By Chris Goldberg and James Boyle
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/18/13
Coming from Texas, Episcopal School of Dallas 2015 attackman Jack Beare still has to prove himself when playing against elite players in the Northeast.
“I think the guys from Texas embrace the competition,” said Beare, who scored a goal in Saturday’s Fab 40 All-Star Game at the Boys Philly Showcase at Episcopal Academy.
“I look at it as something special. I say. ‘Hey, we’re from Texas,’ and it’s like, ‘Hey, did you ride your horse up here?’ But we come out and play well and demonstrate that Texas is growing a lot.”
Indeed, three players from Texas made the Fab 40 2015 Game; Beare was joined by high school teammates Sam Romano (midfielder) and Gab Goncalves (defenseman).
“The sport is really growing in Dallas and other cities in Texas,” said Beare. “We have a lot of good players down there.
“I love playing in the Northeast. I grew up in Charlotte and I have been on the recruiting circuit a long time. Coming into today I expected good competition and I it worked out for me. I found openings; I am a crease guy, a finisher. I made backdoor cuts and played my own game.”
Beare said he has plenty to work on.
“I definitely have to work on my speed and my size,” he said. “I am a smaller guy out here so I have to get into the weightroom a lot. I need to get bigger and work on my left hand and make myself more of a two-(handed) player. The majority of my moves were right handed and I had a lot of trick shots, but I have work on my left side and be more consistent.”
Lower Merion attackman Evan Wolf had a much shorter drive to Episcopal Academy. But, he still made sure to make the most of the opportunity.
“Nah, it was a nice ten-minute drive this morning,” Wolf said. “I took a nice little nap in the car.”
Clearly the power nap helped Wolf, who got himself a goal and an assist in the Fab 40 Game.
“My first goal coming here was to have fun, have a good experience, meet kids from all over,” Wolf said. “My second goal was to impress some college coaches and I feel like I definitely did both. It was a nice culmination scoring a goal and an assist in this final game.”
Wolf said he feels lucky to have such a prominent event right in his backyard.
“I think the coolest part is that it brings all these private school kids from up north and all these kids from out west and south to the Philadelphia area,” he said. “So it definitely showcases the Philly talent and this beautiful facility, the Philly schools, Episcopal. It’s really cool kind of being on our home turf. It’s kind of like a little homefield advantage.”
Loomis Chaffee (CT) attackman Thomas Elcock was named the Morning Session MVP (based on a points system chosen by evaluators) for the entire 2015 Class. He also scored once in the Fab 40 Game.
Elcock, of Medfield, MA, enjoyed the elite competition of the Showcase.
I knew it was going to be great competition and I kind of wanted to play my own game and concentrate on spreading the ball around and putting the ball in the net,” he said.
Elcock said he also has to work on his left side.
“I think coming right-handed worked really well for me today,” he said. “I was able to get a quick step, make some hard moves and turn the corner.
“I baited some defenseman into hard slides and I moved the ball for one more pass. But I want to work on coming lefty and make myself more of a two-handed player. I have to work on that before college.”
Elcock said playing in front of dozens of coaches did not affect him.
“You kind of try and zone it out,” he said. “I been playing lacrosse a long time; it’s just another game.”
For the Black All-Stars, Charlotte Catholic (N.C.) midfielder Jacob Priester scored twice and said he enjoyed the atmosphere of the event.
“It was great,” Priester said. “Everyone up here was amazing. Great players, the coaches were great, and it was just all around a great atmosphere to be a part, and I was really glad I got to come up here.”
Priester said playing against a large Northeast group of players is beneficial.
“I would definitely do it again and would advise anyone from down south to come up here,” Priester said. “I came up here trying to impress college coaches with offense, defense and ground balls, and I really feel like I did that today.”
Priester fractured a finger in one of the first games of his summer season and, in order to avoid surgery, was forced to sit out close to four months. But, he looks to be healthy.
“This weekend was really the first weekend I’ve felt 100 percent,” he said.
Peyton Uphoff, an LSM from Menlo-Atherton (CA), was forced to play close defense in the morning games. Nonetheless, he made the Fab 40 Game.
“I was really happy to make the All-Star team,” he said. “We only had four poles and I had to play close defense. I am an LSM, but in the third game I turned it all around. I had a couple 1-on-1s where I stuffed a few kids from LB3, and I had a good strip. That got me going and I went from there and kept on going.”
How was the competition, especially in the All-Star Game?
“The competition was really good,” he said. “We were moving up and down the field. The goalies had some incredible saves and got the whole team fired up.
“There were some sick shots and guys were doing some good things individually, but then we came together as a team. Everyone fell for each other; it was a great experience.”
Uphoff said he is not stressing out about the recruiting scene
“I am really limiting my choices,” he said. “I love to play lacrosse but I won’t necessarily make a living out of it. It’s my passion, but I am looking for the school that is right for me. Lacrosse is second.”
What does he need to improve on?
“The thing I want to improve on most is being able to communicate with teammates that I am not very familiar with, like in a showcase,” he said. “I want to be able to talk and help everyone our while also focusing on my game.”
Tags: Lower Merion