Over 20 Players That Impressed At Baltimore Summer Kickoff Session #1

CkwcQF_UUAEoHhK.jpgBecoming one of June’s most well attended tournaments, 138 college coaches made stops at the St. Paul’s Schools this past weekend for the Baltimore Summer Kickoff. High Point coaches Jon Torpey and Pat Tracy – both Baltimore natives – put on the annual event, adding a new wrinkle this year with a small but strong 2020 division on Sunday at Loyola University’s beautiful athletic facilities. College contributors Tal Bruno (Hopkins) and TJ Oursler (Denison) camped out on the sidelines and have their standouts for pool play and the All-Star Games.

Players (2017 – 2019) that impressed, via Tal Bruno

Phil Wies ’17, A, Baltimore Breakers / Loyola Blakefield (Md.)
A true playmaker, Wies put up big numbers in his first game of the weekend, notching four goals and an assist over a challenging NXT team. Recently switching his commitment from Furman to Towson, he has great hands, IQ and shows poise around the crease, allowing him to finish his shots under pressure. A well placed behind-the-back shot in the second half boosted his team’s energy, and showcased the skillful stickwork he possesses. Weis has all the physical traits to beat his defender and make plays all over the field, with a dizzying split dodge, great speed and field vision to pick the opposition apart. On the run or stationary, Wies can bring the heat from anywhere, often leaving defenders behind on long, looping dodges.

Andy Andrews ’19, M, Gilman (Md.)
Andrews is a horse, showing maturity and confidence beyond his years as he runs the length of the field. A big and strong, two-way midfielder, he is already the Hounds’ go-to player as a rising sophomore at Gilman. Between the boxes, Andrews is relentless, forcing three turnovers in one game, picking up his own ground balls, and showcasing old-school grittiness as he bullies his opponent. A hard downhill dodger, he shows incredible field awareness and presence, knowing when to unleash a hammer of a shot on the run.

Joe Goguen ’19, A, Fighting Clams / Belmont Hill (Mass.)
Goguen is a big, strong lefty who uses his size to body up defenders and get leverage on his dodges. A rangy shooter, he is a go-to player for the Clams, putting up four goals in two games, including a beautiful toe drag-to-shot combo that found the back of the net. He plays relaxed, making backhanded passes and staying cool under pressure.

Kyle Massimillian ’18, F/O, Iron Horse / Highland Park (Tex.)
The FOGO gives his team the ‘make it, take it’ advantage, cleanly pulling the ball out with regularity. His dominance at the X is supplemented by great size and speed. Massimillian is a strong player with quick hands and fundamental faceoff skills that give his team an edge over opponents all game long. While other FOGOs may wear down throughout a game, the Dallas native from Iron Horse is steady all game long. Still without a college home, Massimillian certainly has the potential to play Division I like his older brother, Dom, a rising senior standout face-off man at Cornell. 

Logan Posner ’17, A, St. Paul’s (Md.)
Posner is a slick lefty finisher with impressive confidence around the goal. He modestly notched five goals in a game against Iron Horse, showcasing his physical ability as well as his knowledge of the game. A strong athlete who has grown a good amount, Posner is deceptive with his movements and has the stick skills to throw head turning fakes. He stands out on the field against any competition and is still on the market after de-committing from Air Force during the school year. 

Jeremy Winston ’17, M, Iron Horse / Parish Episcopal (Tex.)
After being written up at this event last year, Winston fared well at BSK once again, showing the skills and athleticism to put him on the field at any level. He has a rocket on the run that compliments his impressive speed and quickness, running by defenders with ease and sticking his shots with either hand. In one game that I watched, he had three goals, each one beautifully hitting a corner.

Jack Taylor ’17, G, Baltimore Breakers 2017 / St. Paul’s (Md.)
The goalkeeper has size, filling the cage and cutting down shooting angles. He makes himself even bigger in tight, jumping to shots and making huge saves to bail his defense out of tough situations. Playing with both listed teams throughout the weekend, he communicates to teammates with an authoritative growl as he calls out plays and cues. With 10 saves in a half, Taylor helped St. Paul’s to a commanding win over Iron Horse late on Saturday.

