DeLuca Introduces Grant “Taco” Mahler as Part of Cornell Class of 2017

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ITHACA, N.Y. – Ben DeLuca ’98, The Richard M. Moran Head Coach of Cornell Men’s Lacrosse, has announced the incoming class of 2017. The Big Red will add 10 players that hail from seven states to next year’s squad, including four midfielders, two long stick midfielders, two goalies, one attackman, and one defender.

“As a group, I think this class is extremely versatile, athletic and intelligent,” said DeLuca. “We have a number of players coming from some of the best high school programs in the country so they have been well-coached and we think they are college ready. The group is midfield heavy, which will address some of our needs after graduating a large senior class in 2013, and they will have the opportunity to compete for playing time right away.”

Scott D’Antonio 6-1/175 D Garden City, N.Y./ Garden City HS
George Ehlers 5-9/165 M Chattanooga, Tenn./McCallie School
Andrew Keith 6-2/180 M Woodbury, N.Y./ Syosset High School
Chandler Kirby 5-7/180 LSM Jericho, N.Y./Jericho High School
Christian Knight 6-1/190 G Baltimore, Md./Boy’s Latin
Grant Mahler 5-10/175 M Village of Golf, Fla./ St. Andrew’s School
Domenic Massimilian 6-2/200 M Dallas, Texas/Highland Park HS/Salisbury School
Dan Nemirov 5-8/180 G Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville HS
Marshall Peters 6-2/185 LSM Vienna, Va./Landon School
James Tautkus 5-11/170 A York, Pa./St. Paul’s School (Md.)/The Taft School

Cornell Men’s Lacrosse Class of 2017 Player Biographies 

Scott D’Antonio – 6-1 – 175 – Defense
Garden City, N.Y./Garden City HS

A three-year letter winner at Garden City high school, D’Antonio led the Trojans to back-to-back New York State Class B Championships in 2012 and 2013, following a runner-up finish in 2011. As a senior captain, he earned the Garden City Thomas B. Nolan award, given for dedication and hard work. D’Antonio was named All-Nassau County in 2013 and won the Jay Gallagher Memorial Award, given to the outstanding defensive player in the Nassau County Championship game. As a junior, he earned Nassau County Academic All-Conference accolades. D’Antonio also lettered three times in football and three times in track and field. On the gridiron, he helped Garden City to a Long Island championship as a senior after a pair of runner-up finishes. He was named a first-team all-state linebacker and was named to the National Football Foundation Nassau County Golden Eleven, which recognizes 11 players for outstanding academic and athletic achievement. As a long jumper, D’Antonio was named all-conference in 2011 and 2013.

DeLuca on D’Antonio: Scott was the backbone of the defensive unit at Garden City, one of the top teams in the nation.  He is a big, strong presence coming from a tradition rich program and we think he’ll be a great fit on our defensive unit.

George Ehlers – 5-9 – 165 – Midfield
Chattanooga, Tenn./McCallie School

A three-year letter winner at McCallie School, Mahler won 66 percent of face-offs during his senior season to go along with 14 goals, 13 assists, and 125 ground balls. A 2013 US Lacrosse All-Academic team selection, he was a two-time all-state selection. Ehlers also earned the McCallie School Mr Lacrosse Award and was named the 2012 Nike Blue Chip Lacrosse Camp Man of the Session.

DeLuca on Ehlers:  George is an outstanding face-off guy coming from a non-traditional area down in Tennessee. He has good skills and can play both side of the ball but his strength really lies in the faceoff circle.

Andrew Keith – 6-2 – 180 – Midfield
Woodbury, N.Y./Syosset High School

Keith lettered three times, helping Syosset high school to the 2012 Nassau County Class A championship. As team captain in 2013, he was named the team’s MVP. Keith was a two-time All-Nassau County team selection and a two-time Academic All-County selection. He was also named a Maverick All-Star in 2011. Keith is the younger brother of former Big Red All-American Thomas Keith ’13.

DeLuca on Keith: Andrew is a very athletic, impact player from one of the nation’s best high school programs. He is a tough player that can play on both sides of the field and we feel like he has the ability to contribute right away.

Chandler Kirby – 5-7 – 180 – LSM
Jericho, N.Y./Jericho High School

Kirby was a four-year letter winner at Jericho high school, serving as team captain during his final three seasons. He was a two-time academic all-county selection, an academic all-conference choice and a two-time team Defensive MVP. Kirby also lettered four times in football and twice in wrestling. A three-time captain of the football team, he was named academic all-conference in 2011.

