(Photo Courtesy of Ponte Vedra Lacrosse)
As usual, this spring saw many eyes on sophomores around the region as they will be the next crop to enter the recruiting process when September 1st, 2022 rolls around.
With the high school lacrosse season having wrapped up across the South, with the exception of Virginia, it’s time to take a look at 30 players from the 2024 class that stood out the most throughout the 2022 season.
*Reminder: This list only includes players playing in the South, so players from the region playing at prep schools will not be included. Additionally, only players who I have seen play either on film or in-person are on this list.*
Zach Chari, A, McCallie (Tenn.) – Helping to lead the Blue Tornado to a state championship, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound attackman asserted himself as a leader and playmaker on that offense. Knowing how to take it to the rack from X and on the wings, Chari is not afraid of contact and often uses it to his advantage. He put up 79 points off 49 goals and 25 assists this spring.
Brevin Wilson, A, Cannon School (N.C.) – The 5-foot-7 attackman has a diverse skillset that he brings to the attack spot, being able to make plays from almost anywhere on the field. He put up 50 goals and 39 assists this past spring while often showcasing his off-ball ability, finding seams in the defense to slip into on the inside on the backside of the play for a score. Wilson posses a certain amount of quickness that makes him a tough cover.
Jack Ransom, A, Charlotte Catholic (N.C.) – Renown as one of the best players in the South, Ransom had a 42-point freshman campaign and built upon that even further as a sophomore with 122 points off 61 goals and 61 assists while gaining Southwest Conference Player of The Year honors. Whether guarded one-on-one in space or amidst a sea of defenders, Ransom knows how to get separation and create plays. He has one of the best shots of anyone in the class.
Trevor Havill, A, St. Xavier (Ky.) – Havill made his presence known on the Kentucky lacrosse scene as a freshman and has only continued to show why he is arguably the best player in the Blue Grass State. The 6-foot-5, 185-pound attackman makes a living on the wings as a shooter and dodger, who can consistently make opportunities for himself. He was also seen working at X more often as an initiator this spring. He had five goals to help the Tigers to a 15th state championship victory over the weekend.
Anthony Lattero, A, Ravenwood (Tenn.) – Lattero had a very strong sophomore campaign as he helped lead the Raptors to a state championship. A strong outside shooter that touched the ball on almost every possession, Lattero often got the majority of the attention from opposing defenses. He led his team with 58 goals while also dishing out 24 assists for a total of 82 points on the 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. The sophomore was exception this past spring as he put up 101 points off 60 goals and 41 assists. Booth served as the of the Saints’ top goal-scorers, making a living off his strong outside shot.
Lleyton Hall, A, Tampa Jesuit (Fla.) – Practically living on that sweet spot 8-10 yards above GLE on the hashmark, Hall showcased a strong ability to get free and do damage as a shooter from that very spot this spring while also being able to get there as a dodger from behind and doing damage as a feeder. Hall led the Tigers with 35 goals and 27 assists for 62 points this past spring.
Beckett Foley, A/M, Jesuit Dallas (Texas) – Playing alongside a talented senior in McAllister Hobbs (Penn State) in a talented offense, Foley broke through the fray and proved to be one of the Rangers most reliable scorers. Foley ended the season with 58 points off 43 goals and 15 assists while helping lead Jesuit to a state title.
James Davidson, A/M, King’s Ridge Christian (Ga.) – The 5-foot-10, 165-pound attackman stands out for his feeding ability. Davidson can be a facilitator on the wings or from up top as a traditional midfielder. He started the spring 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. All he did was continue to impress through the remainder of the year as he surpassed 100 career points.
Sean Browne, A/M, Episcopal School Dallas (Texas) – At 6-foot-4, Browne certainly has the size advantage over most defenders. He also has the skills. Browne is an impressive dodger, whether doing so downhill from up top or on the wings, as he isn’t the fastest guy out there but still knows how to beat his man and get his hands free.
James “Jay” Legg, A/M, Holly Springs (N.C.) – Playing in a senior-heavy offense, Legg put up 45 goals and dished out 13 assists for 58 points as the Hawks’ fifth-leading point-getter and third-leading goal-scorer.
Caden Harshbarger, M, Lake Mary (Fla.) – A dual-sport athlete also playing football, Harshbarger is arguably the best player in not only the Sunshine State but the South as a whole in the class. As athletic as they come, he makes plays all over the offensive end with his ability to get by defenders and make plays happen. However, his impact can be seen all over the field as he is a menace on the faceoff wings with his ability to get and run through ground balls.
Jackson Spells, M, Green Level (N.C.) – Spells jumped off the page as a freshman last year and only continued to trend upward in 2022. A strong shooter who can and will create seperation off the dodge, Spells put up 84 points off 55 goals and 29 assists this past season as the Gators’ offensive leader.
