By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/19/08
La Salle College High School, recently named the No. 1 team in the country for 2008 by Lacrosse Magazine, has announced a long list of Division I oral commitments for its rich class of incoming seniors.
The Explorers return four All-Americans from a team that went 31-2 and claimed the Pennsylvania state championship. La Salle also won the final Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (EPSLA) title for supremacy in the Philadelphia region.
The most recent decision was finalized Monday when defender Tucker Durkin made a verbal commitment to national runner-up Johns Hopkins. Durkin had committed to Bucknell during the season, but rescinded the decision earlier in the summer.
“I have a lot of respect for Bucknell and coach (Frank) Fedorjaka,” said Durkin. “But Hopkins was just the right fit academically and athletically for me, and it was pretty hard to turn down.”
La Salle, which has won five straight Philadelphia Catholic League crowns, also finished fourth in the LaxPower National Coaches/Computer Ratings Poll and fifth in the STX/Inside Lacrosse National High School Lacrosse Rankings. The team graduates three senior starters, including All-American midfielder Conrad Ridgway (signed with Penn State).
“We had a group of guys that was really close and they somehow had the intangibles,” said La Salle coach Bill Leahy, whose team had the most wins of any team in the nation last year and has a 138-14 record the past five years. “I have to believe that helps you win. You can’t measure that.”
The overall list of Explorers that have made Division I commitments (binding letters-of-intent can be signed in the fall) for 2009-10 include:
*Defender Durkin – Johns Hopkins. An All-American, first-team All-Catholic and All-Phillylacrosse.com pick, he was the team’s lock-down long pole in La Salle’s drive to the state title. Durkin is ranked No. 23 by Inside Lacrosse in its recent list of incoming seniors.
*Goalie Niko Amato – Maryland. Considered one of the top goalies in the country by every scouting report, Amato had a goals-against average of 3.63 and a save percentage of 70.6. He was the MVP of the EPSLA tournament, an All-Catholic League first-team choice and the Phillylacrosse.com Player of the Year. He is ranked No. 38 by Inside Lacrosse.
*Long-stick midfielder Tyler Knarr – Georgetown. The 6-foot-3 Kanrr won 70 percent of his face-offs last ye ar before tearing his anterior cruciate ligament, forcing him to miss the final five weeks of the season. Knarr, who was an All-American and first-team All-Catholic League and All-Phillylacrosse.com pick, should be fully recovered for the fall. He is ranked No. 9 by Inside Lacrosse.
*Midfielder Peter Schwartz – Duke. Schwartz had 37 goals and 32 assists and nine goals in the EPSLA playoffs. Considered one of the nation’s top offensive middies, Schwartz was an All-American, and a first-team All-Phillylacrosse.com and All-Catholic League pick.
*Defender Mike Noone – Lehigh. A second-team All-Catholic League pick last year, he was a steady member of a defense that led the Explorers to the state championship. He also enjoyed a standout summer.
*Midfielder Derek Bogorowski – Lehigh. A strong face-off man, Bogorowski ably filled in for Knarr last year when he was injured and then looked strong in helping the Philly-based Duke’s Lacrosse Club win the Champ Camp crown this summer.
*Attackman Randy Forster – Penn State. A first-team All-Catholic League pick, the left-hander will follow his older brothers, Rob and Jack, to State College. He collected 35 goals and 35 assists last year.
La Salle became the final team to win the Keystone Cup championship. Next year La Salle and the rest of the Catholic League will compete in the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) for the first time. The PIAA has taken over jurisdiction of boys’ lacrosse in Pennsylvania and will hold a state championship in one classification.
Tags: La Salle