Lacrosse preview

Lacrosse’s rapid growth continues

 

The upcoming Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic and rising participation by football players shows the growth of the sport.

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KEY DATES

This week: Regular season began

Apr. 15-19: Districts

Apr. 23: Finals First-Round Play-In Game

Apr. 26: Finals Second-Round Play-In Game

April 30: Finals Third-Round Play-In Game

May 3-4: Finals at West Orange High School (Winter Garden)

2012 STATE CHAMPS

Boys: Saint Andrew’s; Girls: Vero Beach

BOYS’ TOP RETURNING PLAYERS

Harris Stolzenberg, Pine Crest, Sr.

Michael Diener, Pine Crest, Sr.

Kyle Diener, Pine Crest, Sr.

Sam Talkow, Pine Crest, Sr.

Joey Dorn, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr.

Fernando Milanes, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr.

Griffin Melzer, St. Thomas Aquinas, Sr.

R.J. Curtain, St. Thomas Aquinas, Jr.

J.P. Crowley, St. Thomas Aquinas, So.

OTHERS BOYS TO WATCH

Zach Smith, Pine Crest, So.; Cole Hansen, Pine Crest, Jr.; Matt Mester, Douglas, Sr.; Ryan Brodsky, Douglas, So.; Danny Harris, University, Jr.; Hunter Shechtman, University, Jr.; Mike Moorehead, Archbishop McCarthy, Sr.; Kori Beck, Archbishop McCarthy, Sr.; Dylan Rupert, Cypress Bay, Jr.; Tyler Mutschler, Cypress Bay, Jr.; Tyler Loporto, Cypress Bay, Jr.; Mike Ferguson, Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.; Sam Kuebler, Cardinal Gibbons, Jr.; J.D. Brady, Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.; Jake Bresnahan, Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.; Zack Weisberg, American Heritage, Jr.; Matt Zittores, American Heritage, Sr.

GIRLS’ TOP RETURNING PLAYERS

Carli Marsh, Pine Crest, Sr.

Jasmine Docal, Pine Crest, Sr.

Alexandra Gershman, Pine Crest, So.

Alexa Eskenazi, Pine Crest, So.

Lauren Burns, Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.

Kate Ingerto, Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.

Meghan Moran, Cardinal Gibbons, Jr.

Marissa Boye, American Heritage, Sr.

Erika Mazer, American Heritage, Jr.

OTHERS GIRLS TO WATCH

Lelei Pina, Pine Crest, Sr.; Lindsay Wolk, Douglas, So.; Remington Baturin, Douglas, Jr.; Madison Barbini, Douglas, Jr.; Paige Fitzsimmons, Douglas, Sr.; Allie Breton, Cardinal Gibbons, Sr.; Kaitlyn Carmona, Western, Jr.; Ali Kohn, American Heritage, Sr.; Jessica Margulies, American Heritage, Sr.; Laura Swanson, South Plantation, Sr.; Jenna Swanson, South Plantation, Sr.; Kaitlyn Carmona, Western, Jr.; Margaret Waite, Western, Jr.

BOYS’ OUTLOOKS (Single class)

1. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS (Coach Terry Crowley, 4th year at STA). Last year: 18-4 (Third round play-in). Top players: Fernando Milanes, Sr.; Joey Dorn, Sr.; Griffin Melzer, Sr.; R.J. Curtain, Jr.; J.P. Crowley, So.; Cole Hansen, Jr.

2. PINE CREST (Coach Doug Shanahan, 6th year, 64-22). Last year: 16-4 (Second Round Play-In). Top players: Harris Stolzenberg, Sr.; Michael Diener, Sr.; Kyle Diener, Sr.; Zach Smith, So.; Sam Talkow, Sr.

3. DOUGLAS (Coach Chris Kuhn, 2nd year). Last year: 15-1 (First Round Play-In). Top players: Matt Mester, Sr.; Ryan Brodsky, So.; Austin Maller, Jr.; Allan Wiodarezck, Jr.; Jake Maisner, Jr.

4. CYPRESS BAY (Coach Geoff Swinerton, 2nd year). Last year: 12-4 (First Round Play-In). Top players: Dylan Rupert, Jr.; Tyler Mutschler, Jr.; Drew Minchew, So.; Tyler Loporto, Jr.; Jake Vigil, Sr.

5. CARDINAL GIBBONS (Coach Kirk Beville, 1st year). Last year: 11-7 (District Finalist). Top players: JD Brady, Sr.; Wil Hart, Sr.; Mike Ferguson, Sr.; Sam Kuebler, Jr.; Jake Bresnahan, Sr.

6. ARCHBISHOP McCARTHY (Coach Brent Hilsabeck, 1st year). Last year: 11-8 (District finalist). Top players: Mike Moorehead, Sr.; Nick Elias, Sr.; Nick Milbery, Sr.; Tom Tuffano, Sr.; Kori Beck, Sr.; John Moorehead, Sr.

7. AMERICAN HERITAGE (Coach Rick Nash, 7th overall). Last year: 8-6 (District semifinalist). Top players: Tristin Payne, Jr.; Jarett Alfero, Fr.; Zack Weisberg, Jr.; Matt Zittores, Sr.; Ricky Chase, Jr.

8. CALVARY CHRISTIAN (Coach Adam Bond, 1st year). Last year: 10-11 (District semifinalist). Top players: Dawson Allen, Jr.; Hunter Ramsay, Fr.; David Salvatelli, Jr.; Colton Coffin, So.

