By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/18/13
Bishop Shanahan senior attackman Johnny Mehok said competing at the prestigious Project 9.9 last weekend at St. Paul’s School (MD) was a boost for he and his school.
“One of the biggest things I so excited about was representing Shanahan,” said the Lehigh commit. “Four years ago there was no way Shanahan would get recognition like this.
“Not only was I representing the school, but I was representing the Ches-Mont League. Along with (Avon Grove goalie) Will (Schreiner), we showed we can compete with those other top schools.”
Mehok, who helped lead Bishop Shanahan to a share of its first league title last year, was one of 52 players from the country invited to the 3-day event run by lacrosse leaders Mark Millon and Paul Rabil. In all, 14 players from Philly were selected to participate in the elite instructional event created mostly to provide training for Division I-bound players.
The event closed Monday with a Showcase game. Mehok was cited by Inside Lacrosse along with Salesianum School senior defenseman Freddy Freibott (named top-rated defenseman by the directors) and Malvern Prep junior face-off specialist Charles Kelly for their performance.
Mehok, who plays for the Man Up lacrosse club, was thrilled to learn he was invited.
“I got an e-mail probably right around end of season and it seemed like an awesome experience,” he said. “I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew a bunch of the people and the Philly guys so I knew right away it was going to be tough competition.
“From Day 1 right out of the gate it was top-notch great competition. It was an honor being on the field with all those top D1 guys.”
The instructors included Millon, Rabil as well as Patrick McCabe, Buddy Hoffman, Scott Rodgers, Ben Rubeor, Stephen Berger and Greg Bice and strength and conditioning coach Jay Dyer (Johns Hopkins). Players were drilled extensively on college-level skills and received 1-on-1 instruction with films broken down in slow motion.
“This shaped my game up,” Mehok said. “I feel like I learned so much stuff in three days. It was amazing working with Mark (Millon), Ben Rubeor and Stephen Berger.
“Not only will it help me to be a better player, they work ethic they have makes you want to work so hard to be the best. There are so many little things; the mental toughness on the field, their dodging and shooting and mechanical things.
“It was great to watch myself on video and have the best players ever to play the game watch my game and improve my game. It was great in so many aspects.”
Mehok said the directors achieved their goal.
“The first day they said their goal was to not only make us better players, but to shorten the learning curve in getting us ready for the college game as we head to our senior (or junior) years,” Mehok said. “They wanted us to make an impact in our freshman year.
“Knowing we both had the same goal and that everyone wanted to play at that next level was awesome.”
Mehok was pleased to make a good showing with players from big-name schools.
“I was able to hold my own and do better than most expected,” he said. “No one there knew where Downingtown was. I told them I live near Haverford School and Malvern Prep.
“I proved that a little Catholic school in Downingtown could go down and compete with schools like Landon School (MD) and other big-name schools.”
Tags: Bishop Shanahan