(Photo Courtesy of Jesuit Dallas Lacrosse)
The high school season in the South is in full swing and for many, the midseason point is already here or is fastly approaching. And as usual, many eyes are on sophomores as they will be the next crop to enter the recruiting process when September 1st, 2022 rolls around.
Back in January, I released my 2024 Southern Preseason Watchlist. In that article I mentioned that I would also be releasing a midseason and postseason lists, adding onto that initial crop of 16 that were detailed back before the season began.
That is exactly what this list is as I will be breaking down 10 sophomores from the South who have impressed through the first month or so of their seasons who weren’t on that initial list in January. As I did last year, I will release a much larger end of season list and put out my Southern Big Board of top players from around the region in late August.
*Reminder: This list only includes players playing in the South, so players from the region playing at prep schools will not be included.*
Beckett Foley, A/M, Jesuit Dallas (Texas) – Foley has been phenomenal for the Rangers in 2022. Playing alongside a talented senior in McAllister Hobbs (Penn State), the versatile sophomore has showcased himself as a reliable scorer with 21 goals through the Rangers’ first seven contests, helping them to a 6-1 record. In the win over St. Andrew’s (Fla.), Foley put up a hat trick against what is an uber-talented defense.
James Davidson, A/M, King’s Ridge Christian (Ga.) – The 5-foot-10, 165-pound attackman started the season with a six-point (1G/5A) performance in win over Pace, getting his sophomore season off with a bang after an 82-point freshman season. Since, he has continued to impress, and especially so as a natural feeder. Davidson has already surpassed 100 career points, doing so early this season.
Peyton Booth, A, St. Anne’s Belfield (Va.) – A Charlottesville native, Booth was the first-ever eighth grader to play for STAB. After a freshman season at Calvert Hall (Md.), he headed back to his hometown and old school. The sophomore with one heck of an outside shot has been exceptional through four games, scoring a 21 goals while also dishing out eight assists to lead the Saints with 29 points.
Lleyton Hall, A, Tampa Jesuit (Fla.) – Following up what was a strong freshman season, Hall gotten things off to a strong start this spring. Helping the Tigers to a 5-1 record, the attackman had gone an even 9-9 for 18 points thus far as the team’s leading scorer.
Carl Dagher, M, Walton (Ga.) – Each time I’ve been able to see Dagher this season, he seems to thrive in two-man situations. The midfielder has shown to be dangerous in such situations as an off-ball player, a quarterback-like passer, and a ball carrier and dodger. There is a lot to like about his game, and also a lot of possible growth as well.
Mason Bader, M, Apex Friendship (N.C.) – Helping lead the Patriots to a 5-3 start, Bader has showcased his elite scoring ability with 26 goals. He has also dished out 13 assists, bringing his point total to 39 at this point in the season as the leader of the offense.
RJ Wells, M, Apex Friendship (N.C.) – Playing alongside Bader, Wells has also made a mark thus far with the Patriots this spring. The sophomore with a wild outside shot has scored 17 goals while also dishing out 14 assists for 31 points through eight games.
Aaron Alford, D/LSM, McCallie (Tenn.) – A Georgia native, Alford is playing his first season with the Blue Tornado after spending his freshman season in his native state with Walton. The long defender has show to be a very good cover man on the back end, giving his matchups trouble early on this season, and also has the stick skills and speed to take the ball up field at me more of a modern-day LSM if needed. He has scooped up 17 ground balls and caused five turnovers in McCallie’s eight contests.
Dom Deering, D, St. Andrew’s (Fla.) – Part of arguably the best defense in the Sunshine State, holding their opponents to 5.75 goals per game, Deering has been very impressive so far this spring while helping the Scots to a 10-2 record at this point. The sophomore knows how to get physical and cause trouble on-ball for his matchup, knowing exactly how to put the ball on the carpet. He also has the skills and athleticism to get out in transition to help jump start offense if needed.
Ryder John, D, St. Xavier (Ky.) – Can play practically anywhere on the field. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound pole finds success on the back end as an on-ball defender as well as someone that can clog up passing lanes off-ball. John is great off the ground and can, and will, cross the midline as a one-man clear and help create early offense.
*Note: If you know of a player that should be on this list but isn’t, feel free to shoot me and email or message on social media. Thanks.*