By Laura Frankenfield and Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 11/15/09
Perfect weather greeted 12 boys’ teams today for an ideal day of fall lacrosse in the Mid-Atlantic Lacrosse Showcase at The Haverford School
The recruiting tournament drew some of the top teams from Philadelphia and Washington D.C. area as well as Salesianum School, last year’s undefeated Delaware state champion. The event, co-run by Haverford School coach John Nostrant and assistant Mark Petrone and Georgetown Prep coach Kevin Giblin, also attracted coaches from some of the top college programs.
The field featured two split squads from 2009 Inter-Ac League co-champion and host Haverford School, and one each from state semifinalist Springfield-Delco, Inter-Ac power Episcopal Academy, playoff qualifier Downingtown West and Wissahickon as well as a team consisting of players from state finalist Conestoga and Germantown Academy. Powerhouse Georgetown Prep fielded two teams and also on hand were Gonzaga Prep of D.C. and Ocean City Lacrosse of Maryland..
Each team played three games as players looked to get seen one more time before the end of the early-signing period (Wednesday) for Division I and II colleges. Ben DeLuca, associate head coach at Cornell, said the tourney was well worth the trip.
“It’s been a very well run tournament; organized with great facilities,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day. There’s good competition here, a pretty high level of talent. I think you have some of Philadelphia’s best high school teams, a couple good club teams and I think with Georgetown Prep coming up, it adds some talent to the mix as well from the D.C. area.”
John Desko, head coach at two-time defending national champion Syracuse University, agreed: “It’s beautiful weather, the facilities are outstanding and it seems to be really well run. There are some very good lacrosse teams here.”
Chris Bates, rookie head coach at Princeton University and the former coach at Drexel, enjoyed coming back to the Philadelphia area. “It’s a beautiful day; (and there’s) good lacrosse,” he said. “It’s competitive and that’s why we’re here. There are good teams and good structure, so we get to see a lot of players.”
The Showcase meant different things to different players. For Wissahickon, a Suburban One American Conference contender that has visions of reaching the playoffs next year, it was a chance to measure progress.
“We were playing some very, very good teams but I knew if we played our game, we’d come out and do well,” said senior attackman Jeff Gebert, who is deciding between Susquehanna and Moravian as college choices.
Added junior defenseman Beau Gomez: “I think this is going to be starting point for the new players; just to gauge where we are as a program.”
Gomez, a highly-rated junior, is looking at Navy, Dartmouth and Cornell. “We’re playing against some of the best teams in the country so we get to play against some great competition,” he said.
Trojan senior long stick midfielder Ward McMasters said the team has high expectations, based on its returnees.
“This is our first time playing as a team this year so I think it’s going to be good for us to get back in form,” he aid “We have a lot of seniors this year and we’re trying to see what our full potential is.”
For Downingtown West, the Showcase was a welcome chance to play with top-level competition. The Whippets are hoping to contend for the Ches-Mont League crown in 2010.
“I think today we showed that we could keep up with some of the top teams in the state,” said senior midfielder Connor Mullen. “And basically that came from a lot of teamwork. It wasn’t just all individuals; we all worked really well as a team today.”
“We just wanted to prove that we could play with the top teams like Conestoga and Springfield-Delco because last year we got rolled on by Springfield,” added Whippets senior attackman Eric Sanders, who has committed to Albany. “This year we played with them.”
Added junior goalie Dustin Keen: “We wanted to come into this as well as we could and move the ball well.”
Springfield-Delco, which lost to Conestoga in the state semifinals last year, returns a host of key players and figures to challenge for Central League, District 1 and state honors in 2010.
“We’re just trying to get everyone on the field,” said senior midfielder Josh Cavanaugh, who has committed to Navy and plans to attend a prep school next year to prepare.
“We were really trying to work on our skills during the summer and now we’re just focused on winning,” added senior midfielder Bobby Gildea.
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