Becoming an early season tradition to kick off the summer circuit, I made my way down to Dallas last weekend (along with 100+ recruiters) for another year at Texas Top 99, which has been run by Navy’s Ryan Wellner and Notre Dame’s Gerry Byrne for over a decade. Just as much of a tradition, however, has been storms, as Friday’s games were moved to Saturday night and the festivities were moved to the beautiful facilities at Dallas Jesuit. I hunkered down on the fields for both days, the THSLL All-Star Games and then Sunday’s ’18/’19 and ’20/’21 All-Star Games before heading home. Here’s who caught my eye over the course of the weekend.
Prescott King ’19, G, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.)
Coming off a phenomenal season for the Eagles, King is a big stopper who takes up a lot of cage but still gets to the low shots. He uses strong positioning and technique, doing a great job barking out instructions to his defense and was just reliable in every sense, including getting the ball out in the clearing game. There’s no doubt that he’s a Division I talent, so it’s worth giving him a hard look if in need of a 2018 keeper.
Andrew Bonnet ’20, D, Highland Park (Tex.)
Playing a somewhat unconventional style, Bonnet chases stick and habitually puts the ball on the ground despite sometimes playing out of position. He was a pest all weekend on opposing attackmen’s hands, using a sturdy 6’1, 170-pound frame to play the body. The rising sophomore was pretty elusive in the open field after cleanly getting the groundball, and made appropriate decisions in transition.
Jack Tabor ’18, M, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.)
Tabor is a player who a lot of recruiters became smitten with by the end of the weekend. A hard-nosed yet undersized competitor who is well-rounded and plays bigger than he is, he’s armed with a strong 3/4 release shot on the run and excellent play between the lines, where Tabor consistently picked up contested GB’s. He was really able to show off his complete game in the All-Star Game and is a surefire Division I prospect.
Garrett Mize ’18, A/M, St. Mark’s (Tex.)
Another talented uncommitted rising senior, Mize was arguably the most ambidextrous player at the camp, making a variety of standout plays with his left and right. He’s seemed to adjust well to the attack position and turns the corner with vengeance, making the right play nine times out of ten. Loved his lacrosse IQ and head up dodging in particular.
Andrew Martin ’20, LSM, Dallas Jesuit (Tex.)
Martin was simply a pleasure to watch, catching the attention of a ton of recruiters who loved his tenacity and motor. He was at his best off the wings, where he hustled and used his stick impeccably to disrupt the opponents and get the ball off the carpet. Martin had really good feet and great positioning when keeping up with his man at the top of the box. Definitely an uncommitted 2020 to watch this summer for Iron Horse.
Braden Rhone ’18, M, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.)
Having attended a number of events in Texas since launching RR, Rhone has taken a big step forward since the last time I watched him. He has an excellent shot with his feet moving as well as noticeably strong vision, surveying the field for cutting teammates and seldom forcing anything. His confidence standouts out, as Rhone was able to attack shorties and longpoles alike. A nasty BTB finish on Sunday morning drew quite a reaction from spectators as one of the best players of the weekend.
Caden Buckner ’20, A, Flower Mound (Tex.)
John Burton ’20, A, Rockwall (Tex.)
Bryce Walker ’20, A, Westlake (Tex.)
I spent much more time focusing on an excellent crop of older players, but it would have been hard to miss this trio of rising sophomore attackmen and even more difficult to single out just one. Recruiters were treated to a show in the 2020/21 All-Star Game as this unit must have combined for 10 or so points. None of them possess particularly astounding size, but they rode hard and dodged even harder. They were great off-ball, had bounce in their step and great hands inside for the finish.