For several years, Maverik Showtime has acted as the top individual showcase in the country, taking place at Western Connecticut State and entertaining dozens of top rising sophomores and juniors. We were on hand all three days, as the All-Star Games capped things off. A rising sophomore face-off man at the University of Delaware, summer intern Spencer Turkel has his look at some of the top recruits. Check back soon for a big recap of the additional standouts from Showtime from Ty Xanders.
Jake Bonomi ’19, M, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) – Michigan
After posting five goals in the all-star game, Bonomi walked away with MVP honors. Besides picking up a ground ball and firing it low to high, the other four goals were identical. He would explode out of his dodge and fire an on the run shot. His first step was unmatched. Whether he was sweeping across the field, or going downhill, no defender could keep up. The Long Island native often uses a stutter step that leaves the hot slide in a gray area, wondering if he should slide or not. Before he has time to decide, Bonomi is long past his defender sending a laser by the keeper. Despite being undersized, he plays with a tremendous heart. He is not timid to dodge on any defensemen. If Jake finds himself in trouble with a double team or a hard slide, he simply rolls back and re-dodges the other way, or shoots out of the roll.
Mark McGinley ’18, A, Chagrin Falls (Oh.) – Penn
In one of the exhibition games on Friday afternoon, McGinley went for four goals and one assist in one half. The best part about of Mark’s game is that he can do it all. He has a great first step to blow by his defender, but is strong enough to initiate contact and bully his way to the goal. The attackman consistently draws slides and makes the defense rotate. After drawing a slide, Mark constantly finds his open teammates as Team 5’s offense ran through McGinley, a player who makes his teammates better. Whenever he had the ball, the Ohio native produced. Furthermore, he is equally effective off-ball. The future Quaker has great hands in tight and can finish under pressure.
Jack Pucci ’18, A, St. Dominic’s (N.Y.)
I still do not know if Pucci is a righty or a lefty. All week, Pucci would find open seams in the defense and sling step-down shots with either hand. To add on, he always changed up his release, which always kept the goalie guessing. The Long Island product let it fly overhand, underhand, backhanded… you name it. Goalies had trouble tracking the ball because his release was so quick and he consistently changed the plane of his shots. Also, when carrying the rock, his eyes are always up. The uncommitted attackman has great vision, throwing accurate skip passes and threading the needle on multiple occasions. When he is 1-on-1, he uses his big frame to protect his stick, roll and get his hands free. I love his game and cannot wait to see where this two-handed shooter commits to play his college ball.
Jake Taylor ’19, A, Regis Jesuit (Colo.) – Denver
Taylor is a prototypical University of Denver attackman – a perfect system fit for the Pio’s. Whether he is sending a time and room cannon or throwing a beautiful no-look skip pass in transition, the ball is in and out of his stick in less than a second. He operates off-ball very well in a six-on-six situation, either cutting hard to the crease or finding a dead spot in the defense to step down with his rapid release. To add on to his stickwork, the Denver Elite club product plays with tons of grit. He lays the body when he rides and for groundballs. Also, Taylor is not afraid to take a hit if it means he is sending the ball past the goalie.
Deuce Bernstein ’19, A, Scarsdale (N.Y.)
The LI Express product is the type of player who will fill up the net quietly. He rarely ever carries the ball for too long or initiates offense, but truly understands how to play off-ball. The lefty mixes his off-ball prowess with his phenomenal IQ. He is the poster-boy for “When you see the back of his helmet, cut” and scored twice in the All-Star Game. Bernstein cut through for his midfielder dodging and floated high and away on the crease. The second the ball was pushed to X, he cut off ball for a quick catch and shoot with his left. The rising sophomore has soft hands, being able to catch in traffic and finish while he’s also an athlete who moves well. That being said, I would like to see him add a dodging dimension to his game to add on to his off-ball expertise.
Foster Burnley ’18, LSM, Souhegan (N.H.) – Cornell
Burnley was a nightmare for opposing midfielders, often putting the ball on the turf and outmuscling his opponents for ground balls. What impressed me most about Burnley was how affective he was at doubling the ball. Multiple times, a ball carrier had his head turned away and Foster flew over for a surprise double and a clean take away. He was particularly disturbing to opposing face-off men and often took the draw and was all over his opponent’s hands, causing a 50/50 ground ball. Also, his hands were particularly quick for an LSM and sometimes raked the ball away to start a fast break. A Class of 2017 grad, he is set to PG before heading to play for the Big Red.
Jacob Walthour ’18, D, Columbia (N.J.)
Walthour is a big, athletic pole that handles very well and always makes the smart play in transition. From what I’ve seen, he never pushed to the goal for a low percentage play in the clearing game, but used his legs and athleticism to beat attackmen and find found an open teammate. On defense, he is constantly on the opposition’s hands, slides hard and looks to double the ball to cause turnovers. Even when the offense was man-up, the Cuse’ commit pressed out and flustered his opponent. Despite having great athleticism and potential, I think once he polishes his footwork and plays more defense with positioning and his body then he will be elite.
Greg Gatto ’18, M, Ridgefield (Conn.)
Bound for the Ivy League, the Connecticut native plays at 110 MPH and with a lot of heart and enthusiasm. Gatto’s shooting stroke was one of the hardest I’ve seen on the summer circuit thus far. He can fire it on the run down the alley or sweeping across the field, and is even more deadly when he has time and room. He runs exceptionally well in transition, often making the smart play by moving it to the point attackman, but finishing his cut looking to catch and finish on the crease. For a midfielder measuring up at 6’3, Greg changes direction well and can beat his defender with a quick shake to free up his hands.
Jordan Ginder ’18, F/O, Deerfield Academy (Mass.) – Duke
Showtime is known to be the best showcase on the summer circuit, where the best talent from across the country head to Danbury to try to make a name for themselves. If Ginder was not already considered to be the best face-off athlete, maybe one of the best players in his class, then he solidified that ranking this week. Jordan went 100% (while winning every clamp) in the All-star game. Aside from having natural hand speed, his technique is impeccable. When Ginder gets tied up, he dictates the face-off by getting his head over the ball and violently rotating, pushing his opponent out of the way. The specialist from New York always exits cleanly away from pressure to pick up the ground ball too. Do not call the future Blue Devil a FOGO: he always tries to earn a quick whistle and spark transition, scoring multiple goals and tallying even more assists at the showcase.
Caton Johnson ’18, G, Manheim Township (Pa.) – North Carolina
Johnson plays with a ton of confidence that radiates off of him. He is constantly encouraging his teammates, directing traffic and making fifty-yard outlet passes that look easy. Along with that, the UNC commit looks to be incredibly frustrating to shoot on. Over the course of the showcase, he consistently baited shooters. He was strong saving the rubber in any area of the cage. A great get for the defending champions, Johnson helps out the whole defense by being vocal in both six-on-six and in the clearing game.