Carrying over momentum from two successful sessions in the summer, NHSLS once again hosted a fall weekend of competitive play at Boys’ Latin, Gilman and RPCS, hosted by Baltimore coaching mainstays Andy Hilgartner and Bob Shriver. Now becoming one of college coaches’ favorite stops of the year, the event grew in size in 2016, welcoming a number of top high school programs to the fray. Have a look below for a huge Recruiting Rundown staff report from evaluators in attendance.
Ben Williams ‘18, D, St. John’s (D.C.) – Notre Dame
Ben is a very disciplined, but aggressive, defender on the ball. He makes it very difficult for offensive players to get their hands free to shoot or pass, and he approached the ball under control throughout the weekend. His stick is always up and in the passing lane when he’s off of the ball, and he’s comfortable defending above or below the cage. He exercised high lacrosse I.Q. in the sub game, and he made the correct looks in their clear. Ben will fit nicely into Notre Dame’s system (older brother, Henry, finished his career there in 2015), and he reminds me a lot of former Georgetown Prep & Fighting Irish defenseman Kevin Ridgway.
Alex Rode ‘17, G, St. Paul’s (Md.) – Virginia
Without question, the best player at the NHSLS. He inspires confidence in his teammates and he erases the mistakes of his defense. Alex is strong in the clearing game, and he throws a hard outlet pass. He’s going to compete for playing time right away at Virginia.
Daniel Kelly ‘20, A, Calvert Hall (Md.) – UNC
Daniel does one thing better than any of his Calvert Hall teammates: he knows how to get open. He’ll slip a pick on one possession, backdoor cut on the next one; he knows how to stealthily seal a slide man and pop, and he has a great V-cut. He has the potential to be one of Calvert Hall’s leading goal scorers this spring, based on his ability to find open space and shoot accurately.
Jack Crosby ‘19, LSM/D, Brother Rice (Mich.)
While Jack can play either LSM or defense, I thought he excelled between the boxes for the Black Grizzlies. Crosby’s athleticism and toughness were on display all weekend: he was excellent when the ball was on the ground, and he makes good decisions in the clearing game. I thought Jack played well off-ball, in addition to making good decisions in the substitution game. I thought his approaches on the ball were disciplined and his stick arrival was consistent. Brother Rice played aggressively all weekend, but he wasn’t beaten by his man. The uncommitted sophomore has a lot of tools to work with and the Brother Rice defense should be outstanding this spring.
Jackson Cummings ‘18, A, McDonogh (Md.) – Lafayette
Jackson’s an incredibly smart lacrosse player with excellent stick work. He excels in managing the pace of a game: he knows when to push and when to slow the tempo of the offense down. Cummings has the ability to beat his man and get to the island and when he draws the double team, he makes correct decisions.
Jake Stout ‘17, G, Loyola Blakefield (Md.) – Towson
Stout’s hands are quick and he’s excellent around the cage. He has great footwork and he’s a very good passer. His angle-play this weekend was outstanding and he makes up for his teammate’s mistakes. Goalies have become better about saving shots at their feet, but Stout just doesn’t get beat there. He’s quiet in the cage, but his focus is second-to-none.
Logan Paff ‘19, M, Gilman (Md.) – Brown
There weren’t many midfielders this weekend at NHSLS that could match the athletic ability of Paff. On several occasions this past weekend, he broke straight down the field after a save, caught an outlet pass from the goalie and ran through the defense to score a goal. He was a difference maker for the Hounds, and has the potential to play an even greater role this season than he did as a freshman. Made a verbal commitment to Mike Daly’s Brown Bears this month.
Paxton Marks ‘17, D, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.) – Ohio State
I absolutely loved watching Paxton play this weekend: he’s rangy, has an active stick, athletic and excellent on ground balls. He makes a point to get his stick in the passing lane off ball and makes it hard for offensive players to connect passes when he’s on their hands. He can play people aggressively outside of the box without creating offense. Marks can make up for a bad approach with his excellent footwork, and I thought his angle play was good all weekend.
Koby Smith, ‘17, D, Loyola Blakefield (Md.) – Navy
Arguably the most athletic lacrosse player at the NHSLS, I’m not sure there is better on ball defender in the 2017 class. Smith is relentless in pursuit of ground balls: if he thinks he can get it, he’s going to make a play for it. He’s equally dangerous in the clearing game for the Dons. He has an excellent stick and he makes good decisions with the ball. He throws hard checks when he’s on the ball and he can make up for a mistake with his footwork. I thoroughly enjoy watching him play and he was a standout for the Dons at the event.
Brendan Curry ‘17, A/M, Calvert Hall (Md.) – Syracuse
Playing unselfish lacrosse at all times, Curry is finally healthy. He created a host of opportunities for his teammates, in addition to taking a few chances of his own. Brendan can play both midfield and attack, but he was most dangerous dodging from up top, drawing a slide, and moving the ball. He was probably Calvert Hall’s most efficient player at the midfield on Saturday.
