Maverik Showtime 2020: Standouts, Photos, More
With our high school post-season work officially wrapped up (for the most part), 3d Rising hit the road last week to cover the summer lacrosse circuit in earnest, with one of our first major stops being the Maverik Showtime 2020 held in Danbury, Conn. at Western Connecticut State University.
Hosted by former Syracuse lacrosse stars and longtime good friends Paul Carcaterra and Michael Springer and sponsored by Cascade Lacrosse and Maverik Lacrosse, this event brings together players from all over the country, some of whom we’ve seen along the way so far in our travels, others we have not.
Getting into Connecticut Monday evening for the start of the event, we made it through just about every session, trying to get as good of a look as possible at the player son hand — alongside some of the top Division I programs who recruiters in attendance.
Take a look at the photos above, which includes a look at some of the gear the players got this year. Below, we highlight many of the players we felt stood out the most to us.
We will be back at Showtime for the 2018/2019 event as part of our full summer of lacrosse action, so check back for a report on that and all sorts of other events this summer.
Brennan O’Neil, Attack, Bay Shore (N.Y.)/Team 91 - Penn State
O’Neil was probably the first player to turn heads at the 2020 Maverik Showtime event, and he eventually took the offensive MVP award for his dominant play against even some of the better defenders at the camp, playing primarily from the lefty wing. A varsity player in the eighth grade and already committed to Penn State early this year, the lefty shows good size, high-level stick skills and a strong body with good sized shoulders. He attacks his defender with confidence and shows the ability to dodge to shoot and pass, seeing what is happening around him and doesn’t hesitate to make plays, whether it’s making an aggressive feed or redodging his man and finding a doorstep opportunity. His 5-foot-11, 185-pound frame allows him to take pressure from the defenders in the 2020 class and continue on. He looks even bigger than that. He consistently showed the ability to shed the pressure and get his hands free within shooting range. One of his early goals was a textbook overhand blast with set feet from out on the wing. Another came as he dodged from the wing, beat his man and then beat the slide with a hesitation and dip of the stick for an easy bouncer. In the same opening game, he dodged from the back corner, got separation with a quick juke and hummed a pass to the backside of the crease for a beautiful setup. Later on, when he had a solid defender working against him, O’Neil dropped the ball, but then managed to overpower the defender by boxing him out and scooping the loose ball. He then threw a monster behind the back fake, freezing the defender and opening up the underneath for him to move inside and shoot. It was impressive to see that from such a big player. He’s certainly deceptive for a kid of his size. In that same final game, he got a chance to set his feet just a few yards out and unleashed a sidearm blast low-to-high to hit just under the cross bar. He followed that up with what might have been his best goal, driving topside, and even before the defender was ready, pulling up for an overhand jump shot that stung the top right corner. These goals looks like something a junior or senior in high school would be scoring. O’Neill appears to use a high pocket and the ball flies right out of his stick making him so dangerous as he gets to his shot with authority and then lets it go with a powerful yet quick release.
Xavier Arline, Attack, Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.)/Team 91 - North Carolina
Arline very quickly got into the action on the first night of the Maverik Showtime 2020 event. Corralling the ball north of the restraining box, Arline put the stick back, ran through three defenders’ checks and stuffed a behind the back shot into the net. His dodges are consistently some of the most explosive we’ve seen of any 2020 player so far (and he is probably the most explosive player I’ve seen since competing against Mike Powell). His speed allows him to get to ground balls with ease and attack unsettled situations quickly. He has a hard shot and can release that quickly too, but it’s his athleticism and acrobatic abilities that make him such a tough matchup. He scored one goal getting inside and underneath. He scored another getting inside and leaving his feet and landing outside of the cease for a successful diving goal. And he showed his vision by dodging, drawing a slide and spinning out of it to hit a teammate for an easy assist. In a Tuesday game, Arline got it going by dodging from X — the whole defense was gawking at him — and putting a pass on the ear to a teammate for an easy goal. The next series, he stole the ball from the goalie after he got doubled, coming up with it and then scoring on the open net. Numerous times he used a blinding jab step against his defender and would propel himself in the other direction, easily getting topside for uncontested looks at the cage or forcing the defense to break down. Arline makes himself more of a challenge by constantly throwing fakes, using hesitation and also able to put one hand on it to give himself room to operate like a point guard when he slowed his feet.
