By Matt Chandik
TopLaxrecruits.com, Posted 6/25/17
PITTSFORD, N.Y. – It’s not easy to crack the starting lineup as an underclassman at a school like La Salle College High (PA), particularly when you’ve got a future Division I player that’s two years older than you in that spot.
Zac Coar was the backup lefty attackman for the Explorers, biding his time behind Yale signee and All-Catholic League selection Chris Hladczuk. La Salle had one of the deepest rosters around, one that enabled the Explorers to win another Catholic League before bowing out in the state quarterfinals.
Hladczuk will be in New Haven next spring, but Coar more than looked the part of a guy who’s capable of filling in those big shoes with his performance for Duke’s Lacrosse Club at the SweetLax Showcase and Invitational in Pittsford. The 2019 attackman was one of the standouts of the day and he earned a spot in Saturday night’s All-Star Game. A quick and slippery attackman, Coar was almost unguardable one-on-one and he used his athleticism to make himself both a scoring and feeding threat.
“Penetrating is part of my game,” Coar said. “Beating the defender with my first step and getting around the corner is my game, but my teammates also cleared through and gave me the opportunity to get open. I really like trying to tie the defender up behind the cage, making a move and using that first step.”
With performances like the one at SweetLax, Coar will likely have a set of collegiate suitors in the near future. He’s envisioning a Division I career and it’s unlikely that he’ll be short on options.
“I’m looking for good academics and hopefully D-I,” Coar said. “I really want to play big-time lacrosse. (Maryland Tewaraaton winner and La Salle alum) Matt Rambo is a huge role model, so I’m definitely trying to fulfill my dream of kind of being like him and being my own Zac Coar.”
There might not be a more storied high school lacrosse program in the entire country than West Genesee (N.Y.).
There definitely isn’t a coach with more wins than West Genny’s Mike Messere, who has more than 800 career wins and will retire after next season.
Here’s a lengthy list of goalies who have started as freshmen during Messere’s tenure: Luke Staudt.
After watching the SweetLax 2020 goalie, it’s not hard to see why he made history. He earned a spot in the SweetLax Showcase All-Star Game Saturday after helping SweetLax to a 2-1 record Saturday.
“I’d say definitely my communication has been the biggest thing,” Staudt said. “I’ve become a lot clearer and a lot more specific. I thought I was seeing the ball pretty well and our defense played pretty well, for the most part. They helped me out a lot.”
There might not be a goalie that will be more in demand on Sept. 1, 2018.
Cameron Henry gives a pretty accurate self-scouting report.
“I feel like the percentage of me getting a ground ball is very, very high,” said the 2019 LSM/defenseman from McCallie School (Tenn.) and LB3. “I feel like my close defense is one of my strong points. I have very, very quick feet and off the faceoff, I try to make sure I make the right play.”
There’s a lot more to it than that, but Henry used a combination of all of those things to cement his spot in the All-Star Game. The 6-4 pole was getting high Division I interest before the recent changes in recruiting rules, and once Sept. 1 hits, he will return to being in high demand.
“I was facing off today, and I think I did that pretty well,” Henry said. “I got a lot of possessions today or made it a 50-50 ground ball, and most of the time, my team won it.”
That, coupled with great coverage ability and a penchant for takeaways, will do it.
Cameron wasn’t the only Henry who stood out at SweetLax, though. His brother, Carter, is a 2020 midfielder who also collected an All-Star nod. The younger Henry doesn’t have his brother’s imposing size – yet – but he’s still a tall, athletic prospect who previously flirted with schools before the recruiting rules changed.
So what made him so good during the day?
“I’d say playing confident, looking for ‘one more’ and taking the shot when it’s there, but just trying to be a playmaker for my team,” explained Henry, who attends McCallie with his brother. “(LB3) had a lot of people that were down – I think we had six or seven players out – so I think just being a catalyst and an alpha male kind of helped.”
Naturally, Carter’s offensive game stems from watching…Allen Iverson. Even though he’s young to remember the A.I. days, Henry has definitely spent some time watching The Answer’s highlights, and it’s translated to the lacrosse field.
“Definitely Allen Iverson’s crossover,” Henry said, “but also his tenacity and him always trying to get to the hoop, always trying to make a play. That really helped me with my game.”
Indeed, it did.
It sounds simple, but it’s an effective method that Cade Meyers uses to get noticed.
Whenever the Tampa Jesuit (Fla.) and SweetLax Florida 2019 defenseman is on the field, you’re going to get his best effort.
“Working my hardest throughout the whole game probably made me shine to show that even if you don’t have the most skill, if you try the hardest, you can still be an All-Star,” Meyers said. “It’s just about heart. That’s probably what colleges coaches are looking for more. My intensity, being vocal and having a lot of heart are probably my strengths.”
He’s not bad at the whole, ‘stop other guys from scoring,’ thing either. He carved out a spot for himself in the All-Star Game and was active against attackmen, relentlessly hounding them.
“If the attackman is scared to dodge on you, he’s either not going to dodge to score or if he dodges, he’s going to be hesitant,” Meyers said. “Being intense in general intimidates the competition and lets you overwhelm them.”