Cameron Roth ’19, LSM, True IL / Culver (Ind.)
Roth is another sturdy LSM with a great stick and patience on ball. A recruit out of powerhouse Culver Military Academy, he brings a tenacity to the faceoff wing, causing turnovers and moving the ball upfield into his offensive zone. He plays solid positional defense, but can also be seen chasing and checking all over the field, showing that he’s a monster in unsettled situations. Roth compliments his team’s style of play with an aggressive yet controlled style himself. He’s one more player who can thrive in almost any system, and looks to be another strong prospect from the True Lacrosse program in the Chicago area.

Taylor Cashman ’17, LSM/D, Gilman Hounds
Disruptive all over the field, Cashman is a takeaway machine and a groundball vacuum. He ruins other teams clears and dodges and is a tremendous asset on the face-off wing. He’s skilled enough to throw stick fakes and toe drags, and athletic enough to throw trail checks without losing position. Cashman can play defense or LSM and make an instant impact.

JQ Stramanak ’18, D, Annapolis Hawks / Annapolis (Md.)
A freight train in transition, Stramanak plows over riders as he pushes the ball up field with conviction. He’s one of the biggest players on the field, and plays like it. The Cornell commit has surprising speed and quickness, making smart plays that highlight his strong positional defense and checks.

Michael Nassif ’19, G, Fighting Clams / Archbishop Williams (Mass.)
Standing well over six feet tall, Nassif is an imposing prescence inside the Clams’ crease. His ability to fill up the goal and cut down shooting angles gives him an advantage over smaller goalies, but he also brings quick hands and a natural feel for the position into his game. He shows an unwavering confidence in his technique, with a wide stance and sharp positioning to keep shooters second guessing their shot placement. With a handful of beautiful saves from big powerful shooters in just one half of play, the burly right hander proved himself to be a strong prospect for college coaches.

Parker Mitchell ’17, D, FCA Maryland / McDonogh (Md.)
An aggressive checker, Mitchell is somewhat of a loose cannon (without being reckless with penalties), bringing chaos to his opponents and causing turnovers quickly and cleanly. He takes the ball away, picks up the groundball, and pushes transition like a short stick. He flies around with explosive energy and speed, showcasing his physical ability as he dismantles offenses.

Others Who Impressed:
Hank Bethel ’19, D, Breakers
Ryan Dunn ’18, A, FCA MD
John D’Angelo ’17, D, True IL – Air Force
Charlie Kidder ’17, M, True IL
Sam Schluter ’17, LSM/D, NXT – Syracuse
McKenny Box ’18, A/M, Breakers
Charlie Paras ’19, G, Fighting Clams
Bobby Barroll ’17, F/O, St. Paul’s Varsity
Andrew Caples ’18, D, St. Paul’s Varsity
Ricky Hoover ’19, M, True IL 

TJ Oursler’s Class of 2020 Standouts

Gable Braun, F/O, Looney’s / McDonogh (Md.)
Braun, A Floridian who made his verbal to UNC official following an impressive showing at Sunday’s tournament, is a tall, athletic FOGO who controlled every game by winning the vast majority of draws that he took. He communicated well with his wings and was able to win the clamp and flip it back to them for uncontested ground balls.  Braun was also a threat to score when he won it forward, starting multiple fast breaks for his Looney’s team that resulted in quick goals and instant offense. Set to transfer to play for the No. 1 Eagles next year after winning 252 of 310 face-offs as an eighth grader for Florida powerhouse St. Andrew’s.

Jack Koras, A/M, FCA Maryland / Loyola Blakefield (Md.)
Koras dominated the event from start to finish and led a loaded FCA Maryland team to an undefeated record. Time and time again, the versatile lefty beat his man with a smooth split dodge and used his quick but powerful release to beat the keeper at will. Koras tallied six goals against Philadelphia Freedom, and later added four more in a hard-fought win over a star-studded Looney’s squad.  His most impressive play of the game came when he chased down a defenseman on a ride, stripped him with a well-timed wrap check, and picked up the ground ball to earn his team an extra possession.  Koras is a complete player who competed with a mean streak and swagger that most kids his age lack.  Look for him to be one of the early stage’s more talented 2020 recruits in the Baltimore area if not the whole country.