Ben Hull, Attack, Kennesaw Mt. (Ga.)/LB3
Hull was one of the most impressive attackman at Maverik Showtime from a production standpoint but also from a technical skill standpoint. The X-attackman has a quick, hard first step and he uses that to set up his dodges from the back of the cage with a machine-like consistency and became a matchup problem in every single game he played at Showtime. He’s only 5-foot-8 and 140 pounds but became a real nightmare to keep below GLE, as he showed the explosiveness to get topside, or the intelligence to roll, dip or split back underneath and take it right to the rack. He scored so many goals and fed for enough assists that we couldn’t keep the notes in the spot by his name legible. He scored behind the back, scored in transition, drove from X to draw the slide and hit teammates for easy step down shots, he used trickery to get his defender off balance and then get underneath or get a step topside. He buried a high percentage of his shots from the right side of the net and showed excellent mechanics as a dodger, passer and shooter, putting good speed on the ball and accuracy as well. Hull also quickly developed what appeared to be some chemistry with his teammates for the camp, which speaks to his willingness to move the ball (very quickly) and his ability to see the field. The ball flowed through the attack unit and he was center to it all. He helped make some of his line mates just as productive with his smart and fearless play. Look for big things from this rising player out of the south.
Frank Hapney, LSM/Defense, St. Paul’s (Md.)/FCA
Hapney emerged by Day Two as the most impressive LSM in the group given his combination of defensive playmaking, his outstanding awareness in the middle of the field, his excellent stick and his consistent contributions on offense. In one game, Hapney collected two goals and two assist, and then assisted on the first goal in another game. He looked confident coming up the field and we just knew he was playing with a cut-down long pole for some added control, and you could see it in action. He put passes on spots and he cut to space when hanging out on offense, which is how he got one of his goals — calling for the ball and taking the pass, faking and finishing. He was all over ground balls and snagged them with soft hands out of traffic and squirting along the ground; he showed speed up the field and was a major spark plug for his team. We also watched him time a double perfectly against one of the better attackman at the event. He had at least one caused turnover by way of a dramatic yard sale, but it was more that he just consistently made the play to give the ball back to his team and, almost freakily, seemed to produce as much offense as any midfielder out there. His hands were in the loaded position like good defensive coaches teach and he was so crispy handling the ball – and taking it away. He looks like a super intelligent player who just put in work to have one of the best showings of any player at the camp. We gave him our vote for the top defensive player at the event and he was honored with that accolade afterward.
Marshall McGuire, Midfield, Lake Oswego (Ore.)/Rhino Lacrosse
McGuire stood out immediately for his big, tall frame with long legs and apparent athleticism. The 6-foot-2, 175 pounder walked right over to the sideline wearing some of the shortest shorts at the camp and stared at the college coaches sizing him up from just a few away with sort of bizarre and sassy attitude that was a prelude of what was to come – a breakout performance. Running up the field in his first game, it was clear he was one of the more developed midfielders and we watched him go from a different maker in the middle of the field in the first game, to a downright dominant athletic presence from back to front. This right-handed horse showed incredible stamina in blitzing up and down the field all day each day of the camp and still looking limber and nimble at the end, still hammering shots on the run with increasing accuracy. Able to sweep and dodge hard down hill using his long arms and strong frame to his advantage, he showed more powerful and assertive takes to the cage. Still raw with the stick, McGuire was still able to put together a few excellent dodges from the midfield that would be impressive for a midfielder hailing from anywhere, let alone Oregon. That’s how he was starting to put it all together in the end of the camp. He scored three or four times in the second to last game, which was when we gave the first vote for him to be the event’s most outstanding midfielder (he got it). McGuire scored on a roll back, going to his left to hammer the ball on the run. He took the ball away on the ride and barreled down the gut to score overhand. He scored on an acrobatic spinning jump shot, stinging the top shelf. And he looked like he barely broke a sweat. His height and his legs made him an instant threat in transition and he showed a willingness to move the ball, and he put mustard on it. This exciting prospect also shot somewhere around 95 miles an hour in the shoot around during one of the breaks. He screams out multi-sport athlete and came to the came by way of the guy Ryan Powell.
