By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 8/24/09
Episcopal Academy in suburban Philadelphia will serve as the host site Nov. 21 for the inaugural Philly Lacrosse Showcase, a major recruiting event that will feature 210 of the top scholastic boys’ lacrosse players in the Mid-Atlantic Region and beyond.
The event – which is being sponsored by Phillylacrosse.com – was developed by Andy Hayes, Episcopal Academy head coach and Eastern Pennsylvania Scholastic Lacrosse Association (EPSLA) president. Hayes also co-directed the inaugural EPSLA Showcase in June.
That event brought more than 50 Division I coaches to Philadelphia to watch two All-Star Games and has helped lead to numerous scholarship opportunities for Philly players in the current senior and junior classes.
The overwhelming success of the Showcase caused Hayes to create the Philly Lacrosse Showcase in hopes of further promoting players in the Philadelphia region, while also opening it to players from other areas. This event will feature open registration for any sophomore, junior and senior in the country aspiring to play at the major college level.
The registration process (website is http://www.phillyshowcase.com) will open Sept. 1 and close after 70 players, evenly distributed by position, have signed up in each class. Registration costs $130. The players will be guaranteed to compete in three morning games in front of college coaches. The tournament committee will choose the players to compete in the “Fab Forty” All-Star Game for each class in the afternoon.
Hayes expects that coaches from nearly every Division I program will attend. Coaches from top Division II and III schools also will attend, he said. Phillylacrosse.com will provide comprehensive and real-time coverage throughout the day, including updates on the choosing of the All-Star teams, the games themselves and individual player updates.
Thus far, 44 Philly boys have committed to Division I colleges in the rising senior class; Penn Charter rising junior Joey Sankey (North Carolina) was, unofficially, the first in his class in the country to make a commitment.
“Quite clearly, we have a ton of talented lacrosse players here in the Philly area,” said Hayes, who has seen four of his EA rising seniors commit to Division I schools. “I saw everybody traveling to New York, Northern New Jersey and Baltimore this summer to go to recruiting camps.
“Based on what happened this June (in the EPSLA Showcase), I thought this would be a great opportunity and a chance for kids here to showcase their abilities without having to go away.
“It’s not a club event; it’s an individual event and a great chance for some guys to get the chance to play with other great players that they wouldn’t otherwise play with. This offers an experience no other recruiting event in the fall can match.”
Hayes said he expects players from all over the East Coast and beyond to register. There are no restrictions; players that have signed or committed can still register.
“A lot of the summer recruiting camps have 500 or 700 kids,” Hayes said, noting every player will be put on a team with only 18 members in the morning games. “And some kids just don’t play on club teams. This is just a chance for kids to have fun playing lacrosse at a very high level and to hopefully get noticed by one of the coaches.”
Hayes said the Newtown Square facility at Episcopal Academy – a campus in only its second year after a move from Lower Merion Township – is top-notch. There are two turf and two grass fields and plenty of parking.
The morning games will be coached by invited Philly scholastic coaches. Already, Hayes said Eric Gregg (St. Joseph’s Prep, finished No. 3 in PA Media Rankings), Mark Duncan (Shipley School, Friends Schools League champion), Randy McNeill (Abington, Suburban One National Conference champion) and Josh Hanlon (Neshaminy), have committed to be coaches. In the All-Star games, coaches will be paired together.
“I think there are a lot of high-quality coaches in this area,” Hayes said. “Now, they have developed their programs over the last five or six years and we are getting a base of kids getting scholarships and commitments to Division I schools. The college coaches like the kids from this area.”
Sept. 1 is the first day coaches can contact the rising junior class members. Nov. 11-18 marks the NCAA early signing period, when rising senior lacrosse recruits are allowed to sign National Letters of Intent.
The rain date for the event is Sunday, Nov. 22.
Philly Lacrosse Showcase, Nov. 21, at Episcopal Academy, Newtown Square, PA
7:30 a.m. Registration
Games will be 2 25-minute halves with 2 min halftime
8:45-9:45 Game #1
9:45-10:45 Game #2
10:45-11:45 Game #3
11:45-12:45 Game # 4
1:15-2:15 “Fab Forty” Senior Game
2:15-3:15 “Fab Forty” Junior Game
3:15-4:15 “Fab Forty” Sophomore Game
All-Star Games will be filmed and sent to all coaches who attend the event.