By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse, Posted 6/15/13
LANCASTER – Lincoln High (OR) rising junior defenseman Ben Paris flew into Pennsylvania at 5 a.m. this morning to compete in the Adrenaline Black Card Showcase.
He finished the day very tired, but very happy with his performance.
“I just got off the plane this morning,” said Paris, a member of the West Coast Starz. “I had finals this week. I was little tired. It was brutal, but it’s summer now.”
Paris was one of 180 players selected by their National Scholastic Club Lacrosse Association (NSCLA) coaches to compete in a showcase that has quickly become a major event in the outset of the summer recruiting scene. More than 125 coaches attended the Showcase, which included players from the Classes of 2015 and 2016 that will play with their NSCLA teams in the Championship Cup Saturday and Sunday at F&M.
The event was created by Adrenaline as a way to give back to the lacrosse community. Players pay only $100 to compete and are given gear by sponsors Adrenaline, Cascade and Maverik. As one of the Adrenaline Awareness initiatives, all proceeds go to Prostate Cancer Research in the name of lacrosse icon Jack “Blackjack” McGetrick.
Players were put on teams for the day; each team played four games. Paris, playing on the Athlete’s Performance team, said the competition was keen.
“On the West Coast it’s athletes first, lacrosse players second,” he said. “Over here, there’s a lot of stick skills. You have to check your back as a d-pole and make sure no one gets behind you.”
Matt Schwartz, a Class of 2016 defenseman from Phillie Elite and Archbishop Wood High, said it was too easy to notice the coaches only yards away.
“It’s good competition,” he said. “It’s really tense with the coaches right on sideline. Picking up groundballs, you see them right there, and you are thinking, ‘Oh I gotta get there.’
“It’s fun. You have kids coming all the way down from Canada and out (West).”
Schwartz (Team GTF) said he has had to raise his game, but noted that it was easier because his team began to mesh quickly.
“My expectations have been surpassed,” he said. “The players have gone above and beyond. Kids are diving through the crease for goals and everybody is fighting for every inch and moving the ball really well. I thought that coming in and not knowing anybody, there would be no chemistry. But we have been coming together and really playing well.”
“There was a lot of talking. At first everyone was quiet because we didn’t know each other. But we have a great goalie (Phillip Goss of Laxachusetts) who is always talking. He has been calling good slides and we’ve been making crease adjacents. Everyone is laying out for hits, and laying out for the ball.”
Rory Doucette, the Vice President of Events for Adrenaline, said the goal is to do something special for the lacrosse community.
“It’s exciting,” said Duocette. “I think, honestly, it’s a shared vision for a lot of people with an a (common) goal. Cascade and Maverik and us, together, wanted to give back.
“Trust me, we’re not making money. We’re spending a lot, but it’s very much worth it to give back. A lot kids have come through our (club team) systems and through others. A lot of people who are on the same page want to see something genuine and pretty organic and this is it.
“We are happy to be a part of it and in the forefront of running it and growing it.”
One of Schwartz’s teammates, defenseman David Parsons of the New Hampshire Tomahawks (and Philips Exeter), also said the competition was excellent.
“The competition is amazing: there is talent all over the place,” he said. “I have been happy with my man-coverage; not many people have beaten me. I am happy with my clears.
“Coming into this, I heard the talent was going to be great. It’s met my expectations and exceeded them.”