By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/7/10
More than 100 college coaches representing 80 schools watched today as 16 of the top boys’ club teams in the Mid-Atlantic Region and Canada competed in the 2nd annual Quaker Fall LaxFest at Radnor High.
Seven Philly teams were joined by three from Long Island, two each from greater Baltimore and Ontario and one each from upstate New York and New Jersey. The teams played three games each on four fields in a recruiting tournament that has quickly gained national attention.
The Philly squads included the Duke’s Lacrosse Club., HEADstrong Elite, LB3, Mesa Fresh 2012, Mesa Fresh Select, Rebel Elite and Twist 2012. Long Island teams included the Long Island Sting, the Long Island Express and Long Island Select/For the Love of the Game. MadLax and the Roughriders came from Baltimore and Edge sent its Seniors and Juniors from Ontario while the CNY RoadHawks came from upstate New York and Leading Edge 2012 came from New Jersey.
The tourney – co-directed by Penn coach Mike Murphy and Radnor High coach John Begier – drew many of the coaches of the top-ranked Division I teams. Most agreed the format and venue made it easy to see everyone, and club coaches from all the hotbeds enjoyed the exposure for their players.
“The Quaker fest is probably one of the best tournaments in the country, by far,” said Rebel Elite coach Harry Sankey. “You have the best teams from the Philadelphia area competing against the best teams from throughout the country and Canada.
“As a recruiting venue, this is above and beyond. It’s nice for the local guys that we don’t have to travel to Maryland or to New York to play, so this is fantastic.”
The players also loved the format. “I guess we’ve just come out and tried to win games and don’t really focus on the showcase part of it,” said Twist goalie Steve Brodeur, a junior at Strath Haven. “But it is a very good showcasing tournament so you’ve got to try your best and leave it out on the field.
“I think it’s a great recruiting tournament, and we’ve got a great set up here, great facilities, great weather, and great people.”
“The biggest thing for our guys is that we’re trying to get them recognized by top schools,” added Long Island Select/FLG coach John Nessler. “We brought some sophomores down here and we’re trying to open up doors for them and get college coaches to notice them when they’re a little younger.
“And we also have some juniors that haven’t committed yet. Coming down here is good for us. The recruiting process is getting (more competitive) and faster every year; they need the edge to showcase themselves.”
“I couldn’t have been happier with how the event went from a director’s standpoint,” said Murphy. “With the competition and the college coaches represented, along with the venue and the weather, it all went well.”
Murphy, formerly the coach at Haverford College, said the event was good for Philadelphia to showcase itself as a host site for a major event.
“It was spectacular to have all those (Philly) teams there and most of the Philly colleges in attendance,” he said. “It’s kind of neat for Philadelphia lacrosse and for Radnor and Penn to host it.”