s Ryan Wellner, T99 staffed several dozen college coaches (including 20+ in Division I) to run clinics, coach the teams and evaluate the talent over the course of the weekend. With weather once again rearing its ugly head, the event moved to the gorgeous athletic facilities at Dallas Jesuit on Saturday and Sunday, ending with a pair of All-Star Games for the coaches to take in.
A huge thank you goes to title sponsor Under Armour, the T99 staff and all of those who attended the event, as I came away incredibly impressed with the talent that Texas had to offer in my 5th trip to evaluate recruits in Dallas and the state’s other prominent talent. Here’s who impressed:
Brandon Meaux ’18, A, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.)
After putting up 43 goals and 20 assists this year for one of the top teams in Dallas, Meaux continued to raise his stock with a great campaign at T99. He’s a precise shooter who doesn’t need much time or space to effectively finish within eight yards, burying high percentage shots by getting to the right spots. In addition, it’s easy to appreciate how relentless Meaux is in the riding game, hustling to the midline every time and often creating havoc.
Jack Tabor ’18, M, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.)
Though undersized at 5’8 and 160 pounds, Tabor is a strong and capable righty shooter who loved to sweep across the top and let accurate runners fly. He made strong decisions and routinely put the ball in the back of the net, showing prowess with either hand and using explosiveness and hesitation or split dodges to lose his defender. Tabor strikes me as a player who could make an impact wherever he winds up.
Jake Vaughn ’17, A, St. Mark’s (Tex.)
Vaughn had a knack for finding seams in the defense, working impeccably off-ball and catching and finishing just about everything. He was a capable dodger when he wanted to be, driving the right side and getting to 5×5, finishing an excellent weekend with a few goals for the White team in the All-Star Game. His college options have picked up and to me, he looks like a player who could thrive at a high Division III school at the very least.
Jacob Stoebner ’18, D, Westlake (Tex.)
Stoebner missed Day 1 while trying out for the Under Armour underclass squad, but showed on Sunday that he may have been the uncommitted prospect with the best college options thus far. He’s big at around 6’3 or so and was a bonafide pest, staying on attackmen’s hands and showing elusiveness in the open field with the ball in his stick. Stoebner was physical, gritty and intelligent, showing well in the All-Star Game.
Wilson Murphree ’20, M, Plano West (Tex.)
Playing with the Baltimore Crabs and set to be coached by MLL All-Star Kyle Hartzell for Plano West, Murphree was a reliable scorer who was comfortable and crafty with the stick in either hand. He possesses powerful wrists and was consistently finishing while keeping his feet moving and created scoring opportunities by making phenomenal cuts to the ball. Also fared well against national competition at the Platinum Cup this past weekend.
Paul Richie ’18, F/O, Brewster Academy (N.H.)
Several college coaches from various levels became enamored with what Richie, a Texas native, brought to the face-off X last weekend at T99. Built low to the ground, the talented technician made a living popping the rock forward to himself and triggering fast breaks. He was able to win the draw in a multitude of different ways and showed poise once the ball was in his stick.
Rob Soluri ’18, G, Westlake (Tex.)
Despite playing a slightly unorthodox style, Soluri was extremely effective throughout the weekend, picking up MVP honors of the 2017/2018 All-Star Game with stellar saves with his body and stick alike. Standing 6’0 and 180 pounds, he flourished out of the cage clearing the ball himself and was pretty consistent when tossing outlets. Saved 71 percent as a junior with just a 5.9 GAA for one of Austin’s top HS programs.
Nehemiah McGowan ’17, LSM, St. Mark’s (Tex.)
One could make an argument that McGowan showed as much upside as any kid in the camp. With some guidance on the 1-on-1 and off-ball side of things, this intriguing athlete was fierce with his stick while hunting midfielders all over the field and landing disruptive checks. When the ball was on the ground, McGowan cleanly picked it up and moved upfield in transition whether doing it himself or tossing it to a breaking teammate.
Chase Toledo ’18, LSM/D, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.)
A three-sport athlete with a sturdy frame, Toledo possessed tenacity and wheels in the middle of the field, becoming a tremendous asset in the transition game. He was money off the wings and gave opponents fits with checks, though he also had the ability to play lockdown position defense while relying on footwork up top.
Finn Jent ’18, M, Highland Park (Tex.)
Jent did a great job dodging the alleys and placing accurate shots over the goalie’s shoulders, demonstrating above average foot speed and toughness on the way to the cage. He explodes out of his dodges and plays with a noticeable hustle and motor and though he’ll need to work on his off-hand, the Highland Park product certainly has college potential.
OTHERS WHO STOOD OUT
Braeden Sully ’19, A, Wakeland (Tex.)
Prescott King ’18, G, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.)
Cooper Kneese ’18, A, Highland Park (Tex.)
John Burton ’20, A, Rockwall Heath (Tex.)
Rish Basu ’17, M, St. Mark’s (Tex.)
Matthew Proschaska ’19, M, The Woodlands (Tex.)
Carson Raney ’19, D, Frisco (Tex.)
Drew Wasserman ’20, A, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.)
Greyson Mokarow ’19, D, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.)
Will Piot ’19, F/O, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.)
Josh Hargrove ’19, G, Rockwall-Heath (Tex.)
Robert Almand ’19, M, Vandegrift (Tex.)
Dylan Binney ’20, A, The Woodlands (Tex.)
Marshall Rodegast ’18, LSM, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.)
Garrett Mize ’18, M, St. Mark’s (Tex.)
Daniel Burnum ’18, A, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.)
Braden Rhone ’18, M, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.)
Trey Weiderecht ’18, A, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.)
Harrison Essex ’17, A, Lake Travis (Tex.)
Adrian Van den Dyssel ’17, M, Southlake Carroll (Tex.)
Harrison Blake ’19, A/M, Southlake Carroll (Tex.)