Started by MIAA coaches back in 2013, the National High School Lacrosse Showcase has quickly turned into one of the most popular recruiting events of the summer, comprised of entire high school teams from around the country.
This year, ‘Flyers’ from Long Island power Chaminade took home the crown in Session I, while St. Paul’s, Loyola Blakefield and Gilman rounded out the final four teams standing. Recruiting Rundown summer intern Tal Bruno was on hand for most of Saturday and has his eight standouts from the event.
Jack Myers ’18, A, Gonzaga (D.C.)
Myers is a beast of an attackman, standing well over six feet tall with good footwork to match. Headed to Harvard, he’s a strong and physical dodger that uses his size and quickness to beat matchups and get to the goal. The big initiator plays a quarterback role within the Gonzaga offense, organizing his teammates and balancing the field with a steady confidence. Myers runs through slides and doubles, always protecting his stick and using his large stature to shield his hands under pressure. He can beat you with either hand, and makes defenders pay for overplaying his strong hand, as he’s athletic enough to run past defenders on his way to the goal. He strung up two impressive goals in a tough loss to St. Paul’s in the playoffs and was also named to the tournament’s All-Cascade/Maverik Team.
Keegan Pearl ’17, A, St. Paul’s (Md.)
A polished athlete at the attack, Pearl stood out with three goals versus Gonzaga in the first round of the playoffs, helping his team to a hard-fought victory as the leading scorer of the game. He’s a crafty right-hander, making tough plays look easy under duress. I watched the rising senior score off of a slick roll move on the left wing, where he shot a nearly no angle shot that stung the far pipe, leaving the defense and goalie wondering what happened. He’s a good athlete with decent size, but displays a strong IQ and feel for the game as he operates with or without the ball. Pearl is currently committed to Furman.
Patrick Norris ’17, A, Loyola Blakefield (Md.)
One of the more impressive displays of scoring ability on Saturday came from Loyola’s Norris, a hulking righty finisher at the attack spot. He possesses great size and length that allow him to find separation for his hands within the opposing defense. Norris is an off-ball nightmare, and cashes in whenever his man takes eyes off him, finishing tight passes with great hands and poise. He’s a garbage man on the crease, picking up loose balls and errant passes before dunking them in the goal. I was able to record five goals he scored in one game, and three in another, showcasing himself as a consistant scoring threat all day long.
Wade Oursler ’17, M, Gilman (Md.)
Oursler came to play on Sunday, putting up three goals in the semi-final loss versus the tournament champion Flyers squad. He’s a tough, two-way middie for the Hounds, possessing good size and spectacular athleticism. At six feet, he has the physical gifts to stand out, but his speed and aggressive style of play are where he really shines. A strong shooter with both hands, Oursler finds opportunity as a downhill alley dodger, letting shots fly on the run with velocity. He plays tough man-to-man defense and thrives in transition as well. Another player named to the All-Cascade/Maverik Team, he will look to take his physical brand of lacrosse to a Top 20 program after recently de-committing from Air Force
Will Kusnierek ’18, M, Chaminade (N.Y.)
On a Flyers team filled with talent, the Notre Dame pledge finds a way to separate himself from the pack, showcasing strong athleticism and skill every time he steps on the field. He’s a strong and physical dodger that uses his size and speed to break down matchups and create space for himself. Kusnierek has a cannon with his left hand on the move, slinging shots to the low corners with deadly accuracy. I noted two goals from him in a semifinal victory and one that he added to help win the tournament championship. He’s a strong fundamental dodger and shooter with smooth footwork and speed, and was also named to the All-Cascade/Maverik Team.
Quinn McCahon ’18, M, Malvern Prep (Pa.)
The Penn commit was one of the most impressive midfield prospects of the weekend, garnering attention by earning All-Tournament honors. McCahon is super agile and athletic with untouchable splits, spins, swims and changes of direction that keep defenders straining to catch their balance. While most players with his speed and quickness are small and light, the Malvern product showcases good size, combining shifty dodging with strength to always win his matchup. On top of being impossible to contain, he has a nasty shot that finds the back of the goal regularly. He’s got all the skills to be effective at the next level.
Joey Murphy ’17, D, Gonzaga (D.C.)
Out of DC power Gonzaga, Murphy isn’t flashy, risky or over-confident. A Furman commit, he is a fundamentally sound, physically gifted, close defenseman that does his job really well. He’s a big player, and uses his size to shut the door on dodgers and protect his goalie. He doesn’t rely on his size and strength alone, however. The commanding righty displays excellent footwork and positioning, always under control as he rides the hips of opponents. Murphy takes other team’s biggest attackman, patiently using his strict technique to shut them down and take away opportunities and possessions. While he isn’t a jaw-dropping takeaway guy, he impresses with his solid sit-down defense all game long.
Alex Rode ’17, G, St. Paul’s (Md.)
Rode is an absolute monster in the goal. A prized recruit for the University of Virginia, he’s a huge left-hander that fills up most the cage with his size, and has lightning fast hands that fill up whatever space is left. He isn’t reliant on his size though, because it seems like he gets his stick on every shot that comes near him. He has strict positioning and alignment and holds his spot without guessing. The All-Cascade/Maverik Team goaltender saved an unbelievable ten goals in the first half of the championship game, displaying his undeniable ability as he stole goals from the Flyers’ shooters repeatedly. I watched him make diving saves on shots coming out of groundball scrums on the crease multiple times, saves on screened shots in tight and moving shots low and away consistently. Rode proved himself all weekend long and will surely prove himself once he arrives at Virginia.