We conclude our look at 2019 Players to Watch in the LA area with a long and distinguished list of sophomores, enough that they nearly comprise an entire starting lineup. Leading the offense on that hypothetical lineup would be Brad Sharp of Palos Verdes on attack and Owen Gaffney of Loyola in the midfield.
Here is a look at some of the top sophomores in the LA area, compiled from 2018 all-area and all-league lists, nominations from coaches and paying close attention to area teams last spring:
- Brad Sharp, Palos Verdes: Scored 88 points (34g, 54a) for the LA championship runners-up. Named the Bay League POY, the All-Area Offensive POY and a US Lacrosse All-American.
- Michael Nagy, Palos Verdes: Scored 48 points (28g, 20a) playing alongside fellow freshman Sharp and was named first-team All-Bay League.
- Sam Peters, Oak Park: “Sam had an excellent freshman season, scoring two goals in his very first game on varsity, which wasn’t until 5 or 6 games into last season. This undersized youngster has elevated his game in the last year, adding shooting range, feeding and dodging to his off-ball and finishing skills.” — Coach Tarik Ergin.
- Justin Beighey, Culver City: A first-team All-Ocean League pick after scoring 37 points (28g, 9a). “Justin finished his freshmen year as Culver City’s leading scorer. He is a great finisher and a hard worker; expect for him to have a stellar sophomore season.” — Coach Casey Chabola.
- Owen Gaffney, Loyola: After opening the season on the Cubs’ JV team, Gaffney made enough of an impact to earn second-team All-Mission League honors. He scored twice in Loyola’s section title-game win over St. Margaret’s, including the game-winning goal in overtime.
- Gabe Marotti, Culver City: Scored 11 goals and had 3 assists as a freshman. “Gabe is a powerful lefty, who brings his hockey background to the lacrosse field to make big plays. This offseason he has put in a lot of hard work improving his athleticism. Fans can expect Gabe to step up his role in Culver City’s offense this season.” – Coach Chabola.
- Caleb Martin, Culver City: A face-off and defensive middie for the Centaurs. “Caleb won 40 percent of his face-offs as a freshman. His athleticism allows him to be a two-way midfielder. Expect to see him create a lot of transition offense for the Centaurs.” – Coach Chabola.
- Preston Barnes, Loyola: A member of the Cubs’ varsity squad as a freshman, Barnes is expected to man the long-stick midfield role as a sophomore. He was a member of the Under Armour Underclass West squad last summer.
- Quinten Brunson, Culver City: Named first-team All-Ocean League with 27 ground balls and 23 caused turnovers. “Quinten is a big, athletic defender who also plays varsity football for Culver City. His ability to pressure ball handlers as a freshman earned him first-team all-league honors last year. He will be someone to look out for on Culver City’s defense this year.” – Coach Chabola.
- Ray Sugiyama, Culver City: Named first-team All-Ocean League after collecting 29 ground balls and causing seven turnovers as a freshman. “Ray is very athletic and has great stick skills. His ability to find ground balls creates a lot of transition opportunities for Culver City.” – Coach Chabola.