Eric Melever, Attack, Woodward Academy (Ga.)/Georgia Thunder
Melever quickly established himself as one of the most technically skilled attackmen in this talented group of offensive players. With incredible quickness and a nasty change of direction, Melever broke out all sorts of tools as a dodging attackman working from X — he used a rocker step, jab steps, stair step dodges, stutter steps, hockey stops; he put the stick back, dipped it and spun back to either direction — he did it all and made his defender really work to keep with him even in tight space. And he made passes out of those plays too, consistently either getting a quality look at the cage himself or rifling a short-range pass to a cutter inside or a middie a bit further out. Melever stands just 5-foot-7 and is lightweight, but got himself right to the front of the cage with confidence and with a burst. The lefty showed no hesitation going to either hand and you’d have to watch him to figure out what hand was dominant. He rode like a wolf and created one of his first goals that way, stripping a clearing pole and then finishing the play himself. He got defenders hung up as he dodged at full speed from X, went one way, then rolled, split or spun back the other way and instantly got a step. He was relentless and impressive in how he “worked” his defender each time he got the ball. One of his goals saw him uses two different rocker steps before using the “finalizer” move to get topside instantly for an easy finish – it was ridiculous, really. He did it all with his head up and emerged as one of the most skilled, sophisticated attackmen in the group.
Christopher Kirst, Attack, Bernardsville (N.J.)/Leading Edge
Recruiters come to a 2020 event expecting to see some small players, some of whom will be will be highly skilled and attractive prospects despite a significant size disadvantage. Kirst was one of those players here. A member of a great lacrosse family, Kirst shocked the heck out of defenses over the course of the first few games. He’s a skilled, fearless lefty who has great vision and a sense for attacking the cage. Half the size of the defenders he faced, he became a nightmare matchup as he went right at his matchup time and time again, almost routinely getting underneath and getting off a whole bunch of shots from feet away. He would get hung up, roll out of it, still protect the stick, and then look up to move it, or he’d re-attack. He found opportunities that way. He drive hard, draw a slide and skip the ball with a perfect pass to the middie’s ear. He was clearly one of the smartest players and just operated like he was the same size or bigger than everyone else. Eventually, his first step led his defender to step directly backwards and he would just have his way carrying and ignoring pressure. One of his greatest plays saw him dip underneath his man, curl up the field to avoid the slide and then pulled up for a jump shot that bounced and kicked under the cross bar. He would dodge, get into the slide and then emerge with the ball and pull off a quick shot. He finished with four goals and two assists in one game alone and showed a ton of heart. He rode hard, nipping at much larger defenders. From our view in the press box, Kirst was hard to track and his defenders constantly struggled to guard him one on one and to mark him off the ball. We can’t wait to watch this young man continue to play the game and honor his family’s name.
Russell Maher, Attack, Mt. Sinai (N.Y.)/Long Island Express
Maher, another one of our favorites from 3d Blue Chip in January, again showed himself to be a hard-nosed lefty who can dodge and shoot and can do it in the face of tough defenders. He has excellent balance and an edge to him when dodging to the cage. What helps him is that he can keep the stick in a loaded position, even when putting it back into one hand, and it allows him to get his hands on the stick to shoot very quickly. And he gets a lot of velocity and accuracy on his shots. One goal saw him wrap from X, snapping the ball into the lower corner. Fearless in his dodges, Maher showed he would take the ball to the rack in broke situations, one time taking a groundball right into a face-dodge to get underneath and score. In each game, he was a major threat to score and showed a determination to get to the cage and bury the ball every time his team was on offense. He was highly productive throughout each day and continues to draw intrigue from recruiters.
Ty Thurseson, Midfield, Stillwater Area (Minn.)
Thurseson quickly stood out to the recruiters on hand as a big, athletic and agile midfielder who is potentially raw skill wise but has high-end potential as a two-way midfielder and maybe even a dodger who could force a quick slide given his sheer athleticism. He was one of the larger specimens in the midfield, standing about 6-feet tall and upward of 170 pounds, with a strong, muscular look. He showed the ability to use his body to protect the stick, and when bodied against defenders, he showed strength and quickness in his legs, using his back and a pivot to redodge and change direction and curl off contact in one situation. He has a strong hold on the stick and was able to bring the stick through some checks, one time doing so to get inside and bounce a shot for a goal. He was clearly one of the most powerful and athletic midfielders in the group. He scored an impressive goal, powering his way inside, keeping his back to the cage and then pumping a lefty backhand shot for an impressive tally. As he got more dialed in and more confident, his shots followed suit — he buried a big winding shot later on to show the power on his release.
Camden Hay, Attack, Victor (N.Y.)/SweetLax
Hay, after a big weekend at the SweetLax Summer Invitational, carried that right over to the turf at Western Connecticut State. The skilled, thick lefty is meticulous in his dodges and carries with his head up to both feed and shoot. He demonstrated the ability to carry the ball against pressure and with checks on his hands. He does a great job of keeping the stick way back down low before he pulls up to shoot (which is hard for goalie’s to track and has good long form for added torque) and he also puts the ball right into the corners pretty consistently. He has quick hands and gets it off fast with little room or before the defender realizes it’s happening. He’s a bit taller in this attack group, standing about 5-foot-10, and that combined with his sturdy build make him a load for defenders to match up with right now in the 2020 class.
