PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior midfielder Blake Hansen is coming off abreakout sophomore season that landed him on the all-conference first team and headlines a strong group of returners for Bishop Eustace. Hansen led the team with 46 goals, 33 assists and 99 ground balls and also handled most of the faceoffs. He is joined in the midfield by senior Paul Braungart (23 goals, 20 assists) and junior Stephen Schoenborn (37 goals, 13 assists), who both made the all-conference second team. Key players at attack are juniors Tim Spellman (34 goals) and Jake Munz (19 goals, 14 assists), while all-conference second- teamer Andrew Klitchko, a junior, is back on defense. Junior goalie Anthony Olivo also made the all-conference second team. Other returners include defensive midfielders Andrew Ciampi, a junior, and Anthony Tropea, a sophomore. Junior Pat Dunleavy, a transfer from St. Augustine, will contribute at attack.
OUTLOOK: The Crusaders went 12-7 with a young roster in 2016. With most of the squad returning, expect another strong season this spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jack Walsh, an all-conference first-team defender, leads a solid group of seniors for Camden Catholic. That group also includes leading scorers Dave Hare and Jack Dragani, along with Max Hensinger, Matt Viola, Liam Santry and Steven Burns. Junior Bentley Owens and sophomore Brett Ziegler are other returners expected to contribute.
OUTLOOK: The Irish hope their strong senior leadership can help them improve on last year’s 6-13 record.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherokee has a solid group of returners who gained valuable experience last year, including junior midfielder Ryan Raftery, who should be one of the leaders this spring after a strong sophomore campaign. The senior class includes Dylan Rhoads, a three-year starter, along with fellow defenders Jason Morgan and Michael Pawlowski and attackman Nick Sabatini. Several promising juniors who contributed as sophomores are midfielders Kyle Scott, Nick Moffa and Joseph McNulty and attackman Ryan Burke. Midfielder Jordan Hayes is a talented sophomore who was the team’s top offensive player as a freshman. Another sophomore, defender Dylan O’Mara, will look to make an impact as he returns to the field after being sidelined with injuries last season.
OUTLOOK: The Chiefs went 3-13 last year for their first losing season since 2011. They should make progress this spring with a lot of key players back in the fold.
Cherry Hill East
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior midfielder Evan Campbell led Cherry Hill East with 41 goals and 26 assists last year on his way to all-conference second-team honors. The St. Joseph’s University recruit is back to lead the way with junior attack Eric Sherman (22 goals, 22 assists), another all-conference second-teamer, and senior attack Matthew Braun (26 goals). Senior Adam Hauck and junior Cade Zaris are experienced midfielders and junior Andrew Curran is back on defense. Senior Ben Vaupen and sophomore Harrison Gutin will both see time in goal.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars went 5-11 and lost in the first round of the South Jersey Group IV playoffs in 2016. With a lot of playmakers returning, they hope to contend for a winning record under new head coach Justin Meyers.
Cherry Hill West
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherry Hill West graduated four all-conference players and will need new leaders to emerge. Junior attack John Robertson displayed an ability to finish as a sophomore and should be one of the top playmakers. Junior defender Ryan Mailahn is a three-year starter and junior Will Marble is back as the starting goalie.
OUTLOOK: The Lions hope to make progress throughout the program after posting a 3-16 record in 2016.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Clearview graduated loads of offensive firepower but has to be excited about the returners on a stingy defense, including all-South Jersey and all-conference first-teamer Jarett Baker. The athletic senior will continue his career at Hartford University. Senior Tim Martini, who is headed to Messiah College, is another starter on D and senior goalie Kevin Horchak is back after earning all-conference second-team honors. Many of the top playmakers have moved on, but one exciting returner to keep an eye on is junior attack Brendan Burns, who had 38 goals and 21 assists in a breakout season. Senior midfielder Robert Wagner (10 goals) will also contribute to the offense. Other returning midfielders are seniors Matt Niewoehner and Matt Manzo, junior Matt DiBabbo and sophomore Aidan Burns.
