My Lacrosse Tournaments hosted the Run With The Best Showcase last Saturday at the Sachem Sports Complex. It featured more than 230 of the best 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022 players. Below is a look at some of the players who stood out the most from the event.
Click here for the Run With The Best photo gallery.
It's a bit unusual, particularly in this day and age, but it's a hard-and-fast rule at The Delbarton School.
No matter how skilled, no matter how glaring a gap in the depth chart might seem, and no matter the situation, you won't find a freshman playing varsity or JV for the Green Wave. When you look at the program's success, you can't really argue, and it's a harsh reality for freshmen. That being said, Trey Sacus understood it, particularly when it's put into context.
"We had (former Duke All-American and Tewaaraton Trophy winner) Ned Crotty come through Delbarton and he wasn't allowed to play, either," said Sacus, a 2021 attackman for the Green Wave and Team 91. "So it just goes to show how serious it is."
With the way Sacus is playing, though, it might not be much longer before Delbarton finds a spot for him in the lineup. His play was the talk of Saturday's Run With The Best Showcase, on a day where he flashed his dazzling creativity, pinpoint passing, finishing ability and quickness and agility. Sacus' game has changed in the past year, and he's become a more well-rounded attackman with a penchant for zipping inch-perfect passes through tight defensive windows.
"Playing on the freshman team really helped me learn how to become a leader and help my teammates out," Sacus said. "Now, I'm more of a passer. I have my head up more, and I'm helping my teammates out more. I got off to a little bit of a slow start, but about halfway through the first game, I started feeling good. Normally, I start feeling good when I'm breaking a defender down, or when we're in a 1-3-2 and an attackman slips and I pass it right on his stick."
Sacus' most impressive moments, though, may have come a minute apart without the ball in his stick. In his team's third game on a hot, muggy day, he was still hustling, and he caused a pair of turnovers on the ride by relentlessly pestering the ball carrier. It's something that he takes pride in, and he knows that it's something that could set him apart from others when it's his turn to get recruited. Despite being on the shorter side, he seems to thrive off of contact, which is also obvious when he says he plays running back, linebacker and safety when he plays football.
"I'm a little undersized for a '21, but sometimes, riding is one of the things that bigger attackmen won't do," Sacus said. "It gives me a chance to show my hustle and add that as a bonus."
That's a heck of a bonus for a player with his offensive gifts.
Run With The Best Standouts
Rocco Barbero '20, attack, Ward Melville (N.Y.) / Long Island Express He's not the biggest attackman, but Barbero impressed a lot of onlookers with his tough, scrappy game. He plays much bigger than he is and isn't afraid to get his nose dirty by going to the tough areas, whether it's to get open or collect a ground ball. He displayed a good, accurate shot, and most importantly, it was his constant hustle that helped him turn heads.
Jonathan Gaglione '19, midfield, Milford (Md.) / Team 91 Maryland - Highlights Gaglione is at ease dodging north and south and he makes his bones on the offensive end. He pairs excellent size with great feet and very good vision, and because of that, he's an intriguing threat out of the midfield. He's also played a lot of attack in high school, which merely adds to his versatility.
Alex Keener '19, defense, Bethpage (N.Y.) / Team 91 - Highlights Keener had a great day on the ground, corralling any loose ball in sight and then kickstarting the transition game. He also showcased a very active stick by knocking down a handful of passes, and his athleticism suggests that he's barely scratching the surface of his potential.
Pat Moyer '20, FO/M, DeMatha Catholic (Md.) / Team 91 Maryland There's plenty to like about Moyer, and versatility is at or near the top of the list. The 6-footer usually faces off in high school and takes more middie runs for Team 91 Maryland, and he's more than capable of doing either one full time. He's a big, athletic kid who runs well and had a gem of an on-the-run far-side-high snipe where he flashed an ability to not only shoot, but also collect the ground ball off a win and run past people.
John O'Rourke '20, defense, Sayville (N.Y.) / Fighting Ducks O'Rourke plays with a colossal chip on his shoulder, bringing a fiery, nasty disposition to the back end. Couple that with his size and his takeaway ability, and you've got yourself a good foundation for a defenseman. Limbs are not safe within striking distance of O'Rourke as he loves to be very physical and throw a ton of checks. On one sequence, he caused his opponent to put the ball on the ground twice in about 30 seconds, collecting the ground ball on the latter.
Bryce Robertson '20, attack, Bayport Blue Point (N.Y.) / Fighting Ducks - Highlights Robertson is far from a finished product, but the athleticism and big righty shot, particularly with time and room, make him an appealing prospect. He's got plenty of potential, and if he reaches it, watch out.
Machado Rodriguez '21, FO/M, Chaminade (N.Y.) / Team 91 Rodriguez's toughest competition was himself, as he jumped early a few times. Other than that, he might have not lost a faceoff that he competed for. He won nearly every clamp, and he showed a good understanding of where to put the ball for his wings. When he went forward, he was able to pull away from anyone chasing him and made good decisions with the ball, especially when he buried an early rip low and away.
Dom Russo '21, goalie, Sayville (N.Y.) / Fighting Ducks A good-sized keeper, Russo was also one of the chattier goalies in attendance, constantly communicating with his defense to keep shooters at bay. He mirrored shooters well, and was particularly stout in tight, where he made a couple of big-time stops.
Quentin Sommer '20, midfield, St. Anthony's (N.Y.) / Long Island Express Sommer had one of the best shots-on-the-run at Run With The Best, but he also exploited goalies if allowed time-and-room rips. Bottom line: he could crank it. He also brings superb athleticism to the table.
Tyler Schwarz '21, LSM, Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) / Team 91 - Highlights There's an excellent case to be made for Schwarz as the defenseman who stood out the most during the day. He was everywhere, picking off a bunch of passes, crushing the clearing game, and using his tall, lanky frame to pester midfielders all day. He also played close defense and can also face off, so there's not much he can't do.
Cory Capri '20, attack, John Glenn (N.Y.) / Team 91 Kyle Connor '20, LSM, Sachem East (N.Y.) / Team 91 Chris Delaney '20, attack, West Islip (N.Y.) Brendan Huey '19, midfield, Westminster (Md.) / Team 91 Maryland - Highlights Christian Lyons '19, midfield, Syosset (N.Y.) / Team 91 Eli Rever '20, defense, C. Milton Wright (Md.) / Team 91 Maryland Trey Sofeld '20, midfield, Long Beach (N.Y.) / Team 91 Jayson Tingue '20, goalie, Bay Shore (N.Y.) / Team 91 - Highlights AJ Volkmann '21, defense, Mount Sinai (N.Y.) / Team 91 - Highlights Jake Wilson '21, defense, Shoreham-Wading River (N.Y.) / Team 91 - Highlights Daniel Zabbia '21, attack, Half Hollow Hills West (N.Y.) / Team 91 - Highlights