Jack Parr ‘17, A, McDonogh (Md.) – Brown
Jack’s hands and ability to finish in the paint are second-to-none. He shoots the ball accurately and hard, and he knows how to get himself open. As a result of his experience playing the indoor game, Jack can take a beating inside and absorb contact. As good attackmen do, he makes first contact as a dodger to pin his defender’s hands against their chest. Once he’s done that, he’s working to get to the middle of the field to score. I think younger lacrosse players should take a page out of his book and get more experience playing box lacrosse. It has benefited him greatly.
Keegan Pearl, ‘17, A, St. Paul’s (Md.) – Furman
Pearl has a tremendous skill set: great vision, excellent stick work, and a knack for finishing in tight spaces. He’s able to lean into his defender while keeping his head up to find open teammates. He flourished last year in the Crusader’s “unconventional” offense, and I imagine he’ll adjust accordingly to any changes.
Andrew Milani ’19, A, St. Paul’s (Md.) – Towson
The future Tiger was very impressive on Sunday. He looks quicker and more confident, and he played a pivotal role in St. Paul’s success this past weekend. His stick work is excellent and he’s a smart lacrosse player. He can beat his man without a screen, and when he gets to the island I saw him make good decisions. He’s matured greatly as a player, and I imagine he’ll find a way to get on the field for SP this spring.
Erik Schmidt ‘17, A, Brother Rice (Mich.) – Michigan
Signed with the Wolverines, Schmidt has a great burst of speed, but he plays under control. He has an excellent right-to-left split dodge, and when he gets to the island he makes good decisions. Of his many outstanding qualities, I was most impressed by the consistency of his shot: Erik shoots it hard, overhand and for the side pipes; with that being said, he has the ability to change his shooting motion and still make the goalie work to save the ball. I’m certain he and Brother Rice will have an outstanding spring season.
BJ Farrare ‘18, LSM/D, McDonogh (Md.) – Loyola U.
I can’t say enough positive things about his play this weekend – excellent off the ground, on ball, in transition, and appropriately physical. An offensive player isn’t going to get take away BJ’s cushion. Farrare’s athleticism complements his skill as a defender, making him, in my opinion, one of the best players in the MIAA. He’s always on an offensive player’s hands and his stick is always in the correct position off ball.
Matt Moore ‘17, A/M, Garnet Valley (Pa.) – Virginia
The nation’s No. 1 recruit, Moore has great size, a powerful shot and an excellent handle. He played both attack and midfield this weekend, but mostly attack in the games I watched. A lot of people talk about his athleticism as his greatest attribute, but I’d disagree. Moore has unbelievable vision and he’s an accurate passer when his hands get free. He picked people apart playing up top in a 3-3 on EMO, and I can see him doing much of the same in college. Since he’s the only real offensive threat on his team, he’s asked to do a little bit of everything. I saw him try to split double and triple teams on Sunday without much success, but there were times when he managed to split a double and get his hands free to shoot. When he gets the ball in space, things seem to slow down for him, unfortunately, his teammates also tend to stand still and watch him dodge. He’s an incredibly talented young man whom I’m looking forward to watching in college, especially in UVA’s new system.
Brendan Tscherne ‘17, F/O, St. Paul’s (Md.) – Air Force
If Tscherne gets on a roll, and Rode plays as expected, the Crusaders have the potential to send coach Brocato out with another MIAA championship. Brendan is athletic, tough, competitive, and savvy. He’s well-trained, and a true technician at the X. He’s also become a threat to score if teams don’t slide to him on fast breaks, which he did this weekend with great success.
Logan Zimnoch ‘18, M, St. Paul’s (Md.) – Towson
Logan has an excellent first step – there aren’t many SSDM’s who can cover him when he subs out of the box. He has tremendous stickwork, great vision, and a hard shot. He’s a converted attackman, so he’s comfortable dodging from behind or on the wing. He’s better on his natural side, which is where he likes to set up his dodge. He has an incredibly effective hitch and go, as well as a deceptive face dodge. Logan is going to be asked to carry some of the scoring load at the midfield this year, and there is no question he can create his own shot.
Piper Bond ‘18, M Gilman (Md.)
Bond is cut from the same cloth as many Gilman midfielders before him, as in he plays well on both ends of the field, is tough on ground balls, coachable and unselfish. He’s a natural leader and he has a great motor. He should shine this spring as Gilman looks to rebound from a challenging 2016 campaign.
Jack Simmons ‘18, M, McDonogh (Md.) – Georgetown
Jack is a quick dodger with excellent feet. He shoots it well on the run, which isn’t easy to do, and he makes good decisions after drawing slides. He finds a way to get his hands free to get his shot off, and I thought he played well on Saturday. I think he’s a tough player with a nose for the goal and a high lacrosse IQ.
Scott Bower ‘19, D, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.) – Virginia
An excellent on ball defender, his approach, stance and stick arrival were consistent all weekend. Bower is always in an athletic stance off-ball, and he makes a point to lead the conversation of the defense. He’s a well-coached and talented lacrosse player who excelled for ESD.
