By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/20/11
Having formerly played for Cardinal O’Hara, Eddie McLoughlin was admittedly not a name player when he came to the Philly Showcase this weekend.
But after being named to the Gait Fab 40 All-Star Game and competing for his new school, Malvern Prep, McLoughlin has likely moved higher up on the list of players to look for by the 200 college coaches that came to the region.
The 3-day Philly Showcase wrapped up today with the Senior Showcase and 36-team Invitational Tournament at Episcopal Academy. The round robin tourney was held side-by-side with the Senior Showcase on eight fields.
The event drew coaches from more than 150 college programs this weekend. It began Friday with the Pre-Showcase Logan Schweiter Benefit at St. Joseph’s University and continued Saturday with the Junior-Sophomore Showcase.
(Check out Phillylacrosse.com for extensive coverage during the 3-day period).
Run by NXT Lacrosse, the Philly Showcase weekend drew more than 1,000 lacrosse players from 30 states and Canada to the region. Some of the top underclassmen and biggest names in club lacrosse and high school lacrosse from the East Coast competed.
For McLoughlin and Wissahickon sophomore attackman Brooks Melvin (see below), the event was key.
McLoughlin was a Second Team Catholic League attackman last year when he scored 37 goals for O’Hara despite missing much of the second half of the year with a concussion. He transferred to Malvern Prep this year where he hopes to contribute to a team expected to challenge defending national champion and defending Inter-Ac champion Haverford School as a league and national power.
Malvern Prep (Blue), which had no seniors, defeated Sts. Stephen’s & Agnes and St. Joseph’s Prep before closing with a tie against upstate NY power Christian Brothers Academy. McLoughlin was a consistent contributor on attack for the Friars, who have visions of making a national statement in 2012 if they can score enough goals to go with their standout defense and goaltending.
“It was great playing with better competition,” he said. “It was a lot faster and I had to keep moving the ball around. You’re always moving off the ball. You can’t stand still and you always have to be cutting back door.”
Was he intimidated by the all the coaches?
“I was thinking about the coaches a little bit, but you’re playing your hardest and if you mess up you just get it back,” he said. “I am getting used to playing with a lot better players. I was happy to make the All-Star Game.”
McLoughlin was excited to play with and against so many players different regions during the weekend.
“It was awesome,” he said. “I like how there were kids from 30 states. It was just nice going out and having fun.”
Meanwhile, Wissahickon sophomore attackman Brooks Melvin was pleased to get the chance to get seen again after competing in Saturday’s Philly Showcase for 2013 and 2014 players.
Melvin led the Trojans in scoring with 30 goals and 18 assists as a freshman last year and earned Second Team All-Suburban One American Conference honors. He helped his Trojans defeat Malvern Prep White in their second of three games. Wissahickon also played Downingtown East and Haverford School.
Melvin said he was looking to help the Trojans get ready for 2012, when he hopes his team will make a run at the conference title. He also was hoping to make a statement to the dozens of college coaches in attendance Sunday.
“We’re definitely looking to win the league and be a top competitor in the playoffs,” Melvin said. “I’m just hoping to play well and look good in front of coaches and be one of their top kids on the list. I want them to see my off ball movement and shiftiness.”
Melvin did not make the Gait Fab 40 all-star game in Saturday’s Showcase, but he was happy with his performance.
“I definitely competed and I think I did well,” he said. “The team was ballhoggish; that’s what happens when you are at a showcase.”
Overall, Melvin loved the weekend.
“It’s good for the city of Philadelphia and the lacrosse community,” he said, “There are so many teams here and so many coaches.
“You just to do everything you can when touching the ball. And when not touching the ball, you always have to be moving your feet and looking good.”