By Matthew De George
Special to TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 6/29/22
CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. – It takes Alex Rismani a minute to recall the whole itinerary.
There was the tournament in Delaware last week. There’s another one coming up later this week for some of his Denver Elite teammates. For most, their barnstorming tour of the Eastern U.S. will take about two weeks, hitting a few tournaments and getting a different level of competition along the way.
Tuesday, against some of the best players in the country at the Matt Chandik One Percent Lacrosse Showcase at the Proving Grounds, the Class of 2024 midfielder from Valor Christian (CO) and plenty of his Colorado mates showed that they belonged.
Rismani was one of six players from Denver Elite named to the all-star game of the tournament. Beyond the obligatory post-game pictures and the mock ceremonial jersey swap – three were on each team, so it divvied up nicely – it was a point of pride for the Denver Elite contingent.
“It feels really cool because you never hear of a lot of lacrosse guys out of Colorado,” Rismani said. “This ’24 squad is really special because we all push each other at practice, and it shows out here. So it’s amazing to see it.”
Rismani was joined in the game by defensemen Ian Conner (Chaparral) and Michael Dickinson-Tooman (Fairview). The other all-star squad featured Cherry Creek’s Owen Burke, Chris Eiselein of Kent Denver and Regis Jesuit’s Gordon Reynolds.
Rismani scored a hat trick in the all-star game, including a beautiful behind-the-back goal. It’s the kind of audacious attempt that isn’t exactly what he’d be trying with Denver Elite all that much.
“That’s one of those shots that if I scored, it’d be really cool,” Rismani said. “But then coach would have a little talk with me.”
The all-star teams for the event had representation from all over the country – and, in the case of defenseman Jack Olson of British Columbia, Canada. Luke Breslin (St. Anthony’s/Team 91 Long Island) scored a hat trick in the 2024 all-star game for the red team.
The blue team that Rismani played for produced both MVPs. Rowyn Nurry (Salesianum/Brotherly Love) scored a hat trick to win offensive MVP. Haverford School/Philadelphia Freedom FOGO Ben McCarthy was named the defensive MVP.
In the 2025 all-star game, the red squad rallied for a win, led by offensive MVP Gary Merrill (St. Anthony’s/Team 91 LI). Merrill scored two goals. Luke Shannehan (Fairfield Prep/Eclipse) added a goal and two assists in the fourth quarter, as the red team overcame a five-goal halftime deficit. Owen Magee (Lovejoy/LI Express) also scored twice.
Pole Bo Popham (Delbarton/Team 91 Maryland) took home defensive MVP honors. He and goalie Joshua Marcus (Staples/Eclipse), who made six first-half saves, helped stake the blue team to its lead. Middie Reece Childs (Haverford School/Big 4 HHH) and Connor Kuttin (Chaminade/LI Express) scored twice apiece.
For Rismani and his Denver contingent, the individual emphasis of the showcase allowed for freedom, especially in the all-star capper to the day, than they’ve been used to on their travels. That’s something the offense took to.
“It hit our offensive guys definitely differently,” Rismani said. “We’re so used to a team offense. We don’t have many four-stars, five-stars on our team, so we’re used to playing really good team offense. But with this showcase, we’re starting to get used to it, play that team offense but still take our opportunities when we have them.”
“My parents have just been telling me, ‘don’t worry about the scouts; just go out and play, get out of your head,’” Vahey said. “And that’s what I did today, and the results showed up, and it felt awesome.”