The Legends Southwest Spotlight went down this past weekend just north of Dallas, attracting a wide swath of talent in addition to a number of top collegiate programs. A notable change went through late in summer when the Southern California-based Legends Lacrosse group acquired the Spotlight from Dallas-based C2C Lacrosse. The dynamic of the event – one that is roughly two-thirds teaching and instructional – remained the same and drew extremely positive reviews from players, parents and coaches alike.
I took in each round of games and put together a list of five uncommitted underclassmen that caught my attention, in addition to a more extensive list of players that also deserved a mention.
Jake Nolan ’20, M, St. Rita (Ill.)
Hailing from the Chicago area, Nolan was one of the better-looking midfield prospects at the event, standing out with a hard lefty shot. He’s one of those “one move and go” middies that didn’t get too cute with his dodges, but also had a handful of nice feeds due to the fact that he drew so much attention. I heard good things about Nolan’s coachability in drills, so there’s plenty of upside there, especially if he develops his off hand.
Luke Leffingwell ’19, F/O, Southlake Carroll (Tex.)
Another kid who has improved dramatically, Leffingwell is expected to play his way towards a commitment depending on how he does this coming November. He did a great job providing possessions this past weekend, winning it in a scrum or easily in front, behind or to his wings. Though no one would refer to him as a speedster, he’s strong with the ball and looked great from what I saw.
Ajax Zappitello ’20, D, Sunset (Ore.)
The Portland native has already put together a strong few summers, making his way into Maverik Showtime, Adrenaline Black Card and the UA Underclass Games with the West. While undersized, he makes up for that deficiency by being an absolute pest around the ball, putting his stick in the passing lanes or attacking ball carrier’s hands. In addition, I loved what he was able to do in the clearing game, sending passes to teammates to start fast break situations or legging it up himself.
Doak Walker ’20, G, Highland Park (Tex.)
If you recognize the name, the award for college football’s top running back is named after his grandfather. In addition, Walker has been making a name for himself by starting for the Scots as a sophomore, allowing just under six goals per game in 2017. At the Spotlight, he was a brick wall and did a phenomenal job out of the cage. It’s apparent that he’s been coached up well as he’s fundamentally sound, hugging the pipe and making smart, precise clearing passes to push transition. Watch for this kid as 2020’s get contact next fall, as he’s almost certainly one of the better keepers in the class.
Trevor Batastini ’20, M, Lovejoy (Tex.)
It’s always enjoyable to come back to Dallas and see how much better a player has become in a short time. Batastini may not jump off the page with any one quality but he’s solid across the board, showing off a growing lacrosse IQ and playmaking ability along with grit between the lines. He has excellent hands and is very crafty with the ball, often freezing defenses with his fakes before sending the ball into the back of the net. Former Towson standout middie Andrew Hodgson just took over Lovejoy after coaching at Manhattan College, so I’d expect Batastini to get even better under his tutelage.
Calder Gallagher ’20, A, Sunset (Ore.)
Birk Swan ’20, A, Palos Verdes (Calif.)
Mason Marano ’18, FO/M, Greenhill (Tex.) – Delaware
Brandon Meaux ’18, A, Episcopal Dallas (Tex.)
Peyton Jefferson ’18, LSM/D, Allen (Tex.) – Hofstra
Joseph Moran ’19, G, Massapequa (N.Y.)
Benjamin Bishop ’19, D, Allen (Tex.)
Patrick King ’19, A, Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.)
Jake Williams ’19, M, Edmond Memorial (Okla.) – Marquette
Makay Hansen ’19, A, Highland Park (Tex.)
Andrew Stanzel ’19, D, Highland Park (Tex.)
William Cannon ’20, D, Plano West (Tex.)
Caden Buckner ’20, A, Marcus (Tex.)