By Chris Goldberg
Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 7/29/20
Quinn Krammer said he had no choice but to take his disappointment from losing a high school season with high expectations and turn it into a positive.
“You can always look at two sides of the story,” said the Lake Washington/West Coast Starz 2022 midfielder. “You can think on the bad side – or the bright side. When school got canceled, it gave me more time to play lacrosse; you do have time on your own. I took time, I like to think, to get better.”
Krammer’s extra work indeed paid off last weekend when he was named the MVP at the Victory Events Liberty National Elite Showcase at Maple Zone Sports Village in Aston, Pa. Later, at the Victory Liberty National Elite Tournament at Cedar Lane Regional Park in Bel Air, Md., he helped his West Coast Starz squad reach the semifinals of the AA tourney where it fell to eventual champion Big4HHH, 9-8.
Krammer said his Lake Washington team also featured senior brother Jack and freshman brother Carson (also an All-Showcase pick). Missing the season hurt.
“It was supposed to be a really good year and it was the one chance I had to play with my younger brother and my older brother so that is really unfortunate,” Quinn Krammer said. “We would have had a really good team. Hopefully we’ll be really good next year.”
Krammer said his West Coast Starz and Seattle Starz teams would normally start playing in mid-June. The season will all be played on the East Coast.
“All of our (club) tournaments started getting canceled so we have been out here for a week,” he said. “We’ll be out here two more weeks. All our tournaments got condensed. Last week we were at the NLF (kickoff tourney) in Delaware. I think I am getting caught up. Obviously, it’s great to play with my brothers, but it’s also great to play with my friends on this team. It’s super to be with the guys for Seattle Starz and West Coast Starz. We still have the chemistry. It’s super fun.”
What did Krammer work on during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown?
“I usually play attack but was being moved to middle so I worked on my running a ton to get faster for on-the-run shots and everything else,” he said.
What went well at the showcase?
“I would say my speed. I practiced that a lot and luckily I was able to blow by guys,” he said. “I like dodging from up top, and from the alley. I think the work paid off.
Below are interviews with other All-Showcase picks.
Louisiana’s FTK gets two on All-Showcase team: 2021 G Garrett Lauderbach (St. Paul’s), 2023 LSM Gibson Harvill (Airline)
Q: What went well at Friday’s showcase? Harvill: “I feel like my second and third games were much better than first one. In the first one I got the kinks out. I felt I did better in transition than I did playing defense as a whole. I luckily had Garrett on my team so I already had things going. I like to get to know the goalies and other defenders so when I am running downfield I can scream their names that I am open.”
Q: How tough was it to miss the entire high school season and what did you do to stay in shape and on top of your game? Harvill: “I think we played 5 games then hit (spring) break and that’s when the COVID hit. When that started I made a deal with myself that I would hit the wall an hour a day and work on stuff. I started that everyday and went from there.”
Q: Your club team started slowly at the Liberty National tournament but finished strong on Sunday with a 1-1 mark. How did the team improve? Harvill: “Last weekend (Texas Draw) was our first tournament and we did really well. Yesterday we started slowly but today (Sunday) we came out playing lije we usually do.”
Q: what are you working on most this summer and how do these events help your confidence (Harville played on the FTK 2021 team)? Harville: “I am trying to get better at on-ball defense. This helped me and it’s really helpful (to play up with 2021s). I had them to help mentor me and help me to fix what I need to do better and what I need to change.”
Q: How tough was it to miss the entire high school season and what did you do to stay in shape and on top of your game? Lauterbach: “We played three or four games and then the season got cut short before the heaviest part of the schedule. The good news is that we had summer ball so I was getting ready for that and coming up here to compete against top talent. So that was blessing in disguise for this heavy competition.”
Q: Your club team started slowly at the Liberty National tournament but finished strong on Sunday with a 1-1 mark. How did the team improve? Lauterbach: “We played a month ago in Atlanta (Georgia Shootout) and last weekend at Texas Draw we won the tourney. This is our last tourney for the summer. We started a little slow yesterday – the defense was playing fine but I was struggling a little to save shots. Our offense had some little possession issues, but we cleaned it up today and came out this morning and started a little faster. It worked out a lot better as the scoreboard shows.”