Jack Stuzin, Defense, Gilman (Md.)/Baltimore Crabs
Stuzin had a great few days at Maverik Showtime as a wiry, tough and smart defender who made plays against some of the best offensive threats at the camp. At about 6-foot and 160 pounds, Stuzin played pretty mean and was relentless checking with his stick, going after the ball and in hounding the ball carrier with his quick feet. He used a good stance and low checks to get into their hands and attack the hip. He put the ball on the ground a number of times and was extremely physical to fight for it, with a bit of a nasty edge. He came up with more often than not and was fast to run up the field. The right-hander showed a nice handle on the clear, using a toe drag and walk-the-dog move on separate occasions. His handle became more and more apparent as he came up with the ball himself more and more and really started to emerge as one of the more effective defenders at the event. Stuzin was without question one of our favorite defensive prospects at Showtime.
Carter Parlette, Midfield Oviedo (Fla.)/SweetLax Florida
Parlette showed all kinds of upside as a talented and athletic midfielder who put his skill and good speed and toughness together for some great looking goals and, arguably, made himself one of the most promising looking middies at this camp of young talented players. Parlette’s first goal saw him flash to the inside, catch the ball and bury it quickly. Another goal saw him use a wicked juke to his left to free himself up for a hard bounce shot. He later scored behind the back. Parlette managed to get his name in the mix with his nice display of offensive playmaking. His unofficial point totals according to our notes speak to a solid showing: Parlette put up three goals in his first game, a goal and an assist in his second and then another three goals in the next game.
Rory Jones, Attack, Calvert Hall (N.Y.)/FCA
Jones’ skill and his smarts — as well as his grittiness — makes him an impact player in this 2020 group. He scored two goals to get started Monday night, netting both of them with behind the back shots to impress those on hand. Such a grinder and very sound fundamentally, Jones had a great moment early Tuesday when he knocked down a clearing pass, beat a defender to it, then beat him to the cage for a one-on-one with the goalie caught out of the net, moving him with two fakes and burying the shot. He also scored by getting topside, showing excellent footwork to very deliberately set up defenders one way, to change direction and go the other way. He’s skilled with both hands and he goes hard to the rack. Jones had a great overall showing by showing off high-level skill and completing some excellent plays, not the first time we’ve seen this from him.
Michael Muricio, Attack, Brunswick School (Conn.)/CT Eclipse
Muricio is a sturdy, stocky dodging attackman who goes to the rack with a burst and great balance and a little bit of spice to him. He looked almost text book on a few plays, able to just turn it on and get topside against even the quicker defenders and bury the ball from no-angle in the nearside or far side top corners. He did that a few times to get some attention and showed he can be very hard to mark. His low to the ground build makes him really tough to get a stick on as he turns on the jets and he has the stick dialed in as he turns the corner. He was dangerous in transition, scoring on a feed by snapping the ball off-stick high. He also buried a shot five-hole, doing it all with explosiveness and in tight space around the cage. Muricio is one to keep an eye on with his nice mix of skill and physical characteristics.
Tyler Cordes, Midfield, Bohemia (N.Y.)/Team 91
Cordes showed really well as a quick, play-making midfielder who attacked his defender and the cage with vigor and really worked to create opportunities. He showed lots of shake up top as he set himself up for dodges to either hand and routinely created space via his quickness and change of direction. He switched hands smoothly and it allowed him to just turn the other way going downhill and lose his man and force the defense to collapse to him. He also played unselfish lacrosse and aggressively looked to hum the ball down to the pipes off his dodges and created a number of goals that way. He scored on his own a bunch of times and must have finished the camp as one of the most productive players there, without question one of the most productive midfielders. The grinding lefty stands just 5-foot-2 but torched defenses with his stamina and ability to routinely get inside the hash marks and underneath to create a rotation. He showed speed in the middle of the field and outran others to the loose ball a few times. The spark plug midfielder was good for something like two goals in the first game, three in the next, and then two goals and two assists (all just rough stats from what we saw) in the first few we saw.
Brendan Grimes, Attack, Boys’ Latin (Md.)/Looney’s
Grimes, who we saw back in January in Florida, looks like he’s taken a step in the right direction since then. The big lefty looks more comfortable using his body to offset his dodges and more routinely getting himself topside with good protection of the stick and keeping it back and ready to fire. He then uses that big frame and his momentum to press the interior. He is sturdier when setting his feet and can put the stick back to protect it. He scored a nice goal to get started Monday night, catching a feed inside, shielding the stick way back as he took contact and quickly pulling up for an off-hip shot. Grimes is a player who simply looks like an imposing lefty and he is starting to show the skill in his dodges and the range in his shooting.
