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Kaunas (Parkland), UMass transfer Craft (Episcopal Academy) head 15 newcomers to Lehigh men’s team

Monday, 22nd August 2011

Categories Boy's/Men's, College, Recruiting, Posted 8/22/11 11
From Press Releases

Lehigh men’s lacrosse coach Kevin Cassese announced the Mountain Hawks’ incoming class today, which features 13 incoming freshmen and two transfers.

The student-athletes enter the program this fall in preparation for the spring, 2012 season. A talented group includes a number of high school All-Americans and two of Canada’s top prospects. In addition, Bryson Craft (Episcopal Academy) and Cody Newton come to the Lehigh Valley from Division I programs UMass and Hobart.

“It is with tremendous excitement that we officially welcome the 15 newest members of the Lehigh Lacrosse Program,” said Cassese. “This is certainly one of the most geographically diverse groups of young men we have brought into the program during my time as head coach and is one of the most athletic groups of young men we have brought in as well.”

Among the numerous honors for the class include All-America recognition for J.P. Walsh, Sam Lawrence, Tom Farrell and Craft, who served as a backup long pole for a talented UMass squad in 2011. Farrell was also invited to participate in the Champion All-American Showcase in Orlando, Fla. while Alan Henderson was named an Academic All-American.

Two of Canada’s top prospects will be coming to Lehigh in Patrick Corbett and Dan Taylor, becoming the first-ever Canadians in program history. TaShan Mitchell will take on two sports at Lehigh, as he is currently in preseason camp for the Mountain Hawks’ defending Patriot League Champion football team.

“We very much look forward to the start of fall practice so we can begin working with these new student-athletes and the entire 2011-12 squad,” said Cassese. “We have very lofty individual goals for each of these newcomers, as well as very lofty goals for the 2011-12 Lehigh Lacrosse Team. We are all incredibly anxious to get to work.”

Bryson Craft • D • Newtown Square, Pa., Episcopal Academy • Arts and Sciences
Craft is a transfer from the University of Massachusetts where he played two games for the Minutemen in 2011. A Pennsylvania native, Craft was a First Team All-American, All-State, All-League, All-Inter-Ac, All-Main Line and All-Delco as a senior at Episcopal Academy. He finished his senior year in 2010 with six goals, seven assists and 40 groundballs. Strong in the classroom, he received the Donald J. Reape Memorial Award for the highest GPA on the graduating lacrosse team. Craft has also taken part in Duke’s Lacrosse Club and Headstrong Lacrosse Club and played soccer, track and wrestling.

Kurtis Kaunas • A • Schnecksville, Pa., Parkland • Business •
Born in nearby Allentown, Kaunas comes to Lehigh from Schnecksville, Pa. and Parkland High School. His impressive career was highlighted by his senior season when he eclipsed 100 points (103 in 19 games), which was good for the highest average point per game in the LVC (5.4). Team MVP as a junior and senior, Kaunas was a four-year varsity starter, two-time captain and three-time LVLL League All-Star. Parkland earned Gold in the 2009 Keystone State Games while garnering silver a year later. Kaunas was also a three-time captain for the Parkland football team, coming up big when it mattered most; he was named Service Electric Player of the Year junior year against Liberty while garnering Western Lehigh Exchange Club Offensive MVP for Emmaus vs. Parkland rivalry. Kaunas was Offensive MVP as a freshman (FR) and sophomore (JV). He was stellar in the classroom, earning a spot on the Principal’s List all four years (for students who maintained over a 4.0 GPA). He was a member of the National Honor Society and English Honor Society while earning both Lacrosse and Football Scholar-Athlete recognition.

Patrick Corbett • M • Burlington, Ontario • Arts and Sciences •
Corbett comes to Lehigh from The Hill Academy, a private school for student-athletes just outside of Toronto, Ontario. “The Hill” is run by two of the best players to ever come out of Canada – Brodie Merrill (Georgetown) and Merrick Thomson (Albany). While at The Hill Academy, students take part in sport specific training or strength and conditioning each day as part of their high school curriculum. Corbett has also been a standout in Canada’s powerhouse Edge Lacrosse program and is a highly touted box (indoor) player for the Burlington Chiefs Junior A (U21). He is a part of Edge Lacrosse Club and was MVP for the Hill Academy, where he excelled as a two-way midfielder and a very talented face-off man. An honors student, Corbett was an Ontario Scholar and member of The Hill Academy Dean’s List.

Tom Farrell • M • Manhattan Beach, Calif. • Arts and Sciences •
Farrell was a two-time high school All-American, in 2010 and ’11, and also participated in the 2011 All-American Game and Champion All-American Showcase. He owns the school record for most assists in a game (8) and career (116) and is second all-time in points (223). Farrell helped lead Mira Costa High School to two Bay League and LA County Championships. Mira Costa finished as CIF Southern Section runners-up twice as well. Individually, Farrell was the team points and assists leader in 2011 while also garnering Team MVP and Bay League MVP laurels (for a second straight season). Farrell led his squad in points in both 2009 and ’10 as well while earning First Team All-Bay League recognition as a sophomore. He has impressed in the classroom as a four-year Scholar-Athlete.

