For the last several years (since the rise in super early recruiting), NXT’s Philly Freshman Invitational has acted as one of the most well attended events of the fall. Despite the brutal weather conditions, college coaches and recruits showed out in full force. Saturday’s individual showcase took place at United Sports in Downingtown, while Sunday’s team invitational went down at a nearby high school. Recruiting Rundown contributor Bill Tharp was on site for the latter portion and has a detailed look at the top players.
Note: high schools were not listed on the Philly Freshman Team Invitational rosters. If a HS was missing (and not searchable online) from the writeup, please e-mail email@example.com to fill us in.
Hudson Stramanak, M, Annapolis Hawks
On a day dominated by sweatshirts and sweatpants, Stramanak stood out for being one of the few players in entirely short-sleeves. Built like a fire hydrant, he demonstrated some great athletic ability and a knack for the ball. His lacrosse skills are a bit raw but I can easily see him being an elite defensive midfielder for a college program, similar to Isaiah Davis-Allen for Maryland.
Noah Evans, D, NXT / Penn Charter (Pa.)
Simply put, Evans was all over the field. He was a vacuum on ground balls, and was confident with the ball in his stick. He used his athleticism to be a solid on ball defender. He reminds me of someone who would fit in with a team like Brown or Rutgers who loves to push the ball in transition.
Coleman Nye, A, Fighting Clams / Middlesex (Mass.)
First off, shoutout to the Fighting Clams for having the best jerseys at the tournament. Secondly, I was surprised when I found out the Clams weren’t Canadian, since their finishing skills and hands were so advanced. Reminding me of Notre Dame standout Ryder Garnsey, Nye was part of the standout attack unit, showcasing very good stick skills and showing that he’s equally talented at shooting and feeding. Nye is absolutely going to be a star going forward.
Brendan Grimes, A, Looney’s / Boys’ Latin (Md.)
Part of an excellent string of recruiting classes at Ohio State, Grimes looks like he will fit right in. A lefty, he was one of the biggest players on the field and used his size and strength to his advantage. Grimes was strong to the goal and showed good finishing ability in front of the net. Besides his scoring, he was an excellent feeder, and was able to find cutters for easy goals or was able to snap off passes to players who looked covered. Grimes was one of the best players all day.
Sean Cameron, M, NH Tomahawks / Bishop Guertin (N.H.)
Although not too big in stature, Cameron was dropping bombs with his right handed cannon. He not only has a strong shot, he showed an ability to place the ball and pick corners.
Russel Melendez, A, FCA Maryland / Archbishop Spalding (Md.)
A quarterback playing from X, Melendez was very impressive Sunday. He showed electric changed of direction skills and looked confident with the ball in his stick. He demonstrated a good feeding ability and had a flashy stick. When he got to GLE, he showed courage getting to goal and was not afraid to take a hit.
Jack Stuzin, D, FCA Maryland / Gilman (Md.)
Stuzin was one of the most impressive defenseman all day. He had good size but his most impressive feature was his speed. Stuzin was an one-man clear and when FCA was clearing the ball, you could see he was one of the players they were trying to get the ball to. He threw hard checks and just did not look fun to play against.
Tucker Spencer, A, Fighting Clams
Another member of the outstanding attack unit for the clams, Spencer was a stud. He was very good with the ball in his stick as both a feeder and shooter, but also was a very talented off ball player. He had a flair for the dramatics scoring a nifty BTB goal, and later in the game did the running man after he scored a goal, and I always appreciate a good running man.
James Moroney, A, FLG
Moroney was another attack man who was confident with the ball in his stick. Playing against an aggressive BBL defense, Moroney absorbed checks and was either able to get to the goal or feed the ball. He did a good job as a feeder on man up as well.
Robert McGee, A, Legacy / St. Anthony’s (N.Y.)
McGee demonstrated an absolute cannon Sunday. He was able to stretch the defense and was able to easily over power the goalie. Good off ball player in general, McGee looks to be a special talent.
Jackson Zaiff, M, LI Outlaws / Whitman (N.Y.)
Zaiff demonstrated a strong stick out of the midfield and was dominant on the field in general. Using his size to his advantage, Zaiff was able to do what he wanted on the field and at one point, scored a goal against 3D NE by simply running through the defense.
Chad Teresky, A, NH Tomahawks / Pinkerton Academy (N.H.)
Teresky really stood out as one of the best attackman this weekend. Playing from X, he showed an ability to get above GLE and finish, also an innate ability to find the open teammate. He was able to sling passes through tight spaces and no one was truly covered when Teresky had the ball. He has good size and his able to feed and finish should make him a coveted recruit.
