2020 Standouts From the 2nd Annual NLF Futures Event

2020 NLF Showcase All-Stars.JPG
The National Lacrosse Federation Futures Showcase took place last week at the multi-sport ForeKicks complex in Taunton (Mass.), a three-day event featuring 88 of the top players in each of the classes of 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. Players were coached by top college and club coaches and participated in numerous skill and positional sessions, along with competitive games during the event.

The Class of 2020 capped off Day 2 of the showcase with an All-Star game, displaying 36 of the Showcase standouts. The impressive lacrosse IQ and the developing talent level of the players entering high school this year, was evident all week. Ryan Killian has his rising freshman standouts from scrimmage play & the All-Star Game in the Class of 2020.

Editor’s Note: High schools were not available on the rosters, but compiled via quick searches online. Feel free to submit any missing  or incorrect schools for the players written up at tyxanders@gmail.com.

Jack Cerza ’20, M, Building Blocks / West Essex (N.J.)
Cerza was the top offensive performer from the midfield position this week. The right handed marksman displayed an elite-level outside shot, unloading numerous strikes past goalies with impeccable accuracy. Cerza diversified his strikes, locating all four corners in his offensive scoring onslaught. Cerza had the crowd buzzing in the All-Star game, scoring four goals, while leading his team’s offensive effort. Cerza also completed two dodges, starting from the top left of the box and pushing to his right, displaying an all-around scoring mentality that distinguished himself at the Showcase.

Dane Swanson ’20, M, Crabs / McDonogh (Md.)
The physically impressive Swanson utilized his 6-foot-2 frame and stride length to separate and beat both long pole and short stick defenders all week. Swanson showed an advanced ability to unload with accuracy and on the move, beating his defenders and goalkeepers on numerous occasions. Swanson also displayed an advanced understanding of how to beat defensive slides and rotations, as he found his teammates both cutting and on the crease for scores. His advanced lacrosse-IQ, physical ability, and comfortability carrying, dodging and shooting with both hands, sets him apart from his competition.

Nicholas LiCalzi ’20, D/ LSM, Team 91 / South Side (N.Y.)
LiCalzi was one of the most impressive poles in attendance at the NLF Showcase this week. The athletic and well-built defender was all over the field, defending his man and position and also finding his way top every loose ball and 50-50 opportunity. His advanced stick skills set him apart from his peers, while also impressing with his speed and ability to move the ball on a line. LiCalzi is a versatile and skilled player who can play and thrive at both defensive positions.

Logan Tucker ’20, FOGO, Prime Time / Brunswick (Conn.)
Tucker did a fantastic job at the X, showing exceptionally quick hands while controlling the majority of clamps in his match-ups. The most impressive component to Tucker’s work was his gritty, relentless approach when battling in scrums and in crowds. Tucker showed an above average ability to handle the ball in space and stayed within himself by not forcing the issue and by consistently looking to find his offensive teammates after faceoff wins.

JT Morton ’20, G, Crabs / Boys’ Latin (Md.)
Morton did a nice job locating the ball and making all of the routine saves, while also showing the ability to make the difficult stops. He also did a nice job transitioning from the save to the break, using his hands and accurate release to advance play. Morton closed on the ball well and showed a unique quickness identifying and reacting to shots. In an All-Star game setting, where it is often difficult for goalies to shine, Morton made two fantastic saves on point blank rockets fired his way.

Tommy Drago ‘20, LSM, Building Blocks / West Essex (N.J.)
Drago showed one of the most complete LSM games at the NLF Showcase this week. Drago played one of the most versatile games from the LSM position. He defended his position well, both on the ball and showing a strong understanding and leadership in a team defensive setting. He also showed off his advanced stick skills, on-the-ground prowess, along with an ability to create scoring opportunities in transition. 

Ian Schermerhorn ‘20, LSM, Laxachusetts / Lincoln (R.I.)
Schermerhorn was another LSM who was impressive in game-play this week. He was dominant off the wing, both on the ground and defending opponent possessions. Schermerhorn was the most impressive long pole on groundballs that I saw this week. He played a steady and poised game defending his man and used his quick feet to play a disciplined on-ball defensive game.

Ryan MacKenzie ’20, M, Upstate Lacrosse / Christian Brothers Academy (N.Y.)
MacKenzie is a well-build 6-foot-0 midfielder, who used his size, strength and skills to find success scoring the ball from the midfield position this week. The left-handed midfielder showed impressive comfortability with both hands, setting up his defenders on dodges from both sides of the box. MacKenzie was extremely efficient on the move, both shooting and passing the ball. He also showed impressive effort on rides and while defending his men in transition and in settled situations.

Honorable Mention
Murphy Mostellar ‘20, A, Thunder / Lassiter (Ga.)
Owen Boss ‘20, A, Laxachusetts
Jake Sullivan ‘20, A, Laxachusetts
Ben Hull ‘20, A, LB3 / Kennesaw Mountain (Ga.)
Dean Bleller ‘20, A, HHH
Samuel Ward ‘20, A, Laxachusetts
Brayden Edwards ‘20, A, Laxachusetts
John Gross ‘20, A, Baltimore Crabs / Georgetown Prep (Md.)
Noah Evans ‘20, LSM, Big 4 HHH / Penn Charter (Pa.)
Andrew Bonnet ‘20, LSM, 3d Texas / Highland Park (Tex.)
Caden Hawkinson ‘20, D, Team 91 Crush
Colin Kennedy ‘20, D, Big 4 HHH
Colin Freer ‘20, D, Leading Edge
Max Cooney ‘20, D, Baltimore Crabs / Georgetown Prep (Md.)
Cole Krauss ‘20, D, Leading Edge
Trevor Kessel ‘20, D, Team 91 Crush
Michael Tyer ‘20, FOGO, Laxachusetts
Jayson Tingue ‘20, G, Team 91 Crush
Garrett McKinnon ‘20, G, Laxachusetts
Bennet Ong ‘20, G, Eclipse
Isaac Tallino ‘20, M, Laxachusetts / Natick (Mass.)
Ben Smith ‘20, M, 3d Texas / Highland Park (Tex.)
Wilson Murphree ‘20, M, Baltimore Crabs / Plano West (Tex.)
Kyle Stephenson ‘20, M, Leading Edge / Clinton Twp (N.J.)
Armond Diana ‘20, M, Express
Ben Ohler ‘20, M, Laxachusetts
Damon Hsu ‘20, M, Baltimore Crabs / Georgetown Prep (MD)

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