Players to Watch: Junior Middies

The list of junior middies to watch in the L.A./Ventura area in 2016 features two players committed to blue-chip NCAA Division I programs and another on the verge of a break-out season. Beyond those three, though, there remains a long list of third-year players who already have considerable varsity experience and accolades.

Here are some of the top junior middies to watch in 2016:

Casey Bonner, Mira Costa

Twice named second-team All-Bay League in two seasons for the Mustangs, Bonner might be ready to contend for first-team honors as a junior. After scoring 30 goals and recording 14 assists as a freshman, the 6-foot, 180-pound Bonner produced 35 goals and 25 assists last spring. With a 4.5 40-yard dash time to go with that size, Bonner is a tough cover up top. And Coach Aaron Karsh said Bonner has developed a strong right-hand to complement his great left.

Ryder Mora, Loyola

Cubs coach Seth Cohen calls Mora “an old-school, two-way middie,” saying, “He can D you up, run the break and can hit the big shot. He’ll beat you to the ground ball; he can shake-and-bake; and he can score from inside or out.” All of that culminated last summer in a commitment to NCAA D-I Maryland. After posting seven goals, two assists and 28 ground balls as a freshman, Mora followed with 20 goals, 12 assists and 41 ground balls last year, earning second-team All-Mission League honors.

Jonathan Partamian, Loyola

Another member of Loyola’s stellar Class of 2017, Partamian erupted for 35 goals and 20 assists last spring after a relatively quiet freshman year on varsity. “Partamian is a downhill dodger with great size and speed,” Coach Cohen said. “Once he gets a head of steam going, it’s hard to stop him!” He was named first-team All-Mission League last spring, then turned in an all-star performance at the Maverik Showtime recruiting event in Connecticut over the summer. That earned him an offer to play at Syracuse, which he accepted, committing in July.

Others worth watching: Daniel Ball, El Segundo (first-team All-Ocean League); Rory Cochrane, El Segundo (second-team All-Ocean); Teo Domic, West Ranch; Andrew Noble, Newbury Park (12g, 7a, 26gb as a sophomore); Sky Rice, Culver City (second-team All-Ocean); Emmett Rielly, Loyola (10g, 11a as a freshman; missed most of last season with an injury); Marty Shargel, Agoura (21 goals last spring).