Justin Mintzer, Attack, Calvert Hall (Md.)/Looney’s
Mintzer, the son of a UMBC alumni (Sam) and the younger brother of a Maryland-bound college (Ethan) freshman, Mintzer has excellent vision and can make fast, accurate passes and also take advantage of scoring opportunities. He can sling the ball to teammates – not afraid to skip the ball – and he can also bury it from outside, making his game feel a bit old-school in the way he plays loose and free. He has a talented stick and he’s starting to become more effective in combining his fearless creativity with his solid ability to bury the ball and find his teammates.
Kobe Ginder, LSM/FO, Horace Mann (N.Y.)/Team 91
Ginder again had a good showing as a dynamic midfield player who can pick up the long pole and hunt down the ball and clear it (and even be a threat with the big stick), or he can take face-offs, win it to himself or carefully send it to the wings. He’s got a similar athleticism and appearance to his brother, Jordan (a Duke commit now at Deerfield Academy). Kobe has that same motor as his brother and has just a bit more of the defensive upside than his brother, who can torch defenses down the lane off the draw. Kobe has done the same before and did that at Showtime, but more so he is excellent with the long stick, showing careful hands and accuracy in all he does with the ball. His legs are still the best part of his game. He can run all day.
Jack Schirtzer, Defense, Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.)/Team 91 - Ohio State
Schirtzer, recently committed to Ohio State, stood out for his gritty, aggressive but yet effective and clean play on defense at the Maverik Showtime camp. Physically developed already, Schirtzer was a major contributor to the Shoreham-Wading River Long Island championship squad this past season and so he plays with confidence in his peer group. The lefty’s checks are pretty mean, they’re on the hands, and he gets his body involved. His footwork is not even a conversation at this point because he can do so much with his stick and keeps all over the man. But Schirtzer can move and can run up the field. He does position himself well one-on-one and can overwhelm the ball carrier. He has great touch on his passes and can put the ball right on a dime when on the move. He just played a good overall game on the ball, off the ball and up the field at Maverik Showtime, looking much more aware of the whole field than others and able to quickly put the ball on the ground and move it along. He looks like a varsity football player already.
Jack Cerza, Midfield, West Essex (N.J.)/Building Blocks
Cerza came on throughout the camp as a hard-shooting, sturdy midfielder who plays bigger than he might look at first glimpse. He’s listed at 5-foot-9, 150 pounds, but looked pretty confident pulling back coming down the field. He burst to get his right hand free coming down the lane for a goal and later corralled a bounce pass to score with an overhand shot from outside. He snapped another one that found a bottom corner from outside later on. Cerza also (unofficially) shot in the 100-mile-per-hour range when the players were given the chance to try out the speed gun during one of the intermissions. We saw him find the back of the net four times, at least, throughout the camp. He has potential and showed flashes of it at Showtime.
Michael O’Connell, Midfield, Chaminade (N.Y.)
O’Connell is the younger brother of current Maryland midfielder Thomas O’Connell. The younger O’Connell had a good showing at Maverik Showtime as a athletic right-handed midfielder who can dodge hard down the field and get up and down the field. He showed excellent balance on another goal to toe the line and keep himself out and still bury the shot. This is another one of the promising players coming out of the midfield group.
Kyle Tietjen, Defense, Greenwich (Conn.)/Building Blocks
Tietjen looked a horse of defender at Maverik Showtime, using his near-6-foot frame and upfield speed to get involved in making plays in set defense but also to attack transition and then turn it the other way. He’s wiry with some major spring to his step. He’s also solidly built at over 160 pounds and played tough, not afraid to hit and mix it up. He got his stick and body involved, crashing plays on numerous occasions.
Conrad Delgado, Defense, Torrey Pines (Calif.)/Adrenaline
Delgado looked promising at Maverik Showtime, combining his good size and wiry athleticism to be a heckling defender. He can chop his long legs quickly and shows good footwork on the ball, moving side to side smoothly and aggressively lifting and slapping the hands of some of the better carrying attackmen in this group. With the ball in his stick, he showed speed up the field and shades of what might make him one of the more promising athletic defenders in this group we watched here.
