Editor’s Note: The 2015 WILC U20 Team, put together by LaxAllStars.com, is a nod to the next generation of stars already playing at the highest levels today! To make this list, you need to have played at the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, you need to be a teenager (hence the U20 title), and somehow, you needed to stand out!
There were a surprising number of young players at the WILC, and some of these guys were big time players on big time teams. Check out our 2015 WILC U20 Team, a list of some of the best young international box lacrosse players! And to all you American college coaches out there… you’re so very welcome. Now go out and recruit these kids. They can play ball!
To see highlights from the 2015 WILC, check out the vides on our YouTube Channel. There are many there now, and many more to come! You can also watch full games on the 2015 WILC YouTube Channel. You can also listen to Mark and me do color commentary for some of the games!
2015 WILC U20 Team – Goalies
The Czech Republic started Mike Poulin, but Jakub Mareš and Tomáš Čekal each saw some good game time, got plenty of experience at an extremely high level, and had some excellent moments between them. The future of Czech goaltending is bright with these two young men in the lead, and it bodes well for their clubs team, LCC Radotín and LC Jižní Mēsto, respectively.
2015 WILC U20 Team – Defense
Jakub Vymola is another young Czech player that showed a ton of promise. His athleticism on the defensive end was evident from day one, and he used his size, speed, and toughness well. His stick work took a step up during the week and he tucked away at least one beautiful goal on a breakaway. At only 19, Vymola has lots of room to grow, but he will be a star for the Czech team for years to come and did a great job matching up with some of the best players from Canadian, Iroquois, and American national teams. He was an easy pick for the 2015 WILC U20 Team.
2015 WILC U20 Team – Transition
Adam Bomberry was excellent for the Iroquois in his defensive transition role, and when he got the ball in his stick, he showed great poise, plenty of lacrosse IQ, and top notch skill. He’s already at Onondaga CC, so he must be on the radar of college field coaches before the WILC. If he wasn’t he certainly should have been. This young man just won a silver medal with the Nationals, scored 2 goals and 3 assists at the WILC, and his future is bright in the NLL and for the Nationals, both indoors and outside.
Stevan Kriss picked up a ton of loose balls for Serbia, and at only 17 years of age, he has a bright future in this game. He does the dirty work, and makes his team better. Huge thanks to Matt Campbell for the heads up here. Kriss was not on our team originally, but Campbell filled us in, and I was convinced! Thanks to Matt, and congrats to Stevan!
2015 WILC U20 Team – Forwards
Peter Kwas is a 17 year old lefty from Australia. Yup, you read that right, he’s 17. He has a good stick, can shoot the ball well, and has excellent size and athleticism. He showed a toughness most 17 year old players don’t possess, and wasn’t afraid to bang with the big boys for loose balls. That may be a product of his play in the men’s senior leagues down under last year. Australia played physical team lacrosse, and Kwas bought into the system and had some excellent moments, adding 5 goals and 4 assists to the Aussie offense throughout the tourney. One of the youngest 2015 WILC U20 Team members.
Austin Staats is another 17 year old, and he did some good work for the loaded Iroquois team. He was mixing it up with people, scored some goals, moved the ball well, and played cohesively with some extremely accomplished players. He’s like a younger lefty mirror image of his brother Randall Staats, who was a star up at Cuse on the field and for the Nationals in the box. Austin Staats seems destined for lacrosse excellence somewhere after managing to put up 4 goals and 2 assists for an extremely talented Nationals offense. The only question is where will he play?
Miloš Vukašinović of Serbia only scored one goal in this tourney for Serbia, so maybe you’re questioning why he’s on the team. Well, I’ll tell you why: because he has only been playing lacrosse for a single year. To be BRAND NEW to box, and go play for your national team requires a lot of faith, confidence, and determination. That is a serious investment and we wish Miloš the best of luck as he continues on this lacrosse journey!
I met Robert Raittila of Finland in the Czech Republic for the Ales Hrebesky Memorial, and it was his first lacrosse tournament ever. He was raw, and pretty confused. Only two and a half years later and he doesn’t look like the same player at all. His stickwork has progressed rapidly, his understanding of the game is excellent, and he’s turned into a real scoring threat. He also plays Okotoks Jr A, and definitely wants to play college lacrosse. He’s a great young man, and a good sized athlete who has a very strong passion for the game. He will only continue to get better. Did I mention he finished 10th overall in scoring with 19 goals and 16 assists? Well, now I did. Not bad for a 19 year old who only started playing lacrosse 4 years ago!
That’s Robert at the beginning of the video talking about how the MAH was his first tourney ever.
Curtis Pek scored 8 goals for Turkey and added an assist for nine total points. The lefty provided some balance for Turkey’s heavy right handed offense, and he was almost joined by teammate Nabil Akl, who turned 20 shortly before the tourney. Pek took a nasty shot to the head and had to finish his tournament early. He likely could have put up a number of additional points, but safety must take precedent over goal scoring glory.
There you have it! The LaxAllStars.com 2015 WILC U20 Team! Congrats to all of these young men on playing on the biggest world stage while only in their teens, and good luck with your hopefully LONG and successful lacrosse careers, gentlemen!