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Junior College Report: 2019 Preview

Just when you thought the Junior College Report might not be making a comeback, BAM. It slaps you right in the face with a quick 2018 link-fest and a 2019 preview teaser and some early important info on the upcoming season. And there was much rejoicing.

Last year’s spring season was an incredibly exciting one, with some unreal games, a great final four weekend and plenty of movement up and down the poll ladder. Since then, a LOT has happened and it’s time we get caught up on how the NJCAA men’s lacrosse scene is looking for 2019. Last year is last year, so let’s move forward!

Of course right when you thought last year was dead, I go and immediately bring it up again! Here are some quick links to some of the big stuff that went down!

2018 NJCAA Recap Links

  • NJCAA/Onondaga CC product, Austin Staats, goes #1 in NLL draft
  • Three NEW NJCAA programs added in 2019 (CollegeCrosse)
  • Jerry Staats now at Syracuse (NunesMagician)
  • Dayton Fisher now at OSU after freshman year at Howard.
  • Ian Decker is now at Maryland after two years at Howard. Congrats to all of these guys (and many more!) who are making the jump to the highest levels.
  • 2018 NJCAA ALL AMERICAN lists
  • Congrats to Anne Arundel CC Men’s Lacrosse on their 2018 NJCAA Academic Award. The AACC men’s team had a 3.23 GPA average, and this was the highest of any team in NJCAA men’s lacrosse. Way to work on the field and in the classroom, AACC!
  • A HUGE congrats to the following 2018 players who finished the year with a PERFECT 4.0 GPA last year: Brett Wilson (Harford), Bridger Carreau (Tomkins Cortland), David Mahler (Nassau), Gregory Scaturo (Union), Isaac Carlson (Harford), Michael Zito (Nassau). True student-athlete efforts from all seven of these players. Well done!
  • ASA in Brooklyn, NY rejoins the NJCAA for lacrosse, hires Chris Tempone as Head Coach, and this gives Region 15 three teams (ASA, Nassau, and Suffolk)
  • Logan Tousaw (former OCC player!) takes over at Mercyhurst NE as new Head Coach
  • New team for 2019, Sussex County, has full schedule
  • It looks like ASA in Miami is listed as an NJCAA lacrosse program on the NJCAA site. This does not mean they will have a team for 2019, but could in the future. They do not have a schedule or roster posted yet, but this would be a very interesting development to see Junior College lacrosse in the sunshine state.
austin staats final four glory
Photo Credit: Amy Corcoran

Ok, let’s get to 2019!

Important Upcoming 2019 Dates

Practices officially opened up on January 15th, but not every program starts that early, and many are dealing with cold and snow. Sometimes the tight work in a gym pays off though, so no excuses. But you knew that.

The Preseason NJCAA Top Ten Poll comes out on February 19th, which is always fun. I expect to see OCC and then NCC in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively. Only two days later, on February 21st games can start up if the weather cooperates. It could happen! Or not. The games better start up because the NJCAA will release their first national player of the week announcement on February 27th. Unfortunately, there is a little gap between the preseason poll and the first regular season poll, but on March 5, we will see the first official 2019 poll released. That info will follow each Tuesday for the rest of the season. Then there is all this ‘regular season’ stuff where teams play some games I guess, etc, etc, blah blah, and then the NJCAA Men’s Lacrosse Championship will be played on May 18th and 19th. Genesee CC is the host site, so plan your trip to Batavia, NY now! You gotta have confidence in your squad, right?

And I’m obviously just kidding about the regular season. It’s awesome. Maybe it’s your first time reading the Junior College Report, so I’ll let it pass.

juco ballers 2018 njcaa lacrosse njcaa teams

New Coach at Onondaga

For the first time in a long time (17 years!), Chuck Wilbur will not be at the helm of the OCC lacrosse program. He has taken on a new role at OCC, so if you think Wilbur’s magic touch and influence on the program are disappearing, I would caution you from getting ahead of yourself.

OCC has hired Eric Miccio as their new head coach, and while his resume as a head coach isn’t very long, Miccio is a great fit for the job. As an OCC grad, former captain, and All American player he fits well, knows the school intimately and clearly has a long-standing relationship with Wilbur, which doesn’t hurt either. In his two-year stint as Mercyhurst NE’s coach he not only brought the program back from hiatus, but also got the team to qualify for the playoffs and produced two All-Americans. He’s also about more than just lacrosse, he cares about people. Also, he clearly has good taste when it comes to gloves. Pretty sure these are OCC’s mittens for 2019:

Miccio is a great young coach, and if he stays at OCC for 17 years he could potentially build a dynasty of his own. The more things change, the more they stay the same? Only time will tell, but Miccio and OCC look to be on very solid ground right now.

mercyhurst NE NJCAA
Miccio brought MNE back to life

2019 Preseason Scrimmages

Nassau – Molloy, LIU Post, Adelphi, St Joe’s Patchogue, Stevenson JV
Onondaga – SUNY Geneseo, St. John Fisher, Oswego State
Anne Arundel – St Mary’s College, Virginia Wesleyan, Army Prep
Suffolk – Molloy, USMMA, SUNY Maritime, St. Joe’s
CCBC Essex – Goucher, Wilmington, McDaniel
Potomac State – Bethany, Hampton
Genesee – SUNY Geneseo, Lake Erie, Buffalo, Everest Academy
Finger Lakes – Alfred State
Hudson Valley – Marian
Howard – Salisbury, Gettysburg, Elizabethtown, Stevenson
Herkimer – SUNY Purchase

I doubt that is every scrimmage, but it’s a lot of them! Some of these will run as late as the end of February, so while some teams are playing games that count, others are still working out the preseason kinks. There are some other “unofficial” (meaning not between two NJCAA teams) during the regular season, but they are much more rare.

njcaa polls
New year, same story

I don’t know about you guys, but if any scrimmage schedule stands out to me, it has to be that of Nassau. OCC, Essex, and others have really good games lined up, but Adelphi and Post stand out as the best preseason scrimmages I’ve seen. Kind of reminds me of the days when Nassau scrimmaged Hofstra… wonder if it shows when it comes down to title time?

SEE???? It’s barely even the preseason and rampant conjecture is already creeping in because it’s EXCITING!

I’ll be back with another Junior College Report soon, maybe in two weeks? Let’s say two weeks. You can look forward to my own personal Pre-Preseason Top 10 Poll and maybe even Preseason Players to Watch. Who knows? You do, in approximately two weeks.