Nike/US Lacrosse Mid-Atlantic Region Report
by Jonah Rosenblum | LaxMagazine.com
Players to watch
David Glynn, Lake Forest (Ill.)
Mike Schiappa, Loyola Academy (Ill.)
Zach Currier, Culver Academy (Ind.)
Games to watch
MICDS (Mo.) at Culver Academy (Ind.), March
Culver Academy at Lake Forest (Ill.), March
Loyola Academy (Ill.) at Ithaca (N.Y.), April
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.