(Photo Courtesy of Zach Chari/Instagram)
The high school season is just around the corner, getting underway in late February/early-March in the South. Per usual, many eyes will be on sophomores as they will be the next crop to enter the recruiting process in a little under eight months when September 1st, 2022 rolls around.
Here is a look at some of those players in the class of 2024 to keep your eyes out for this spring. As I did a year ago, this list will be updated at midseason and at the season’s end. I will put out my full Southern Big Board of top players from the region around September 1st.
*Reminder: This list only includes players playing in the South, so players from the region playing at prep schools will not be included.*
Zach Chari, A, McCallie (Tenn.) – Chari made his presence known early on as a freshman a year ago with the Blue Tornado. The 6-foot-2, 215-pound attackman is an electrifying playmaker who knows how to get to the rack from both behind the cage at X as well as on the wings. He knows exactly how to use his body and contact to his advantage. The attackman put up 32 points off 29 goals and three assists last spring.
Owen Lenox, A, Lake Highland Prep (Fla.) – A natural goal-scorer, the lefty blew onto the scene as a freshman last spring and continued to put up big numbers throughout the summer. Lenox thrives off-ball as he knows how to get himself open and in space. He had 31 goals and seven assists with LHP last spring.
Trevor Havill, A, St. Xavier (Ky.) – Arguably the best player in the Bluegrass State, the 6-foot-5, 185-pound attackman made much headway as a freshman, helping lead St. Xavier to their 14th state title in program history while serving as one of the Tigers’ top scorers with 63 points (42G/21A). He is a strong shooter who loves making opportunities for himself on the wings, and seems to always be in the right place at the right time.
Brevin Wilson, A, Cannon School (N.C.) – Wilson had a huge freshman campaign, putting up 92 points off 57 goals and 35 assists, and earning First Team All-State honors. The 5-foot-7 attackman is dangerous from behind the cage at X, knowing how to use his quickness to create separation and get above GLE where he can do damage as a shooter and feeder.
Sean Browne, A/M, Episcopal School Dallas (Texas) – Standing 6-foot-4, Browne could easily be mistaken for an upperclassmen. Playing mostly midfield, he proved to be an offensive threat last spring and had a big summer. Browne is an impressive dodger, whether doing so downhill from up top or on the wings. While not the fastest, he knows how to get his hands free and make plays.
Harrison Voelzke, M, Greater Atlanta Christian (Ga.) – A strong downhill dodger, Voelzke can be a threat from up top as a shooter and knows how to use his explosiveness and length to his advanatge. He has also shown a strong ability to get to the middle of the field and make plays on the doorstep when needed. He had 26 goals and 14 assists as a freshman in 2021.
Caden Harshbarger, M, Lake Mary (Fla.) – Arguably the top player in the Sunshine State in the class, Harshbarger certainly plays with a high level of hustle and confidence every time out. He can make plays all over the offensive end, but also showcases a strong ability to make things happen on defense and in between the boxes. Dylan Hess Comparisons aren’t too far-fetched.
Jackson Spells, M, Green Level (N.C.) – Spells made a mark as a freshman last spring, tallying 38 points off 22 goals and 16 assists. A strong right-handed shooter who knows to get separation off the dodge from both up top and on the wings, the midfielder has plenty of upside.
Ethan Kraske, FO, Wakefield (N.C.) – Along with his older brother, Coleman (Ohio State signee), the Kraske tandem is one of the best at the faceoff dot in the region. Possessing a quick pinch-and-pop, he gives nearly every one of his opponents the utmost trouble.
Neel Shenoy, FO, Southlake (Texas) – Went 63% against varsity competition as a freshman last spring. Shenoy seems to be strongest with offensive exits, winning it directly to himself or grabbing the ground ball, and being able to help jump-start the offense.
Colin Wade, D, Oxbridge (Fla.) – Starting on varsity since his seventh grad year, Wade has been on the radar for a bit longer than most in the class. As a cover man, he has very good footwork and is able to match feet and lockup his opponent. He has also shown signs of strength off-ball and with his speed can be impactful in the middle of the field when needed.
Bo Stocks, D, St. Christopher’s (Va.) – Stocks started as a freshman for a St. Christopher’s team that went to the VISAA semifinals. He might not be as aggressive with his body as some, but he knows how to use his stick to give his man fits and put the ball on the ground. The defenseman also runs the field quite well.
Christopher Moody, D/LSM, Blessed Trinity (Ga.) – Moody was an impact player last spring, helping Blessed Trinity to an undefeated state championship. Likely projecting more as an LSM, Moody is a monster on the faceoff wings and in between the boxes. His length allows him to run the field well and he has great stick skills both offensively running in transition and defensively, grabbing tough ground balls, picking passes out of the sky, and throwing really good takeaway checks.
Troy Capstraw, G, Daphne (Ala.) – Another top-flight goalie out of the Heart of Dixie? That’s right. Capstraw fills up the goal with his 6-foot-5 stature, and combined with his very active style of play is hard to beat. He looks most impressive at stopping shots on the inside and off rebounds, but has shown to plug shots coming from almost anywhere on the field.
Brady Kam, G, Fort Mill (S.C.) – Kam stormed onto the high school lacrosse scene in the Palmetto State a season ago, making 179 saves with a .561% save percentage while helping the Yellow Jackets to 5A SCHSL quarterfinal appearance. He has shown the ability to stand on his head for a full 60 minutes, stopping nearly everything in his tracks.
Others Names to Watch
Ridge Crouch, A, The Woodlands (Texas)
Jack Ranson, A, Charlotte Catholic (N.C.)
Carl Dagher, M, Walton (Ga.)
Mason Bader, M, Apex Friendship (N.C.)
Ryder John, D, St. Xavier (Ky.)
Ethan Fisher, D, McCallie (Tenn.)
Liam Wright, FO, St. Christopher’s (Va.)
Lad Harper, FO, Ponte Vedra (Fla.)