TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 10/17/20 – Staff Report
TINTON FALLS, N.J – A lot of obstacles have stopped Nicholas Colantonio from getting on the lacrosse field this year – namely COVID-19, which wiped out the junior season of the Mt. Sinai (N.Y.) midfielder, a campaign usually so critical for recruiting.
So a little rain (or even a lot of rain, and wind) on Monday in the One Percent Showcase at the Cappelli Sports Complex wasn’t going to prevent Colantonio from getting in a good run. As a talented but uncommitted member of the Class of 2021 still looking for a college destination, Colantonio is taking any chance he can get to be on the field.
When presented with the level of competition at the Showcase, even the remnants of a tropical storm weren’t enough to keep him on the sidelines.
“You’ve just got to change your socks every game,” Colantonio said. “Once you’re wet, you’re wet. It didn’t get any worse.”
Colantonio was one of the players who relished the inclement conditions and most impressed in the Class of 2021 at the first annual showcase created by Matt Chandik. The two-day event brought together 300 of the best lacrosse players in the country, representing 23 states and the District of Columbia.
On Sunday, eight teams of 2022 players and four of 2023s played three round-robin games each, their performances used to determine a pair of all-star squads for one final game in the evening under the lights. Monday brought together three 2021 teams, the vast majority uncommitted players like Colantonio.
“I’m just looking to play,” said Colantonio, who plays club for Empire. “It’s good to keep playing. … You just want a good scrimmage against good competition. We had some long, 40-minute games and had four games with an all-star game. It was good to play in the all-star game with even better competition.”
Watching him on the field, it’s hard to believe he remains unspoken for. The speedy midfielder is a demon in transition, physical off the dodge and a willing defender. He scored several goals in the tournament with laser shots off the dodge, able to pick his corners high or low and apply the necessary power behind them.
Colantonio made the all-star game, part of his fall quest to get as many games as he can. His high school team isn’t back working out yet, and after playing basketball and football in middle school, he’s committed full-time to lacrosse.
That means heading to the club and showcase circuit. He’ll be in Myrtle Beach later this month playing with Team Carolina and has an event lined up in Baltimore. He hopes to visit colleges in the South as he seeks a fit for his next four years.
It follows the work he put in during quarantine, where a lack of games hasn’t stopped him from working on his game.
“I was looking forward to my junior year of lacrosse,” he said. “… The biggest part is I didn’t shut down during quarantine. I was always shooting, so I didn’t pull back as much. Maybe in conditioning, because I haven’t been running a lot compared to varsity practice, but I’ve been trying to keep up, always working with a stick.”
Fellow Long Islander Griffin Minuto (Garden City/Icon Lacrosse) was named the MVP of the 2021 all-star game. The six MVPs (one from each finals team) hailed from five states:
2021: Minuto and midfielder Campion White (Middle Creek (N.C.)/Team 91 Carolina)
2022: attackmen Chad Palumbo (Noble and Greenough (Mass.)/Top Gun Fighting Clams) and Ryan Colsey (Ridgefield (Conn.)/Eclipse)
2023: Midfielder Tomas Delgado (Brunswick (Conn.)/Prime Time) and defender Patrick Keenan (Malvern Prep (Pa.)/Philly Freedom)
For Colantonio, getting to meet new people at the One Percent Showcase is part of the fun, providing new players to test himself against.
“I really did not know a lot of people as much as at other showcases, but I did meet a lot of people from all across the East Coast,” he said. “It was cool. I was talking to them and how they’re doing with their recruiting process, and it’s good playing with them.”