By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/6/12
Today we highlight four more players from the 10 Philly teams that competed Sunday in the Quaker Fall Laxfest at Radnor High. The event drew 20 teams overall from the East Coast and over 100 college coaches.
Ten Philly teams – Duke’s L.C. Green (2014) and Blue (2015), Mesa Fresh 2014 and 2015, HEADstrong, ManUp, NXT, Phillie Elite, Rebel Elite and Twist – were joined by four Long Island squads (Sting, Express, FLG and Outlaws) as well as teams from Maryland (Hardshells), Virginia (MadLax, VA Lacrosse Club), New England (Storm), New Jersey (Leading Edge) and Central New York (RoadHawks).
Today we feature Mesa Fresh 2014 and 2015, ManUp and Phillie Elite. Tomorrow we look at Duke’s L.C. Green and Blue and some teams from Long Island.
Mesa Fresh 2015
Sophomore defenseman Damase Bagbonon (Conestoga) said the Laxfest gave him a chance to work on key skills while also showcasing himself to the many coaches.
“For our Mesa team, we set high goals and we want the best schedule we can possibly get,” he said. “Personally, I was looking to play basic ‘D’ and to not to let anybody beat me and defend the goal as well as I can.
“I wanted to work on footwork and stick skills. That’s a big thing. A kid with one hand is not going anywhere and kids that get beat on their feet don’t go anywhere.”
Bagbonon said he could not help noticing the many coaches on the sidelines.
“I get to say hello to a few of them,” he said. “They get to watch a lot of players. It’s a great recruiting (event); I like it a lot.”
Bagbonon – who is hoping to crack the varsity this year for the three-time defending state champions – has five sophomore teammates who have already committed to major Division I schools. But he wants to wait to make a decision about his future.
“I am 15 and still planning out what I want,” he said. “I don’t feel I am under that much pressure.
“It’s better for kids to wait it out; maybe next year maybe in the spring. The best kids commit early, the rest of us have to plan ourselves out.”
Mesa Fresh 2014
Junior attackman Tucker Carney (Strath Haven) was pleased with his performance Sunday.
“The goal was to get in front of the coaches and show them what we can do, individually but also as a team ,” he said. “I think I did pretty well.
“The first game (vs. MadLax) was a little bit of wakeup and I didn’t play as well, but once I got that under my belt it went pretty well.”
Did Carney, who played on varsity as a sophomore, see the coaches while he was playing?
“It’s intimidating but at the same time it’s exciting,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity to show the coaches what you can do.”
What type of school is he looking for?
“My parents are always saying academics first – and I agree with them,” Carney said. “So if it’s D1 or D3, whatever is the best fit for me.”
ManUp junior midfielder Will Kay (Malvern Prep) and his squad played in the Laxfest for the first time this year.
“I came in with a sense of just playing my best and showcasing my skills,” Kay said. “Team-wise I thought we played very well. We moved the ball well and played great defense.
“The competition was really good. We beat played VLC (Virginia Lacrosse Club)n by one and then FLG by one and then lost a tough game to Leading Edge.”
Kay felt his play was strong throughout.
“Individually, I think I played well,” he said. “I had some nice groundballs and a couple nice shots one. I had one goal in the first game and played solid defense.”
What can Kay take from the experience?
“I learned you just need to keep trying hard,” he said. “You can’t let anything get you down. What you can do is what you can do. You also have to keep on the groundballs and you have to play gritty.”
Junior attackman Mitch Soufleris (La Salle) said his newly-chosen team was just beginning to get to know each other.
“This is the first tourney of the fall and the goal was to get together to see what we can do,” said Soufleris, who drew raves on his play from coach Jim Beury. “There’s some good kids (competition) here!
“We have had one good half one bad half. We are trying to put two good halves together.”
Soufleris, a lefty who played some varsity last year for a team that reached the state finals, is hoping to earn a regular varsity spot on the attack line.
“Obviously being on a team with a Matt Rambo (bound for Maryland and ranked No. 1 in the nation by Inside Lacrosse) I am looking to help set people up,” he said. “Our senior class was very strong last year but we were very close and we want to come together to finish it off this year.”
What were his main goals Sunday?
“We are working to put it together as a team,” he said. “Individually, I want to get on the field as much as I can. I want to get everybody involved and to ride hard from the top.”