Alan Henderson • M • Manorville, N.Y. • Business •
Henderson impressed, on and off the field, as a four-year varsity letterwinner at Eastport/South Manor High School. Henderson was a two-time captain and two-time All-County performer. He was also a three-time All-Division honoree. Henderson was named “All Around Player of the Year” for Suffolk County; he racked up 97 goals and 92 assists for 189 points in his career, was the high school’s assist and points leader, scooped 290 groundballs and won 58 percent of faceoffs (304-of-518). An Academic All-American, Henderson was also an AP Scholar with Honors and a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and English Honor Society. He made 16 consecutive Principal’s Honor Rolls and was a nominee for the Suffolk County Ray Enners Award and Dellecave Award. A multi-sport athlete, Henderson was All-Division for football, in which he owns the school’s single-season and single-game records for rushing yards and touchdowns. Henderson was also named Academic All-County in basketball.

Klay Heston • A • Rochester, N.Y. • Arts and Sciences •
Heston enjoyed a standout career at Aquinas Institute in Rochester as a four-year varsity player and three-year starter. He finished his decorated career with 215 career points behind 152 goals and 63 assists. His career was highlighted by his junior campaign when he scored 60 goals and added 30 assists to lead his squad to a Section 5 Championship and into the NYS Empire State Games. He was a member of the Section 5 All-Tournament Team and MVP of the State Quarterfinals, scoring six goals and adding two assists. A senior captain, Heston was the team’s Offensive Player of the Year in 2011, posting 41 goals and 15 assists to also earn First Team GRALL recognition. Heston started as a sophomore when he scored 44 goals and added 17 assists to earn First Team GRALL. He starred in football as the starting safety on the 2010 NYS Championship winning team. He was a three-time Section 5 Football Champion and two-year starter. Strong in the classroom, Heston was a four-time NYS Scholar-Athlete and a member of the permanent Principal’s Club. He also owns multiple Certificate of Achievement Awards.

Sam Lawrence • M • Wellesley, Mass. • Arts and Sciences •
A 2011 All-American, Lawrence was a standout at Wellesley High School. Along with his All-America recognition, he was named a First Team Eastern Mass All-Star and First Team Bay State Conference All-Star. Lawrence was a senior captain and Team MVP in 2011, garnering All-Scholastic recognition from both the Boston Globe and Boston Herald while being named to the Metrowest Daily News Super Team. Lawrence also played varsity football and hockey, being named football Team MVP and a First Team Bay State Conference All-Star. Lawrence was a member of the Honor Roll. He also took part with clubs Croat Lacrosse (2011), Emass Minutemen (2010) and Mass Elite (2009).

TaShan Mitchell • D • Memphis, Tenn. • Arts and Sciences •
A rare two-sport collegiate athlete, Mitchell is also on the Mountain Hawks’ football team. He was a wrestling standout in high school as a two-time MVP and fourth-place finisher in the Tennessee State Wrestling Tournament. Mitchell earned lacrosse Most Improved Player recognition while helping lead his squad to the 2009 MSLA (Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Association) Championship; team finished as runner-up in 2010. An honorable mention All-MSLA honoree, Mitchell played for Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio before moving to Memphis, Tennessee his senior year where he played for Christian Brothers High School. Mitchell was a two-time football MVP and is currently an outside linebacker for the Mountain Hawks.

Cody Newton • M • New Canaan, Conn. • Arts and Sciences
One of three Connecticut natives from the incoming class, Newton was a four-year varsity lacrosse letterwinner, two-time First Team All-FCIAC and two-time First Team All-State honoree at New Canaan High School, before spending last season with Hobart College of the ECAC. He was named to the prestigious ESPN Rise Top 96 Players in the Nation. Newton was also a four-year varsity football letterman, two-time First Team All-FCIAC and First Team All-State (as a senior). He was rated as the number one wide receiver in the state of Connecticut, making 72 catches for 1,300 yards as a senior. New Canaan was four-time state champions, due in large part to Newton, while going undefeated his junior campaign. He was a member of the High Honor Roll and received the Connecticut Association Board of Education’s Student Leadership Award.

Dylan O’Shaughnessy • D • Merrick, N.Y. • Engineering •
O’Shaughnessy was a three-year starter for Chaminade High School in Mineola, N.Y. He was first a midfielder before switching to defense in the middle of his junior year where he went on to become an All-League defenseman. O’Shaughnessy became the 2010 Long Island Empire Finalist. He also played midfield and defense for Checkmate Lacrosse Club while playing football and JV track. O’Shaughnessy was a four-year volunteer youth coach and a Senior Leader. He was also a four-year member of the Honor Roll and part of the National Honor Society.

