(Photo Courtesy of Paul Kabalin/Jupiter Lacrosse)
The high school season in the South is in full swing and the midseason point is already here or is fastly approaching for most teams across the region. And as usual, many eyes are on sophomores as they will be the next crop to enter the recruiting process when September 1st, 2023 rolls around.
Back in January, I released my 2025 Southern Preseason Watchlist. In that article I mentioned that, just like last season, I would also be releasing a midseason and postseason lists to add to that initial crop.
With the midseason either here or approaching in the next week for most teams across the region, it is time to take a look at some of the sophomores who have impressed thus far. Remember, this is not a ranking and only includes players who I have been able to see in-person or via film thus far.
And as has been the case each of the past two years, 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.*
Justin Conly, A, Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.) – Conly has been phenomenal for the Crusaders thus far, helping them to a 7-1 record at the time of writing this. The righty has showcased himself as a strong shooter, and especially so from the island, scoring 16 goals. He has also dished out 12 assists for a total of 28 points. That includes a three goal, two assists performance in the Crusaders’ biggest win thus far – a 15-7 victory over St. Anne’s-Belfield (Va.).
Alexander Ponchock, A, Benjamin (Fla.) – The sophomore has had an incredible season for the Buccaneers thus far, tallying 20 goals and seven assists for 27 points at the time of writing this. Often playing that X-attackman role, Ponchock has shown a lot of promise as a player who can both initiate from behind to get looks for himself or others and also moves very well off-ball to put himself in prime scoring positions.
Brooks Wehman, A, Lambert (Ga.) – Wehman has been a key cog within the offense of perennial Peach State powerhouse Lambert. The sophomore has especially showcased his goal-scoring ability through the Longhorns’ 9-3 start to the season, being able to rip it from distance while also being a strong insider finisher when needed.
Joseph “JT” Murphy, M, Cannon (N.C.) – The 6-foot-3 dual-sport athlete has been very impressive for a Cougars squad that is off to a 4-0 start in 2023. Possession good size and speed, Murphy has shown to be able to win those one-on-one matchups and also has been a very solid off-ball player who knows how to get open and put the ball in the back of the cage from multiple spots on the field.
Kelan Moore, M, Green Level (N.C.) – Moore has shown to be an incredible threat above the cage this season, being able to get his hands free and make plays from almost anywhere on the field. Moore has especially shown a strong ability to utilize his speed as a dodger and showcased the range that he can have as a shooter.
Campbell Zegras, M, Oxbridge (Fla.) – A great playmaker from up top, Zegras has been a key point of the Thunderwolves offense. He has shown to be able to consistently beat his man and get quality shots on the run. Zegras also has some range to his game, being able to sting it from distance when given the opportinity.
Dylan Furshman, FO, Jupiter (Fla.) – Part of a very young Jupiter squad, Furshman has been arguably the best faceoff man in region thus far this season. The sophomore had gone 169-for-210 (80%) at the faceoff dot while also tallying 10 points off four goals and six assists.
Carter Fears, FO, Wesleyan (Ga.) – Fears has been very strong at the dot for the Wolves thus far as their top option at the dot, going 122-for-144 (77.8%). The sophomore has also scored two goals through this point as well.
Sam Alexander, LSM/D, Trinity (Ky.) – Can be an impact player almost anywhere on the field. He is a good on-ball defender who can cause problems for his man and put the ball on the ground. The sophomore is good off the ground and has the ability to cross the midline and help create offense when needed.
Aiden Eriksen, D, Tampa Jesuit (Fla.) – Erisken has helped Jesuit to a solid 9-2 record through this point in the season as a big asset on the back end. The 5-foot-10 pole is a solid cover man who knows how to give his matchup trouble and doesn’t necessarily need to deploy a ton of contact to do so. He can also make an impact in the middle of the field if needed.
*Note: If you know of a player that should be on this list (or the prior one) but isn’t, feel free to shoot me and email or message on social media. Thanks.*