By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/30/12
While most of the talk at Lehigh University is focused on the Eagles training camp, 150 rising juniors competed last week at the Lehigh valley Showcase, a three-day recruiting camp that drew some of the top talent to the campus of the Patriot League champions.
The event closed Friday with an All-Star Game that featured numerous Philly players (see rosters below). Before that, coaches from Lehigh and other colleges provided instruction, gave strength and speed training clinics and a recruiting & academic seminar, as well as a leadership/character building seminar.
The All-Star teams featured 13 players from the Philly region and South Jersey.
One of the All-Stars was Episcopal Academy face-off specialist Matt Ernst, who backed up All-American Jon Garino last year and figures to be a regular in 2013.
“This was great hands-on experience where I could get to see a college campus and have the coaches from Lehigh see me play up close,” said Ernst. “I learned a lot about making counter moves and new ways to beat my man.”
Ernst said he is not rushing to pick a school despite the fact that the recruiting scene has cause more players to feel pressure to make early decisions.
“I am taking my time,” he said. “I want to pick the best academic school; I am not too worried about committing to a school that doesn’t fit me.”
While Ernst is playing at a high profile school that finished among the nation’s Top 20 teams and won an Inter-Ac Invitational championship, midfielder Greg Farris of unheralded Southern Lehigh is very happy to get extra exposure.
Farris, who plays with Ernst on the Duke’s Lacrosse Club and also plays for Old School Lacrosse on the Main Line, recently attended the Villanova Showcase Camp. He lives five minutes from Lehigh’s campus in Bethlehem, but said it was great to learn the campus from the inside.
“I always knew Lehigh and my personal trainer works here, but it was nice to live in the dorms and see how the coaches really coach,” said Farris, a two-year starter who had 59 career goals at Southern Lehigh.
‘The competition was phenomenal and everybody was a lot of fun. The All-Star Game was about getting to showcase yourself.”
Farris said Lehigh’s success has made it a prime target for many recruits.
“It’s a reflection on how good the team has become,” he said. “I had a front row seat for the NCAA tournament game against Maryland and the crowd stretched way outside the stadium.”
Coach Kevin Cassese, whose program is also running a Rising Sophomore Showcase Aug. 1-3 (spots are still open, click here to register), said the exposure from the showcases is helpful to players and his program. Interest has risen since Lehigh claimed its first Patriot League crown and advanced to the NCAA tourney for the first time when it fell by a goal to eventual finalist Maryland in the opening round.
“We definitely took a major step in the right direction last year,” he said. “I always have the highest of expectations and we were excited to win the Patriot league championship and we certainly want to make it a habit to get to the NCAAs.
“The goal is to get there each year and be a perennial contender for the national championship.”
Perhaps the player that traveled the furthest was goalie Cyrus Scott, a rising junior at St. Ignatius Prep in San Francisco, Calif. Scott’s mother, Hayedeah, played field hockey at Lehigh and came along to see her alma mater. Scott noted that two other St. Ignatius grads (Carlton Fisher and incoming freshman Will McKee) are on the roster.
“I have wanted to play D1 lacrosse since I was in fourth grade so I will have to travel some distance,” Scott said. “The school has great academics, and know I have gotten to know the campus from living in he dorms. I have a feel for the school and the lacrosse program. And it’s great that two of the coaches (Brendan Callahan and Errol Wilson, both at Stony Brook) were college goalies.
“Coach Callahan saw me play before and it’s really helpful to have a coach like that to tell me how to improve and to teach me new techniques. They helped me worked on eradicating bad habits.”
Brown All-Stars (all Rising Jrs. Unless otherwise noted)
Riley Aviles, A, Iona Prep, NY
Joshua Harman, M, Longwood, NY
Matt Posch, A, Bellport, NY
Thomas Rundell, A, Wyoming Seminary, PA
Nathan Wingate, A, Downingtown East
Greg Adams, D, Fairfield Warde, CT
Wian Coetzer, M, Hillsborough, NJ
Tyler Graham, M, Gloucester Catholic, NJ
Owen Green, M, Haverford High
Liam Rafferty, M, Long Beach, NY
Chris Sammarro, M, Mountain Lakes, NJ
Connor Sweeney, M, Potomac School, VA
AJ Vasquez, M, Belmont Hill, MA
William Locke, D, Portsmouth (Sr.)
James McJunkin, D, St. Albans, Va.
Austin Miller, D, Moses Brown, RI
Jake Mraz, D. Gonzaga, DC
Liam O’Donnell, D, Penncrest
Fitzhugh Lee, G, Gilman, Md
Chris Stanaback, G, Voorhees High, N.J
Wyatt Agaisse, A, Immaculata NJ
Chris Augustin, A, Bellpoort, NY
Charlie Crowley, A, Connetquot, NY
Kyle Parsons, A, Belmont Hill, MA
Matt Thies, A, West Essex, NJ
Alex Wolfe, A, Pennridge
Rgett Adley, M, Lexington, MA
Matt Ernst, FO, Episcopal Academy
Greg Farris, M, Southern Lehigh
Matthew Fischetti, M, Summit, NJ
Paul Houck, M, Saucon Valley
Will Manganiello, M, Penncrest
Brandon Winslow, M, Nazareth
Laz Chavez, D, Rye, NY
Marcus Cunningham, D, Glen Ridge, NJ
Joe Earley, D, Council Rock North
Brian Kerrigan, D, Fairfield Warde, CT
Brendan McNicholas, D, Avon Grove
Kenneth Moore, D, Washington-Lee, VA
John Phillips, G, Blair, N.J.
Cyrus Scott, G, St. Ignatius Prep, Calif.