High School Boys

March 6, 2013

Nike/US Lacrosse Mid-Atlantic Region Report

by Jonah Rosenblum | LaxMagazine.com

Related: National Top 25 | Northeast | Mid-Atlantic | South | West

Players to watch

David Glynn, Lake Forest (Ill.)
So many stars have moved on to the next level: Ethan Ulmer, the Scouts' star goalkeeper, Johnny Poth, Sam Moran, Ryan Tupper and two-time All-American long stick midfielder Charles Cook. That leaves a lot of pressure on David Glynn to take over the reins of this Lake Forest team. Thankfully, the midfielder will have a potential partner-in-crime in senior attacker Andrew Clifford.

Mike Schiappa, Loyola Academy (Ill.)
For so long, Dylan Harris and Mike Schiappa made for the perfect defensive duo for the Ramblers. Now, Schiappa will have to take leadership of Loyola's defense. Schiappa certainly has the talent. He was a member of Illinois' Team One and Titanium Elite, and was one of nine non-seniors to make the Champion All-American Showcase down in the Sunshine State. All of the other 86 participants were seniors. Schiappa will hope to flash those skills for a Ramblers team that surrendered just four goals in last year's state championship game.

Zach Currier, Culver Academy (Ind.)
Before you say that Currier and Culver Academy does not belong among the elite of East Coast schools, just take a look at what schools Currier considered attending: Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins and Virginia. He 'settled' on Princeton, but before he moves on to the Ivy League, Currier has business at Culver Academy, where he tallied 28 assists and 25 goals last season. That included an impressive two-goal showing at Severn School (Md.). With Austin Spencer (UMass) and Dean Ferris (Ohio State) at his side, Currier is one of many players to watch on Indiana's premiere high school team.

Games to watch

MICDS (Mo.) at Culver Academy (Ind.), March 15
Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School (MICDS) proved it could stand toe-to-toe with anyone in The Show Me State last season. The problem was whenever the Rams went beyond the Missouri line, they didn't fare very well. After beating a 5-15 Bishop Ireton (Va.) team on the road, they were trounced by St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.) 15-3. A contest against Colorado powerhouse Kent Denver didn't go much better as the Rams fell 15-6. The prior year, MICDS scored just 13 goals combined in four out-of-state contests. Playing one of the top teams in the Midwest early will give the Rams a chance to prove themselves.

Culver Academy at Lake Forest (Ill.), March 16
The Eagles have made a habit of challenging themselves early. They play a slew of Eastern powerhouses this season, including Landon, Calverton and Boys' Latin, but first they travel to the Land of Lincoln to take on brand-new state title contender, Lake Forest. The Scouts, fresh off of their first state championship berth in 14 years, will be looking to cement their rise in the state of Illinois. They were able to play the Eagles tough a year ago before falling 8-5 in their season opener.

Loyola Academy (Ill.) at Ithaca (N.Y.), April 4
Last season, the Ramblers ventured to the Empire State to take on West Genesee. Undeterred by last season's 8-3 loss to the Wildcats, the Ramblers are back for more, this time taking a three-game tour through New York. Loyola Academy will take on the cream of a very rich crop, playing Ithaca, Irondequoit and West Genesee, which combined to finish 54-7 last season. Beginning with their game against the Little Red, which lost in the state finals to West Islip in 2012, this three-game road trip should give a good hint as to how competitive Loyola Academy will be in 2013 — not only regionally, but nationally.

1. Culver Academy (Ind.)

After splitting four games on a grueling East Coast trip and losing to Brother Rice, Culver went on a 12-game tear last year and avenged its loss to the Warriors. Zach Currier (Princeton) and Joel Tinney (Johns Hopkins) starred for Canada's U19 team.

2. Brother Rice (Mich.)

The Warriors' lone two losses came by a combined four goals. Brother Rice went undefeated against Michigan foes for its 10th straight state title. Look for more production from Notre Dame-bound Sergio Perkovic.

