First Annual Southern Region All-Star Game A Rousing Success!

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The first annual Southern Region Senior All-Star Game, held Thursday at Saint Andrew’s was a rousing success as the weather held off, attendance was nice for a game announced just a week earlier and the seniors put on an offensive show that culminated in the Red Team rallying for a 20-14 win. Most of the kids nominated accepted although we unfortunately had a few conflicts, mostly with Pine Crest, which held its’ graduation the same night, depriving us of All-American Sam Talkow, going to Boston University and Hofstra-bound Michael Diener. Steven Hernandez of Columbus Catholic also couldn’t make it as couldn’t Matt Caddell of John Carroll and Jay Fuster of Ransom Everglades.
Approximately 300 fans turned out to celebrate the ‘graduation’ of a tremendous senior class of kids that included 8 All-Americans and many All-Region and All-County players as well. The brand of lacrosse played improved over the course of the game as the normal All-Star game approach evolved as the players got use to playing with each other and many of the later goals were off assists. The four goalies split the time pretty evenly and even though the teams put up 34 goals in the 80 minutes of running time they each made a number of excellent saves.
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One of the joys to me of covering this event is that I got to see some players from the schools I did not get to cover this year. A showcase like this is great for them as it gives them added confidence as they go on to the next level because they are able to compete equally with their better-publicized peers. Some of the kids who stood out to me included Tyler Kuhlman of Wellington who put up 3G/2A and is going on to Florida Southern to play for that rising Division II program. JD Brady, an attackman from Cardinal Gibbons put up a hat trick and showed how difficult a match-up he is with his size, will be playing at Rollins next season, where he will get to play against Kuhlman. Roy Donnelly of Cardinal Newman scored twice and will play MCLA for the FSU Seminoles.
I’d also like to point out the best sport at the game, Jared Robins of Miami Country Day. I can confidently call him that because he was the only player whose introduction was botched by the lame announcer, your’s truly. Jared good-naturedly played along with my snafu and went on to impress all of us with his play. Thanks for putting up with me Jared!
Of course many of the big names were playing and a few of them also put up big numbers. But in so many of these games the bigger names don’t really have anything to prove and back off some, letting their less-known teammates take control. A few of the bigger names that did put up numbers included Daniel Soviero of Jupiter (a St. John’s recruit) who led the scoring honors with 4G/2A, Jake Levine of Saint Andrew’s (Delaware-bound) with 1G/4A, Ben Yetman of Jupiter (Furman) with 3G/1A and Andy Wheeler of SA (Rutgers) with 3G. But the game wasn’t about numbers and wasn’t about the final score (although the competitive juices kicked in when the Red team found itself down 6-0 in the first quarter), it was about the kids and their parents, at least for this year. Now that we have had a successful event under our belts the next step is to take this game to the youth groups. I remember as a 10-year old really looking up to the high school athletes and it would be nice to ensure a big turnout from the area’s youth programs next year, so they can get a close up look at what they are striving for.
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The final rosters for the game were:
Red Team
1 Corey Etcheverry Goalie Saint Andrew’s Sacred Heart
2 Mike Moorehead Goalie Archbishop McCarthy Pfeiffer
3 Joey Dorn Midfield Saint Thomas Aquinas Providence
4 Kevin Luks Midfield Cooper City FSU
5 Kodiak Roberts Midfield Coral Shores Greensboro/Saint Leo
6 Blake Minchew Midfield Cypress Bay Fontbonne
7 Daniel Soviero Midfield Jupiter Saint John’s (NY)
8 Andy Wheeler Midfield Saint Andrew’s Rutgers
9 Nick Ranta Midfield Saint Andrew’s Furman
10 Logan Jankowski Midfield Western FSU
11 Jay Fuster Midfield Ransom Everglades
