The Fall season concluded the way it started, with notable improvement. Every team down in Philadelphia had a better record than their class had last year. Our 2018 Philly Showcase mark of 4 wins, 4 losses and 1 tie jumped to 6 wins and 3 losses. Our program’s number of Saturday individual event All Stars jumped from four overall to six (our overall number of participants jumped considerably as well). In short, by every measurable, we fared better at the Philly Showcase in 2019 than we had in 2018. Given the way the fall season had gone, we expected nothing less.
I’ve just received the list of college coaches, which showed that 246 signed in over the course of the two days The weather may have limited the quality of assessment on day two, and may have caused some early departures. But I’ve learned to keep a sharp eye on attendance, and if it trailed off, it wasn’t by much.
For the teams that enjoyed the most success, it was more than the records alone. It was the way we played. Offensive units who had at times been a little stagnant or one-dimensional at points during the fall showed unselfishness, multi-dimensionality and creativity. On no team was this more true than with our 2021’s, who were exceptional in all facets of the game. Of the 30 teams in the 2021 class attending the Sunday Showcase, only three scored more goals over the three games than our total of 25 (STEPS, 27; Annapolis Hawks, 26; Sweet Lax Upstate, 26); each of these teams also went undefeated. Not surprisingly for this exceptionally strong defensive class, no team allowed fewer goals than our 8 over three games (Tri State out of NJ also allowed 8). From a margin of victory perspective, Sweet Lax Upstate and our Fighting Clam ‘21’s again topped the list of 30, with an overall margin that stood at 17. Add it all together, and it means to me that if there’d have been Championship, I sure think we’d have been in it.
Our underclassmen also had their share of true bright spots, though in the case of the 2022’s it was more on the Saturday half of the weekend, whereas for the 2023’s it was the Sunday half. The six 2022 class All Stars is the most the Clam program has ever had in a class at the Philly Individual Showcase (see below for photo and individual acknowledgement). The somewhat predictable downside of six All Stars is that you have six of your best players playing a fourth game the day before the team event, which invariably leads to physical and mental fatigue (similarly to a back to back nights playing that you see even in professional sports). The ‘22’s finished strong, and played their best lacrosse to end day 2, but we’ve seen this special class play better at other recent national events. That said, as a program director, I wouldn’t give the six All Star nods back, even if it meant different things for Sunday, and I’m sure those recognized ‘22’s would agree.
For the ’23’s, the high point of the day was our 5-3 win against Orange Crush. We as coaches set the hotel room alarms early and promised one another that we were going to be the first coaches on the field, and the first team warming up. The opportunity to take one from the nationally elite Orange Crush ‘23’s was a chance, to in one fell swoop, grab the national recognition this team and its coaches have been craving, and deserve. Sure enough, we achieved our goal.
On a miserable, rainy, cold morning, we were cranking before anyone else. And while the Crush players were just starting the stroll onto the field, we were well into our warmup. Coach Walker gave the goalies a truly extraordinary warmup, which undoubtedly correlated to two netminders’ 13 combined saves (many of them jaw-dropping). Coaches Noonan and Cleveland put forth an extended and thorough dynamic stretch and Carolina drill. In short, I said in a writeup going into the event that the team that wanted this one more would get it. Everything that happened before the 8am whistle indicated that was us, and then the game itself followed suit. As Chinese Strategist Sun Tzu has said, “every battle is one or lost before it is ever fought”. Well, ol’ Sun Tzu would’ve been proud of the Fighting Clams ‘23’s at 7:59AM on November 24th, 2019, just as the players, parents and coaches were at 8:51AM.
Keep checking back throughout December for class by class breakdowns of the Fall season, which we’ll be posting periodically. We can’t wait to write them, and in many ways, with the success we enjoyed, they’ll write themselves.
Players Recognized as Stand Outs (According to College & Clam Coaches)
2021: Joey Kraft– Attack (Rivers), Liam Alley– Defense/LSM (Middlesex), Dan Addonizzio– Attack (BB&N), Conor Trant– Midfield (Concord-Carlisle), Peter Cook– Attack/Midfield (Concord-Carlisle), Michael Petitto– LSM/Defense (Wakefield), Matthew Petitto– LSM/Defense (Wakefield), Michael Marinello– Goalie (Belmont Hill)
2022: Anthony Stillwell– Attack (Algonquin), Jack Taylor– Midfield (Lawrence), Graham Ray– FO Midfield (Algonquin), Tate Seeman– Defense (Nobles), Tyler Howe– Defense (Pingree), Parker Collins– Attack/Midfield (Roxbury Latin) Emmett Harris– Attack/Midfield (Holderness), Sam Duffy– Defense/LSM (Newton South)
2023: Jon Byrne– Attack (Acton-Boxboro), Luke LoPresti– Attack (Belmont Hill), Andrew Matarese- Defense (Acton-Boxboro), Matt Deedy– Goalie (Acton-Boxboro), Cam Daly– Defense/LSM (Middlesex), Aidan Peterson– Goalie (Westford)
NXT Individual Showcase All-Stars
Left to Right: Peter Del Col (Nobles), Ben Garozzo (LS), Tate Seeman (Nobles), Carter Smith (St. Paul’s), Rex Mabbs (Middlesex), Chad Palumbo (Nobles)
Fighting Clams 2021 (3-0)
W 7-3 vs. Sweetlax Florida Krackens
W 11-3 vs. PA Roughriders
W 7-2 vs. Patriot
|Dan Addonizio||BB & N||3||0||3|
|Pat Atkins||St. John’s Prep||1||2||3|
|Teddy Lisa||Phillip’s Exeter||1||0||1|
|Name||School||FO Win %|
|Conor Trant||Concord-Carlisle||86 %|
|Graham Tyson||St. John’s Prep||78 %|
|Michael Marinello||Belmont Hill||75 %|
|Ryan Skripps||Brewster||59 %|
Fighting Clams 2022 (1-2)
L 7-8 vs. Tri State
L 5-12 vs. Iron Horse
W 9-2 vs. 3d NE South
|Parker Collins||Roxbury Latin||4||0||4|
|Colin Sullivan||St. Johns HS||1||1||2|
|Carter Smith||St. Paul’s||1||0||1|
|Jack Fates||Phillip’s Andover||1||0||1|
|Sam Duffy||Newton South||0||1||1|
|Name||School||FO Win %|
|Graham Ray||Algonquin||75 %|
|Jackson Ehwa||Holderness||65 %|
|Ben Garozzo||Lincoln-Sudbury||54 %|
|Peter Del Col||Nobles||51 %|
Fighting Clams 2023 (2-1)
W 5-3 vs. Orange Crush
L 5-8 vs. Seattle Starz
W 8-0 vs. South Shore
|Luke LoPresti||Belmont Hill||4||3||7|
|John Goguen||Belmont Hill||0||3||3|
|Cam Maki||Wachusett Regional||1||0||1|
|Josh Seiple||Phillip’s Andover||0||1||1|
|Jack Daly||St. Sebastian’s||0||1||1|
|Name||School||FO Win %|
|Eric Brooks||St. John’s HS||68 %|
|Matt Deedy||Acton-Boxboro||71 %|
|Aidan Peterson||Westford||65 %|