PressBox High School Lacrosse Newsletter Vol. 16Posted on July 30, 2014
PressBox's high school lacrosse e-mail, written by Tom Peace, brings you all the best in local lacrosse -- boys and girls, private and public schools, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Check it out, pass it on and tell us what you think.
Boys' Latin Coach Bob Shriver To Retire After 2015 Season
In June, Boys' Latin announced that longtime varsity lacrosse coach Bob Shriver would be retiring after the 2015 season. Shriver, 63 and a 1969 graduate of the school, is entering his 36th season coaching the Lakers.
Shriver is 10 wins away from 500 for his career. Boys' Latin won its sixth Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship in May. For the third time during the Shriver era, the Lakers completed an undefeated season and ranked No. 1 in the country.
"Coach Shriver has been an integral member of Boys' Latin for the past 39 years, serving as head coach of the varsity lacrosse team for the past 35 years," Boys' Latin headmaster Christopher Post said in a statement. "We appreciate the many contributions that he has made to our young men and to our community, and I thank him for his devotion to our school and his dedication to our students.
"Our varsity team had a magical run through this past season. They finished with the MIAA 'A' Conference Championship title, an undefeated 18-0 record for a perfect season in the record books and a #1 national ranking. The team itself was comprised of outstanding young men who played with joy, grit and exemplary sportsmanship. We could not be more proud of, and happy for, our team and school."
Shriver was inducted into the US Lacrosse Greater Baltimore Chapter Hall of Fame in 1998. He has been honored multiple times as the MIAA Coach of the Year, Maryland Scholastic Association Coach of the Year and Maryland State Lacrosse Coach of the Year. US Lacrosse named him the MIAA Coach of the Year in 2014.
"Announcing my retirement following the conclusion of the 2015 season is bittersweet," Shriver said in a statement. "I don't know that there's ever a 'perfect time' to make an announcement like this. By doing it now, my hope is that Boys' Latin can search for and name a new coach, and we can strive to make the transition as seamless as possible.
"It has been my distinct honor and privilege to work at my alma mater as both a teacher and coach for the last 39 years. I have been beyond fortunate to work with so many dedicated faculty members, coaches and, most importantly, young men who have done remarkable things in the classroom and on the lacrosse field. I would like to thank all those former and current players, coaches, alumni, parents and Boys' Latin supporters for the effort and commitment they have provided Boys' Latin and especially the Boys' Latin lacrosse program. Boys' Latin is a place I have and always will call home."
The school will begin its search for Shriver's successor this fall.
St. Paul's varsity coach Rick Brocato, who was on the Lakers' staff during the 2002-04 seasons, said he had been fortunate to work with Shriver.
"Bobby has an incredible passion for the game of lacrosse," Brocato said. "He is an outstanding teacher of the game and is a great competitor."
Stephen Berger Named Head Coach At Alma Mater
At the end of the 2014 season, Mount St. Joseph head coach Dave Slafkosky stepped down from his position after four seasons. In June, the Gaels named his successor, 2000 graduate and pro lacrosse player Stephen Berger.
Berger, who currently plays for the Boston Cannons of Major League Lacrosse, takes over a Mount St. Joe team that went 8-10 in 2014.
"I am thrilled for the opportunity to return to my roots and encourage a love of lacrosse at the high school level," Berger said in a statement. "Mount Saint Joseph helped turn me into the man, and lacrosse player, that I am today. To give back to a school that provided me with both a solid academic and athletic base is another way for me to share my passion for the sport."
A three-time All-American at Washington College, Berger was named Division III Midfielder of the Year in 2004 and was selected as the Centennial Conference Player of the Year in 2003 and 2004. Berger entered the MLL Collegiate Draft straight out of college and has played for a number of teams since.
Berger currently serves as men's game director for US Lacrosse and will continue his role there while coaching.
Ryan Boyle, one of Berger's teammates on the Cannons and a 2000 graduate of Gilman, said Berger was part of a new generation of young coaches.
"With Stephen's personality, there won't be a lack of energy," Boyle said. "The guy cares and is so positive, and that is what the St. Joe program is going to benefit from, and they will see it right away."
Brian King Leaves Hereford For John Carroll
After leading the Hereford boys' lacrosse team to five consecutive state championships, Brian King announced in June that he was leaving the program to coach the boys' team at John Carroll of the MIAA B Conference.
King said the move was bittersweet, because although he was leaving a dynasty he had built at Hereford, he was getting an opportunity to coach closer to his home and family in Bel Air, Md.
"Hereford High School is a special place," King said, "and I met a ton of great people and learned a lot during my time. The community was always very supportive, and the players were extremely loyal and played hard for our staff.
"I have three young kids, and I was not able to run the program and get it to the level I wanted to without putting my family second with such a long commute. I am from Harford County and am very excited about the opportunity to build a program and the possibilities of playing against some of the country's toughest programs. We have a long way to go, but the first two weeks so far have been very productive."
King compiled a 112-10 record at Hereford, leading the Bulls to five Class 3A/2A state titles from 2009-13. Hereford lost to Kent Island, 8-6, during the 2014 title game to complete the season 17-4.
"My first year at Hereford, we didn't play a very tough schedule and were only a 8-7 team," King said. "The kids really bought into changing the culture, and it started with how hard and focused they practiced every day. It was neat to see the kids work hard and be rewarded. I always loved looking up and seeing the young kids wearing Bulls shirts and excited to one day play on the varsity as well as all the alumni who would regularly come back to support the current players. I'm very fortunate to have worked with some great people, coach with great coaches and coach some great kids the last 10 years."
