With the 2018 NJCAA men’s lacrosse season rapidly approaching, it’s time to hit the junior college trail hard, and I’ve got a banger of a post below with info, relevant links, photos, video, and more!
If you’re just tuning in now, you’ll want to check out at least three of these 2018 NJCAA posts, all linked to below:
On top of that, you probably want to know about OCC naming their field for Coach Chuck Wilbur, D1 Hampton will play an NJCAA school this season, how college lacrosse options are endless/how the NJCAA figured in to that, and how former NJCAA player of the year Josh Byrne is tearing it up in the NLL for the Buffalo Bandits.
Ok, let’s keep moving on to 2018 with some fresh content. So fresh, so clean.
2018 NJCAA GEAR DAY – Genesee CC
We never got great gear when I played in college (early 2000s, different time), and yet I still got all sorts of excited. Nowadays, when it’s gear day, players have good reason to get hyped, because the stuff they get is awesome. From fancy new buckets and mittens to practice gear to classic sweatsuits, these guys are doing it right. Centerfold treatment!
I’ll have more info on how GCC looks on the field (playing, not modeling) in the coming weeks! For now we know they’ll look really good. It’s a start.
2018 NJCAA Team Previews Continue!
Monroe CC – Coach Shaun Church is brand new this year, and trying to take MCC to the next level. Church was the head coach at ASA for a time, and he was on OCC’s staff last year when they won the title. He’s brought in a great young coaching staff in Randy Staats and Clayton Messmer to help him get it done. Add in some high quality players, and Monroe is looking up after a couple solid campaigns.
On the field, we should watch out for Bryce Saba, a transfer from Syracuse University, who plays LSM and is from Wayne, NY. Saba is exciting and talented. Goaltending should also be strong with Mark Campbell in net from Waterloo, NY. Campbell made 213 saves last year, with a 61% save percentage. He’s tested and confident. Adam Wood, another LSM/defender, is from Penfield, NY, and was a great player in Section 5 last year as a senior. Brandon Barnhart is a solid two-way midfielder from Greece-Arcadia High School who should make a big impact.
Monroe’s biggest committed player right now is Nick Kallio. Kallio is an attackman from Livonia, NY, and he is committed to RIT for the Fall of 2018, where he will major in Engineering, but look for the four games mentioned above, and some others, to continue their playing careers after Monroe.
MCC is planning to live stream their games, so hopefully you can catch up with Monroe during the season and see them play a live game. It should be a fun group to watch!
Harford CC – This parliament of owls had been busy during the offseason, and if outside perceptions prove true, Harford is in the midst of building something special. This team is active, engaged, recruiting, and trying to take the program to the next level, where they are truly competitive when it comes to winning a national title. The school, coaches, and players all seem invested, and that’s really how you can best make the jump! It’s encouraging stuff!
This fall Harford scrimmaged a couple times, including contests with NCAA D3 teams, Swarthmore and Messiah, and they named five sophomore captains for their 2018 campaign. This is a good move, because Region 20 is looking stronger than ever, and it’s going to take a great effort and showing to come out on top.
When it comes to players to watch for Harford, here a bunch of guys who have standout potential. There is a lot of experience, but plenty of new talent at Harford this year. Class and position are listed in parentheses for each player:
Chris Stallings (So. Goalie), Nick Perrot (So. Defense), Collin Beck (So. Defense), Shaun Vines (Fr. Defense), Luigi Ascenzi (So. Midfield), Chandler Schmidt (Fr. Midfield), Grady DiPeso (Fr. Midfield), Eli Doyle (Fr. Attack), Reece Wiseman (Fr. Attack), Chase Oberlin (So. Attack)
I got to ask Head Coach Aaron Verardi to provide some thoughts on the season, and as expected, he was all sorts of excited to get going:
“I am extremely excited about the strength of Region 20 this year. It is always competitive, but it seems like everybody in the region has improved and they all feel like they have a chance to win in 2018. It will be a lot of fun to see what happens once we all start to play each other. This should be a great season for JuCo Lacrosse!”
Potomac State – PSC has 6 out of the early Top 10 on their schedule, so 2018 will be a big test for this growing program right out of the gates. I love this approach in general, but I really like it at PSC. Why? Well, their situation is a little different from most NJCAA teams, which changes their recruiting strategies, how they operate, and it makes for a pretty interesting and dynamic opportunity. One thing that stands out right away is that PSC has dorms, and another is they are not truly a community college. PSC is actually a 2-year branch of West Virginia University, so their student-athletes are WVU students, taking WVU classes, just on the PSC campus, and playing for the Catamounts. So it is a little different… Add on the fact that the nearest high school with lacrosse is an hour away, and PSC is definitely going to do things a little differently!
2018 captains for Potomac State are Dakota Stingo and Tyler Nisenfeld. They were chosen by the coaches, and a third captain will be voted on by players. Dakota Stingo, Tyler Nisenfeld, Ben Blodgett, Brady Kalafut, Titus Thind, Dashaun Wiggins, Ethan Swaniger, Cory Dykes, and Josh Jahn are all players to watch in 2018, and each is a player with tons of potential. For example, Dakota Stingo is a 4.0 student who scored a ton of goals as a freshman, and while he has taken a different path to playing college lacrosse, he’s the kind of young man who see continued academic and athletic success at the NCAA level.
Last year Potomac State had only 14 eligible players, but this year it’s looking like they will have around 25 guys ready for the spring season. This would almost double the program’s size in one year, and it’s a good sign that coach Josh Seese has things headed in the right direction.
Mercyhurst NE Fall Ball Highlights
It’s VERY rare to see NJCAA fall ball lacrosse highlights, but MNE comes through in a major way and bucks the trend! LOVE IT, boys!
I’ll be back next week with more NJCAA previews, gear drops, and more!
As the season progresses we’ll get into polls, big wins, losses, and how it’s all shaping up for May, week by glorious week.
If you’re bummed that your school hasn’t been featured yet, then don’t complain, instead send me some info! Send me videos, photos, WHATEVER! firstname.lastname@example.org will get it done!