Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 10/13/14
Coming from South Jersey, Moorestown 2015 defenseman Austin Haynes said he has never imagined seeing the type of competition he saw the past three days at Project9.
“It was really humbling,” said Haynes, who is committed to Delaware and also plays for Tri-State. “At my high school. I can make an over-the-head check and I know I can land them. Here, if I made that type of check, the middies I saw would run by me and score a goal easily. It’s very humbling to realize how much better people are outside Moorestown and South Jersey and how you’ve got to work to be that much better at the next level.”
Haynes actually fared pretty well in the invite-only developmental clinics headed by Mark Millon and Paul Rabil at St. Paul’s School and Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. He was named the event’s Outstanding Defenseman after numerous drills and workouts and a final scrimmage today at St. Paul’s.
Other award-winners were:
Most Outstanding Goalie: Philip Goss, 2016, Deerfield (MA)/Laxachusetts, Brown
Most Outstanding Attackman: Grant Ament, 2015, Haverford School (PA)/Duke’s LC/Mesa Fresh, Penn State
Most Outstanding Midfielder: Princeton-bound Joey Froccaro, 2015, Port Washington (NY), Princeton
Game MVP: Brian Smyth, 2016, Westminster (CT)/Bulldog, midfielder, Duke
Haynes said the coaching he received and competition he faced went well past his highest expectations.
“The event was unbelievable,” he said. “There were so many good players and I have never been around that type of competition before.
“There were so many little things they all taught me, so many little aspects that will help me out at the next level. They worked us at an unbelievable pace. It was lacrosse, lacrosse, lacrosse. I thought we’d play more games, but it was more about the little stuff. It’s unbelievable how they know so much about the game.
“You could tell that the Project9 was like 10 times faster than a high school game. I can’t even imagine what it will be like in college. Every one is just as fast as everyone else and they have the same stick skills.”
Ament, who was lucky enough to be invited for the third year, was thrilled with the opportunity.
“It was another experience that was nothing short of incredible,” he said. “Specifically for me, I kept coming back because of the world-class coaching. I learned something new that I can incorporate into my game each year.
“Luckily this year, I was able to get the Most Dominant Attackmen award, which is something I have fallen short of in year’s past. I would not have been able to earn this award if it weren’t for the knowledge I have accumulated through the three years I have attended.”
Central Bucks East 2015 goalie Sean McGovern (committed to Boston University) said the experience was beneficial in so many ways.
“It was kind of humbling,” he said. “I didn’t realize how many good players are out there. They worked so much on the mental aspect.
“It kind of felt like you’re climbing a hill; getting over that hill and getting used to the college level of play. One thing I learned is to have a short memory.
“You might be having a really bad game, but if you play in that moment you should be fine.”
McGovern said he will work harder than ever as he gears for his senior year.
“This just drives you,” he said. “You have to be willing to work hard even though you reached the D1 level. You have to work harder than ever before.”
Philly/South Jersey players that competed at Project9
Connor Davis Bishop Shanahan (PA) 2015 defense Wagner
Zach Drake La Salle (PA) 2015 midfield Lehigh
Ryan McNulty Bishop Shanahan (PA) 2016 defense Loyola
Sean McGovern Central Bucks East (PA) 2015 goalie Boston U
Zach Ward Hempfield (PA) 2015 attack Cornell
Patrick Lyons Salesianum School (DE) 2016 defense North Carolina
Jack Reilly Conestoga (PA) 2016 defense Virginia
Curtis Zappala Episcopal Academy (PA) 2015 attack Maryland
Michael Eveland Central Bucks East (PA) 2015 defense Robert Morris
Griffin Thompson The Lawrenceville School (NJ) 2016 goalie Virginia
Austin Haynes Moorestown (NJ) 2015 defense Delaware
Luke Desperito The Haverford School (PA) 2016 midfield Virginia
Dustin Buchanan Central Bucks East (PA) 2015 defense St. Joseph’s
Brandon Stern Cherry Hill East (NJ) 2015 midfield Penn State
Michael Marchese St. Joseph’s Prep (PA) 2015 goalie Notre Dame
Steven Boyle Shawnee (NJ) 2015 midfield Hartford
Sam Gindhart Bishop Shanahan (PA) 2015 goalie Fairfield
Matt Donnelly Clearview (NJ) 2015 midfield Penn State
Grant Ament Haverford School (PA) 2015 Attack Penn State
Michael Sowers Upper Dublin (PA) 2016 attack Princeton (invited but could not attend due to minor football injury)