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The first annual Saratoga Springs Lacrosse Shootout July 5-7, 2013

by Dan Witmer -author of Road Trip Dad at www.justlacrosse.com

I was asked by 3dLacrosse to follow the eight-team Boys HS Division I at the first annual Saratoga Springs Lacrosse Shootout this past weekend.  The tournament featured some 77 teams in 9 different divisions – not bad for a first-year event!  Games were played at the Saratoga Springs Polo Grounds, where there were ten fields, concessions, parking, vendors, and a “fun zone” that I never really got a chance to see, but seemed busy and popular every time I went anywhere near it.

            The SSLS was sponsored by Rhino Lacrosse, and all three Syracuse University All-American Powell brothers were in attendance.  Helping Ryan organize the entire weekend was George Leveille, who runs the Lake Placid Summit Lacrosse Tournament, and George’s organizational skills and experience were evident as I looked at the tournament booklet, schedules, pool play, and playoff formats.

            Here are the teams that impressed me, and the players who stood out (for more narrative of the weekend, see this week’s “Road Trip Dad” at www.justlacrosse.com)…

 

 

Section V Snipers

Overview:  The Section V Snipers is a travel team based out of New York’s Section V, with players from Rochester-area high schools.  The Snipers went 0-3 in Pool play and won the seventh place/eighth place spot by forfeit.  The team was managed by Bryan Warren (bwarren2@frontiernet.net).

 

Top Players:

 

 #1       Mike Trass                2014

Webster Schroeder HS, Webster, NY

Position:  Attack

Sub-Position:  Wing Player

Rating:  Watch-List

 

            Mike is a tall, primarily right-handed attackman who is willing and able to work his way into tight spaces before shooting, and from where he’s shooting, he’s pretty accurate as a finisher.  If you’re not taking away the top side he’ll make you pay, but if you overplay the top, he’ll roll underneath and inside and get the same result.  Mike has solid stick skills and plays like he knows the game.

 

 

Orange Crush

Overview:  The Orange Crush is a travel team based out of Syracuse, NY.  The team went 2-1 in Pool play, losing a close 9-8 game to Sayville that determined the #1 and #2 seeds.  In the third/fourth place game, Orange Crush defeated Cold Brook by a 12-4.  The team is coached by Greg Burns (gregory_burns@ml.com).

 

Top Players:

 

 #21     Ryan Durkin             2015

Jamesville-Dewitt HS, Dewitt, NY

Position:  Midfield

Sub-Position:  Two-way/Face-Off

Rating:  Player

 

            Ryan stood out as both a tough, winning, face-off middy as well as a sniper with a shot while on the run – a rare combination these days.  Primarily right-handed, Ryan created a lot of offense with his sweeps and alley dodges.  He doesn’t take a lot of time to set things up like many other dangerous middies; he just gets the ball and goes.

 

#22      Dean Riley                2014

Homer HS, Homer, NY

Position:  Attack

Sub-Position:  Wing Player

             Dean stood out as the Orange Crush’s leader on offense, scoring one-on one, feeding teammates cutting to the crease, and recognizing and responding to various situations all weekend long.  He won ground balls, rode hard, and yet seemed to know his limitations, never trying to do too much.  He can shoot with time and space, but he can also get his nose dirty and go hard to the goal.

 

 

Cold Brook

Overview:  The Cold Brook squad is a travel team based out of Homer, NY.  Their signature mossy oak camo gear is hard to miss, and their motto (“Shoot to Grill”) is highlighted this year by mock hunting licenses on the back of their reversibles.  The ID #?  13077 – Homer’s zip code, of course.  Cold Brook went 2-1 in Pool play and lost to the other #2 seed, Orange Crush, in the third place/fourth place game.  The team is managed by David Basile (dbasile@twcny.rr.com).

 

Top Players:

 

#27      Jake Lynch                2014

Whitney Point HS, Whitney Point, NY

Position:  Attack

Sub-Position:  Wing Player

Rating:  Watch-List

 

            Jake is an attackman who played the left side most of the time, though he scored goals going right down the middle of opponents’ defenses.  He is an adept finisher but can also dish the ball off as well.

