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Philly Showcase follow-up: Gait Fab 40 All-Stars speak about the event

Wednesday, 23rd November 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School, Recruiting  
 

By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/23/11

The Philly Boys Showcase brought more than 160 college coaches and 1,000 lacrosse players to the Philly region Saturday and Sunday at Episcopal Academy and Friday at St. Joseph’s University.

On Saturday the Juniors and Sophomores were on the stage as Gait Fab 40 All-Star teams were chosen for the classes of 2013 and 2014. The following are comments made by Fab 40 All-Stars from the Saturday event.

Class of 2013

Central Bucks South's Ryan Kelly (goalie) waits for a shot as Jack Carrigan (55) of Chaminade (NY) defends Pine Crest (Fla) attackman Harris Stolzenberg during the 2013 Fab 40 game. (Photo by Rene Schleicher)

Ryan Kelly, Central Bucks South, goalie

How do you think you gained as far as lacrosse experience by participating in the Philly Showcase?
Kelly:
“I was very fortunate to play Friday night, Saturday and Sunday so for me, it was really three different tournaments in one weekend. On Saturday especially, it was a unique experience to play with new players that I had not met before against such good competition. It was hard in the beginning to get our communication down, but after the first game we became more comfortable with each other and everything ran more smoothly. As a goalie, communication is key and so the fact that we were able to overcome our lack of familiarity was huge. It was also great to play in front of so many college coaches – the exposure was awesome!”

How was the competition and what did you do to adjust to the level of play?
Kelly:
“The level of play was very high, so on the defensive side of the ball we realized we had to recognize opposing players strengths and weaknesses as quickly as possible. This allowed us to identify our best matchups and gain a competitive advantage against each team we played.”

What areas of your game do you see as strengths and what do you feel you need to work on to gear for the coming season?
Kelly:
“My strengths are definitely my ability to stop the ball and communicate to the defense. On the other hand, my outlets need improvement and I’ll be working hard this winter to be ready for next Spring.”

Mike Cherry, Radnor, midfielder

How do you think you gained as far as lacrosse experience by participating in the Philly Showcase?
Cherry:
“It was a great experience in playing with not only the great talent in this area, but great talent from around the country. It was a nice change to play with players I’m not used to playing with and it was fun seeing our team mesh as the day went on.”

How was the competition and what did you do to adjust to the level of play?
Cherry:
“The competition was pretty strong. There were some very talented players that I faced and that I played with. The competition in the all-star game was also great. It was a fast, back-and-forth game which was pretty fun. I love playing at that level and with those type of players because it makes you better as a player.”

What areas of your game do you see as strengths and what do you feel you need to work on to gear for the coming season?
Cherry:
“I see my stick skills, my vision, and my quickness as my strengths. I feel like I have to go to the net more often and shoot more, and get faster and stronger.”

Class of 2014

Matt Milici, Central Bucks East, attackman

How do you think you gained as far as lacrosse experience by participating in the Philly Showcase?
Milici:
“A lot! It gave me an idea of what the best competition looks like and what I will need to improve on to consistently be with the best.”

How was the competition and what did you do to adjust to the level of play?
Milici: “These players were from everywhere, and some of the best I have seen. Being a sophomore, it felt good playing against great juniors. I really had to turn my aggressiveness up.

What areas of your game do you see as strengths and what do you feel you need to work on to gear for the coming season?
Milici:
“I feel like my vision of play is very good, seeing where the next play will come from, and anticipating what I should be doing. These are strong defenders, and they work hard to counter that strength. I can always be a little quicker, to stay one step ahead. As a natural lefty, my right needs to get better, stronger, and used more consistently.”

Mike Mazzola, defenseman, The Haverford School

How do you think you gained as far as lacrosse experience by participating in the Philly Showcase?
Mazzola:
“It was my first showcase so I was a little intimidated knowing how many talented players from around the country were going to be there. Throughout the day I saw several different styles of play and guarded many great athletes. I really learned how to play with a group of guys you never met before and to always be prepared because the pace of play at this showcase was the fastest I ever participated in. The showcase was without a doubt the best lacrosse experience I ever had and I look forward to playing in it again next year.”

How was the competition and what did you do to adjust to the level of play?
Mazzola:
It was tough at first because I missed all of club lacrosse in the summer due to an injury and this fall I played football, so it was the first time I played lacrosse since the spring. I knew there was going to be some great lacrosse players at this showcase and tried to prepare for it. During my first game I realized there wasn’t a player on either team who wasn’t good; they all had great stick skills and knew how to play the game. I didn’t let the man I was covering out of my sight and always kept my head on a swivel. I had to really focus on every play and adjust my game and play harder than I ever played to try and match the speed and skills of the players I was going up against. As the day went on I got to know my teammates and we trusted each other and started to play really solid team D.

What areas of your game do you see as strengths and what do you feel you need to work on to gear for the coming season?
Mazzola:
“Ever since I played lacrosse I’ve been complimented on my field vision and my ability to clear the ball. I spent a lot of time on my pitch back so I have pretty good stick skills when it comes to passing and catching. I also like using my size to my advantage and play physical defense. I need to work on my one on one defense and using stick checks more often.”


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