Andrew McAdorey, Midfield, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.)/Team 91
McAdorey shined in between the lines and as a creating midfielder with great bounce in his step and a sense for how to get himself to good spots. He showed a burst in driving down the alley and burying a five-hole shot. He showed speed coming off the wing during the draw. He also showed some slickness with some behind-the-back passes. Another of his goals was set up with a hard stutter step and finished with a bounce shot to the far post. The athletic prospect finished with at least four goals throughout the event. He also faced off and had some success in that category at Maverik.
Jack Walshe, Midfield, St. Anthony’s (N.Y.)/Long Island Express
Walshe was arguably one of the most exciting midfield prospects at Maverik Showtime 2020. He’s got excellent legs and can get up and down the field and make plays on both ends of the fields. The righty’s just 5-foot-8 and light as a feather still, but he can really move and got himself into scoring position often. He scored on a step-down blast. He scored on a feed. He rode to cause a turnover and then scored the goal to complete the play himself. Walshe burned down the lane and hammered the top shelf for another goal. He did a lot to stand out despite not being the biggest or most muscular kid. He was just productive and seemed to never stop, making plays late in the camp. He had at least three goals and three assists to go with a host of plays in other spots on the field.
Michael Prestipino, Defense, Conestoga (Pa.)/Rising Sons
Prestipino was one of the smaller defenders at the camp, but all signs pointed to him being one of the more technically skilled. He showed good, quick footwork on the ball and zipped quick checks to the hands and never lost a step or overextended himself. For being lightweight, he scrapped on loose balls and was hard to beat for the attackmen who took a crack at him. He was just solid with the stick, solid with his feet, moving well with and without the ball, and pound for pound felt like one of the more well-coached defenders there.
Thomas Dolciotto, Midfield, Syosset (N.Y.)/Legacy Lacrosse
Dolciotto is a hard-dodging, hard-nosed midfielder who is a threat to score when he dodges from up top. He caught the eye given his rugged look and his willingness to go at his defender. He can keep the stick up and keep it back to allow him self the separation from defender’s checks. He scored a great goal off a rollback to his left and finished with a powerful bounce shot from far out. Dolciotto, who might still be a bit raw but shows big potential, whipped a nice pass across the crease to set up a teammate for a goal. The 5-foot-9 righty has a Long Island-kind of game to him and he stood out more as time went on.
Michael Scharfenberger, Goalie, Manhasset (N.Y.)/Long Island Express
In a camp that was pretty challenging for goalies to stand out, Scharfenberger stood out as a netminder who showed control over his defense, excellent communication skills, good reflexes and activity around the crease to control rebounds, take the ball away and look to clear it quickly. He was honored at the event’s conclusion as the most outstanding keeper at Showtime, which matched up with our vote.
Pierce Washburn, Midfield, Gilman (Md.)/Looney’s
Washburn is a tall, strong midfielder who has up-and-down the field abilities that make him stand out among his peers. He’s upward of six feet tall and the righty can shoot the ball hard out of his dodges coming down the field. He’s faster than he might look at first and appears to be still finding ways to use his big frame, and we saw flashes of that at Maverik Showtime as he unleashed a few big shots as he seemed to get a bit better at getting his hands free over the few days. He also became a presence in the middle of the field, sort of lurking with an intimidating look and keeping everything below him from atop the box when he turned on to the ride. We saw him perform even better at the next stop.
Chris Arceri, FO/Midfield, Smithtown East (N.Y.)
Arceri is a very small young player, but still managed to get college coaches taking notes in their binder with his performance at the draw. He’s the younger brother of Smithtown East/Penn State-bound face-off standout Gerard, and the younger of the two has the skills already. He was able to control a high percentage of draws – even against bigger, more athletic and faster players. He just showed toughness and determination and, as he grows, is likely to become a well-known member of the face-off community like his brother.
Michael Lenskold, FO/Midfield, Bridgewater-Raritan (N.J.)
Lenskold was one of the more successful face-off men at the camp who also looked the part of a physically fit, hard-nosed player with endurance and the ability to go to the cage if need be. The New Jersey product was smooth controlling the ball out of the draw and showed strength and balance when the pack tried to consume him, using one hand to control the stick to safety and then using his good legs to get it down to the offense. He took a lot of draws, won a lot of them and was a grinder. He scored a couple goals according to our notes, showing the ability to get down the field and the power to finish on the run.