At John Carroll, King is also serving as assistant athletic director and assistant admissions director. Entering the MIAA B Conference could be a challenge, but King said he was ready to build the Patriots' program.
"The sky is the limit at John Carroll," King said. "... The school offers a great education, is located on a beautiful campus and is the only school in the county to offer year-round coaching while playing a tough schedule. We feel that now, there is no reason for kids to drive 40 minutes to get this type of student-athlete experience. Our staff has been out every night watching a ton of local youth club lacrosse, and I am excited about how much talent is in Harford County."
The early goals for the team, King said, are to surround the players with top-level coaches and to play tougher competition.
"The kids at [John Carroll] are now going to get a ton of exposure, play a tough schedule, receive year-round training by top coaches and be able to eat dinner at home as a family by not having to travel to Baltimore County, plus receive a great education," King said.
Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic
The ninth-annual Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic took place on the campus of Towson University July 12.
The boys' All-America game pits the best high school seniors in the North against the best talent in the South, and the two sides had each won four of the series' first eight games. New York native Sam Bonafede (Chaminade High, Princeton) of the North team had five goals. The South tied the game, 16-16, with one minute, 32 seconds to play, sending the game to overtime. It was the first overtime period in the nine-year history of the event.
An overtime goal from Maryland native Mikey Wynne (St. Paul's, Notre Dame) -- his fourth score of the game -- won the game for the South team. Wynne was named MVP of the game.
"It's great to represent the South," Wynne said. "It was a bunch of awesome players, and to get the W was great."
The North team won the girls' All-America game, 18-11. For the South team, Maryland native Amanda Ignacio (Mount de Sales, Georgetown) had a three-goal game. University of Maryland recruits Shelby Scanlin, who attended Cardinal Gibbons in North Carolina, and Megan Whittle, who went to McDonogh in Owings Mills, had two goals apiece.
The event also had boys' and girls' underclass games, with teams representing 10 different regions in the country. The Baltimore-area teams won both the boys' and girls' championships. The boys went 6-0 throughout the weekend, with a one-goal margin of victory for five games, including the title game. Goalie A.J. Barretto (St. Paul's) was named tournament MVP.
For the girls, Jen Giles (Mt. Hebron) delivered the game-winning overtime goal against Long Island to give Baltimore a 10-9 championship win. Maryvale's Miranda Ibello was named tournament MVP.
"We were much more of a team this year," Ibello said. "And it's our hometown, and we wanted to win the championship in our hometown."
The Junior College Elite Showcase was July 11, and CCBC Essex had the most players in the game with 10. There were also uncommitted games, devoted to players in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 classes who got a chance to showcase their skills to college coaches to try to get recruited.
Q&A: Crabs Lacrosse Founder/Owner Ryan McClernan
Crabs Lacrosse has developed local high school lacrosse players into Division I talent for 20-plus years.
Ryan McClernan, the founder and owner of Crabs Lacrosse, was named an assistant coach for the Baltimore Underclass team for the 2014 Under Armour Underclass Tournament, which was held on the campus of Towson University July 11-13.
McClernan -- who is also the founder of Baltimore Lacrosse Club Inc., B'more Lax Co. LLC and Virginia Lacrosse Club -- talked to PressBox about the Under Armour All-America Lacrosse Classic.
PressBox: What was it like to be an assistant coach for the Baltimore Under Armour Underclass team?
Ryan McClernan: I think being able to coach [these] boys that I have been coaching against [with the Crabs] for years was just a pleasure. I got to meet some of these guys that we have played against at a different level. You know, you just see them with their helmets on, and you're trying to stop them when you are playing against them. So it was a real pleasure and honor to represent Baltimore and to work with these young men.
PB: In the past, the Baltimore Under Armour Underclass team has received criticism for having too many MIAA players. This year's team had a mix of players from public and private schools. You're on the selection committee -- what do you think changed?
RM: [Corrigan Sports Enterprises president] Lee Corrigan made a big deal on how the kids are doing in the tryouts [for the event]. And no conversations happened in the [selection] room about players' names. It is difficult, right, because you know certain players at these [MIAA] schools that are good, but I would say [the selection committee] did a good job managing the voting in the selection process to keep names out of it and more about what happened in the actual tryout, and you saw the product of it [with this year's team].
PB: This is the event's ninth year running. What impresses you about the growth of this event?
RM: I think this event is maturing. It is coming to a nice spot. Now, we are up to 10 regions. You noticed a lot more of the kids were committed kids, so it was about playing for your region and playing for pride and less about gladiator school, like you see at [The National High School Lacrosse showcase], where it's, 'I got to go to goal and score.' I saw a lot of good team lacrosse in our games. It was more about playing team lacrosse instead of showing off for a coach.
Featured College Commitments
Loyola Blakefield attackman Alex Roesner -- University of Pennsylvania
Good Counsel faceoff specialist Ryan Lynch -- Air Force Academy
Gilman long-stick midfielder Jack Halpert -- University of North Carolina
Gilman midfielder Charlie DeMuth -- Dickinson College
Bryn Mawr defender Alexandera Argo -- Princeton University
Severna Park defender Lauren DuVall -- James Madison University
Calvert Hall midfielder Ethan Mintzer -- University of Maryland
St. Paul's attackman Mitch Gordon -- University of North Carolina
Severna Park midfielder Eva Klaus -- Johns Hopkins University
St. Mary's (Annapolis) defender Natalie Miller -- University of Maryland
Century midfielder Hannah Warther -- University of Maryland
After hitting three home runs during his first 88 games of the year for the Keys, Jason Esposito had four home runs in a six-game stretch July 23-29.