By Chris Goldberg
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 6/17/13
LANCASTER, Pa. – Cal Costa, a rising sophomore attackman for the West Coast Starz, said playing in the National Scholastic Club Lacrosse Association (NSCLA) Cup Championships last weekend at Franklin and Marshall College was about more than being recruited.
“Individually, you want to grow as a player and get better every day,” he said. “And our team, the West Coast Starz, is something special. We want to compete; the goal is always to win, but we want to play as a team and play unselfishly.”
Costa spoke Saturday in the first of the two-day tournament that featured the 20 NSCLA teams from around the nation competing for titles in three age classes. In fact, his Starz did win the crown, claiming a triple-overtime 11-10 victory over the Baltimore Crabs in the title game Sunday.
For Costa, the event also was a chance to get seen by the more than 100 college coaches that attended.
“They (the coaches) are everywhere,” said Costa, who attends the Bishop’s School in La Jolla, Calif., just north of San Diego. “But I try to block it out and play my game. I try to have the right mindset.
“If not, you have more distractions. I think what I found here is that there is so much parity. We’ve seen the growth of the game.”
The Starz 2016 players spoke openly about the quality of competition from all regions that were represented at F&M.
“We had some really good competition from the start,” said Starz midfielder Christian Ford, a highly-rated player also from The Bishop’s School. “We knew Laxachusetts was a tough team and we beat them in the last few seconds. But I was surprised at how good the Ohio (Resolute) team was. They really gave us a run.”
Ford said his team is successful because it continues to rely on team play.
“We are all trying to get better and work on things as we progress through the tournament,” he said. “Team-wise, we want to make sure everyone gets the ball and has equal opportunity to do well.”
Starz LSM Beau Botkiss of Torrey Pines High, just north of The Bishop’s School, said he enjoys competing against many teams from the East.
“As an individual, you want to develop all aspects of your game, not just some parts,” he said.“Playing against East Coast kids helps me get better.
“As a team it’s important on these trips to build new friendships and come together as a team. Probably three-fourths of us have played together since seventh grade. We have like 10 new guys so it’s important to come together. Obviously, this is a very prestigious tournament with a lot of very good players.”
Players from Edge Lacrosse (Class of 2014) in Ontario, Canada also came a long distance to compete last weekend.
Josh Nicholson, an uncommitted close defenseman from Henry Street High School in Whitby, Ontario,, said his team was short on numbers and looking to jell as the tourney progressed.
“Team-wise, we want to keep building,” he said. “We haven’t played together and we’re all from different areas. But it’s all about the team game.
“Individually, we want to make ourselves available to the coaches. You want to stand out as much as you can, but want to keep that team aspect and not play selfish.”
Nicholson said the summer tournaments are crucial for Canadian players because the only major high school event is the early July All Canada Games in Oshawa.
“(The) Canada high school (season is) nothing like (the) American high school (season),” he said. “You guys take it a lot more seriously. We have one big tournament.
Nicholson is still hoping to find a Division I school to play lacrosse.
“I’d like Division I, but I am more about how the school fits me,” he said. “It’s got to fit me as much as I fit the school.”
Connor Kearnan, an attackman- midfielder from St. Stephen Catholic Secondary School in Peterborough, has committed to St. Joseph’s to play for head coach Taylor Wray, a fellow Canadian. Kearnan said he was enjoying the competition.
“We had a great team in the fall, but a bunch reclassified to 2015 so we have a short bench and only 14 guys,” he said. “The completion here is great. You are playing against Johns Hopkins and Notre Dame commits. It’s a good challenge; it’s a lot of fun getting new competition.
Zachary Taylor, a defenseman from Holy Trinity Catholic in Simcoe, Ontario, has committed to Division II Ohio Valley. His focus was on seeing his team jell.
“It’s all about teamwork and playing together,” he said. “I just do my best to try and help the team win.
“Seeing the college coaches just motivated me more. I try to stand out.”