Lacrosse Magazine has released their NJCAA Preseason Top 5, as well as their Preseason Player of the Year. A Top 5 seems a little skimpy, so we’ll give you their Top 5, and then our own Top 10, to beef things up a bit. Then we’ll cover a couple of Players to Watch in 2013, in addition to LM’s Preseason Player of the Year.
Lacrosse Magazine Preseason Top 5
3. CCBC Essex
Top 10 – Additional Teams
The above is a good list. Onondaga is obviously the top dog in the JuCo ranks, and they have won the last four national titles, and five of the last six overall. They are loaded with talent, send kids to D1 teams regularly, and even accept players FROM D1 teams at times. To not put them in the #1 spot would be a travesty. It’s an undeniable ranking. Nassau is a definite second best team in the NJCAA, and the last team to win a title outside of OCC. Essex, Suffolk, and Genesee are good choices to round out the Top 5, but are on a lower level than OCC by a good margin.
Outside of this group, I would add:
10. Hudson Valley
Right now Delhi, Anne Arundel, Catonsville, Mercyhurst NE, ASA College, and a couple of others are on the outside looking in. However, with the potential turnover from year to year being so great, a couple of these teams could see great years in 2013. A trusted source tells me Howard, Harford and Delhi each added some serious talent since last year.
Players To Watch in 2013:
Randy Staats – OCC
Staats was named as LM’s Preseason Player of the Year, and it makes a lot of sense. Staats put up 139 points on 57 goals and 82 assists in his first year with OCC. Expect even more in 2013. Staats was also on the Iroquois U-19 team that beat the US in round robin play last Summer. He is tall, has a great stick, and makes all around him better.
Casey Jackson – ASA College
Jackson comes to ASA in NYC from Canada, where he was one heck of a box player, and still is. CJ had 70 goals to go with 32 assists, for 102 points in 2012. Some NLL team will love to have this guy down the line.
Ken Meinsen – Suffolk
A scoring middie, Meinsen is a dangerous weapon. In 17 games he dropped 51 goals and tacked on 16 assists. If Suffolk wants to make a jump, Meinsen can lead the way.
Edmund Cathers or Warren Hill – OCC
It looks like Edmund Cathers has left Albany to go to OCC. If this is true, he could be a difference maker. Unless Warren Hill is also there, and then HE could be the difference maker. Whoever the goalie ends up being, OCC is stacked with talent, and this positional depth further cements the Lazers as the team to beat in JuCo.
James Cathers – OCC
Cathers joins OCC as a freshman and should have an immediate impact. He has D1 player written all over him, and is hoping to get his feet under him at OCC. If he makes the transition, OCC is looking at their next bonafide star.
Calvin Bollar – Nassau
Bollar is a tough defender, who played at Huntington in HS. Nassau will need their defense to be increasingly stout if they want to contend with OCC, and Bollar can be a big part of that equation.
Want more NJCAA? Check out Essex’s Nike gloves on 4OneTwo Lax. College of Southern Maryland to add men’s (and women’s) NJCAA lacrosse for 2014. Recruiting begins now. SUNY Sullivan plans to add men’s lacrosse as a NJCAA sport in 2015.
Once you’re done with the NJCAA info, check out our D1 season previews, to see where some of these guys might end up. Click HERE to see Alphabetical 2013 NCAA D1 Preview posts for Air Force, Albany, Army, Bellarmine, Binghamton, Brown, Bryant, Bucknell, Canisius, Colgate, Cornell, Dartmouth, Delaware, and Denver!