9. NORTH BROWARD PREP (Coach Ryan Burton, 5th year at NB). Last year: 8-9 (District Semifinalist). Top players: Kenny Lorden, Jr.; Tyler Marshall, Jr.; Harris Feldman, Fr.; Sean Tabris, Fr.

10. UNIVERSITY SCHOOL (Coach Jan Northrop, 2nd year). Last year: 6-13 (District Finalist). Top players: Danny Harris, Jr.; Hunter Shechtman, Jr.; Raul Mendy, So.

11. FLANAGAN (Coach Philip Garza, 2nd year). Last year: 0-9. Top players: Michael Francis, Sr.; Graham Hertzbach, So.; David Manosalva, Sr.; Tyler Cardenas, Sr.; Danny Salmon, Sr.

GIRLS’ OUTLOOKS (Single class)

1. PINE CREST (Coach Eileen Pliske, 8th year). Last year: 14-6 (State semifinalist). Top players: Jasmine Docal, Sr.; Carli Marsh, Sr.; Allie Gershman, So.; Lelei Pina, Sr.; Alexa Eskenazi, So.

2. DOUGLAS (Coach John McClain, 1st year). Last year: 15-2 (First Round Play-In). Top players: Sabrina Kaplan, Fr.; Lindsay Wolk, So.; Remington Baturin, Jr.; Madison Barbini, Jr.; Paige Fitzsimmons, Sr.

3. AMERICAN HERITAGE (Coach Jim Hill, 4th year). Last year: 12-5 (First Round Play-In). Top players: Marissa Boye, Sr.; Erika Mazer, Jr.; Lauren O’Connell, Fr.; Ali Kohn, Sr.; Jessica Margulies, Sr.

4. WESTERN (Coaches Bianca Diaz and Nion Pinto). Last year: 9-4 (District finalist). Top players: Kaitlyn Carmona, Jr.; Margaret Waite, Jr.; Taylor Ouellette, Sr.

5. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS (Coach Troy Millican). Last year: District finalist.

6. CARDINAL GIBBONS (Coach Claire Kelly, 2nd year). Last year: 10-7 (District semifinalist). Top players: Meghan Moran, Jr.; Katie Diamond, Jr.; Kate Ingerto, Sr.; Lauren Burns, Sr.; Allie Breton, Sr.

7. SOUTH PLANTATION (Coach Hilary Grimes, 1st year). Last year: 7-7 (District semifinalist). Top players: Laura Swanson, Sr.; Jenna Swanson, Sr.; Emma Rose, Sr.; Dominique Santamaria, So.


Special to The Miami Herald

St. Thomas Aquinas senior Joey Dorn ran through the Sun Life Stadium tunnel with his teammates last August, minutes away from kickoff against Miami Columbus in the football season opener.

Dorn will relive that experience on March 1 when the Raiders face the Pine Crest Panthers in the Orange Bowl Lacrosse Classic. The 6-0, 210-pound linebacker is also a face-off specialist and captain of the school’s lacrosse team.

“It shows how big lacrosse has grown where it’s taken seriously,” said Dorn, who will play for Providence College. “If you had told a few guys from the team four years ago they would laugh and say you’d never play at [Sun Life Stadium] for the next 10 to 15 years. It’s been so fast.”

Several athletic programs in Broward County are building toward a movement that would further popularize the sport. Football players that generally gravitated towards track, basketball and wrestling have started to pick up lacrosse over the offseason.

Junior quarterback R.J. Curtain joins Dorn as the other member of the Aquinas team. Three American Heritage football players participate in lacrosse. Pine Crest also has three, including senior Kyle Diener, who will play both sports at Colgate. Cypress Bay’s top scorer, junior Dylan Rupert, is a running back.

Fourth-year Raiders lacrosse coach Terry Crowley believes this trend correlates with a better understanding of the game. Lacrosse players also tend to look like their gridiron brothers since they wear helmets and shoulder pads.

“We’re giving players the second week of May and they’re banging already, getting contact and up and down the field in better shape,” Crowley said. “When spring football comes, it has a positive effect.”

Recent alumni include Ben Young, an offensive lineman for two Class 5A state titles, who plays lacrosse for the University of Albany. His team upset No. 13 Syracuse four days ago. His older brother, Sam, is a member of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Defensive back Cole Champion earned the Charles Loftus Award as the top Yale freshman.

Football coach Rocco Casullo recommends his players join the lacrosse team, but he said not as many have taken his advice as he would like.

Casullo grew up in Syracuse, N.Y., which he calls the capital of the sport. According to him, wide receivers and defensive backs would benefit from the footwork, agility, conditioning and field awareness.

“When I grew up watching high school lacrosse in central New York it was like watching a bunch of linebackers and wide receivers running around with sticks in their hands,” Casullo said. “They’re extremely big, extremely athletic and no question it’s great for hand-eye coordination, agility and change of direction.”

Aside from the athletic benefits, Casullo acknowledges the scholarship opportunities for Division I, II and III schools, offering chances at a free education.

Pine Crest senior Harris Stolzenberg will attend MIT. His teammates, Michael Diener and Sam Talkow, will play lacrosse for Hofstra and Boston, respectively.

“A lot of kids have seen Joey [and it’s] made lacrosse more popular because of Division I scholarships and good football players,” Casullo said.

“Over the next couple of years we’re going to see more.”

Read more Broward High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

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