OUTLOOK: The 2016 season was memorable for the Pioneers, who went 15-5 and reached a sectional final for the first time in the 12-year history of the program, where they dropped a close game to Moorestown. Expect another successful season if the attack develops as expected.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Eastern graduated a strong senior class that featured five all-conference players. But there is still talent on board, including three senior midfielders: Stone Garber, Hunter Baraldi and Brandon Hall. Garber had 11 goals and 10 assists and Baraldi had 10 goals, and those two will be counted on to lead the offense. Hall, a three-year varsity player who will play college lacrosse at Albright, has led the team in ground balls the last two seasons and is also the Vikings’ faceoff specialist. Junior attack Ben Smith should also take on a bigger role after recording four goals and three assists as a sophomore. Seniors Matthew Wilson and Gabe LeBold return on defense—along with senior goalie Colin McCollum—and senior Jeremy Kupstow contributes in the midfield.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings went 11-8 in 2016 and reached the sectional semifinals for the second straight season. They’re aiming for another winning season despite the losses to graduation.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Gloucester Catholic has an exciting mix of valuable seniors and promising youngsters, led by senior midfielder Colin Corrado and sophomore attack Mike Vanaman. Corrado had 15 goals and 15 assists to make the all-conference first team for the second year in a row. Vanaman received the same recognition after breaking out as a rookie with a team-high 45 goals to go with 15 assists. Two other sophomores were major contributors as freshmen: attack Sean Beers (20 goals, 12 assists) and starting goalie Darin Holmes. Joining Corrado as key upperclassmen are senior defender Nick Myers, senior midfielder Christian Holmes, junior defender TJ Logan, junior defensive middie Mike McAleer and junior midfielders Zach Raudenbush and Mike Zelinski. Other contributors on defense are senior Eddie Anyzek and sophomore Drew Venit.
OUTLOOK: After reaching the sectional quarterfinals and finishing with a 10-10 record, the Rams have the potential to post their first winning record since 2011 this spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Haddonfield has a solid nucleus led by seniors Brendan Gilmartin, a defender, and Donny Siok, a midfielder. Gilmartin, a terrific athlete who also shines in football and basketball, had 73 ground balls and made the all-conference first-team. Siok, a four-year varsity player, scored 24 goals to go with eight assists and 82 ground balls and will continue his career at Catholic University. Junior midfielder and faceoff specialist Mitchell Rothstein led the team with 144 grounds balls and was an all-conference second-teamer, and junior Will Batson will lead the attack after notching 29 goals and 11 assists as a sophomore. Senior midfielder Alex Dean (18 goals, 11 assists) and sophomore attack Aiden Blake (14, 13) are also key pieces of the offense, and important players in the midfield include senior Angelo DiTomaso and junior Max Green. Junior Greg Connelly hopes to take over for starting goalie Ian Reilly, who graduated after earning all-South Jersey second-team honors.
OUTLOOK: The Bulldawgs went 11-8—their first winning record since 2012—and won a playoff game before falling in the sectional quarterfinals last spring. They have the core in place to make it two straight winning campaigns.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Kingsway graduated several key leaders from last year’s team but has a talented squad in place highlighted by junior midfielder Joel Scerbo, an all-conference first-teamer who has been starting since his freshman year. Scerbo, a future Division I player, led the Dragons with 52 goals last season and added 20 assists while scooping up 58 ground balls. Junior Donovan Shannon is another proven scorer on attack who had 36 goals and a team-high 24 assists, and senior attackman Patrick Schooley will also contribute offensively. Senior Brandon Stouch and junior Andrew White will be important players in the midfield, along with sophomore Jake Waltz, a transfer from Gloucester Catholic who had 16 goals and 20 assists as a freshman. Senior James Curtis will lead a defense that graduated all-conference first-teamer Jay Scerbo. Junior Ben Pagesy, an all-conference second-team selection, returns as the starting goalie.
