Players to Watch in 2016: Middies

With the 2016 season rapidly approaching, MaxLax consulted with a handful of area coaches, numerous all-league lists and pored over more than a few rosters, recruiting lists and club teams to identify the players to watch heading into the season.

Many of these players have earned reputations as San Diego’s best in their time in the county. Of course, as with any list, not every potential star player could be named. This particular list aims only to identify key players entering the 2016 season. What happens next will be determined on the field.

Today, we look at midfielders, and we couldn’t stop at three or four:

Ryan Hastings, senior, Bishop’s

Hastings will follow former teammate Jake Seau to Duke after this season. In the meantime, he will team with sophomore Isaiah Dawson on a formidable midfield line for the Knights. Hastings is a smart, do-it-all player who can push the ball in transition or run the offense from up top, complementing Costa down low.

Jake McLean, senior, La Costa Canyon

McLean is a very successful product of the La Costa Canyon system instilled by long-time coach Jesse Foss. He plays smart and skilled and always make the right play when he is called upon — and this season he will be called on a lot. LCC looks to improve upon its CIF Division I Championship this season by earning a spot in the Open bracket. McLean is committed to Towson.

Nick Beeson, junior, Poway

Beeson scored 47 goals and notched 15 assists as a sophomore on Poway’s CIF Open Division championship team last spring. He is an athletic and threatening midfielder who played like a poised senior a year ago. Look for Beeson to becoming a truly dominating presence and a major factor in Poway’s championship defense. Beeson is committed to Bryant.

Isaiah Dawson, sophomore, Bishop’s

Dawson was a major offensive threat last year, scoring 34 goals and earning all-Pacific League first-team honors — as a freshman. Dawson is an athletic player with good size who is quickly becoming skilled and experienced enough to stand out from the crowd. With Hastings alongside him and Costa at attack, Dawson should have plenty of opportunities to shine. Dawson is committed to Harvard.

Duncan Copeland, senior, Rancho Bernardo

Copeland returns after earning second team all-Palomar League honors last spring with hopes of leading Rancho Bernardo back to the top of the San Diego lacrosse heap. He’s the Broncos’ offensive leader and is committed to play at NCAA D-III Ohio Wesleyan next year.

Mo Mirer, junior, Cathedral Catholic

An extremely fundamental midfielder, Mirer returns after a breakout sophomore season (34 goals, 9 assists). He demonstrates all the skill and athleticism you want in a midfielder, and he also grinds it out on defense. Mirer is committed to Notre Dame in the Class of 2018 and will take a post-grad year after finishing high school in 2017.

Who are some other midfielders to watch? Let us know in the comments below.