By Matthew De George & Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/9/10
HEADstrong Elite midfielder Will Gural said the Philly players had two incentives Sunday at the Quaker Fall LaxFest – representing their club teams, and trying to get noticed by some of the 100 college coaches that lined the four fields at Radnor High.
“We’re trying to win, but we’re also trying to individually get recruited, but that will come naturally if we play together well as a team,” said Gural, a junior at Haverford School. “It will also help us get some looks from the coaches and get out there and represent Headstrong.
“It was interesting because we played two teams from Philadelphia (LB3 and Twist 2012) then one team from Canada (Edge Srs). It’s interesting because you get to see talent from everywhere and a bunch of different styles of play and it’s just a diverse group of teams.
In all, 16 top-rated boys’ club teams from the Mid-Atlantic Region and Canada competed in the tourney, which has gained national attention in only two years. Other HEADstrong players enjoyed the competition:
Junior midfielder Joe Baker (Hershey High): “It was a good weekend. We came out a little slow in the first game. We’re just trying to come out and represent Headstrong the best way we can. I’m just trying to come out and show well in front of these coaches and hopefully get a few looks.”
Junior defenseman Justin Verratti (St. Joseph’s Prep): “We’re just trying to come out and win some games and represent HEADstrong. I think if we play hard, the team plays well, we win games and you get looks.”
Junior midfielder Jake Richard (Henderson): “I’m just trying to come out here, have fun, and play against a lot of different talent and just get better every game. The scouts were overwhelming, but it was a lot of fun to just do my best and play in front of them.”
Other Philly players checked in:
Senior defenseman Carl Lampe, Rebel Elite (Episcopal Academy/committed to Lafayette): “I think what helps most is when we play together and play well together, it looks better for each individual and helps us get more looks too. It’s also great to play against rival teams like Mesa and other club teams. There’s that extra competitiveness when you’re playing against them.”
Senior attackman Joey Sankey, Rebel Elite (Penn Charter/committed to North Carolina): “It’s nice playing here because I already committed, but it’s been more relaxed just having fun and playing, especially against all these local guys. It’s great to help represent Rebel Elite. It’s close to home, so it’s not a far commute. There’s a lot of coaches here because there are a lot of kids on our team that are non-committed, so is great for a lot of them.”
Junior attackman Shane Carr, LB3 (Penn Charter): “It’s a great tournament. There are a lot of coaches to get a good look in November in our first tournament out. I’m just trying to get a couple more looks before going on in the process. It’s tough because other kids are playing different sports and might not be playing with the kids on our team that much. But if you’re jelling as a team, you’re making everybody else look good, so that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Senior attackman Willie Beury, LB3 (Upper Dublin): “It’s all about getting better and making the guy next to you look better.”
Junior defenseman Anthony Greco, LB3 (Abington): “It’s just to get out here, work real hard, so who can get the best looks and show the college coaches what you’ve got. Even when it’s 30 degrees out, show the coaches how good you can play.”
Junior attackman Steffen Gratch, Twist (Hun School): “As a team, we’re a relatively new team. A lot of the guys on the team haven’t really played together. It took a little bit for the first game or so because we didn’t have that much chemistry. But we’re starting to build it up and we’ve gotten a lot better as the day progressed.”
Junior attackman Chris Vetter, Twist (Central Bucks East): “This weekend what I’m trying to do is just show off my skills. Just trying to showcase some talents, and trying our hearts out to showcase some other players as well, not just myself. All around, just trying to show some tenacity for the coaches.”
Senior midfielder Tanner Scott, Mesa Fresh/Select (Conestoga/committed to Duke): “There’s a lot of sophomores who are looking at colleges. A couple of my senior buddies are trying to help out the younger kids and get them some looks. And just trying to get out there and play some lacrosse. You just try to get the older guys in with the younger guys to mix it up so they get their looks. We’re helping out a lot of the younger guys to teach them some of the things we know.”
Sophomore defenseman Austin Pifani, Duke’s L.C. (Abington): On defense, we’re trying to play as a team and pick up from where we left off as a team. Personally, I’m just trying to get out there and get grounds balls and just do the right thing, like get rid of the ball when it’s time to and not hold onto it too much.
It’s all about the teamwork out there. If we know the kids, sometimes kids won’t go as hard, but that’s what we want to do.