Great Lakes Showcase Features Many of Ontario's Best
I traveled up to Burlington, Ontario this past Sunday to take in the third annual Great Lakes Showcase. This was a one-day event featuring many of Ontarioís best scholastic lacrosse players and it didnít disappoint. It was put on by the Edge Lacrosse program, the Hill Academy and True North Lacrosse. The event was held at the Haber Community and Dr. Frank Hayden turf fields. The three turf fields had games non-stop from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
There were three divisions (2015/16, 2017, and 2018) that each had a minimum of three teams. Each team played at least three games and were able to play in front of many NCAA coaches that were in attendance. Over 200 players were on hand to showcase their games, and while many played well, I chose a few that really stood out to highlight.
Matthew Kim, M/FOGO, The Hill Academy/Oakville, Evolve Elite, 2016
Kim was dominating on face-offs in the two games I watched him. He was winning them in a number of ways. He was able to pinch and win them to himself and he was able to draw it out to his wings. On one rare face-off he lost he drove the other FOGO back ten yards while trying to check it free. When he was stuck on defense, he did a nice job and he did lock his guy off when he had the chance.
Alexandros Acosta, A, St. Michaelís/Etobicoke, 2016
Acosta scored a few goals in the games I watched him. What was most impressive about his game was his hustle. He outworked and out hustled a number of people for groundballs. There was a play at the end of the half where he was able to out muscle a much bigger defenseman and get the loose ball to get a nice shot off as the half expired despite not scoring with it. I also saw him score a nice garbage goal off of a loose ball in front of the crease. His effort is what set him apart.
Mac Forde, LSM, Blake Locke HS/Oakville, Edge Elite 2016, 2016
Forde came up with a number of ground balls on face-offs throughout the day. He was the leader on the defense with his talk and off-ball play. The few players that tried to take him one-on-one had no luck. His 6-0, 200-pound frame makes him an imposing player.
Cody Menzies, A, Georgetown, Northern Lacrosse, Halton Hills Bulldogs Jr. B, 2015
Menzies scored three goals unofficially in the game I saw him play and scored them all in different ways. The righty was able to beat his defender and get himself one-on-one with the goalie and then he scored with ease. He was also given a skip pass to the right wing and had a nice outside shot. He managed to come up with some loose balls and ran out a few shots to keep possession for his team. I also liked the way he rode all the way to the midfield line.
Cecil Monture, A/M, Six Nations, 2017
Without a doubt Monture was the most dominating player I saw all day. He was playing midfield in the first half and then attack in the second half. In his first game of the day I counted four goals and one assist and then in the second game had at least two goals. He looked around 5-10 and 200 lbs. and was a very big body. When he was at the midfield he took face-offs and won the majority of them. Most of the draws he won to himself but he did show the ability to draw it to his wingman. He was running through sticks all day and there wasnít a defenseman that showed the ability to push him out and stop him one-on-one. Monture scored the majority of his goals in close but he had a nice goal on a low-to-high rip on an EMO opportunity. In the one game he had a nice cut off ball and was able to catch the ball in traffic and just missed on a between-the-legs, back-to-the-goal, no-look shot. He is Cody Jamieson's cousin.
Cam Garlin, A, Donald A. Wilson Secondary/Whitby, Evolve Elite, 2017
Garlin is a very skilled lefty attackman. He was very comfortable handling the ball with a longstick on him. When he was given the opportunity to get his hands free he showed a big shot. He had at least five goals in the two games of his I watched. He scored with a low-to-high blast from up top and few by beating his man one-on-one. As was the case with a lot of the players, he was given runs at the midfield when he wasnít on the attack. He looked comfortable there too and showed a knack for catching the ball in traffic while cutting from up top. His 6-3, 205-pound size makes him easy to spot on the field.
Kyle Kolwich, D, Holy Trinity/Oakville, Edge 2017, 2017
Kolwich was all over the field. He was creating turnovers and showed the ability to get the ball off of the ground and get it up the field fast. When he did handle the ball he made smart decisions with it. He had great recovery in the rare case that an attackman got a step on him. He also looked comfortable up top when the man he was guarding pulled him up top. At 6-4, his long strides make it hard to get a step on him and allow him the ability to get the ball up the field fast.
