By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/6/11
More than 100 college coaches from nearly 90 programs flooded Radnor High today to watch 16 of the top club teams from the Eastern United States and Canada today at the Quaker Fall LaxFest.
The event featured six Philly programs and seven teams overall – the Duke’s L.C., HEADstrong, LB3, Mesa Fresh 2013 and 2014 squads, Rebel Elite, and Twist. Also represented was Long Island (The Express, For the Love of the Game and the Sting), Baltimore (the Crabs), Maryland/Virginia (MadLax), New Jersey (Leading Edge and Tri-State), Upstate New York (Roadhawks) and Canada (Edge).
With many major Division I programs in attendance, the players had plenty of motivation during the round robin tourney, which saw each team play three games.
Only one club, the Baltimore Crabs, went undefeated. Meanwhile, the Duke’s LC, Rebel Elite and LB3 each went 2-1 as LB3 earned a hard-fought 8-7 victory over the Rebels in the final game. Mesa Fresh 2013 and Twist each went 1-1-1.
But this tourney was mostly about getting players exposure to top competition and looks from college coaches at all levels.
“I think I’ve gained a lot from the experience,” said Rebel Elite midfielder Tyler Chambers, a junior at Episcopal Academy. “The competition is really good.
“I love to see the Canadians play because they’ve got good stick skills, and there’s some kids with traditional mesh and you don’t see that too often.”
“We’re trying to win, but we’re also trying to improve and look good in front of these college coaches,” added Rebels middie Chase Young, a sophomore at St. Joseph’s Prep.
Although most of the players were in the classes of 2013 and 2014, there were some seniors. LB3 senior attackman Adam Stefanowicz is looking to earn a regular role for La Salle next spring and was using the event to gauge where he stands.
“The competition is really good here, so you know where you are and how the spring season is going to look,” he said. “We’ve got a new team a sophomores, juniors and seniors and we are trying to mesh some sophomores and juniors for next summer.”
LB3’s Ryan McDonald, a senior midfielder at Pennsbury, is considering several schools. But he was happy to be seen in front of the large group of college coaches.
“This definitely helps, seeing all the kids that come here,” he said. “There is a lot of talent and tons of coaches and maybe I’ll get another look late.
“It’s nice to see different styles coming together and how you match yup against guys.”
One of the youngest teams was Mesa Fresh 2014, playing with all sophomores. Attackman Jake Scott, of Conestoga, said the top competition could only make the players better.
“It’s a good experience,” he said. “We want to be seen by different coaches and get some good lacrosse in.
“And you see different styles of play – especially Canada (Edge). They play a different game of lacrosse; they usually use one hand because they are used to being inside. Long Island teams move the ball really well.”
Added Mesa Fresh 2014 defenseman/LSM Chris Isenberg, of Malvern prep: “We knew we were playing into a couple teams older than us so we were focusing on sliding early and talking a lot.
“We still want to focus on key values like sportsmanship, but it’s nice to get exposure.”
The Crabs’ Mike Rhoads, a junior defenseman from Landon School (MD), said his team was playing strong lacrosse and felt the tourney would help him to develop for the spring season.
“Our main goal was to work as a team,” said Rhoads. “I think this allows ou to see what you need to work on for the spring. season. If you see you’re not picking up the groundballs here, you know you need to work on that.”