 

#28      Tyler King                 2014

Westhill HS, Syracuse, NY

Position:  LSM

Sub-Position:  On-Ball

Rating:  Watch-List

 

            Tyler was by far the most actively-involved long stick on the Cold Brook defense.  He played wing on face-offs, winning many of the ground ball battles clean for valuable possessions.  If the other team won the ball, Tyler quickly engaged the ball-carrier and created numerous turnovers, and if didn’t put the ball on the ground, he encouraged his man to pass it off to the next guy.  Good stick skills, good feet, and good size…

 

#29      Kyle Magdziuk         2014

Westhill HS, Syracuse, NY

Position:  Midfield

Sub-Position:  Face-Off/Two-Way

 

            Kyle not only took the majority of Cold Brook’s face-offs, he was also a scoring threat once he or a teammate gained possession.  I saw him score on fast breaks as well as one settled situations, and I thought he was one of the best middies on his team.

 

 

Collar City Cadets

Overview:  The Collar City Cadets were comprised of mostly LaSalle Institute players, as well as a couple of additions from Shenendehowa HS and one other from Shaker HS.  The Cadets went 1-2, earned the #3 seed, and lost to the Lionheart team in the fifth place/sixth place game.  The team was coached by Joe Bennett (kben0426@aol.com).

 

Top Players

 

#24      Sean Hulbert

Shaker HS, Latham, NY

Position:  Midfield

Sub-Position:  Two-Way

Rating:  Watch-List

 

            Sean is a big strong midfielder who stood out among his Lasalle teammates.  According to the team roster, he’s 6’2”, 190 lbs, and his coach tells he plays football and basketball as well as lacrosse.  His size and speed allow him to succeed as both a defensive and offensive player.  He can dodge up the middle or down the alley, and he’s got solid stick skills.

 

#33      Mitch Turiel

Shenendehowa HS, Clifton Park, NY

Position:  Attack

Sub-Position:  Wing player

Rating:  Player

 

            Mitch was another “borrowed” player on a team made up of LaSalle Institute athletes.  He was a dangerous attackman who generated a lot of scoring chances for his team, either by going to the goal himself or dishing the ball off to open teammates.  Going right-handed, if he gets tops side on you you’re in trouble, but he also showed a willingness to inside roll, too.

 

 

Lionheart

Overview:  The Lionheart squad is a travel team based out of Marcellus, NY, with players from many Syracuse-area, Section III high schools.  Lionheart went 1-2 in Pool play and beat the Collar City Cadets by a 16-5 score in their last game.  The team is coached by Leo McInerney (leo.mcinerney@gmail.com).

 

Top Players

 

 #2       Zach Wagner             2015

Jordan-Elbridge HS, Jordan, NY

Position:  Midfield

Sub-Position:  Two-Way

Rating:  Player

            Zach is a big middy who can make his presence known pretty quickly.  He’s got size and dodging ability, and when he goes to the goal, he’s going to take one or two defenders with him.  He can split well to his left, and looked to prefer dodging up the middle as opposed to simply going down the alley.  I saw him score from in close as well as from the perimeter, and he quarterbacked Lionheart’s 3-3 man-up group by playing top-center.

 

#17      Justin Renk               2014

Liverpool HS, Liverpool, NY

Position:  Midfield     

Sub-Position:  Alley Dodger

Rating:  Player

 

            Justin’s play complemented Zach’s as the two middies created a one-two threat from out top.  Also blessed with good size and speed, Justin can also create or finish, depending on the situation.  He can also win the ground ball battle and dish the ball off to an adjacent teammate.

 

#18      Sam Robles               2016

Jordan-Elbridge HS, Jordan, NY

Position:  Attack

Sub-Position:  Wing Player

Rating:  Player

 

            Sam is another big player from Jordan-Elbridge, and he plays the left-handed attack wing position just as physical as his teammate Zach.  He’s a strong dodger who prefers to finish from in close than just let it rip from the wing.  He rides hard, battles for GBs, and has solid stick skills.