Q: What went well at Friday’s showcase? Lauterbach: “I think I was seeing ball really well and the defense I was playing with was meshing in three short games. We did a good job getting to know each other and that helped a lot. I was seeing easier shots instead of doorstep shots. It’s always fun coming up here to play guys. It’s always a learning process and a great way to get better – that’s why I love coming up.”
Q: Where are you in the recruiting process? Lauterbach: “It’s been difficult with the (extended) dead period and all the traveling from from Louisiana. But I am looking for small D2 schools and still hoping for maybe a D1 offer; that’s the ultimate goal. I am just competing and will be getting film out there. Whatever comes my way, I will feel blessed.”
Carson Krammer, 2023 MF, Seattle Starz, Lake Washington-WA
Q: What were your goals coming into the event and do you feel you achieved them? Krammer: “Coming into the event I was just hoping to get further exposure to more coaches and to finally play some lacrosse games, and by making the all showcase team I think that helped achieve these goals.”
Q: How tough was it to miss the entire high school season and what did you do to stay in shape and on top of your game ? Krammer: “This high school season was going to be pretty important to me because it would’ve been my first year at the high school level and the only year where me and my two older brothers (Quinn and Jack) would be able to play together on the same team. Since I missed the season, to stay on top of my game I worked out 5 days a week and went to the field 6-7 days a week for a couple hours each to practice lacrosse and footwork.”
Q: What especially went well for you Friday and how did you adapt to the competition? Krammer: “On Friday I think what helped out the most was the change of weather. In the first game with my team I wasn’t playing my best lacrosse and the heat was getting to me. It was really hard for me to stay in the game, but as the second game came around the day kind of cooled of and allowed me to focus more on my lacrosse game and what I knew I could do. This led to me getting into my rhythm and start playing some actual lacrosse. Additionally, I think by the second game our showcase team was working very well together and we were issuing each other to our strengths to better help the team, causing more success for everyone.”
Q: What are you working on most this summer and how does this event help your confidence ? Krammer: “This summer I was just hoping to play some lacrosse because with the pandemic I was expecting all lacrosse to be canceled for the summer. When I heard there was still some lacrosse to be played I was just hoping for it to stay that way and to get on the field again. This event helped me to get back into lacrosse and allowed me to play the game that I know I can.”
Q: What went well for the Starz this weekend to help you win the AA championship and where do you go from here? Krammer: “This weekend, our WCS team finally meshed together, allowing us to play good team lacrosse instead of showcase lacrosse all the time – which in the past was hurting our team. We finally learned how to vitalize all the talent we have on the team to win games and to work together which pushed us through to winning the championship.”
Mark Cheng, 2022 MF, Dukes Elite, Miramonte-CA
Q: What were your goals coming into the event and do you feel you achieved them? Cheng: “My goals as for every event I play in are to a.) play the best lacrosse I can b.) help pick up my teammates in any way that I can c.) win championships.”
Q: How tough was it to miss the entire high school season and what did you do to stay in shape and on top of your game? Cheng: “This spring season was heartbreaking to miss. My high school, Miramonte, was looking very good this Spring. We were 7-1 had upset our Conference’s reigning champions and I was averaging around 5 goals a game. When our coach told our team that our season was over, I was absolutely devastated. At that point, it seemed as if the entire world was folding in on me, and it really made me appreciate the simple things in life. I took my time in quarantine to grow deeper in my faith with God; I took a discipleship zoom class through my church, which really helped my heart continue to work. From an athletic perspective, I created a list of the things I wanted to improve in- outside shooting, and my off-hand- and began going to my high school everyday in order to practice. I practiced every other day doing sessions with Coach John Christmas and competed with Graham Blake (Harvard) in order to learn from some of the best shooters in our area.”
