Moving from Birmingham to Nashville for its second year, Dixie Top 200 provided a 50-50 combination of instruction from college coaches and game play, an awfully nice opportunity for an area that doesn’t often get recruiters come their way.
Hosted by Tennessee-based No Excuse Lacrosse, Jim Jasinski (Lacrosse Academy of Birmingham) and directed by Ohio State’s Nick Myers, Division I schools Maryland, Penn State, Denver, Loyola, Yale, Penn, Navy, Mercer, Furman and UMass also helped make up the staff along with a number of coaches from other divisions. I was there all the way through taking notes on the top players so here’s who stood out this past weekend.
Jonny DiVirgilio ’18, A/M, Lambert (Ga.)
DiVirgilio appeared to be assertive in all situations during his time on the field, showing grit and a great motor despite his lack of size. Beyond just making plays on the ride and when the ball was on the ground, he showed prowess with the ball, demonstrating explosiveness off the dodge and the ability to change hands seamlessly. It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that the Georgia product scored the most goals out of anybody in the camp’s older division. Could see him fitting in well at a SoCon program.
JoJo Fogarty ’19, M, Memphis University School (Tenn.)
Anybody watching the Black team saw that Fogarty jumped off the page right away based on his wheels. A member of No Excuse Lacrosse, he flew from restraining line from restraining line when he had the ball, but was also a big help between the boxes on defense and during wing & GB play. Fogarty has potential on the offensive end, scoring here and there (largely in transition, not surprisingly), but could be eyed by Division I schools as a d-middie at the very least.
Tate Harran ’20, M, Walton (Ga.)
Harran carried much of the burden on his team’s offense throughout the weekend, breaking down his man with formidable left-to-right split dodges while initiating offense from up top and the wings. His stick was dialed in and he looked to be a rather high percentage shooter (but could also find the open man), while Harran also had some great moments playing midfield defense. Playing club with Thunder, he’ll improve his standing even more once he adds some size, like many 2020 prospects.
Ben DiMento ’20, A, Memphis University School (Tenn.)
Carrying a strong pedigree as the son of a coach, that was more than apparent as DiMento has an extremely impressive lacrosse IQ considering his youth. He looks to be about six feet tall as well and was really comfortable dodging from just about anywhere, surveying the field for cutters and doing a great job getting to the island. DiMento finished a strong percentage of his attempts and let the game come to him, making me think that he could be one of the better freshmen in the deep South.
Brian Saulsberry ’19, LSM, Houston (Tenn.)
Saulsberry caught my eye during Saturday night’s sessions and he continued to make an impact until the end of the event. He used his long arms off the wings to get the ball off the carpet but was also pretty strong playing 1-on-1 defense both between the boxes and up top. Though he could improve off-ball, Saulsberry was elusive during the clear and should have some nice collegiate options over the next few years.
Batts Parker ’19, D, Randolph School (Ala.)
One of the biggest compliments you can give a pole is that he’s a pest, and Parker was certainly that when covering his man 1-on-1, often putting the ball on the ground and and flying upfield. Clearing the ball several times a game, he passed to the appropriate man when the ball was in his stick to boost his team and was overall one of the most impressive D prospects there. Will likely transfer to a top prep school program up north and move to the ’20 class.
Parker Green ’19, G, Briarcrest Christian (Tenn.)
Green was coachable and generally great during the instructional/drills portion of the game and then went on to back that up by dazzling during gameplay. It was no surprise to see that his technique was awesome, as he was coached by former Loyola & Bayhawks standout keeper Tim McGeeney at his high school in Memphis. Green was poised in-tight and gobbled up popcorn from mid & long-range shots throughout, then getting the ball up and out with his outlets.
Nick Losurdo ’18, A, Grayson (Ga.)
Demonstrating a crafty and creative style of play, Losurdo put up a lot of goals (even though it wasn’t always pretty) during game play after being one of the standouts during the college coaches’ instructional aspects. He had multiple release points and made a lot happen off the catch-and-shoot, also thriving in the riding game. From what I hear, he additionally put up close to 100 points last season, so he can likely play at a high level in college.