 

 

Sayville Spartans

Overview:  This was a portion of next year’s varsity team, comprised of Sayville-only players.  The team went 3-0 in Pool play and lost 9-7 in the Boys HS Division I championship.  The team was coached by Christian Doller (sayspartanlax@aol.com).

 

Top Players:

 

 #4       Matt Selts                  2015

Sayville HS, Sayville, NY

Position:  Midfield

Sub-Position:  Two-way

Rating:  Legit

 

            Matt is a quick, athletic, and tough middie who has deadly accuracy when he alley dodges to his left.  His shot is low and away, and I think I saw him score at least a half dozen goals going to his strength over the two-day tournament.  But he can do more than just dodge and shoot – I also saw him play man-down short stick and long-stick when his team needed another defender.  He is a relentless, tireless defender with a short stick or long stick – I saw him engage the ball-carrier once at the restraining line and then again at the midfield.  Oh, and he can also let it rip with time and space.

 

 #6       Justin Siracusa                     2014

Sayville HS, Sayville, NY

Position:  Midfield

Sub-Position:  Two-way

Rating:  Player

 

            Justin is a lot like Matt, except he gets it done as a righty.  He scores on the alley dodge and he can play LSM as well as he can play offense.  And guess what - he can finish from the perimeter, too.  Looks like cloning is alive and well in Sayville!  Really – line the four of these middies up next to one another – helmets on but no numbers on their backs – and neither their coaches nor their parents can tell them apart!

 

 #7       John Knecht              2014   

Sayville HS, Sayville, NY

Position:  Midfield

Sub-Position:  Two-way

Rating:  Player

            Surprise, surprise – another quick, gritty, midfielder from Sayville!  John is a right-handed who can score dodging down the alley, and he played short stick middy on Sayville’s man-down squad.  He’s a one-man clear when called upon, and he also spelled the #1 face-off middy as Sayville’s second face-off option (and I saw only f-o wins when he took them).

 

 #9       Spencer Andrews      2014

Sayville HS, Sayville, NY

Position:  Midfield

Sub-Position:  Two-way

Rating:  Legit  

 

            Spencer might be the best of the four cloned Sayville middies – he won nearly every face-off (many for fast breaks), he scored, and he dished the ball off effectively.  He scored on the dodge, from the perimeter, and from the crease when teammates saw that he was open.  For a (primarily) right-handed player, he also has a great split dodge to his left.  Believe it or not, he also played LSM on man-down, and carried the pole well.

 

#17      Jack Coan                  2017

Sayville HS, Sayville, NY

Position:  Attack

Sub-Position:  Wing player

Rating:  Watch-List

 

            While the four middies really stood out, Jack was the most potent scorer on Sayville’s attack unit – and he’s only going into 9th grade (a sideline conversation revealed that he might contend for the starting varsity QB position this fall).  Jack is fearless dodging in tight spaces, and although he is primarily a righty, he can do damage with his left, too.  Unlike the middies, he is a tall, thin athlete who will probably fill out with time.

 

#20      Dan Murphy              2015

Sayville HS, Sayville, NY

Position:  Defense

Sub-Position:  With-Ball

Rating:  Player

 

            On a team carried by its two-way middies, Dan managed to play consistently solid defense - one on one, clearing, ground balls, you name it.  If Sayville played defense for only a few seconds, you’d notice Dan’s presence.  He’s got size and mobility, too, as he played both close defense and LSM over the two days.

 

#25      Rich Johnson                        2014

Sayville HS, Sayville, NY

Position:  Defense

Sub-Position:  With-Ball

Rating:  Player 

 

            Rich is another talented Sayville defender; his strength appeared to be his stick skills.  He dodged riders confidently and drew penalties with his evasiveness.  Like Dan, he played both LSM and close defense.

