5th Annual StickStar Showcase – May 30th
On May 30th, StickStar Lacrosse hosted its 5th annual StickStar Showcase at the Episcopal School of Dallas (ESD). The clear skies, ideal venue and quality on-field talent were the perfect ingredients for a beautiful night of Texas high school lacrosse. Over 120 players from North, Central and South Texas participated in the event. StickStar founder Anthony Crimmins, a native Texan and former Division 1 lacrosse player, was thrilled with the Showcase, while keeping his focus on the future:
"As a program director you relish opportunities to get your quality players to the field. At our 5th Annual StickStar Showcase, we did just that. Players from U15 to rising seniors took the field to compete and demonstrate both their skills and team-based abilities. It was very exciting to see players from roughly 30+ programs come together, play at a high level and demonstrate such chemistry. We are pumped to watch our players compete as theyíve been training in preparation for quite some time, now it's go time."
The Showcase was divided into three games: U15, Rising (primarily 2017's), and Elite (2016's & 2015's). Three different programs comprised the teams participating in the Showcase. In the U15, StickStar's Texas United team took on Team North Texas (TNT). The Rising and Elite Showcase games plotted Texas United and Dallas Select (another StickStar team) against each other. A select few athletes played in multiple games demonstrating rugged athleticism and skill. Click here for highlights of the event.
Texas is loaded with enough talent to have many high level players at a variety of events in the same weekend. Many other skilled players were also participating in Gerry Byrne's T99 event at Greenhill School. Others attended the Under Armour Underclass South tryouts in Florida.
Below are some of the 2015, 2016, and 2017 athletes that stood out at the StickStar Showcase.
2) Many players had one or two great plays, but I did not get a longer look at them. I will see these players more over the summer and will submit evaluations after I get an appropriate look.
3) There was a strong group of 2018's, however I am not writing evaluations on rising freshman yet.
Gus Pinsoneault 2015
The Woodlands, Texas
Sub Position: X/Dodge & Feed
Standing at 6-foot-3, Gus Pinsoneault is a tough cover for opposing defenseman. Gus usually operates behinds the cage and does a great job of dodging hard, leaning in, and getting to the island. Once he gets to the 5 & 5, Pinsoneault lets his slick finishing and feeding acumen take over. Gus also has a nice burst of foot speed in his arsenal, which he uses to create separation and get up field. His reach allows Gus to score low angle goals and to get around his defender or goalie without having to take additional steps. Size, deceptive quickness, smooth stick skills, finishing and feeding abilities make Pinsoneault on of the top attackmen in Houston and all of Texas.
Mitch Epstein 2015
Houston Christian, Texas
Sub Position: Lefty/Fundamental
Mitch Epstein is a solid goaltender out of Houston Christian. Mitch's fundamental arc-play, quick hands and commitment to reacting (not guessing) are his strongest attributes. He remains calm until the ball is shot, which allows him to be in a balanced position to make saves. Mitch does a nice job of holding the pipe on dodges initiated below GLE, forcing the dodger to take an extra step or two. He's poised in the clearing game and has a nice touch on the long ball. It will be interesting to see which programs show interest in Mitch this summer, as he would be a great pickup.
Alberto Quinones 2015
Clear Lake, Texas
Sub Position: LSM & F/O
Alberto Quinones out of Clear Lake has a great motor and is a well-rounded, skilled defender. In the Elite Showcase game, I saw Alberto defend the ball well, create pressure between the boxes, take (and win) face-offs, scoop up GB's, and create offensive opportunities for his team – not too shabby. With that skill set, Quinones will find a program that will need a play-making LSM.
Adam Riestis 2015
Sub Position: Two Way
Adam is a tough, hard-dodging middie that can put the ball in the back of the net. Not to mention he has great vision, plays disruptive defense, is solid at the faceoff X and has nice open field speed. Riestis has a dynamic first step and can score with either hand. Able to apply finesse and physicality to his game, Adam is one of the most well-rounded lacrosse players in Texas.
Griffin Johnston 2015
Griffin Johnston has a diverse skill set that translates to offensive opportunities for himself and his teammates. His awareness between the boxes allows Griffin to make pick up loose balls, pick off passes, find an open teammate or make other impactful plays. Griffin's ability to get to the cage sets up his quick release, making life difficult for opposing goalies. He does a great job hiding his stick behind his body, which strengthens his deceptive shooting ability. A quick release plus accurate, deceptive shooting is desirable trait college coaches look for.
Max Sadlowski 2016
St. Mark's, Texas
Sub Position: LSM
Sadlowski's speed was noticeable immediately at the Showcase, clearing the ball with ease and poise. Max's diverse array of skills permits him to be comfortable anywhere on the field. Playing either LSM or close defense, Max operates well within a disciplined 6v6 defense (St. Mark's) and can get the ball on turf and up the field quickly. His capacity to be plug in anywhere on the defensive half of the field make Max Sadlowski a no-brainer addition to a solid NCAA program.
Kaegan Kumnick 2016
Sub Position: On-Ball
Disciplined and tough to beat on-ball, Kaegan Kumnick is a matchup nightmare for opposing coaches. Kaegan is the backbone of Allen's intelligent slide-and-recover defense. A member of Allen's back-to-back state championship and nationally ranked football team (kind of a big deal in Texas), Kumnick is a good athlete with a nice set of wheels. It will be interesting to see which programs show interest in Kaegan, as he has much potential.
Jack Welding 2016
Sub Position: Shutdown
I will keep this short and sweet: Jack Welding is the best close defenseman in Texas. Nearly impossible to beat one-on-one, Jack has the size, physicality, acumen, and skill to succeed at the Division I level. His 2014 highlights will be posted once complete – stay tuned.
Ethan Gant 2017
Position: Attack, Middie, & F/O
Sub Position: Well-Rounded Athlete
Ethan has tremendous footwork and balance. He excels at the "hidden" aspects of the game: defense, ground balls, knocked down passes, etc. Also a strong dodger/shooter, Ethan can score a variety of ways. At the StickStar Showcase, Ethan Gant was making plays all over the field and many of those plays translated into high percentage opportunities for himself or his teammates. This kid is a stud and will end up on a solid NCAA roster in the future.