Q: What especially went well for you Friday and how did you adapt to the competition? Cheng: “On Fridaay, at the showcase, I was blessed to have a plethora of good coaches, and players helping me to perform at my highest and show off my strengths. I found a lot of success playing midfield sweeping across the top, even though I normally play X attack on all of my other teams.”
Q: What are you working on most this summer and how does this event help your confidence ? Cheng: “This summer the goal is to help my team in whatever way that I can. My off-hand will always be a work in progress, but my hard work this offseason was rewarded when I scored multiple goals with my right in the showcase and during the tournament. My next goal is to become more of a leader on the field and be better at quarterbacking an offense. Something special that built my confidence at the showcase was my reception of the all-star middie award. I’ve always played attack my entire life, and have always been an X attackman that can dodge, feed and finish, but Friday showed me my versatility as an athlete and as a lacrosse player. I know I am able to score, and feed on all sides of the field, at any angle and dodging from any location.”
Q: What went well for Dukes this weekend to help you reach the finals and where do you go from here? Cheng: “This weekend my Dukes squad went 3-1 losing in the championship to a very talented HHH team. Our success as a team, started the day before when we defeated DC Express and VA Roughriders with great team offense. Aside from myself, we have great initiators in Trey Parkes, Charlie Huntley and Ben Scandone, who cause defenses to slide and make our job scoring as a team easy. It never feels good to lose in a championship, especially by a score margin so high, but if there is one thing certain about this Dukes team, it is that we do not give up. We take every loss as a team, and our spirit will never be broken. Our team will grow stronger from this tournament, and this will definitely not be the last time you see us in our championship green uniforms.”
Jackson Shields, 2021 MF, Dukes LC, Bishop McDevitt-PA
Q: What were your goals coming into the event and do you feel you achieved them? Shields: “My goals for the event were to show the college coaches my game and play with a lot of hustle. I think I achieved them these goals good and I showed the coaches what I can do on the field.”
Q: How tough was it to miss the entire high school season and what did you do to stay in shape and on top of your game? Shields: “It was tough missing the high school season, but I ran a lot of sprints to stay in shape and hit the wall to keep my stick skills up.”
Q: What especially went well for you Friday and how did you adapt to the competition? Shields: “Friday I think I showed my versatility on the field well. We were short on numbers so I showed I can play both offensive and defensive midfield and also some attack.”
Q: What are you working on most this summer and how does this event help your confidence ? Shields: “This summer I’ve been working on my shot on the run and stick skills when I’m fatigued. This event helped my confidence because I did these things well and showed the coaches these improvements.”
Q: What went well for Dukes this weekend to help you reach the finals and where do you go from here? Shields: “This weekend we reached the finals by playing as a team. We didn’t have a lot of midfielders so we had to take short runs and slow the ball down on offense. We played well together and controlled the pace of the games.”
Riley Yee, 2021 FO, Dukes Elite, Blair Academy-NJ
Q: What were your goals coming into the event and do you feel you achieved them? Yee: “Throughout the years I have always kept someone in mind. Whether it be Corbin Minard, Matt Fritz, Thomas Fegley, Jake McCarthy, and Matt Riley. I always think in my head, I am versing my rivals. This thought helps me strive to beat my opponent, so that I can feel closer to competing and beating them. From the Liberty Showcase and Tournament, I can confidently say I achieved what I wanted to. I always still know I have a lot more to accomplish.”
Q: How tough was it to miss the entire high school season and what did you do to stay in shape and on top of your game ? Yee: “I felt like I struggled losing my high school season. Personally, I thought my junior year was going to be the best year for Blair lacrosse, but I was well prepared for the season. Throughout online school, there were competitions of workouts in my wrestling team and lacrosse team. Also, I would meet up with Thomas Fegley, Providence FOGO commit, and Matt Brocco for faceoff repetitions to stay sharp. I would like to thank Coach John Bodner and Coach Mike Gurenlian for holding small face-off practices to quickly adapt to the new standing neutral grip faceoff rule. Over the summer, I had weekly workouts with my friends for my strength and conditioning.”