Daniel Kelly, A, FCA Maryland / Calvert Hall (Md.)
The left handed attackman committed to UNC showed impressive body control and was adept at using his body to shield his stick from checks and showed a knack for goal. He also showed courage in front of the net and was not afraid to get hit. One area of his game that needed a little work was he would beat his defenseman, but would hang his stick and leave himself open to a recovery check.
Giovanni Procaccini, M, Annapolis Hawks / McDonogh (Md.)
Stocky yet quick, Procaccini really stood out on the offensive end. When he was going downhill no one on the field was stopping him, and that included poles. Bound for Navy and recently transferring to defending MIAA champ McDonogh, he showed a strong right hand and was very comfortable sweeping from top left to get going downhill.
Matthew Holland, A, Annapolis Hawks
Ethan Wilson, A, Annapolis Hawks
Two members of the Hawks attack who filled different roles, but were equally good at them. Holland might have been the smallest player on the field, but was an excellent feeder. Holland was constantly beating his man to draw a slide and was able to feed a bevy of good Hawks shooters. Wilson on the other hand, might have been the tallest player on the field. Playing off ball, Wilson was much more than just a shooter. The first thing I saw him do on the field was catch a pass, face dodge past a defender and score, one of the nicer plays on the day.
Ethan Insinga, A, Legacy
Insigna was a bully with the ball in his stick. One of the bigger kids on the field, Insinga would body past his defenseman, showing a good ability to finish in front of the net. He had good field vision although the passes did not always find their target.
Michael Leschinsky, M, NXT / Emmaus (Pa.)
Leschinsky was solid in the midfield for NXT. He demonstrated both a left and right hand, paired with his athleticism really stood out. He was good at drawing a slide, one of the most important things a midfielder can do.
Nico Campana, M, 3D New England
David Taylor, M, 3d New England
Playing for a strong 3D NE team, Campana and Taylor dominated in the midfield. Campana was a playmaker with the ball in his stick, showing off good feeding skills and a strong step down shot. Taylor was just a lot of fun to watch. No matter who covered him, Taylor made things happen. He scored goals in a variety of ways, including some of the highlight variety.
Grey Sunderland, M, Seattle Starz / Bellevue (Wash.)
Listed on the roster as a FOGO, Sunderland was able to do much more than that. He dominated face-offs against the Fighting Clams, keeping the Starz in the game. He was strong going forward with the ball and often did not depend on help from his wings to win the ball.
Kevin Ellington, G, FCA Maryland
Tiny but talented, Ellington really stood out on a day with a lot of strong goalie play. One part of his play that really set him apart from other keepers was his communication. Sitting up in the bleachers, it was easy to hear Ellington calling out the slide packages and just directing traffic in front of the net. When he did face shots, he exploded to the ball and made several highlight reel saves.
Dawson Friers, G, Seattle Starz / Bainbridge Island (Wash.)
Facing an onslaught from the Fighting Clams, Friers stood tall. A taller keeper, Friers was equally good at the low and high shots and often ate everything from more than 12 yards out up. He made several flashy saves in tight as well. One area that Friers will need to improve on is clearing, but he has the looking of a legitimate Division I goalkeeper.
Perry Kramer, D, Thunder / Lassiter (Ga.)
Henry Ortman, D, Thunder
The Thunder in general probably had the best team defense on the day – Kramer and Ortman were a big reason why. Playing against FCA, Kramer was covering D1 commit Daniel Kelly and did a very good job. He has a solid base and shows a good understanding of when to throw checks. If Kelly did beat him, he did a good job trailing to the correct shoulder and throwing a solid trail check. Ortman was also a solid on-ball defender using his body to put himself in good positions.
Others Who Impressed
Adam Harrington, M, Fighting Clams
Patrick Thomas, G, Fighting Clams
Luke Arey, A, Legacy
Kyle Eckert, A, Looney’s
Colin McGill, A, NXT
Brian Simmons, G, Seattle Starz
Christopher Arceri, F/O, Sweetlax
Stone Jacobs, M, SweetLax
Joseph Juengerkes, M, Legacy
James Grant, G, Looney’s
Ryan Mackenzie, M, Upstate
Sean Barwick, LSM, FCA Maryland
Matt Hemmer, A/M, 3d New England
Andrew Cramer, M, BBL
Brendan Barry, A, Seattle Starz
Joey Pezzimenti, A, Sweetlax
Justin Carroll, M, Legacy
Aidan Kaminska, M, Legacy
Kyle Hoff, M, NXT