By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/21/10
Fifteen teams are competing today in the Mid-Atlantic Fall Showcase at Haverford School, capping a smorgasbord of boys’ lacrosse recruiting tournaments in Philadelphia.
The tourney today drew dozens of college coaches from around the country, many of whom were in town for the Philly Showcase Friday and Saturday. Today’s event featured Pennsylvania champion Conestoga and two teams each from nationally-ranked prep powers Haverford School and Georgetown Prep.
Other teams playing today include 2010 District 1 playoff squads Downingtown West, Wissahickon, Avon Grove and Radnor, as well as Inter-Ac League powers Malvern Prep and Episcopal Academy and Catholic League heavyweight St. Joseph’s Prep. Chestnut Hill Academy is the 11th Philly team.
The rest of the field includes Maryland’s Gonzaga and OC Lax.
Two players that competed in all three Philly recruiting events this weekend, Haverford School junior midfielders Zach Rego and Henry Blynn, said they enjoyed the heightened college exposure.
“This weekend has been a learning experience, especially since I played with players I never played with before Friday night and Saturday,” said Rego after the first game, an easy win over Avon Grove. “Today, I know everybody here. For me, my job is feeding these people, knowing what they are going to do, and also getting a few shots in.
“Although exposure is really important, I try to forget and get out and play I don’t play well when I am thinking about other things than lacrosse.”
Blynn, who like Rego made the Philly Showcase Gait Fab Forty all-star squads Saturday, also has enjoyed the opportunity to shine in the spotlight:
“I have played a lot better this weekend than I have the whole summer,” he said. “I’m excited about that. It’s fun to show off your abilities in front of all those top coaches and show them you can play for their program.
“It was great to play with a lot of different kids I have played against. You have to figure out everyone’s strengths and weakness. The Showcase went well, rough start, but worked together and played really well at the end.”
Blynn is enjoying one last chance to play with his Haverford teammates.
“It’s great coming back,” he said. “I have played with Zach Rego since 8th grade and we have pretty good chemistry. It’s nice to play with all my buddies I go to school with. For recruiting, it definitely helped me confirming coach’s thoughts.”
Malvern Prep junior midfielder Graeme Weaver also played Friday for the Inter-Ac team, made the Fab Forty game Saturday at the Philly Showcase and enjoyed playing with his Friars teammates today.
“Today went pretty well,” said Weaver, whose team split four games. “The whole weekend gave me a lot of exposure with some great coaches. Hopefully, the way I played this weekend helped me out.
“I do like playing with kids from Malvern a lot. We know each other and it’s fun to play together. With other kids, it’s hard to get that chemistry. With Malvern, it clicks right away.”
Still, Weaver said it is valuable experience to play with new teammates.
“That helps a lot, to see how you do against other kids,” he said. “There were players at the Showcase, actually, from around the country.”
One senior, Conestoga defenseman Andrew Visich, is hoping his performance today helped attract some Division I coaches. He is also looking at Division III schools.
“The recruiting process is still up for grabs for me,” he said. “I definitely noticed a handful of coaches at each game. We’ll see where that goes from here.
“As far as the tournament, I was pleased with the overall competition. It was great to have our team come back; we had a mix of seniors and JV players and it was fun to play with these guys again.
“I was pleased with our overall performance. We struggled in the first game, but after that we came together. We hadn’t practiced that much, but I thought we played really well.”
The tourney director, Haverford School coach John Nostrant said the event has grown nicely in its two years. This year he and Malvern Prep coach Dave Metzbower, each of whom run Gold Medal Recruiting, offered a free recruiting seminar to parents.
“It was on the dos and don’ts of recruiting and how the college process has sped uo.
“Also, we had 12 teams last year and 15 this year. I think the fact Andy (Hayes, the Showcase director) did his event (Dan Carr Benefit) Friday night and the Showcase yesterday, coaches didn’t have to leave.
“For us, the sophomore and junior classes are pretty strong and a lot of juniors are looking for homes, as they should be. They also should be taking their time. We have a lot of good teams here, and some local teams. Hopefully, this bridges the gap between the private and public schools.”