Our look at 2019 Players to Watch in the LA-area junior class moves to the midfield and features a couple of players who played complementary roles for their teams as sophomores but are poised for bigger things.
Here is a look at some of the top junior midfielders in the LA area, compiled from 2018 all-area and all-league lists, nominations from coaches and the past few seasons of paying close attention to area lacrosse:
Nick Ditto, Thousand Oaks
Ditto played both midfield and attack last season alongside senior stars Nick Riggio and Drew Conlon — and, later in the season, Spencer Whinery and Andrew Berg — but he made enough of an impact to earn second-team All-Marmonte League recognition. With all but Berg graduated, Ditto will play a larger role for the Lancers.
Jake Jellison, Palos Verdes
A utility midfielder as a sophomore, Jellison played both offensive and defensive middie for the Sea Kings, earning second-team All-Bay League honors. With first-team all-league selections Beau Sabosky and Jake Nolls graduated, Jellison is well positioned to make up for their absence.
Birk Swan, Palos Verdes
Swan bounced between attack and midfield last season, fitting in wherever the Sea Kings’ rotation needed him. Coach Jimmy Borell said that versatility makes him a perfect fit in the PV offense. It doesn’t hurt that Swan has grown to 6-foot-4 and can move, making him a challenging defensive matchup.
Also Worth Watching
Players listed alphabetically.
- Ayden Garland, Notre Dame
- Matt Garvey, Loyola
- Payton Gourley, Grace Brethren: Entering his third season of playing lacrosse. “He led our team last year with 25 goals and 20 assists while also starring as our top SSDM. He is coming off a great summer of elite club ball and a state football championship (starting DB). His athleticism is second to none, and he is bound to take the next step into becoming an elite level lacrosse player.” – Coach Dustin Marvin
- Carson Kuhl, Westlake: Appeared in only six games last season, but scored 12 goals and had 3 assists.
- Trevor Roberts, Chaminade
- Zach Shadorf, Calabasas
- Zach Van Bennekum, West Ranch.