By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/14/10
Spring-Ford senior attackman Brian Bock said competing in the F4 Showbine this weekend was a unique and exciting experience.
“I definitely thought it was a newer approach to the old recruiting process,” said Bock. “I think this process might make it easier for coaches to pick out players’ physical abilities.”
Spring-Ford was one of 26 teams overall, and several from Philly, that competed in the combination showcase/combine recruiting tournament Saturday and today at Diamond Nation in Flemington, N.J.
Club and scholastic Teams from around the Mid-Atlantic region played three games each and also were tested in NFL-combine style events.
Players had two combine sessions – one for the 40-yard dash and the vertical leap and another for shooting (speed) on the run (left and right) and freestyle fastest shot.
“It gave coaches more options than just seeing them play in a game.” said Bock, who already has committed to Division I Lafayette College. “The players got to show their individual physical abilities as well as their abilities to play for their team.”
The event – which drew about 50 college coaches in the two days – featured many top-name club teams and some high school teams.
Some of the club teams that competed were Philly’s Duke’s Lacrosse Club, Twist (2011, 2012) and Black Bear, New Jersey’s SJ Shamrocks and Red and Black Lacrosse, Long Island’s Sting (two squads) and Express, Maryland’s MadLax and Connecticut’s CT Chargers. Some of the scholastic teams included Philly’s Braveheart (Penn Charter), Spring-Ford and Salesianum (DE) as well as Long Island power Ward Melville (split squads).
Face-off specialist Brian Lenskold, of Twist 2011, said all the players enjoyed the combine half of the event.
“I had never done anything like that,” said Lenskold, a senior at New Jersey power Bridgewater-Rariton High who is hoping to play at the Division I level. “I know at the D1 level everybody is so quick, especially the poles.
“I know the colleges need to know a face-off guy can pick up the ball and haul it as soon as he gets it. It’s definitely a good indicator for coaches.”
Officials from the tourney said that winners of the skills events will be released later today.
The venue was ideal for such a tourney. Four turf fields and two smaller practice areas for the combine testing are situated next to each other so coaches could view the entire event from one two-story, temperature-controlled tower.
The testing was all computerized, said one of the co-directors, Jack Devlin. “The times to were immediately uploaded and coaches had access,” Devlin said. “The vertical leap was all digital. The club coaches and the college coaches loved it.
“Now, the college coaches can quantify. They have stats on the players. One kid from the Duke’s L.C. had a 102 mile per hour shot. It was something a little different and a little new. Everybody loved it.”
Bock said the combine testing was mixed in with the games and that there was no time for standing around or waiting.
“The schedule was set up to allow you to do the combines in intervals,” he said. “We did our 40s and vertical jump before everything. Then, after our first game, we did all our shooting skills and then we played our last two games.
“Some people played games first and then did their combine. The schedules were all different.”
Bock was one of the lone seniors on his team, which also was missing many other normal starters who are playing football. Still, he thought the process was beneficial to all.
“Many of our players are on the football team, but it was still a great tournament to go to,” he said. “There was a good showing by coaches.
“I haven’t been out to a recruiting events in a while, so it was nice to be out there. The kids that haven’t been out in front of coaches really liked it. I was proud to be a part of my team; we had a lot of first-timers in front of recognizable coaches.”