TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 12/31/15
From Staff Report
If anyone doubted that Everest Academy was a high school program to be considered on a National scale, today’s performance at the Dick’s Tournament of Champions put the exclamation point on an amazing year for the growing Canadian power.
Corson Kealey, an uncommitted attackman, scored five goals and long pole Mike Harris had two of the team’s four tallies from the defensive side as Everest, of Ontario, toppled Resolute (OH), 12-6, to claim the Elite Division crown in Wesley Chapel, FL.
Everest, which has only played in field lacrosse tournament during the past year after making its name in box lacrosse, closed the Fall/Winter season at a lusty 28-1-1. Its only loss came in the second game of the NDPLacrosse event to the Resolute squad, 5-4.
After that, Everest used its strong stick skills, transition offense and solid defense to claim a championship despite the presence of no committed players.
“We were very motivated for the title game,” said Kealey. “After they (Resolute) handed us our first loss of the season we wanted redemption right away. We came out in the title game very hungry for a win and I think that’s what made the difference.”
Resolute scored first in the final, but Everest led, 5-2, at halftime and later pulled away with three goals to make it am 11-5 game.
“It feels absolutely amazing to have completed our final goal,” said Kealey, “and to do it with the best teammates you could ask for is just unbelievable.
“I think it was just our team play. We moved the ball very well, making the defence constantly have to slide and move around. A lot of the time I ended up being the open guy.”
Everest coach Clem D’Orazio said his players have received much interest from college recruiters and that they have the talent and lax IQ to match up with teams that are manned with many top D1 players.
Everest – which finished fourth last year – pulled out some tight games in the playoffs, downing the N.C. Road Warriors, 13-10, in the semifinals after edging west Florida Elite, 8-7, in he quarterfinals.
“We’re a slow starting team and we feel teams out,” said D’Orazio. “We make changes on the bench and players see a lot of things; they have a lot of lacrosse IQ and we make matchups knowing what we are up against. We were playing some D1 players and we knew how to focus on those types of players and where to slide. As a coach they make it a lot easier to shut people down where we needed.”
This spring Everest will play a high school schedule for the first time, facing U.S. teams from the Midwest.
“We want to start playing and competing with some of the top high school programs in North America,” aid Kealey.
Kealey said his team was undaunted about playing established club programs with many D1 commits.
“As a team we tried not to focus so much on how many players other teams had committed or where they were committed to,” he said. “We just tried to concentrate on our game, compete the way we know how and play a team game.
“In the end we all came together and achieved our goal.”
Said D’Orazio, who credited the defense, especially 2017 Tristan Hanna: “When we started this year, this was the big thing; the end-of-the-2015 goal. The boys built for it every time they played and we got better and better with our sticks. We came down here and produced.
“The defense was a attribute. We had five poles and got four goals and two assists from them. That’s a huge factor; and you can’t leave out our attackmen and how they controlled the ball. They buried it any chance they got.”