 

 

Ontario Red and White

Overview:  The Ontario Red and White team is squad from the Toronto, Ontario area.  If I understood correctly, this is the provincial team that will compete for the national field lacrosse championship in early September, and they have tons of talent at every position.  Honestly, they were a lot of fun to watch, scoring goals created by constant off-ball movement and unselfishness.  The Red and White went 3-0 in Pool play, and then knocked off Sayville in an exciting, back and forth 9-7 championship match.  The team is coached by Albert Rehanek (rehanek@rogers.com).

 

Top Players:

 

 #6       Justin Inacio             2016

Position:  Midfield

Sub-Position:  Face-Off

Rating:  Player

 

            Justin was the face-off middy for the Ontario Red and White, and he got the job done – and then some.  His move usually enabled him to get the ball out quickly and he started many fast breaks, finishing some of them himself if no one slid to him.  His stick skills were good enough to make good passes to his teammates after winning possession, and he also knew when to push the play and when to slow things down.

 

#19      Tyrus Rehanek         2015

Position:  Atttack

Sub-Position:  Wing Player

Rating:  Legit

 

            Tyrus is a right-handed attackman who scored a ton of points over the course of the two days – probably a balance of goals and assists.  He was in constant motion without the ball, and he was a constant threat with the ball.  He made the extra pass when the situation warranted, and he finished the play himself when he was in the finisher’s position.  Many times he got open by making a bigger arc than most attackman want to make, often cruising up top near the restraining line and losing his defenseman by doing so.  With the ball, he’ll just keep running top side until he loses he defender – either way, with or without the ball, Tyrus is going to create offense.

 

#39      Steven Marigsin       2014

Position:  Attack

Sub-Position:  Wing Player

Rating:  Legit

 

            Steven was the left-handed bookend that matched Tyrus.  When he had the ball, Tyrus was a moving, cutting target, and when Tyrus had the ball, Steven was always working to get himself open – with a high rate of success, too, I might add.  Together they combined to score a lot of goals and assists.  Under close examination, maybe Steven was the purer on-ball dodger, putting his head down and going to the goal a little more, but not to the point of selfishness.  He rode hard, and his stick skills are excellent.

 

#42      Tanner Baldin

Position:  Midfield/LSM

Sub-Position:  Two-Way

Rating:  Player

 

            I checked my notes several times, but they always showed the same information – Tanner played both offensive midfield and long-stick middy over the course of the two days, and to watch him play, it looked like he was a natural at both positions.  With a short stick, he was a sweeping, scoring threat, but just as likely to dump the ball of to a teammate if they were open (and they often were).  With a pole, he was am aggressive, hard-nosed athletic defender, quick to scoop up a ground ball and start his team’s offense. 

 

#49      Dalton Follows          2015

Position:  Midfield

Sub-Position:  Two-Way

Rating:  Player

 

            Dalton is a big strong midfielder who played well all weekend, but saved his best stuff for the last game - he scored at least four goals in the championship game, and in various ways: a rebound, a deflected shot while sweeping, and another dodging down the alley.  The righty also picked up a number of assists, dumping the ball off to open teammates when the situation called for it.

 

 

#75      Warren Jeffrey         2015

Position:  Defense

Sub-Position:  On-Ball

Rating:  Player

 

            Warren was probably the most active long stick for the Ontario team, and his stick was always in his man’s gloves.  Tall and maybe even lanky, he showed good feet and body position, and his stick skills were excellent, too.  He handled all the substitution “cycling” by stepping over into the offensive zone while his teammates subbed, and his teammates certainly showed a confidence in his ability to manage those possessions.

 

#76      Brendan Mullen       2015

Position:  Defense

Sub-Position:  On-Ball

Rating:  Watch-List

 

            Upon further review, there was another defenseman who was tall and lanky, with good feet and good stick skills, and that was Brendan.  Side by side, they looked like they might be twins (actually, Ontario’s third defender didn’t look all that different, either).  Brendan was always in good position, played the body when necessary, and also kept his stick on his attackm