By Chris Goldberg
ToplaxRecruits.com, Posted 11/1/21
FREDERICA, Del. – Mack Leonhartt said the coastal region of Southern Delaware and Maryland may be an under appreciated area for lacrosse talent.
“I don’t think the area of lower Delaware and Maryland is seen as a hotspot for lacrosse,” said the 2023 defenseman from Coastal Lacrosse Academy (CLA) and Sussex Academy (DE). “But the fact we’re bringing together a good team that’s competing with these bigger clubs is really important to grow the sport in our area mainly. You’re starting to see that a lot more.”
On Sunday at the Victory Events Fall Classic at the Delaware Sports Turf Complex, Coastal Lacrosse Academy flexed its muscles as the only High School AA team to finish 3-0. The CLA is only in its second year, and was formed by former Denison head coach Matt McGinnis and Sussex head coach Tom Incontrera in hopes of running a strong boys’ travel program that addresses a need for the region.
“I have wanted to keep kids here since I came back to the shore in 2008,” said McGinnis who has been involved as a director of several club programs in the past decade. “Instead of them going to the (Annapolis) Hawks or up north, we can keep them here in a winning and competitive program.”
A core of the 2023 team’s top players are from Cape Henlopen, which was the Delaware state runner-up in 2021 and won the state crown in 2019.
CLA used a tight defense and a strong passing offense to roll past SJ Shamrocks, 10-4, Blak Widow, 6-1, and Brotherhood, 7-2. CLA trailed, 2-0, late in the first half of the win over Brotherhood but scored the game’s final seven goals.
“I think once we get our offense clicking – because our defense was on fire – we can really score goals,” said midfielder Griffin Jones (Worcester Prep-MD).
Added defenseman Brody Smith (Cape Henlopen): “A strength is our communication on defense.”
Offensively, attackmen Joe Covelesky (Cape Henlopen) and Luke Burton (Cape Henlopen) each had two goals in the third win.
“I just think we have the connections,” said Burton. “We’ve all played with each other for a long time.”
“I think we move the ball well and also we have a lot of guys that can take it to the rack and share the wealth,” added Covolesky. “On the defensive end we really communicate and I think we’ve all been friends for so long and we are friends outside of lacrosse. That helps make it more fun to play on the field.”
The CLA goalie, Michael Sposato, was an All-State pick as a sophomore for Cape Henlopen.
“I think our defense is very good,” said Sposato. “They talk, they listen, they do what they are supposed to do to clear the ball. I have been playing with these guys all my life.”