Floridians Continue to Impress at the Next Level

Written by Seth Austin on . Posted in .
taco hi res downfield
Taco headed downfield after a face-off win

We at FLN try to be honest commentators on the game as it relates to the Sunshine State.  In August, in advance of the formal start of the college decision season, we published and republished an article by our founder Brian Davis which contained a good bit of practical advice about the recruiting process and what it was like to play at the next level.  Some readers who sent us feedback felt we were overly negative about the prospects for Florida players.  If you felt that way, we’re sorry!  Nonetheless, those articles hold true for the vast majority of players throughout the country, not just our favorite sons and daughters.  The difference here is we are relatively new to the game, and the more information we can get to you, the better.

Given the above, how about some success stories!  This weekend we were lucky enough to attend the Capital Lacrosse Invitational at the Landon School in Maryland.  In its third year, the one day event benefits the Mario St. George Boiardi Foundation, named after a former Landon and Cornell player who died after being struck by a ball in the chest. Six D1 teams participated:  Georgetown, Lehigh, Cornell, Penn State, Richmond and UMBC. Three Floridians were on the rosters, Grant “Taco” Mahler, Devon Lewis and Adam Sawicki (from left to right, above).  Devon played first line midfield for Georgetown as a freshman last year, scoring 15 goals and adding two assists.  He looks to increase those numbers this year.  Taco played in four games as a freshman for Cornell and seems to be in the face-off mix as a sophomore.  Adam is a freshman and it would not surprise us if he earns the starting position in goal.

Adam with a nice save
Adam with a nice save

There are so many more to mention, too many to cover in this article, so we will highlight a few of the current men’s players who are enjoying success at the Division 1 level (with all due respect to the many other success stories).  We will tackle an “all-time” list at some point and would love your input.  Send all information to brian@floridalacrossenews.com (Brian, you can forward those to Lee if you wish since he is the chief of research at FLN).

Sam Talkow’s freshman year at Boston University had to be a bit of dream.  Not only did he easily handle national champion Duke’s star FOGO Brendan Fowler in the regular season finale, he was ranked the sixteenth best freshman in the country.  Teammate and fellow Floridian Clay Phillips also played well.

Chris Selva Hofstra
Chris Selva of Hofstra

Conor Peaks and Chris Selva start in goal at Delaware and Hofstra respectively.  Charlie Nicklaus contributed immediately for Rutgers and Blake Mulligan continued to gain minutes at Holy Cross.  Sergio Salcido will see significant field time this year for Syracuse and Eric Cantor is a four year starter with Tewaaraton Trophy winner Lyle Thompson at Albany. Will Rotatori at Princeton and Mike Power at Penn both played quality minutes.

Chris Kelly has been exceptional in goal at Detroit.  Former Boca Jet Garrett Epple started at Notre Dame as a freshman on defense and was the focal point of an ESPN camera shot defending the above mentioned Mr. Thompson in the NCAA’s.  Garrett joined our own Mike Shepherdson on the Fighting Irish roster. The list goes on, and the above are just a few examples of success stories.  The D2 and D3 ranks are filled with Floridians, and this year’s freshman class is full of quality Floridians at all levels.  Always be realistic, but you just may be good enough to play at an extremely high level.  Keep hitting the wall!