Casey McDermott, Attack, Brighton (N.Y.)/SweetLax
McDermott had a good showing at Maverik Showtime after a strong outing at the SweetLax Invitational just a few days earlier. The confident, heady right-handed X-style attackman is athletic, but still somewhat small, but he’s already a similar player to his brother — Brady, a Yale commit and an outstanding high school attackman who probably flew under the radar more than he should have. Casey can carry with quickness, with his head up and can take checks to the hands while he moves up the field to feed or get topside for a shot. He never stops moving at that same speed it seems and has stamina and emerges as a relentless presence from X or the wing. He is very sharp overall and he moves the ball quickly in and out of his stick in transition, passes and shoots with accuracy and really knows how to attack the cage. Look for him to emerge just like his brother did as one of the strong attackmen in Rochester in his class. At Showtime, he also showed off his quick hands in working along side others who could move the ball and he got to space for them to finish on more than one occasion. McDermott just plays fast lacrosse.
Michael Psyllos, FO/Midfield, Manhasset (N.Y.)
Psyllos stood out not necessarily as a face-off man but as an intriguingly effective downhill dodging right-handed midfielder who consistently beat his defender down the right lane and canned hard, shorthand release shots to the top of the net. Time and time again, Psyllos would get the ball and just sprint down hill with the stick ready to shoot and just nailed it as if he was programmed to do so. It was hard to cover as he showed an excellent first step and downhill acceleration, and also a great sense of when to release that shot, which clearly was hard for the goalie’s to track coming out of his stick just a few yards away. Psyllos racked up a bunch of goals throughout the event in that manner. His goals were some of the most authoritative and explosive.
Stone Jacobs, Midfield, Howard S. Billings (Que.)/SweetLax
Jacobs is another player who looked good a few days earlier in the SweetLax Invitational and then carried that over to Showtime. Jacobs is a deceptively talented off-ball finisher who is slippery, quick and can fill space in a flash. He can likely also run attack with his hands and ability to get free from defenders’ cover. He can cut to the ball, catch and finish all very quickly. He’s also talented in the open field, able to get to the ball and shows good bursts and wheels on the clear. One of the goals we saw him score at Maverik was a cut down the center of the defense and a top shelf finish with his slick hands.
Rocco Dichiara, Defense, Mt. Kisco (N.Y.)/Prime Time
Dichiara really caught our eye as a tough, strong and tall athletic defender who threw some heavy-duty checks and clearly was making it a point to keep his base low as he approached smaller attackman. It helped him snuff them out, as most had to move the ball along given his range and his active stick and the ability to get in their hands and make even a simple pass a challenge. He mixed up his checks with some hard pushes to make attackmen uncomfortable. On the loose ball, Dichiara really looked the part of a long, lean athlete of a defender who can eat up the ball and truck up the field.
Joseph Pezzimenti, Attack, Victor (N.Y.)/SweetLax
Pezzimenti is another solid, smart right-handed attackman coming out of the SweetLax program and up the ranks at Victor who plays with IQ and has an attractive mix of stick skills and quick feet and good eyes. He also plays with his head up and is unselfish in the way he drives up looking to feed if it’s there. After helping his team win the 2020 title at the SweetLax Invitational, Pezzimenti — a coach’s son — showed well as a distributor and goal scorer when given the opportunity to dodge from X and the wing at Showtime. He is quick to move the ball or attack the cage and can get above GLE. At about 5-foot-8 and about 160 pounds, he could blossom into another major playmaker at Victor down the line.
Nicholas Licalzi, Defense, South Side (N.Y.)
Licalzi stood out as a tall, lean defender who can run well and can take up all kinds of space on defense, also forming a huge obstruction to dodging attackman. He can use his legs and stick to cover ground on and off the ball, able to get his stick up in the lanes and go after passes. He can get a stick out on guys working at the perimeter.
Teagan Bultman, FO/Midfield, Poway (Calif.)/3d San Diego
Bultman was arguably the most physically impressive of the face-off men in this camp, looking to be in incredible shape. Built with a powerful frame and balance in ground-ball situations, Bultman ran into some really talented face-off specialists, but he eventually found his rhythm and used his athleticism and scrappiness to make it a battle against the best in the camp and he, from our vantage point, was the most fit of any of the draw men.
Marquez White, Midfield, Poway (Calif.)/3d San Diego
White is an athletic midfielder who uses that and his increasing skill to make plays. He showed great agility and coordination to take a feed, make a move, bump into a defender, shift himself by him to get to the center of the field and whip the ball past the goalie. He later scored in transition and later canned a hard outside high-to-high shot. The righty’s got high potential given his athleticism and ability to accelerate and glide as a dodger. White’s speed obviously makes him useful in other ways too, coming off the wing or showing nonchalant lateral speed playing short-stick defense.
