Thirteen Orange County players who played well enough this year to earn invitations to the inaugural San Diego Elite 100 recruiting showcase did their part to bolster Southern California’s growing reputation as a go-to location for college lacrosse talent. Del Norte High School in Rancho Bernardo was the setting for this year’s showcase. The three year old high school features a turf field inside the football stadium and grass fields outside the stadium. The college recruiters had the opportunity to watch some of Southern California’s top rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors participate in college-level drills for several hours on Saturday and then play in a total of six scrimmages on Saturday and Sunday.
The thirteen players from the OC were Garrett Parsons, Avery Beck, Griffin Rockey, Wes Schuler, and Michael Senecal from Santa Margarita; Peyton Garrett, Jordan Riggs, and Collin Zines from San Clemente; Gunner Garn, Logan Olmsted, Blake Warner from JSerra; Chase Warner from Tesoro; and Hunter Edington from St. Margaret’s. Rising Seniors Chase Warner (attack), Riggs (midfield), and Parsons (defense) were among the top performers at the showcase.
Warner was particularly impressive as he showed off size and skills that compelled at least one coach to compare him to “an ACC attackman”. Riggs, the speedy midfielder from San Clemente, was a nightmare for opposing defenses all weekend who were unable to contain him on the clear or slow him down off the dodge in the offensive end. Parsons spent the weekend shutting down the top opposing attack man in virtually every scrimmage. These three rising seniors will play together for FCA SoCal at Gait Cup in Gettysburg, PA in late June. Joining the three rising seniors at Gait Cup will be Edington and Garrett, two rising juniors who were also impressive this weekend. Look for FCA SoCal to create some buzz on the recruiting circuit this summer!
Players, coaches, and parents all declared the first San Diego Elite 100 a success. Parents appreciated the affordability of the event and the opportunity to stay close to home and let the coaches do the traveling. The event was well organized and stayed on schedule all weekend. The low coach to player ratio left no doubt that each and every player was getting a fair look by all coaches.
The college coaches could not have been more enthusiastic about the local talent and look forward to returning next year. Ryan Browning, an assistant coach at the University of Virginia had this to say “I thought the camp was an excellent event along with being well run and coordinated. Many of the current tournaments just allow coaches to watch players, this camp featured the top talent from the San Diego area and gave coaches the opportunity to work, teach, and coach the best players in San Diego on a more personal level, which is highly unique. I think Zach Burke and Mike Mathi are some of the top coaches out West, they should be credited for their work with helping student athletes achieve their dreams of becoming recruited and getting a quality college education. I would attend this event in the future and recommend other coaches to do the same.”
Coach Peter Milliman of Division II Pfeiffer University in North Carolina echoed Browning’s sentiments “I thought that the SD Elite 100 was a very well run event with plenty of NCAA caliber players. All the participants played hard and showed an excitement to learn as much as possible from the college coaches in attendance. It was evident that Southern California is developing really well and we are planning to recruit quite a few of the players that we saw. We are definitely planning on returning again next year.”
Todd Stiegler, assistant coach and recruiting director at Community College Of Baltimore County (CCBC) Essex was also enthusiastic “The event was very well organized and well attended. I was generally impressed with the level of play and will attend in the future. I look forward to see several of them in East Coast Tournaments this summer!”. The Junior College option is unfamiliar to many Southern Californians but it is not uncommon in the lacrosse hotbeds back east for players to attend JUCO for two years before moving on to play NCAA lacrosse at a four year school. CCBC Essex is one of the top junior college lacrosse programs in the country, and Stiegler says that he will be initiating contact with 15 players from the event to describe how the Junior College program at CCBC Essex can help improve their options and their chance of success at an NCAA school. Stiegler thinks that as many as five of the players he will be contacting have the ability to move on to Division 1 lacrosse.