Four Philly recruits – Dom Nappi (Malvern Prep), Ben Worthington (Archbishop Wood), Zach Zappala (Germantown Academy) and Taylor Nelson (Downingtown East) – head the list of 12 freshmen for Scranton, which will be competing in the Third Annual Nick Colleluori Classic Sunday at Ridley High.
The two-day event is held in honor of the late Nicholas “Head” Colleluori, a graduate of Ridley High School who was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in his sophomore year at Hofstra University in 2005 and passed away 14 months later. Admission is $10.00, with the proceeds to benefit the HEADstrong Foundation’s fight against blood cancer.
The Royals will play York College of Pennsylvania at 11:30 a.m., Widener University at 1:30 p.m., and Ursinus College at 3:00 p.m. as seven Division II and III teams square off on Sunday. Ten Division I teams will vie Saturday.
“This is going to be an exciting weekend for our guys,” said Scranton coach Kevin Dugan. “The Nick Colleluori Classic supports a great cause, and has quickly become one of the top fall tournaments in the country, we feel lucky to be part of it. We have several key offensive players injured or studying abroad this fall, so a lot of the young midfielders and attackmen have a great opportunity to prove themselves at this weekend’s fall event.”
This weekend’s games will give Dugan an opportunity to see another talented recruiting class in action. The newcomers will join a solid nucleus that includes 29 returnees from last year’s team that posted its second straight winning season and advanced to the championship match of the Landmark Conference tournament.
“Similar to last year’s class, Tim Marshall, our recruiting coordinator, deserves a lot of credit for helping put this group together.” says Dugan, now 41-36 (.532) in six seasons as a head coach on the collegiate level and 26-21 (.553) in four years at Scranton. “I am really happy with the pedigree of this year’s class.
“We have talent coming in from some of the top high school programs in the country, including several players that served as captains in their senior year, and several boys that lettered in more than one sport. I am specifically excited to have a good deal of football – lacrosse players in this class. Generally speaking, I am really pleased with the improvements we are making in our overall team speed and athleticism at each position.”
The following newcomers will be joining the Royals this year:
*Dominic Nappi III, a midfielder from Downingtown, was a member of three Inter-Ac championship teams under head coach John McEvoy. He also lettered in football. Nappi played his club lacrosse with Team Headstrong.
“Dom can do a little bit of everything; He takes face-offs, plays good defense and can go to the goal when given the opportunity,” says Dugan. “He is another freshman from one of the top programs in the country, and it is evident in his work ethic. Dom knows how hard you need to work to compete at a high level.”
*Ben Worthington, a goalie from Jenkintown, earned first-team all-Catholic and Honorable Mention All-Phillylacrosse.com honors. He was a member of the football team that advanced to the championship game of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) Class AAA state tournament. He played his club lacrosse with the Dukes, LB3 and Archies. His high school lacrosse coach was Don Mangin.
“Ben had a stellar high school career and has been really solid in goal this fall,” said Dugan. “We have had an incredible amount of competition in the cage so far this year and it has really helped change the atmosphere of our practices. The goalies are creating a sense of urgency in practice that has carried over to every position on the field.”
Zach Zappala, a midfielder from Doylestown, was a four-year varsity letterman and team captain for head coach Dave Martin. He tallied 15 goals and 12 assists for 27 points his senior year. Zach played his summer club lacrosse with Team Twist Black.
“Zach broke his foot before the start of fall practice and has missed our entire fall season, but our staff had the chance to see Zach play a lot in high school, and he is someone we think will push to contribute this spring,” said Dugan. “Zach is a quick, shifty, left-handed middie that could really help bolster our offensive production at midfield.”
Taylor Nelson, an attackman from Downingtown, was a member of a 2007 state and four Suburban League/Ches-Mont championship teams under head coach Tom Slate. Nelson was a captain his senior year, tallying 70 points (48 goals, 22 assists.) In addition to a standpoint lacrosse career, Nelson excelled on the gridiron. Taylor was an all-conference outside linebacker his junior and senior years.
