By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 7/15/17
Lacrosse is becoming a mainstream sport in Minnesota, but hockey remains the top sport. Team Minnesota’s Andrew Wilson, a 2019 attackman from state champion Eagan, says playing hockey, though, is a major plus for a lacrosse player.
“It helps (your lacrosse game) tremendously,” said Wilson. “You keep your head up and you are always one step ahead of the play. You always know what will happen next and you are looking for the next play. You know where everyone is. In hockey you have to have quick hands and the stick-handling helps you in lacrosse. The workouts also help you.”
Wilson was one who impressed Friday at the Passport Alliance/National 175 Jersey Shore Challenge Individual Showcase at the Drum Point Sports Complex in Brick, NJ. The event continues today with a two-day tournament featuring elite club teams.
“I have actually played varsity hockey the past three years and I am a very athletic athlete who is willing to put in the work,” said Wilson. “You can always count on me to work hard; I never let my coach down. I have a high lacrosse IQ abd I always know where people are and where to get them the ball.”
Wilson said the smaller numbers in Friday’s showcase was an advantage.
“We got a lot more time on the field and I had a lot of my 2019 (Team Minnesota) teammates playing with me,” he said. “We all kind of clicked with the other guys and we figured it out.”
What did he learn from the event? “You never take a play off. Obviously, your stick skills need to be 100 percent. You can’t use one hand; you have to go left and right. The defense will figure it out. At the beginning of any showcase I shoot the gun right away and try to figure out the defense, and see what way they slide and see how it will work.”
Wilson said Team Minnesota has proven in recent years it can compete regularly with top programs in the Mid-Atlantic region.
“I have been coming East for three years and we have really stepped it up a notch,” he said. “Our stick skills have improved and I feel that when we come here everyone is together playing as a team. There are no individuals.”
Where is he in the recruiting process? “Last week we played in the Liberty Bell Challenge and I stayed up here the past four days and visited Rutgers and Monmouth. Back home we are close to only a few D1 schools like Detroit Mercy and Marquette and it was cool to see these New Jersey campuses.”
Wilson’s 2019 teammate, attackman/middie Brayden Nelson (867, Wayzata High, the third-place team in the state), also enjoyed the experience.
“It was fun to get to play with kids from all over,” he said. “I also got to play with kids I usually play with and it was great since we know each other’s playing style.”
What do you have to contribute to a college program? “You always have to be going 100 percent, no matter what. You never know. When playing or practicing, you go 100 percent. The same things that happen in the games always happen in practice. So you practice like you play.
“Also, I can play attack or middie. You can put me in wherever you want. I can play all over the place.”
Nelson says he is a late bloomer: “I am not looking at many yet since I just picked it up last year. I am just starting to become one of my team’s top scorers and I just finished my highlight tape.”
Others that stood out Friday:
Ben Coates, 2019 ATT/MF, Evolve/St. Andrew’s College-Ontario
On the event: “It was really good. There were a lot of college coaches; probably some of the most I have seen on the sidelines. I think I showed good creativity and good ball movement. I was able to hit cutters, I was going in between a lot of pick and rolls.”
What did you learn? “I get to learn how to shoot down the alleys a lot more. We don’t do that much up north. We got some new drills on how to work in tight and use your quick hands.”
What type of school are you looking for? “Right now I am looking at D2, hopefully D1 if I make it. I am looking more at academics. I have to see what the coaches are thinking since you can’t talk to them or make any visits.”
What can you offer a college program? “Definitely my playmaking and passing ability. I have fairly good visions and I see a lot of the plays. I am a team player with quick hands in tight from my box experience.”
What is your team’s outlook in the tourney? “It’s always the hope to win a championship.”
We came close in the Every tournament thats what always hope for came close last one Long islandinsta – bencoates_29
Ryan Janowski, 2019, DEF/LSDM, Jersey Thunder/Warren Hills Regional-NJ
On the event: “I think the games went pretty well; we had great teamwork and we had a lot of playing time.
What did you learn? “In the drills we had a lot of individual time with coaches and learned valuable information that I used. We had a lot of positional drills and worked on stick skills and lacrosse IQ in general. I believe I improved on my approaches and using that first step.”
Where are you in the recruiting process? “I am still looking and will be visiting campuses soon.”
Team’s outlook in the tourney: “We’re looking to do well and hopefully win the ‘ship – that’s the goal.”
Jeffrey Perkins, 2018 G, Dukes VA/St. Anne’s-Belfield-VA
On the event: “I got a lot of playing time out here. I think limited numbers gives more people time to step up and play.”
What did you learn? “We had a long session with the goalie coach in our individual (positional) session. He commented on my form and just a lot about fundamentals of my positioning like really stepping up into the ball as well as positioning when the ball is behind. We had some refreshers on things I may have missed out on during the year. I think I improved on just moving to the ball; I picked up on that I was dragging mt feet a little bit.”
What do you have to offer a college program? “As a goalie I would say I have quick hands and good ball stopping skills, good clears and that I am somebody that works hard and is dedicated to the team. I am also selfless and humble. Off the field I am pretty good in the classroom and am involved in extra curricular activities.”
Jack Casey, 2018 middie, Team Turnpike/Hillsborough-NJ
What did you work on? “We worked on getting quick releases on our shots and having my hands back when getting a pass so I am ready to shoot the ball.”
On competing at home in a NJ tourney: “We are excited about it; it’s our first one of the summer.”
Where are you in the recruiting process? “I am pretty open, and I am going to a couple of prospect days.”
What do you have to offer a college program? “I do have pretty good grades, and I do lot of work in the off season to get ready.”