Q: What especially went well for you Friday, and how did you adapt to the competition? Yee: “On Friday, my team quickly came together and bonded. We definitely had the best team chemistry and positive reinforcement on the field. I just tried my best to work with my wings by talking to them where I would probably exit or distribute the ball. It made me realize how important it is to talk to my wings for a definitive win. Also, I saw how important it is to have good cooperation in your team for the best outcome on the field.”
Q: What are you working on most this summer and how does this event help your confidence ? Yee: “While playing this summer I saw that I needed to work on my middie IQ and reaction time to the whistle. I worked with Mike Siss (Sisselberger), Lehigh FOGO player, to attain a better understanding of college faceoffs. During the event, I was thrilled to play lacrosse again, and on a team that was encouraging to play hard while having fun.”
Q: What went well for Dukes this weekend to help you reach the finals and where do you go from here? “Yee: “In the Liberty National Elite Classic, I only had one job to win at faceoff X. I focused in mentally at the faceoff X; however, I had to play middie too because of our small team. Playing at the showcase the day before definitely helped with that skill set. Even though I missed my high school season, Dukes helped me push myself, so I would learn from my mistakes and play better in the future. Coach (Jason) Christmas constantly pointed out things that I should have done during a certain play for a better outcome. Also, I would text Coach Ebe Helm about my mistakes, so I can clearly write them down. My teammates always offered to take faceoffs to keep me refreshed for the next one, and they would constantly acknowledge my performance. I would say my wing, Jackson Shields, always had my back off and on the field. Now the Liberty Showcase’s film will definitely aid my future to pursue my lacrosse career at the collegiate level. From the film, I can depict where I went wrong and fix those mistakes.”
Tyler Guzik, 2021 Goalie, Big 4 HHH, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy-PA
Q: What were your goals coming into the event and do you feel you achieved them? Guzik: “Coming into the showcase, my goals were to play the best I could possibly play and to just control the things I can control. With everything up in the air at the moment due to COVID-19, I’ve learned that I can’t control what is going to happen in the future, but only how I play and my attitude towards situations. I feel that I achieved that goal as I played very well and contributed my best to my team.”
Q: How tough was it to miss the entire high school season and what did you do to stay in shape and on top of your game ? Guzik: “Missing the entire school season was definitely one of the toughest situations I’ve had to encounter. I was bound to be the starter this season and we had a senior heavy team that was surely going to accomplish many goals we set in the beginning of the year. Our defense was elite and our offense was clicking on every level. To not be able to see how our team would have played this year was really tough, However, due to not being able to participate in a spring season, I was more driven to evolve my game. About once or twice a week I would meet up with my coach to get shots or play wall ball outside. Also, several times a week I would lift in my garage and work on getting stronger and faster. Once quarantine was lifted I would get shots with teammates and coaches to make sure I was still at the top of my game.”
Q: “What especially went well for you Friday and how did you adapt to the competition? Guzik: “On Friday, I was fortunate enough to have a great defense in front of me that allowed me to see save-able shots. I was able to stop the ball and communicate with a very technically sound defense. Additionally, my clears were spot on and I was seeing the ball very well. Seeing the ball well helped for me to adapt to the strong competition I faced at the showcase by allowing me to make saves on a consistent basis and be able to get into a groove throughout the showcase.”
Q: What are you working on most this summer and how does this event help your confidence ? Guzik: “This summer I’m working on my hand speed and my overall strength as an athlete. I am a two sport athlete as I also wrestle and so working in the weightroom will allow me to be proficient in both sports. By participating in the Showcase, I was able to play against elite competition and see how the work I put in throughout quarantine would show on the field against some of the best players I can play against.”
Q: What went well for HHH this weekend to help you fall just a one-goal defeat away from a spot in the finals and where do you go from here? Guzik: “This weekend we played great as a team, We unfortunately have a lot of injured players and are short on guys but we were able to adapt as a team and played very well against great competition. We are all very close and have played with each other for years, so seeing our team accomplish what we did was very uplifting, Fortunately, Big 4 HHH still has a few more tournaments this summer, so we have a chance to show how well we communicate and work together as a team.”