Kyle Hebert, G, St. Michaels/Burlington, Edge 2017, 2017
Hebert was the best goalie I saw this day. Despite being small at only 5-10, 153 lbs. he made huge stops all day. In his first game he made a whopping eight one-on-one saves, five in the first half alone. In his second game I counted 12 saves in the first half. He never stopped communicating with his defense even when the ball was on the offensive end. He had a great stick when handling the ball on the clear and that was evidenced by the time he cleared the ball all the way up the field and picked up an assist.
Daniel Balawejer, D, St. Michaels/Toronto, Edge 2017, 2017
Balawejer has great feet for a big defenseman. At 6-0 and 220 lbs., there werenít too many attackmen who could match up with his size. He beat his attackman up with hard checks and tough pushes when they drove on him. He came up with a few groundballs and cleared the ball well. When he was clearing he was good at moving the ball and finding the open midfielder on the clear though some of the passes seemed to catch the midfielders off guard.
Jonathon Donville, M, Oakville, Edge 2017, 2017 (Cornell)
Cornell is getting a nice player in Donville. The 6-1 and 170-pound midfielder was fast and used his big body to find the open man off of his dodge. Had a few very nice assists a few other looks that players couldnít capitalize on. The righty looked very comfortable on the field and looked like an American field player more than most. He also took a handful of face-offs and won more than he lost. In the second half he played some attack and looked good there also. He is the brother of current Big Red goalie Brennan Donville, who was on the Canadian national roster this summer at the FIL World Lacrosse Championships.
Matt Shand, M, The Hill School/Whitby, Edge 2017, 2017
A tall and skinny midfielder at 6í1î 140 lbs., Shand was able to use his speed to come up with a number of groundballs and showed a lot of skill on defense. He looked good on the wing on face-offs and came up with a few groundballs there too. On one goal, he inverted and took his man from X and was able to score. When dodging from up top, he was able to find cutters and get them the ball.
Gareth Haigh, G, Toronto, Edge 2018, 2018
Haigh is very small goalie at 5-3 and 135 lbs. that made a few nice stops. What was most impressive about his game was when he had the ball in his stick. He had a few very long outlet passes that were on the money and he wasnít shy about carrying the ball up.
Taylor Welsh, G, Oshawa, Edge 2018, 2018
A big goalie that was making saves all day. When he wasnít making saves he was picking passes off. In his teamís first game he had nine saves by my count, a number of which were from point blank range. In a later game he had six saves in the first half (unofficially). He was unbeatable down low and smothered up everything that was shot below his knees. He made good decisions when clearing the ball finding his breaking midfielders or using his defenseman if the fast break was not there.
Payton Cormier, A, Etobicoke, Edge 2019, 2018
Cormier is a smart lefty attackman that handles the ball well. He throws a lot of box fakes that are effective and freeze his defenseman just enough to get a feed off. He took his man one on one a number of times and was able to get off high percentage shots. On one play he was able to finish off a nice fastbreak with a goal.
Joey Szabo, M, Etobioke, Edge 2018, 2018
Sazabo is a bit small at 5-7 and 145 lbs., but he has the speed and toughness to make it work. He was all over the field taking face-offs, playing the wing, on offense and on defense. He won the majority of the face-offs he took. The lefty looked comfortable scooping the ball with his off hand and moving the ball without having to come back to his strong hand. At times Szabo would also set up his strong hand with his right and sold it enough to be able to create a shot or find an open man. I also liked the way he moved without the ball, finding seams and open areas to receive the ball.
Carter McKenzie, A, Elora, Edge 2019, 2018
Coleman Powless, A, Oshweken, 2015
Chase Scanlan, M, Woodbridge, 2018
Joshua Goodwin, D, Newmarket, Evolve Elite, 2017
Jake Wilson, D, Whitby, 2017
Jaden Walcot, A, Oakville, Edge 2017, 2017
Mike Berger, A, Uxbridge, Evolve Elite, 2017
Brett Newton, A, Thornhill, 2017