3. Dublin Jerome (Ohio)

Dublin Jerome and Upper Arlington are neck-in-neck in Ohio. They played three times in five weeks in 2012 — all one-goal games. Dublin Jerome won two of them, part of an impressive stretch in which it won six of seven on the road.

4. Upper Arlington (Ohio)

While strong in state, a 15-3 loss to Loyola-Blakefield (Md.) and an 11-6 loss to Culver demonstrated Upper Arlington still must establish itself nationally. The Golden Bears have a chance to do so with winnable games in Pennsylvania.

5. Loyola (Ill.)

The Ramblers rebounded from blowout losses to Culver and Brother Rice to beat Lake Forest for the Illinois crown. Their five losses came to teams from Canada, New York, Indiana and Ohio. They must replace goalie Kevin Steger.

6. Eden Prairie (Minn.)

The Eagles return their top four goal-scorers — including Denver-bound Jake Woodring (31 goals) and Brooks Armitage (28 goals) — from a team that fell short in the state final against Eastview.

7. Eastview (Minn.)

The Lightning avenged their only loss, an overtime defeat at Lakeville North, with a decisive 9-5 win in playoffs, and then beat Eden Prairie for the title. They will be hard pressed to replace Jacob Heppner and goalie Andrew Koenen.

8. Worthington Kilbourne (Ohio)

The Wolves jumped out to a 7-0 start, including an impressive win over Calverton (Md.) and a gritty low-scoring win over New Trier. They're still strong defensively with Ryan Maloney and goalies James Gundling and Kyle Johnson.

9. Lake Forest (Ill.)

The Scouts split their first eight games against a daunting schedule that included a trip to Maryland but rebounded to win 14 of their last 16, including a 9-6 victory at New Trier. They'll need more offense with goalie Ethan Ulmer now at Syracuse.

10. Carmel (Ind.)

You can forgive Carmel's one loss at Culver. Against everyone else, the Greyhounds were very good, including wins over New Trier and Louisville St. Xavier (Ky.). They're a sleeper.

News and notes

Making Lincoln proud

New Trier (Ill.) coach Tom Herrala said that he is proud to see the Land of Lincoln rise in the regional hemisphere. He said that New Trier, Lake Forest and Loyola Academy were not always among the top teams in the region.

"Even just five or six years ago, Michigan and Brother Rice were way ahead of us," Herrala said. "They were probably comparable to some of the East Coast teams."

Years like 2011 helped put the Trevians in the conversation. They beat Brother Rice (Mich.) 12-7, lost by one goal to Culver Academy on two separate occasions and split a series against Western Reserve (Ohio), winning the latter game 12-4. It's a little too early to put Illinois on top yet; Brother Rice did down New Trier 11-3 and Loyola Academy 7-5 and 15-3 last season, but the Land of Lincoln has made definite progress.

"Illinois is getting there," Herrala said. "It has taken a while, but Loyola, New Trier and Lake Forest have all elevated their games. We've seen some of the western suburbs and some of the northwestern suburbs elevate their game, so statewide, lacrosse is a lot better than where it was just five or six years ago."

The perfect storm

Snowplow workers, commuters, drivers — add New Trier lacrosse players to those frustrated by the recent snow that has besieged the Chicagoland area.

"We're indoors. We don't have a field house," Herrala said. "Ironically, we just got three brand-new turf fields this past summer, and now for the first time that I can remember, we got tons of snow this late in the winter."

The Trevians were all excited to try out their new turf field on Feb. 25, when they were finally allowed to return to practice. And then the snow hit. As of March 4, the Trevians were still practicing indoors, working mostly on conditioning and stick work. Herrala readily admitted that his guys might prefer to get a little six-on-six in, but they will have to wait until the weather cooperates.

"We don't have the space," Herrala said. "They're a little bummed about being inside."

Still, when New Trier finally is able to make use of its turf field, Herrala is convinced it will make a difference.

"It's one of the things that we've struggled with in years past," Herrala said. "Other schools that had turf, I felt that we were two or three weeks behind everybody because we were in a gym or on a parking lot before our fields dried out and then you play a team that's been on the turf for two or three weeks and it felt like we were always behind early in the season."

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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