12 Brian Hernandez Midfield Miami Country Day Tulane
13 Nick Milbery Midfield Archbishop McCarthy FSU
14 Sam Sundook Midfield American Heritage Delray Villanova
15 Tyler Kuhlman Attack Wellington Florida Southern
16 Austin Tedesco Attack Douglas Pennsylvania
17 Kori Beck Attack Archbishop McCarthy Tampa
18 JD Brady Attack Cardinal Gibbons Rollins
19 Ray Donnelly Attack Cardinal Newman FSU
20 Grant Nordlund Attack Columbus Catholic Saint Andrew’s University
21 Jake Levine Attack Saint Andrew’s Delaware
22 David Butter Attack Miami Country Day FSU
23 Matt Christobal Defense Belen Jesuit Santa Fe
24 Ricky Reyes Defense Pope John Paul II FSU
25 Addison Duma-Kenney Defense Coral Shores Undecided
26 Sebastian Ortega Defense Cypress Bay Columbia (NY)
27 Treyson Peirce Defense Vero Beach Florida
28 Scott Herstik Defense Saint Thomas Aquinas SUNY Maritime College
29 Omar Shahbaz Defense Columbus Catholic Unibe
30 Shane Bogue Defense Jupiter FGCU
31 Jared Robins Midfield Miami Country Day
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Blue Team
1 Nick Martin Goalie Boca Raton Delaware
2 Paco Villafane Goalie Belen Jesuit FIU
3 Ben Yetman Midfield Jupiter Furman
4 Austin Anderson Midfield Killian Oglethorpe
5 Grant Mahler Midfield Saint Andrew’s Cornell
6 Fernando Milanes Midfield Saint Thomas Aquinas Jacksonville
7 Austen Zugelter Midfield Vero Beach FIT
8 Hunter Deitz Midfield Wellington Brevard
9 Will Spier Midfield University School FSU
10 Andrew Adam Midfield Spanish River RIT
11 Brendan Collins Midfield Cardinal Gibbons Saint John’s (NY)
12 Colby Kempe Midfield Benjamin Tufts
13 Charlie Nicklaus Midfield Benjamin Rutgers
14 Matt Caddell Midfield John Carroll
15 James Holdt Midfield Jupiter Florida
16 Conor Whipple Attack Saint Andrew’s Georgetown
17 Timmy Corrigan Attack Benjamin FSU
18 Nick Schultz Attack Boca Raton Rollins
19 Charley Garcia Attack University School Alabama
20 Robert Jacobs Attack Benjamin Kenyon
21 Luke Gonzalez Attack Saint Thomas Aquinas St. Leo
22 Michael Herman Attack West Boca Raton Florida
23 Phil Benz Defense Benjamin Denison
24 John Toohey Defense Wellington FGCU
25 Reid McCool Defense Saint Andrew’s Trinity (CT)
26 Ryan Rengasawmy Defense Benjamin Manhattan
27 Jake Rubenstein Defense West Boca Raton Sewanee
28 Calder Alfano Defense Boca Raton Duke
29 Ryan Smolchek Defense Wellington Florida
30 Michael Armour Defense Saint Andrew’s Trinity (CT)
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FloridaLacrosseNews.Com would like to thank the following for helping us put on this great event:
Our referees – Paul Cicio, Jimmy Vacco and Kevin Paustien, as well as Paul’s son Anthony who provided much of the in-game announcing, as well as Kris Braun who videotaped the game (Please contact Kris Braun at for the DVDs $20 each, which includes shipping).
The administration at Saint Andrew’s for allowing us to host the game, and the volunteers who helped during the game, as well as the SA Booster Club for opening the concession stand
To Coaches RJ Dawson, Riordan Cheatham, Jim DeLang and Geoff Swinerton for coaching the two squads. RJ and Riordan helped choose the two sides to make the game competitive and did a fine job (even if they managed to lose! – kind of like the near ending of Brian’s Song where the Bears LOSE the game they dedicate to Brian Piccolo . . . ).
The area’s high school coaches who responded so swiftly to our requests for nominations of their players.
The parents and fans who helped spread the word of the event.
And everyone else I can’t remember as I write this.
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The final individual statistics:
Blue Team
Nick Schultz – 2G
Robert Jacobs – 2G/1A
Ben Yetman – 3G/1A
Luke Gonzalez – 1G
Will Spier – 1G
Austen Zugelter – 2G
Charlie Nicklaus – 1G
Hunter Dietz – 1G
James Holdt – 1G
Phil Benz – 1A
Fernando Milanes – 1A
Red Team
Kori Beck – 1G
Kevin Luks – 1G
Andy Wheeler – 3G
JD Brady – 3G
Jake Levine – 1G/4A
Daniel Soviero – 4G/2A
Ray Donnelly – 2G
Nick Milbery – 1G
Logan Jankowski – 1G
Tyler Kuhlman – 3G/2A
Grant Nordlund – 1A
Blake Minchew – 1A
Joey Dorn – 1A
Thanks again to one and all! See you in about 255 days when the next season starts . . .
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