High School Boys’ Lacrosse Preview: Breaking Down Midwest Top 10

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER


Culver Military Academy retains its status as one of the nation’s best programs, but the rest of the Midwest remains a toss-up with an ever-improving lacrosse landscape. Brother Rice returned to its former glory after a surprising down year in 2018 and looks to continue a 23-game win streak.

*US Lacrosse Magazine recently released its Nike/US Lacrosse High School Boys' Preseason National Top 25. Check it out here.

1. Culver Military Academy (Ind.)
Last season: 20-1

The Eagles ended their season with 16 straight victories, including impressive wins over Haverford (Pa.), Gonzaga (D.C.), New Trier (Ill.) and Hill Academy (Ont.). Culver should have scoring pop, led by Owen Hiltz (Syracuse), and superb play in net from Michael Gianforcaro (Princeton), but it has to replace faceoff maestro Alec Stathakis (Denver).

2. Brother Rice (Mich.)
Last season: 23-0

The Warriors return plenty of scoring punch. Among the top players back to lead the way are DJ Dixon, who recorded a hat trick in last year’s epic state title clash with Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.), as well as attackman Jordan Hyde, who earned All-American honors last season.

3. Dublin Coffman (Ohio)
Last season: 24-1

The Shamrocks were as explosive as can be last season en route to their first state title. They’ll have to find new sources for scoring without Evan James, who registered five of Coffman’s 13 goals in last year’s state final, and Ethan Tyack, who had two goals and four assists.

4. St. Ignatius (Ohio)
Last season: 18-5

The Wildcats should contend for a sixth straight state final four berth in 2020. They return a pair of superstars in Michael Boehm, who had 71 goals and 47 assists to push his program records to 181 goals, 119 assists and 300 points, and Connor Cmiel, a midfielder who had 45 goals and 23 assists last year.

5. MICDS (Mo.)
Last season: 18-1

The Rams have shown plenty, winning 92 straight against Show Me State opposition. MICDS has to replace more than usual after graduating a senior class that included Graham Bundy Jr. (Georgetown), Thomas Neidringhaus (Boston U.) and Henry Carpenter (Penn State), who combined for 13 goals in last year’s state title game. While five of seven all-state players are gone, juniors Crawford Bundy and Will Kacmarek return.







6. Detroit Catholic Central (Mich.)
Last season: 20-4

The Shamrocks had a great 2019 season, going 20-1 against everyone but Brother Rice. Detroit Catholic Central does have to replace significant offensive talent, as graduated seniors Joseph Karnish and Ryan Birney combined for 10 goals in last year’s state championship.

7. New Trier (Ill.)
Last season: 20-5

The Trevians had quite the run to a state title last year, including a dominant performance in the championship game, but they have to replace a massive graduating class. Despite all the scoring prowess lost, New Trier returns an All-American in net in Cooper Yaccino.

8. Cincinnati St. Xavier (Ohio)
Last season: 17-7

The Bombers came on strong at the end of last year and made a run to the state title game. They should remain solid in 2020, returning talented players like Andrew Green, who had a hat trick in the 13-8 final loss to Dublin Coffman, and Noah Reidy, who had two goals and an assist in the final and a hat trick in the regional championship win over Moeller.

9. Forest Hills Central (Mich.)
Last season: 22-1

The Rangers won their second championship in four years and look to build on a run of dominance that includes four straight finals appearances and eight straight final four trips. While they lost a pair of All-American midfielders to graduation in Logan Wedder and Luke Majick, they return an All-American attacker in Jackson Clay.

10. Cathedral (Ind.)
Last season: 19-3

Coming off their fifth state title in program history, the Irish return IHSLA State Championship Player of the Game and All-American Sam Bedich. Talented scorers Jack Neidlinger and John Petruzzi also return, and sophomore Kevin Berutich is another player to watch.

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