Tommy Drago, LSM/D, Building Blocks / West Essex (N.J.)
Drago is an intense lefty with a good stick who was always creating offensive opportunities for a Building Blocks team that showed flashes of brilliance throughout the day.  In his fourth game of the day against Looney’s, the New Jersey native was all over the field, causing four turnovers and harassing opposing midfielders with an assortment of effective checks. Although undersized, Drago has a high motor and was clearly the heart and soul of his team.

Jack Cerza, M, Building Blocks / West Essex (N.J.)
Cerza is a shifty dodger with good size who showcased his quick release and hard overhand shot on multiple occasions.  He used his strength and size to create separation from defenders and get his hands free when running down the right alley. Cerza also showed that he had the capability to draw the double and dish the ball to the open man, resulting in easy dunks for his teammates on the crease.   

Justin Mintzer, A, Looney’s / Calvert Hall (Md.)
The first thing that stands out about Mintzer is his high lacrosse IQ, as his game bares a striking resemblance to that of Hopkins star, Shack Stanwick.  He is an excellent feeder and understands how to control the tempo of a game. The Baltimore native has the innate ability to instantly diagnose a defense and pick it apart with ease.  Mintzer operated from X, beating his man with a smooth split, and assisting open cutters on the backside or skipping the ball through to a middie with his feet set looking to let one fly.

Wallace Halpert, LSM/D, FCA Maryland / Gilman (Md.)
Halpert is a scrappy defender who threw precise checks and excelled when the ball was on the turf. He scooped up numerous ground balls and always had his head up, looking to find the open teammate and push the ball in transition. He is a clearly an intelligent player who gets himself and the rest of the defense in the right position by communicating and barking out orders. Halpert’s willingness to mix it up and play with intensity and physicality set him apart as one of the elite defensemen in his class.

Luke Grayum, A, NXT / Shipley (Pa.)
Grayum is a deadly southpaw shooter who can bring it from within 12 yards when he gets his hands free. He recorded a hat trick against Building Blocks, with two of the goals coming off step down shots on EMO. On Grayum’s third of the game, he split left to left on the high wing and snuck one past the keeper in the top right corner. Grayum has a great stick and as he begins to get in the weight room and add more muscle, he will only get better.

Jackson Marshall, G, FCA Maryland / Calvert Hall (Md.)
Although he’s diminutive in stature, Marshall, a member of the 2016 Under Armour Baltimore Command team, possesses lightning quick hands and cat-like reflexes.  He also proved to be comfortable outside of the cage and helped his team clear the ball with efficiently. Marshall was instrumental in his team’s win against Looney’s, entering the cage in the second half and turning a halftime deficit into a two-goal victory for FCA.     

Michael Lizzio, M, Looney’s / St. Andrew’s (Fla.)
The lanky righty was one of the most effective midfielders at the event because of his ability to shoot hard with either hand on the run.  Lizzio is a prototypical alley dodger who explodes hard downhill and is able to pick a corner and hit it consistently.  Whether he was taking face-offs, clearing the ball, or playing solid midfield defense, the Florida product proved that he was a complete player.

Grant Conte, A, Building Blocks / Glen Ridge (N.J.)
Daniel Kelly, A, FCA Maryland / Calvert Hall (Md.)
Frank Hapney, D, FCA Maryland / St. Paul’s (Md.)
Kyle Eckert, A, Looney’s / Calvert Hall (Md.)
Brendan Grimes, A, Looney’s / Boys’ Latin (Md.)
Blake Gable, D, Looney’s / Boys’ Latin (Md.)
Myles Pittman, D, NXT / Conestoga (Pa.)
Kyle Hoff, M, Rising Sons / Southern Lehigh (Pa.)
James Bennett, A, Tri-State / Princeton Day School (N.J.) 


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