Carl Dagher, M, Walton (Ga.) – Dagher thrived for a Walton team that went 19-4 and fell in the state title game. The 5-foot-10 midfielder showcased his ability to not only be a playmaker off-ball, but also make plays as a ball carrier and dodger. Dagher often was able to beat his matchup and take it to the rack.
Mason Bader, M, Apex Friendship (N.C.) – A strong dodger who often inverts behind the cage, Bader knows how to use speed and body to get separation, get his hands free, and sting the back of the cage. This past spring, Bader notched 69 goals while also dishing out 34 assists for 103 points on the season.
Kade McNeil, M, North Paulding (Ga.) – Helping to lead the way for a North Paulding squad that went 20-2 and fell in the state semifinals, McNeil tallied 90 points off 71 goals and 19 assists while also earning All-State and All-American honors. He made much of his presence known as a strong dodger, being able to get a step on his man and fire into the back of the net.
Gavin Boree, M, Bolles (Fla.) – One of the more diverse skillsets of an offensive player in the region. Boree consistently made plays all over the field for the Bulldogs, showcasing his ability as a versatile playmaker and dodger from multiple spots. He ended the season with 55 goals and 20 assists for 75 points.
Lad Harper, FO, Ponte Vedra (Fla.) – One of just a few sophomore All-State honorees, Harper was a dominant presence at the facepff dot for the Sharks this past spring. Well-rounded in how he can win draws, Harper went 212-for-256 (82%) at the faceoff dot this past season.
Connor Hofbauer, Two-way Midfield, St. Andrew’s (Fla.) – Maybe the hardest position to standout at in high school lacrosse is defensive midfield. However, Hofbauer has been an impact player at the spot for an uber-talented Saints defense. He matched feet well and knows how to put the ball on the carpet. Hofbauer is also effective in the clearing game and an offensive threat. He had 17 goals, four assists, and grabbed 38 ground balls this spring.
Christopher Moody, 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.
Aiden Isika, D/LSM, The Woodlands (Texas) – A versatile pole, Isika is a good defender as a strong cover man who knows how to give his matchup trouble with or without making a ton of contact. He also can make an impact in the transition game to help spark early 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. As a sophomore in 2022, he has just continued to be a major impact player on the back end. Stocks isn’t always the mist 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.
Matt Blanton, D, Wesleyan (Ga.) – Playing with a little more calmness than some other defensemen, Blanton made a name for himself as a very solid and effective cover man this past spring. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound defenseman might not be the most physically aggressive pole out there, but he knows how to match feet, put the ball on the carpet, and cause havoc for whoever he is tasked with guarding.
Aaron Alford, D, McCallie (Tenn.) – A Georgia native, Alford played his first season with the Blue Tornado this spring after spending his freshman season in his native state with Walton. The long defender has shown to be a very good cover man on the back end, giving his matchups good deal of trouble this past spring. Alford also has the speed and stick skills to take the ball up field if needed. He grabbed 29 ground balls and caused nine turnovers this season.
Dom Deering, D, St. Andrew’s (Fla.) – Part of arguably the best defense in the Sunshine State, Deering had an impressive sophomore campaign. The defenseman knows how to get physical and cause trouble on-ball for his matchup, knowing exactly how to put the ball on the carpet.
Mason Hudson, D, St. Andrew’s (Fla.) – Another part of that heralded St. Andrew’s defense, Hudson proved to be a force on the back end and a nightmare for opposing offenses. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound defender has not only the size, but also the physicality, and skills to be an impact both on and off-ball.
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.
Dylan Axman, G, Middle Creek (N.C.) – Backstopping the defense of the state champion Mustangs, Axman made 181 saves with a 65% save percentage this past spring. Standing 5-foot-8, Axman isn’t the biggest of goalies but he is still a consistent presence in cage, being able to stop outside shots while also making those crucial stops on the inside.
John Fisher, G, Battlefield (Va.) – Helping to lead Battlefield to a 14-2 record through this point, Fisher has been a strong presence in cage. A steady goaltender, he has been a consistent backstop for the Bobcats’ defense and shown the ability to make saves from all over the field. He can be especially good when needed to make those acrobatic saves in tight.
Other Names to Know
Owen Lenox, A, Lake Highland Prep (Fla.)
Harrison Voelzke, M, Greater Atlanta Christian (Ga.)
RJ Wells, M, Apex Friendship (N.C.)
Chance Haynie, M, Blessed Trinity (Ga.)
Neel Shenoy, FO, Southlake (Texas)
Ethan Kraske, M/FO, Wakefield (N.C.)
Hays Prather, D, Memphis University (Tenn.)
Quinn Falsca, D, Hough (N.C.)
Roman Baranello, G, Holly Springs (N.C)