“Taylor had surgery this past summer on his right shoulder and is unable to play in the fall,” Dugan said. “He had a stellar high school career at one of the top programs in Pennsylvania, where he served as a captain.
“He is another one of the freshmen that I believe knows how important it is to outwork your opponents. He is a big righty attackman (6’1, 210), whose size could create matchup problems in the spring.”
Timothy Cleary, a long-stick midfielder from Shrewsbury, New Jersey, and graduate of Christian Brothers Academy. In addition to serving as team co-captain and being selected the team’s co-most valuable player (MVP), he was a two-time first-team all-Shore Conference selection, earned all-America honors by US Lacrosse, was selected to the NJ Under Armour all-American team, was a second-team all-state selection by the Newark Star Ledger, and was named honorable mention all-state for non-public schools. He was a member of two Shore Conference championship teams (2008, 2009) and state runner-up for non-public schools (2007) under head coach Dave Santos.
Tom Hall, a defenseman from Northport High School in Northport, New York. His high school coach was George Searing, and this past summer he played club lacrosse with the Long Island Sting. He also lettered in football in high school.
Collin Kaval, a 6’3 midfielder from Baldwinsville, New York, and a graduate of C.W. Baker High School. He earned first-team all-league honors last spring after finishing with 21 goals and 14 assists for head coach Peter Fiorini.
Dillon McInerney, a midfielder from Hawthorne, New Jersey, and a graduate of Bergen Catholic High School. He finished with 9 goals and 10 assists on last spring’s team that won a county championship under head coach Joe Haemmerle. He also lettered in basketball and football at Bergen Catholic.
Matthew Mitchell, a defenseman from Mountain Lakes High School in Mountain Lakes, New Jersey. In addition to lettering in lacrosse under head coach Tim Flynn, he was a member of the Mountain Lakes’ football team that won a conference and state championship last fall. In the process, he earned first-team all-conference honors in football. He played his club lacrosse with the Lakes Futures team.
Oliver Nugent, an attackman from Short Hills, New Jersey, and a graduate of the Morristown-Beard School. He served as team captain and earned all-conference honors his senior year after scoring 28 goals and assisting on 12 others for head coach Matt Daly. He was a member of the 2008 non-public school B state and two Preparatory B championship teams. Nugent played his club lacrosse with Morris Select.
Eric Scheidemann, a long-stick midfielder from Dix Hills, New York, and a graduate of Half Hollow Hills West High School. He received Suffolk County all-division honors in 2009 and was named to the Hot Beds all-star team in 2008. He was a member of a Half Hollow Hills West program that won the Suffolk County Super Six championship in 2008 and Suffolk County Big Five title in 2007 under head coach Nils Haugen. He also lettered in soccer. Scheidemann also played summer club lacrosse with the Long Island Sting.
Brendan Synan, a (6-2, 190-pound) defenseman from Mahopac High School in Mahopac, New York. He served as team captain and was a member of two sectional semifinal teams under head coach Dave Haddeland. He also played summer club lacrosse with the Hudson Valley Empire team that earned a bronze medal in the 2008 Empire State Games. Synan was selected to participate in the Section 1 Senior All-Star game.
In addition to the twelve recruits, two freshmen walk-ons were impressive enough during the fall season to make the 2010 squad:
Jonathan Curtin, a defensive midfielder from Toms River, New Jersey, and a graduate of Monsignor Donovan High School. He served as captain last spring on a Monsignor Donovan team that posted a 10-0 record and captured the A-South Conference title under head coach Chris Percy. He was named first-team all-division and honorable mention all-Shore. Curtin also lettered in football, serving as team captain and earning first-team all-division and honorable mention all-Shore.
Olaf Gilliam, a midfielder from Piermont, New York, and a graduate of Tappan Zee High School. He served as team captain and was an all-league selection in both lacrosse and ice hockey. He tallied 20 goals