OUTLOOK: The Dragons went 12-7 and reached the sectional semifinals for the first time in program history last year. They’ll look to keep making progress under new head coach Kyle McLaughlin, who replaces Sean Dunn.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Lenape graduated an outstanding senior class that helped the program reach three straight sectional finals and landed three players on the all-South Jersey first team in 2016. The good news is that another all-South Jersey first- teamer is back to lead a roster that is still very impressive. Senior attacker/mid- fielder Tim Montgomery scored 31 goals as a junior but took greater pleasure from setting up his teammates, as he finished with a team-leading 57 assists. He will continue his career at Towson University. Junior Drew Bregman, who has committed to West Point for lacrosse, is another talented scorer who had 43 goals and 21 assists, and junior Zach Cole, an all-conference second-teamer who has committed to St. Joe’s, will anchor a defense that was hit hard by graduation. Juniors Matt Lajoie and Matt Ingersoll, senior Colin Wright and sophomores Bryce Reece and Will Mercado are other key factors in the midfield and attack. Senior Luke Peters and sophomore Rob Pensabene are candidates to replace all-conference goalie Manny D’Alessio. Mason Bregman and Drew Lippencott are freshmen who will push for varsity spots.
OUTLOOK: The Indians’ 17-2 season ended with a tough 15-13 loss to Montgomery in the South Jersey Group IV final. They’ll aim for their fourth consecutive trip to the final this spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moorestown returns a terrific senior class that is motivated to win a state championship. The group includes all-South Jersey first-teamer Frankie Labetti, a midfielder who had 54 goals and 20 assists and has committed to Fairfield University. Senior attacks Quinn Willis (42 goals, 16 assists) and Will Corbi (38, 30) are other prolific scorers, and senior Liam Peck is an outstanding goalie. Junior Judah Hicks, a defensive middie who made the all-South Jersey second team, is another key returner along with junior midfielder Sean Carden. Other contributors are senior midfielder Wes Sporer, senior defenders Brian Santosuosso and Carter Button, sophomore midfielder Patrick Runfola and sophomore defender Will Eigenrauch.
OUTLOOK: The Quakers went 18-4, claimed the South Jersey Group III title and lost a heartbreaker to West Morris in the state final on a goal with 4.3 seconds remaining. To say they’re hungry for another shot at a state crown is an understatement.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moorestown Friends has a solid crop of returners led by talented senior midfielder Jackson Blanchard, who registered 18 goals and 15 assists and scooped up 48 ground balls a year ago. Senior attack Noah Magaziner is another proven scorer who had 12 goals and 13 assists, while senior Spencer Dennis and junior Blaze Nyzio will also be counted on to put the ball in the back of the net. Seniors Andrew DeNittis and Joe Nyzio anchor the defense and junior Roman Daniel will look to earn the starting goalie job. Juniors Lawrence Miles and Philip Evans and sophomore Elijah Gamber are also looking to contribute.
OUTLOOK: The Foxes have some key pieces returning and expect to improve on last year’s 4-10 record.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior attackman Collin Fogerty is a premier scorer and leads a strong returning cast for Paul VI. The NJIT recruit had 45 goals and 30 assists to earn all-conference first-team recognition. Senior midfielder Anthony Moran (28 goals, 14 assists) is also a dangerous scorer and made the all-conference second team along with senior defenders Nick Burns and Pat McGovern. Seniors Rob Heaney (15 goals, 19 assists) and Matt Motto (18 goals, 10 assists) are key players on the attack and junior Sean Savacool is back in the midfield. Sophomore Robert Maraski returns as the starting goalie, while defenders Adam Colclough and Eric Abruzzo and midfielder Jake DiGiacomo are senior leaders.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles’ improvement continued in 2016, as they went 12-7 just two years after finishing with three wins. It will be interesting to see what they can accomplish this spring under new coach Rich Burns.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Junior attackman Ian Gray has been a potent scorer since his freshman year and should be even better as an upperclassman. Last season, he had a team-high 41 goals and 16 assists on his way to all- conference second-team honors. Senior attack Alex Stahre (26 goals, 25 assists) also made the all-conference second team, and senior attack Connor Fries (22, 11) is yet another key piece of the offense. Seniors Peter Burke and Ryan Hackney are the leaders in the midfield and juniors Tommy Scarpello and Steve Rodeschin are returning defenders. Senior Duncan Haggerty is an experienced goalie who could move into the starting role.
