It won’t be long before many of the premier boys lacrosse players from the sections 1, 8 and 11 in New York and the Greater Fairfield county area in Connecticut take their skills to the college levels. So let’s take one last look back at the top recently graduated players from the region:
Connor English, Manhasset, attack:
There may be no program as tradition-rich anywhere as Manhasset, and no player in that proud history has enjoyed as memorable a career, capped by his epic nine-goal outing in state finals vs. LaFayette. The University of Virginia-bound English tied a school record with 81 goals this season.
Matt White, Ridgefield, attack: White scored the winning goals in the two biggest games of the season — beating Darien during the regular season for Ridgfield's first win over the Blue Wave since 1984 and again in the FCIAC final as the Tigers won their first-ever county title. Is he the best player in county history? A better question may be — who's better?
JoJo Marasco, Somers, attack/midfield: When it comes to athleticism, stick skills and shooting ability, the Syracuse-bound star and all-time leading scorer in Somers history is as good as it gets. Question — Does he play attack or midfield at 'Cuse? Will he wear No. 22 at 'Cuse? Stay tuned for answers to both.
Nick O’Reilly, South Side, attack/midfield: The Virginia-bound O’Reilly, the all-time leading scorer in school history, ended his varsity career with nearly 250 career points and had seven goals and five assists in an 18-10 win over Glen Cove in the first round of the Nassau Class B playoffs.
John Bolton, Darien, midfield: The Lafayette-bound midfield carried the Blue Wave offensively during its run to a fifth straight state title — a rare feat for a midfielder.
Ian Braddish, West Islip, midfield: He’s the whole package and as complete a player as you'll find. Look for Braddish to make an immediate impact at North Carolina next season.
Jeff Froccaro, Port Washington, midfield: As complete a midfielder as you'll find. He scores (finishing the season with 55 goals and his career with 139), wins faceoffs, scores, excels on defense. Could start right away at Princeton.
John Ranagan, Yorktown, midfield: A towering presence on the field, the Hopkins-bound Ranagan is a bull in a china shop whose presence on the field is felt at all times.
Brendan Walsh, Ridgefield, midfield: A clutch performer and big-game player, Walsh won't have to travel far to continue his exploits. He'll be playing at nearby Fairfield University.
Brad Cappellini, Manhasset, defense: As good a takeaway defender as you'll find. The technically sound Cappellini is headed to Harvard.
John Fennessy, Yorktown, defense: He’s got the athleticism, aggressiveness, size and strength to star at Towson. Not bad for someone who's just been playing the game for four years.
Matt Gorski, Darien, defense: An agile and fundamentally sound defender, the Ohio State-bound Gorski provided senior leadership for the Blue Wave.
Thomas Keith, Syosset, defense: Adept with superb stick skills and field vision, look for Keith to have an opportunity to step right in at Division I finalist Cornell.
Rob Bellairs, Plainedge, goaltender: Agile and athletic, Bellairs is good enough to gain playing time for a Hofstra team that is already loaded at the goaltender position.
Luke Haggerty, Clarkstown South, goaltender: A human highlight reel, Haggerty is an unrelentless stopper who has already mastered the other key aspects of the game.
Joe Lombardi, who has been a fixture on the lacrosse scene during the sport’s rapid growth in the New York metropolitan area, produces editorial and video content for LaxLessons.com. He may be reached at email@example.com.