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Players from all regions mesh to help LI Sting succeed at Quaker Fall LaxFest

Tuesday, 4th November 2014

Categories Boy's/Men's, Club  
 

By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/4/14

They come from everywhere – California, North Carolina, Indiana, Texas, Long Island and even Iowa. But members of the Long Island Sting had no trouble finding success Sunday at the Quaker Fall LaxFest.

The Sting went 3-0 during the 30-team recruiting event at Radnor High that drew more than 100 college coaches and an impressive collection on talent, mostly focused on the East Coast and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Tommy Riley, 2016 DEF, Loyola, CA

Tommy Riley, 2016 DEF, Loyola, CA

The Sting, however, draw players from all around the country. One of them, 2016 defenseman Tommy Riley of Loyola High (CA) in Los Angeles said his teammates often have played together for a year or two and, like any other team, was looking to win, play together and impress college coaches.

“I have played with these guys in the summer and I am getting to know their tendencies and learning to communicate well,” said Riley.

“The competition is at a high level. The speed is phenomenal; the passing, the footwork lacrosse and the high IQ. Everyone is on the same page, getting the ball upfield and knowing what to do in the correct situations.”

Riley said the coaches could easily be spotted, but the focus was on the high competition.

“It’s great to be in front of a lot of great coaches here,” he said. “The level of play only adds on to the intensity. At the end of the day, we are just giving it our all.”

Riley said the level of play in the East is different than the West.

“I like that the play requires a lot more lacrosse IQ as opposed to California where there is a lot of pure athleticism,” he said. “I will be able to hone my skills and that helps you get to the next level.”

Other questions:

What did you learn about your game today that you can take into the rest of the Fall and the Spring season?
Riley:
“I am trying to understand the little nuances of the game; how to move through the field, when to throw checks, when to run and not to run it and and when to pass,” he said. “I want to understand the level of competition and how people play at that level.”

What type of college are you looking for?
Riley:
“I really want to go to a strong academic college,” he said. “Academics come first and I want one that can take me far in life. Of course, it should have a strong lacrosse program.”

Other members of the Sting answered these questions:

Devin Burdo, 2017 G,Cold Spring Harbor

Devin Burdo, 2017 G, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

Devin Burdo, 2017 G, Cold Spring Harbor, NY

What goals did you have coming in and how did your team mesh?
Burdo:
“I started with the Sting last December and I had a great summer getting to know lot of guys. We have great chemistry and we like playing together. It’s our first fall event and it’s great to see my friends again.”

How has the competition been?
Burdo:
“The competition is pretty good. It’s great getting back into it. Since the conditions are cold it’s not the best for a goalie. Shots hurt and the slippery ground makes for tough shots. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do.”

What did you learn about your game today that you can take into the rest of the Fall and the Spring season?
Burdo:
“I think you have to do the things you can control. A lot of things have happened today; sometimes there are shots I can save and should save and don’t. You have to bounce back and do things the best you can.”

What type of college are you looking for?
Burdo:
“I am looking for the best college academically. Academics are the most important thing. I would like (to go) to a good lacrosse school with a nice team where I can make friends and be successful after college.”

Hunter Sheridan, 2017 MF, Charlotte Latin, NC

Hunter Sheridan, 2017 MF, Charlotte Latin, NC

Hunter Sheridan, 2017 MF, Charlotte Latin, NC

What goals did you have coming in and how did your team mesh?
Sheridan:
“The competition was really good. You have to have a high IQ to play here. Everybody has good stick skills. It’s my first tournament with (the Sting). They are all great guys who have meshed well. You sort of figure out each other’s strengths.

What did you learn about your game today that you can take into the rest of the Fall and the Spring season?
Sheridan:
“I am just learning how to play with new players and new coaches, and learning where to be at all times while developing a high IQ.”

What type of college are you looking for?
Sheridan:
“I want a school that will push me to my extremes and a coach that will push me at all times.”

How does your size (6-4, 215) help you?
Sheridan:
“I just try to break down and sit down and play defense where they can’t get a shot off. My size helps on defense and offense because I can use my body.

How does the South compare to the level of play in the Mid-Atlantic?
Sheridan:
“I don’t think the level is too much higher here; the IQ is higher, but the South has gotten a lot better.”

Luke Dennen, 2017 MF, Cathedral, IN

Luke Dennen, 2017 MF, Cathedral, IN

Luke Dennen, 2017 MF, Cathedral, IN

What goals did you have coming in and how did your team mesh?
Dennen:
“I played with these guys last summer and the fall before, so I have played with a bunch of them. Coach (Ken) Miller always bring in some new guys and they are always good. We have meshed together pretty well.”

What did you learn about your game today that you can take into the rest of the Fall and the Spring season?
Dennen:
“I think the players around me helped me figure out things about myself and the coaches have helped me figure it out.”

What type of college are you looking for?
Dennen:
“I am looking for a high academic school with a coach willing to push players as hard as possible.”

Griffin Thomas, 2017 LSM, Deerfield Academy, of Des Moines, IA

Griffin Thomas, 2016 DEF, Deerfield Ac. CT,, of Des Moines, IA

Griffin Thomas, 2016 DEF, Deerfield Ac. CT,, of Des Moines, IA

What goals did you have coming in and how did your team mesh?
Thomas:
“Individually, I just came to show I didn’t lose anything over the summer. I built myself up physically through football and wrestling and other sports and I did stickwork and positioning throughout the fall. I wanted to show I can play at the next level and wanted to show I am one of the best kids out here. I know these guys – I know how they play. They are great players and great to be around

What type of college are you looking for?
Thomas:
“Lacrosse-wise. I am looking for a college with a coach that is very intense in practice, one that is not afraid to yell but still loves the kids like our coach Miller. And I want a great academic school.”

What did you learn about your game today that you can take into the rest of the Fall and the Spring season?
Thomas:
“What I really learned today is playing in tough conditions – playing in conditions I am not used to playing in and learning how to build up your confidence and grit through that. I learned that if you do slip, get back up and strip the ball and get it down the field.”

Has Thomas – who moved to Iowa six months ago from Connecticut – found others that play lacrosse in his new home?
Thomas:
“I am from Connecticut, but I have been living in Iowa for about six months. There are about five public schools near me and not a single one has lacrosse. I had to ship one (a player) in. They never heard of it. There is a high school that has a couple players that trek about 50 miles.”


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