Recruiting: RI Lacrosse Continues to Gain National Attention
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Jack Andrade, GoLocalProv Sports Reporter
|La Salle has won the past 2 RIIL State Championships|
Aided by a regional popularity burst and a plethora of elite club teams in the area, tomorrow’s college stars are growing in numbers in Rhode Island.
GoLocalProv reached out to elite coaches in the Rhode Island are and received expert input on the top players to watch in the state.
Steve O’Donnell: La Salle/Next Level
The defending RIIL Division 1 State Champion La Salle Academy is coached by Steve O’Donnell, a former head coach at Providence College who also runs Next Level Lacrosse.
Joe, John, and Matt Manown are standouts for La Salle, with the former (a junior, class of 2015) verbally committed to play for Duke at the next level. Joe Manown (who plays for the Top Gun Fighting Clams club team) is a Top 25 national recruit and a player a rival coach says “could develop into the best attackman in the entire country.”
Matt Manown is a sophomore midfielder also drawing heavy interest from college teams, and O’Donnell says he’s looking at a few Ivy League schools right now. John Manown is a fantastic defenseman and the senior captain has been an All-State player for 3 straight seasons. He’s off to Hartford next Fall for college.
O’Donnell has a young team at La Salle this year but feels that the talent level of his freshmen class is special.
“We have a lot of young, talented players, 6 freshmen on varsity this year and they all give me good minutes,” O’Donnell told GoLocalProv. “All 6 have potential to play somewhere in college.”
David Jenkins: 3D Lacrosse
David Jenkins runs the 3D Lacrosse New England club program, and while 3D draws from all over the nation, 3 Rhode Island players have found success with the club.
Jake Mueller is a sophomore defenseman at Bishop Hendricken and one of the most promising defensemen in the state. Top attackman Teddy Fenton is also in the class of 2016 and plays high school ball at Portsmouth Abbey. Class of 2017 midfielder Luke Crimmins (St. George’s) is one of the best prospects in the region for his age.
“Teddy Fenton’s a fantastic finisher,” Jenkins says. “You give him the ball anywhere near the crease and it’s a goal. That’s what he does extremely well. He’s going to make someone very happy.”
“Luke Crimmins is a very athletic midfielder, very fast, good lacrosse player,” added Jenkins.
Jenkins is a former collegiate national champion at Virginia and an 8-year Major League Lacrosse veteran. He says lacrosse players in the northeast are a different brand of athlete.
“This is what I find with kids from the northeast in general,” he says. “They’re very good athletes, they’ve got a ton of potential, and they are going to be very good Division 1 players, but now the focus comes in and we need to hone in on skill development.”
A former 3-sport athlete himself, Jenkins loves coaching multi-sport athletes and says his focus in developing young players is finding time to develop lacrosse skills year-round without compromising academic or other athletic interests.
David Evans: Laxachusetts
David Evans is the Assistant Program Director for Laxachusetts, and the former Brown All-American has experience coaching at his alma mater as well.
In the class of 2015, Evans cites Andrew Blau (Barrington), Colby Farnham (Moses Brown), Alex Igliozzi (Moses Brown), Henry Russell (Moses Brown), Jake Slye (Barrington), Winston Smith (Phillips Exeter), Alex Towey (Moses Brown), and Tyler Williams (Hendricken) as players with a future playing college lacrosse.
Blau has nice size for a midfielder and Evans says he is being looked at by Colby College, Trinity College, Middlebury College, and Bates College.
Farnham has good size and is a terrific midfielder. Evans says he thinks Farnham will choose the best school that he can for his college choice.
Igliozzi is an undersized attackman with a nice shot and solid finishing ability around the goal.
Russell has good size and tools and plays both defense and long stick midfield.
Slye is looking at Wake Forest, Bentley, and some NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) schools, according to Evans. Slye has good size and is a player that could secure some D1 offers.
Smith is an extremely intelligent kid on and off the field and the face-off specialist is looking at NESCAC schools for lacrosse.
Towey is a big, strong lefty with the versatility to play defense or long stick midfield.
Williams is a fantastic student and a solid, versatile player capable of playing attack or midfield.
“He’s not a flashy kid,” said Evans. “He doesn’t score a lot of goals but he’s someone I want on my team.”
Class of 2016 defenseman/long stick midfielder Matt Parker (Moses Brown) is another excellent student with high upside on the field.
Class of 2017 players that Evans believes could play college lacrosse include goalkeeper Sam Alofsin (Moses Brown), William Foulkes (Wheeler), defenseman/long stick midfielder Ben Handy (Classical), midfielder Brendan Jordan (East Greenwich), defenseman/long stick midfielder Dan Locke (Portsmouth Abbey), and goalkeeper Ryan Williams (Hendricken).
Mike Fraioli: Moses Brown/Laxachusetts
Mike Fraioli is a former assistant coach at Brown and currently coaches at Moses Brown and in the Laxachusetts program.
Fraioli has a pair of seniors bound for college lacrosse next season. Defenseman Austin Miller (Laxachusetts) will play D1 at Holy Cross, and attackman Jack Stallman (3D) will play at Trinity College.
In addition to Moses Brown players already touched upon, Fraioli highlighted a pair of juniors that could play college lacrosse out of the class of 2015.
Long stick midfielder Chris Tibbetts (SweetLax), midfielder Will Wooten and attackman Steve DeLeo (Top Gun Fighting Clams), and attackman Bobby Penney are all solid collegiate prospects.
Class of 2016 attackman Garret Hanson (Laxachusetts) and Class of 2017 midfielder Clifford Blanchard (3D) are a pair of underclassmen that Fraioli expects will draw attention from schools.