High School Boys

March 6, 2013

Nike/US Lacrosse Mid-Atlantic Region Report

by Mike Loveday | LaxMagazine.com

Related: National Top 25 | Northeast | Midwest | South | West

Players to watch

Matt Rambo, La Salle College (Pa.)
Rambo has been a scoring machine since he arrived on the scene as a freshman year at Abington (Pa.). Now the Maryland commit will be asked to help anchor a talented offense. As a junior last year Rambo totaled 82 points on 60 goals and 22 assists. Both were increases from his 58 goal sophomore season.

Stephen Kelly, Calvert Hall (Md.)
Kelly is the leader of the defending MIAA champion Cardinals. Last year the North Carolina commit won 75 percent of his faceoffs and earned Baltimore Sun All-Met First Team honors.

Will Reynolds, Delbarton (N.J.)
Reynolds anchors a defense that allowed double-digits in goals in just five games last season (three of those were losses, including the Tournament of Champions title game). With three defensive starters back from last year, Reynolds' leadership should help the Green Wave reach the ToC again, but maybe with a different result in 2013.

Games to watch

March 12: Boys' Latin at St. Andrew's (Fla.)
Before the Lakers can win the national championship they will have to maneuver one of the toughest schedules in the nation — beginning with the top 2 teams in Florida. In 2008 St. Andrew's surprised the Lakers 7-6 and has an slight advantage since it will have played eight games by the time they meet Boys' Latin. Don't expect a surprise this year, but the Lakers should get an early test.

March 12: Gilman vs. Dallas Jesuit (Texas)
The MIAA gets out of state regularly and the Greyhounds' game against Dallas Jesuit will be an interesting matchup. The Rangers will have played seven games, including one against New Jersey power Lawrenceville.

March 14: Gonzaga (D.C.) at Bullis
This will be one of the bigger early season games in the Mid-Atlantic. Both teams have a shot at a national No. 1 ranking and a win in this meeting would go a long way in making that happen. Gonzaga is coming off its third-straight Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and Bullis is coming off an IAC runner-up finish.

1. Boys' Latin (Md.)

The Lakers are loaded this season with 12 seniors and seven juniors already committed to play
Division I lacrosse. Junior Shack Stanwick (Johns Hopkins) is widely considered the top junior in the nation, but could be the best player overall heading into 2013.

2. Calvert Hall (Md.)

The defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association champions return seven Division I seniors and boast six in its junior class. Led by midfielder Stephen Kelly the Cardinals will play Gonzaga (D.C.) and Conestoga (Pa.) in addition to its tough conference schedule.

3. Gonzaga (D.C.)

The three-time Washington Catholic Athletic Conference champions returns 11 seniors that will play in college, including midfielder Max Planning (Denver) and defender Mat Borda (Fairfield). The Purple Eagles loaded up on out of conference opponents with Bullis (Md.), Boys' Latin, Calvert Hall, Georgetown Prep (Md.) and Landon (Md.).

4. La Salle College (Pa.)

The Explorers boast two of the Top 10 players in the country in Matt Rambo and Sean Coleman. However, Coleman injured his ankle during the last game of the football season and could miss part of the season. Matt Rambo is considered the No. 1 senior in the country and with eight seniors, including Jeff Cimbalista (Yale) the Explorers should have more than enough firepower to weather Coleman's absence early.

5. Episcopal Academy (Pa.)

The Churchmen won the Inter-Ac Invitational last year 15-11 over Haverford School and returns four seniors and junior goalie Brian Zappala (Pennsylvania). Episcopal opens the season with an early tilt against Bullis (Md.) and plays No. 4 La Salle in addition to its normal conference schedule.

6. Loyola Blakefield (Md.)

Led by Maryland commit Jake Clise the MIAA runners-up return six seniors who have committed to play college lacrosse. The Dons boast an impressive out of conference schedule with Garden City (N.Y.), Haverford School (Pa.) and Malvern Prep (Pa.).

7. Landon (Md.)

The defending IAC champions returns a lot of firepower with nine Division I commits in its senior class. Led by a trio of Virginia commits: senior Michael Rhoads, along with juniors Jack Falk and Austin Petty the Bears are the favorite to repeat as conference champions.

8. Gilman (Md.)

The Greyhounds finished 12-4 last season and have a good mix of experience and youth, with both groups boasting tremendous talent. Three seniors and six juniors have committed to Division I programs, including midfielder Riley Desmit (Johns Hopkins).

9. McDonogh (Md.)

Four juniors, including Brinton Valis (Johns Hopkins) and Alexander Hurdle (Notre Dame) return from a team that finished 9-8 last year and was the only conference team to defeat Calvert Hall. Six seniors, including goalie Nick Doyle (Ohio State) also return. Plays St. Andrew's (Fla.), Haverford School (Pa.), Gonzaga in addition to conference schedule.

10. Delbarton (N.J.)

Ten players in the senior class and five in the junior class will move on to play in college. Anchored by defender Will Reynolds (Princeton). Plays St. Anthony's (N.Y.), Chaminade (N.Y.) and Fairfield Prep (Conn.) this year.

News and notes

Sleeper team?

St. Paul's (Md.) finished 3-15 last year and is not the team most eyes are focused on entering the 2013 season. But that doesn't mean the Crusaders are not worth watching.

Head coach Rick Brocato expects his team to be significantly improved this season, especially on the defensive end with three Division I recruits anchoring that end of the field.

Last year's team was young, but last year's youth is this season's experience.

"Last year we had 11 sophomores and freshmen in Top 20 rotation," Brocato said. "This year our defensive unit is going to be as strong as it's ever been."

Look for senior faceoff man Mike D'Amelio (Denison) to play a big part this season. The senior came on towards the end of last year and won close to 60 percent of his faceoffs.

A tale of two teams

La Salle College (Pa.) will be a "tale of two teams" this year according to head coach Bill Leahy. Harvard commit Sean Coleman will miss the first couple months of the season as he heals from an ankle injury he suffered in the final game of football season, but do not expect La Salle to collapse with the loss of one player.

"We were without him [Coleman] for two months of the season last year," Leahy said. "It will take four or five guys by committee to do all the things he can do, but we're all a year older. We only graduated five guys — everyone's back."

Led by the consensus No. 1 player in the 2013 class, Matt Rambo, La Salle returns 15 players who will play Division I lacrosse, including four defensive players.

The only question mark surrounding this year's team could be in goal where two players; senior Nick Hoesko and junior Colin MacDougall will battle for the starting job early in the season.

The biggest tests early in the year are March 30 when La Salle travels to play Garden City (N.Y.) and then plays MIAA power Gilman on April 5.

Check back to LaxMagazine.com every other Wednesday throughout the high school season for updates to the Nike/US Lacrosse Regional Boys' Top 10 rankings and the Nike/US Lacrosse National Boys' Top 25.

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