DeLuca on Kirby: Chandler is in the mold of Jason Noble – he is an undersized, lefty long-pole with an ability to play up top or down low. He has a fierce competitive drive and a motor that doesn’t quit.

Christian Knight – 6-1 – 190 – Goalie
Baltimore, Md./Boy’s Latin

Knight was a three-year letter winner at Boy’s Latin School of Maryland, serving as team captain during and earning team MVP honors during his senior season. Following the 2013 season, he was named first-team All-Metropolitan Baltimore, first-team All-MIAA and Varsity Sports Network Defensive Player of the Year. He also lettered three times in football and once in basketball, earning MIAA all-conference honors on the gridiron.

DeLuca on Knight: Christian is a big, athletic goaltender who has started in goal for one of the top teams in the nation and has been a big part of their success. He is a great field general and a stopper and we think he was one of the best players in all of Maryland.

Grant Mahler – 5-10 – 175 – Midfield
Village of Golf, Fla./St. Andrew’s School

A 2012 high school All-American, Mahler lettered four times at St. Andrew’s School, helping the squad to the 2010 and 2012 state championship.  He was a four-time all-district selection and was named all-region as a junior and senior. Mahler also lettered once in football.

DeLuca on Mahler: Grant is a versatile midfielder who can also faceoff for us. He is a speedy, shifty athlete that can bring another dimension to our offensive midfield unit.

Domenic Massimilian –  6-2 – 200 – Midfield
Dallas, Texas/Highland Park HS/Salisbury School

Massimilian earned a combined four letters at Highland Park high school and Salisbury School.  He helped Highland Park to the 2012 Texas State Championship, and earned his team’ MVP, as well as all-state honors in the process. Masimillian went on to be named All-New England in 2013.

DeLuca on Massimilian: Domenic is a big, strong midfielder who can play both ways and will give another option in the faceoff circle. He comes from a non-traditional area in Texas, but he brings tremendous size and athletic ability to the midfield

Dan Nemirov – 5-8 – 170 – Goalie
Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville HS

A three-year letter winner at Ward Melville high school, Nemirov led the Patriots to a perfect 22-0 record during his senior season, winning the school’s first New York State Class A championship since 2000, and finishing the year ranked number one in the Under Armour High School Power Rankings. Following the season, he was named a high school All-American, as well as an MSG Varsity first-team All-Tristate selection and a Newsday second-team All-Long Island selection. Nemirov also lettered twice in football and following his senior season he was named to the Section 11’s Golden Eleven team, which recognizes 11 players for outstanding academic and athletic achievement.

DeLuca on Nemirov: Dan is a solid goalie that led Ward Melville to an undefeated season and a state championship as a senior. He has great instincts, quick hands, and the ability to get the ball out and spark transition.

Marshall Peters – 6-2 – 185 – LSM
Vienna, Va./Landon School

A three-year letter winner at the Landon School, Peters was a 2013 US Lacrosse Academic All-American selection. That same season, he was named Washington Post first-team All-Met, All-Gazette first-team and second-team all-state. An All-IAC selection in 2013, Peters was also chosen to participate in the Maryland Senior All-Star game. He helped the Landon School to the IAC Championship in 2012. Peters also lettered four times in soccer and once in basketball. In soccer, he was a two-time All-IAC selection and was twice named All-Gazette second-team.

DeLuca on Peters: Marshall is very fast and athletic with a great lacrosse IQ. He is a solid long stick midfielder that is great inbetween the boxes.

James Tautkus – 5-11 – 170 – Attack
York, Pa./St. Paul’s School (Baltimore, Md.)/The Taft School

Tautkus lettered three times in lacrosse for St. Paul’s School and The Taft School. He served as team captain during his senior season and finished his career as one of Taft’s all-time leaders in career points and career assists.  Tautkus was a two-time All-Founder’s League All-Star and was also selected for the 2013 Western New England All-Star Game. He also lettered twice in ice hockey and cross country. Tautkus held St. Paul’s School win the 2009 MIAA Championship in ice hockey and was the recipient of the school’s 2009 Ice Hockey Spirit Award, as well as the 2010 St. Paul’s Ice Hockey Award, given to that player who best exemplifies the spirit, love, and commitment to ice hockey.

DeLuca on Tautkus: James has great skills as a traditional X attackman. He is solid with the ball in or out of his stick and has the ability to dodge and feed, or create his own shot.