Matthew Poillon • G • Mount Sinai, N.Y. • Business
Out of Mount Sinai High School, Poillon is the only goalie from the incoming class and was a four-sport standout in lacrosse, soccer, football and winter track. In lacrosse, Poillon was a four-year varsity player, earning All-Division/All-County three times and team MVP twice. He also served as captain for a year while being named First Team All-Long Island (as chosen by New York Newsday). He was his high school’s 2011 Outstanding Athlete of the Year, Suffolk County Athlete of the Year nominee and North Shore Sun Athlete of the Year. Poillon was a four-year varsity starter and three-time All-League/All-Conference honoree in soccer while serving as team captain and earning MVP honors twice. Poillon also earned Team MVP in football while competing in winter track for three years. In the classroom, Poillon was a 12-time Scholar Athlete and earned New York State Advanced Regents Diploma.

Adam Sands • D • Greenwich, Conn. • Arts and Sciences
Sands ended his collegiate career by scooping 71 groundballs to earn First Team All-State and First Team All-FCIAC honors. A big, strong defenseman, Sand spent most of his time guarding the team’s number one offensive threat. He served as captain to round out his four-year playing career. A year prior, Sands was named first Team All-State and Second Team All-FCIAC to lead Greenwich to a county championship. Sands also competes for the Connecticut Chargers summer lacrosse team with future Mountain Hawks’ teammate J.P. Walsh.

Dan Taylor • A • Calgary, Alberta • Business
A big attackman, Taylor comes to Lehigh from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Out of Central Memorial High School and the Elev8 lacrosse program, Taylor was the Under-19 Team Alberta Captain and a member of the Canadian Field Lacrosse Nationals All-Star Team. He was also a two-time Under-16 Team Alberta Captain and a Midget Canadian Box Lacrosse Championships First Team All-Star. Taylor was the Junior A Mountaineers’ leading scorer two years running, posting 31 goals and 39 assists in 19 games (to finish second in the league in scoring) before following that up with 24 goals and 31 assists in 17 games. He was also a 2010 Canadian Junior A Rookie of the Year Finalist and 2011 Junior A Mountaineers Assistant Captain. Taylor is part of the Elev8 lacrosse program, an elite travel and training program created by former Denver All-American and Team Canada member Geoff Snider.

Jake Thomas • A • Cincinnati, Ohio • Business •
Thomas was a varsity letterwinner and Scholar-Athlete award winner all four years at Indian Hill High School. Team captain as a junior and senior, Thomas was also an All-Region selection sophomore, junior and senior years, and All-State honoree as a junior and senior. Thomas was Offensive MVP as a junior and Team MVP the year after. In addition, he was a three-year football letterwinner, earning honorable mention All-CHL as a junior while cracking the second team as a senior. That year, he garnered Linebacker of the Year laurels and led the team in tackles. Also strong in the classroom, Thomas graduated with honors.

J.P. Walsh • M • Darien, Conn. • Business •
Walsh enjoyed a standout career at Darien High School in Connecticut, capped off by All-America recognition as a senior; he was also team captain that year. Walsh earned First Team All-State and First Team All-County. He also led Darien to the FCIAC Championship and finished as three-time State Champions. Walsh also competes on the the same Connecticut Chargers summer lacrosse team as future Lehigh teammate Adam Sands. Walsh was born in London, England.

Lehigh Men’s Lacrosse Incoming Class
No. – Name, Pos., Ht./Wt., Hometown/Previous School, Major/College
42 – Patrick Corbett, M, 6-0/180, Burlington, Ontario/The Hill Academy, Arts and Sciences
18 – Bryson Craft, D, 6-3/190, Newtown Square, Pa./University of Massachusetts, Arts and Sciences
39 – Tom Farrell, M, 6-4/215, Manhattan Beach, Calif./Mira Costa High School, Arts and Sciences
44 – Alan Henderson, M, 5-11/180, Manorville, N.Y./Eastport/South Manor High School,

3 – Klay Heston, A, 6-0/200, Rochester, N.Y./Aquinas Institute, Arts and Sciences
5 – Kurtis Kaunas, A, 5-8/175, Schnecksville, Pa./Parkland High School, Business
34 – Sam Lawrence, M, 6-1/185, Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley High School, Arts and Sciences
38 – TaShan Mitchell, D, 6-3/200, Memphis, Tenn./Christian Brothers High School, Arts and Sciences,
33 – Cody Newton, M, 6-0/180, New Canaan, Conn./Hobart College, Arts and Sciences
28 – Dylan O’Shaughnessy, D, 6-5/215, Merrick, N.Y./Chaminade High School,

30 – Matthew Poillon, G, 5-10/185, Mount Sinai, N.Y./Mount Sinai High School, Business
14 – Adam Sands, D, 6-3/225, Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich High School, Arts and Sciences
41 – Dan Taylor, A, 6-3/190, Calgary, Alberta/Central Memorial High School, Business
15 – Jake Thomas, A, 5-10/185, Cincinnati, Ohio/Indian Hill High School, Business
26 – J.P. Walsh, M, 6-2/205, Darien, Conn./Darien High School, Business

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