Sam Chase, Attack, Maclay School (Fla.)/SweetLax Florida
Chase is a solid right-handed feeding and off-ball attackman who carries with his head up and can make opportunistic plays. The ball can move in and out of his stick quickly and he is accurate with his passes and shots. He scored a few goals early in the camp just simply by filling space and showing a quick release, including a nice low-to-low shot and a also was unselfish in pumping the ball to cutters for at least a couple of assists that we saw. He showed a good overall understanding of the game and was productive throughout the camp.
Travis Lesko, LSM, Lake Brantley (Fla.)
Lesko stood out as an athletic, physical defender with decent size early on for this class, standing 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds. He threw some strong wrap checks and moved himself well in the process and looked like an aggressive, hard-nosed defender. Lesko stood out more throughout the camp as his athleticism allowed him to get more involved in plays.
Cal Ewanich, Attack, Amador Valley (Calif.)
Ewanich showed all kinds of slickness around the cage as a finisher and crafty playmaker. The first of the lefty’s goals we caught showed off great form on his release, getting torque on a windup from not far out. He was really sneaky down low and found himself open for some easy finishes on the doorstep a few times, and showed off quick, soft hands in the process. Ewanich was on the receiving of a bunch of space because he made himself a good target and cut to space without hesitation and threw fakes to move the goalie and bury it. He threw a gorgeous behind-the-back pass right across the crease to a teammate, too.
Owen Stefanko, Midfield, Columbia (N.Y.)/Albany Power
Stefanko showed potential as an athletic midfielder who’s still growing at just 5-foot-10 and about 160 pounds, but he showed well at the camp with a variety of plays on the offensive end. His first goal came on an inside roll following by a split before the righty buried his shot. He’s not super fast just yet, but had good enough wheels to create his own shot numerous times, finishing with at least two goals in one game and one in another showing.
Hugh Curran, LSM, Needham (Mass.)/Top Gun Fighting Clams
Curran had a nice showing at Maverik Showtime as a defender who really threw some noticeably effective, precise checks. He put his stick right onto the hands and butt end of the ball carrier’s stick and made them think twice as they tried to just carry along the perimeter. He was aggressive and it helped him throw his man off. One of his best plays came as he thwarted a fastbreak opportunity for the other team, chasing a streaking attackman and smartly and carefully raking the player’s stick as he pulled it back to steal the ball and take it the other way. He also stood out for his presence on the ride in the middle of the field, seemingly a pain to deal with given his ability to get after the ball each series.
Brett Martin, Midfield, Half Hollow Hills East (N.Y.)/Team 91
Martin is a smooth, talented young midfielder who can glide and make plays. He impressed with one of his goals later in the games, bursting through two or three defenders and, on the run, pulling up for a low-to-high shot that pooped the net to wow the other players. He was fast between the lines, he was hard to guard as he swept or drove downhill and the righty looked more athletic than he did just back in January at 3d Blue Chip.
Kaden Brothers, Defense, St. Edward’s School (Fla.)/SweetLax Florida
Brothers shined as a solid one-on-one defender who threw some great checks and was hard for attackmen to dodge against unless they really protected the stick well. He stood out early with a good slap check for a caused turnover and then used one hand on his stick to push it back and complete a clear and show off some of his athleticism. His checks got a bit more precise later on. Behind the cage, he easily dislodged the ball with a swat as an attackman tried to split, and then Brothers grabbed the groundball to lead the clear. Brothers has a good athletic build for his age, standing about 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds, naturally making him one of the more physically impressive defenders in the group. His position play makes him that much more intriguing.
Zach Vigue, Goalie, Apex (N.C.)/Carolina Cannons
Vigue’s a big, tough kid who can move well in the cage. He had a good showing at Maverik Showtime against a litany of talented players likely destined for Division I rosters in about five years. The big righty tracked some hard, high shots but also moved himself across the cage to make some excellent saves as offenses seemed to keep creating opportunities for close-range looks. He showed quick hands, and maybe most importantly, kept bouncing back to make some good plays, including throwing some of the better clearing passes of the goalies in attendance.
Grant Litchfield, Defense, Belmont Hill School (Mass.)/Laxachusetts
Litchfield is a big, strong looking kid who has a lunch-pail, workingman’s feel as a defender; he's about 5-foot-10 and 180 pounds already, a bruiser among his crew. He is tough and got his stick and body involved in plays and ended up clearing the ball out himself a few times after coming up with it. He’s got muscle on his frame and, with increased foot speed, will certainly draw interest moving forward. Litchfeild had a good overall outing as a defender who made his attack matchups dodge with physicality and was strong off the ground. He was as physically tough as anyone there.