Daniel DiPeso ‘17, D, Calvert Hall (Md.) – Roanoke
A steal for Roanoke College, DiPeso was likely the best defender on Saturday for Calvert Hall and a young man who will have a breakout season for the Cardinals. He was outstanding in every aspect of individual and team defense, and he’ll provide veteran leadership for a team that’ll have high expectations heading into the spring.
Keegan Pearl ‘17, A, St. Paul’s(Md.) – Furman
Keegan has a tremendous skill set: great vision, excellent stick work and a knack for finishing in tight spaces. He’s able to lean into his defender while keeping his head up to find open teammates. He flourished last year in the Crusaders’ unconventional offense, and I imagine he’ll adjust accordingly to any changes.
Jack Kelly ‘17, M, Brother Rice (Mich.)
Kelly has an incredible motor on the offensive and defensive ends of the field: he runs with, and to, the ball; he cuts hard to get open; he gets his knuckles dirty on ground balls,and when he picks them up, he moves it or runs away from pressure. Simply put, the kid can play. Though he’s a senior, Kelly shouldn’t be uncommitted for much longer, based on what I saw from him this weekend.
Taylor Cashman ‘17, D, Gilman (Md.)
This kid’s motor never stops running; if he wasn’t asked to come off of the field, he never would. He’s physical at the point of attack, and he doesn’t shy away from appropriate physical contact inside. He was an asset to Gilman in the clearing game this weekend, in addition to picking up a number of key ground balls. He played well against Garnet Valley’s Matt Moore, and a host of other highly rated offensive players. Cashman will have to help Gilman’s defense mature quickly this spring, as he’ll be asked to guard other highly touted players in one of the toughest conferences in the country.
Noah Kness ‘17, D, Loyola Blakefield (Md.) – Salisbury
Noah is a jack-of-all-trades for Loyola. He has an excellent stick, probably as good, if not better than the offensive players on his team. He was vocal, strong off-ball and tremendous in the clearing game. While he isn’t the biggest defender in the world, he always puts himself in a position to help his teammates and not get beat. He’s an incredibly smart lacrosse player and another coach on the field.
Jacob Kelly ‘18, A, Calvert Hall (Md.) – UNC
A coach’s son, Jacob was Calvert Hall’s leading point getter at the NHSLS. He continues to play with tremendous poise and he’s coming into his own as one of the team’s leaders. Jacob excels at reading defenses and making excellent decisions. He always tries to make a good play rather than the spectacular play. Calvert Hall has tremendous depth on the offensive end of the field, and Jacob’s greatest challenge will be distributing the ball to his teammates. If he can do that, they’ll be hard to beat this upcoming season.
Evan Long ‘19, G, McDonogh (Md.)
Long played critical role in the success of the younger Under Armour Baltimore squad this summer and he continues to impress with his maturity in the cage. Long has good technique and is an outstanding outlet passer. He made several big saves against Paul VI’s veteran shooters.
Jacob Snyder ‘19, D, Calvert Hall (Md.) – Ohio State
According to his coach, the young man is a very complete defender. He’s good on and off off the ball, he doesn’t try to do too much in the clearing game, and he throws an accurate cross-field pass. He dazzled me with his consistency on Saturday and I’m looking forward to seeing him develop over the course of the spring.
George Ward ‘18, A, McDonogh (Md.) – Delaware
Ward is patient, skilled, and smart. He takes care of the ball and plays unselfish lacrosse. He picks his moments wisely and he moves well without the ball. He’s coming into his own as a player, and I’m certain he’ll make an even greater contribution to the McDonogh squad this spring.
Jackson Marshall ’20, G, Calvert Hall (Md.) – Maryland
Marshall is a talented young goalie who has made great strides since his outstanding performance in the Under Armour games this summer. He’s consistent, confident, and polished. He has outstanding footwork and he’s a great passer.
Andrew Caples ’18, D, St. Paul’s (Md.)
Caples sat out last season after transferring from McDonogh. He’ll step in right away to support an inexperienced St. Paul’s defense. When I watched him play this summer, I was impressed with his aggressiveness, athleticism, and stick work. He harrasses offensive players and he’s physical inside.
OTHERS WHO IMPRESSED
Kadin Kightlinger ‘17, M, Bishop O’Connell (D.C.) – Gettysburg
James Donaldson ‘19, D, Brother Rice (Mich.)
Carson Cochran ‘17, D, Brother Rice (Mich.) – Notre Dame
Douglas Godine ‘18, A, Gilman (Md.)
Ronald Fisher ‘18, M, Gilman (Md.)
Liam Muhly ‘18, FOGO, Gilman (Md.)
Scott Middleton ‘18, LSM/D, Hereford (Md.) – Loyola
Carter Brand ‘18, M, Hill Academy (Ont.) – Denver
Phil Weis ‘17 A, Loyola Blakefield (Md.) – Towson
Liam Powderly ‘19, A, McDonogh (Md.)
Riley Mitchell ‘19, A, McDonogh (Md.)
Roman Puglise ‘17, M, Paul VI (Va.) – Maryland