OUTLOOK: The Golden Eagles went 16-4, secured their fourth consecutive Olympic Conference Patriot Division title and reached the sectional semifinals last spring. They should be in the hunt for a fifth straight division championship in 2017.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: All-South Jersey and all-conference first-team attackman Dan Wigley is back to lead Shawnee during his senior sea- son. Last year he tallied a team-high 42 goals, and the four-year starter should be in store for a big final campaign before heading off to Loyola University. Senior attack Mike Shinske, who made a courageous comeback from a serious brain injury in 2015 to notch 27 goals and 13 assists last year, is another key returner who will continue his career at Penn State. Shinske was an all-conference second-teamer along with junior defender Brett Funk, another Penn State commit. Senior attack Brad Scheffler (12 goals, 16 assists), senior midfielder Lucas Stroud (15 goals) and junior attack Bailey Pringle (10 goals) are other important pieces of the offense, and juniors Blake Brinster, Sean Lynch and Tom Shinske will all be in the mix at attack. Senior midfielder Timmy O’Hanlon (63 ground balls) is a faceoff specialist, senior Brett Bromley is a returning defensive middie and senior Garrett Woods is a defenseman who will play college lacrosse at Stockton. Junior Dan Falzone is an experienced goalie and other defenders are juniors Luke Austin, Connor Creaney, John Dias and Tom Kane.
OUTLOOK: The Renegades had somewhat of a rebuilding season in 2016 but still finished with 10 wins and reached the sectional semifinals. They hope to be in the sectional hunt with Wigley and Shinske directing the attack.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Although St. Augustine graduated seven starters—including South Jersey Player of the Year Charlie Kitchen—there is plenty of talent remaining. That includes the defensive end of the field, where Ohio State recruit Luke Russomanno, a senior, returns in goal. Senior Jake McCaughan, a Penn State commit, is one of the key defenders in front of him, and senior Bryce Vaxman is another experienced defender. Seniors Jack Menet, Mark Taccard and Frank Casano will also push for positions on D. The offense will be led by senior midfielders Ethan Kazmierski (21 goals, 10 assists) and Max Gravenstine (17 goals), and senior Drew Carpenter will also play a big role in the midfield. Senior Kyle Ross (12 goals) is back on attack and senior Jack Utke will also compete for a position up top, while senior defensive middies include Lafayette recruit Dylan Tocco, Salisbury recruit Luke Moncman and faceoff specialist Aiden Baltz. Senior Zach Capriotti is another experienced goalie.
OUTLOOK: The Hermits went 12-8 overall and undefeated against South Jersey competition in 2016, reaching the Non-Public A semifinals. Look for them to be one of the premier teams in the area once again this spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Washington Township returns a standout player at both ends of the field in senior Jared Albano and junior Jake Dzierzgowski. Albano, a defender, made the all-conference second team and will continue his career at Stockton. Dzierzgowski, a starter since his freshman year, tied for the team lead with 24 goals last season and will again spark the attack. Senior attack Vince Gagliardi (10 goals), senior midfielder Dave Ciocco (eight goals) and junior midfielder Carson Shultz (six goals) will also be counted on offensively. Senior Jarrett Dargusch, who will continue his career at Limestone College, is a returning starter on defense and sophomore Dylan Kreitzer is an experienced goalie who started as a freshman.
OUTLOOK: The Minutemen went 4-12 with a close loss to Southern in the first round of the South Jersey Group IV playoffs. They hope to contend for a winning record under new head coach Josh Hanlon, who started the lacrosse program at Neshaminy in Pennsylvania and led the team from 2007 to 2013.
To see all of the spring boys lacrosse schedules, click here.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 11 (January, 2016).
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