Boston High School: Brewster Academy

McDonald's All-American nominees announced

January, 7, 2014
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McDonald’s has announced the nominees for the 2014 McDonald’s All American Games, and fifteen student athletes from New England are on the list, including nine from Massachusetts.

The regional nominees are:

MASSACHUSETTS
Patrick Benzan, Roxbury Latin
Alec Brennan, Milton Academy
Matt Cimino, Worcester Academy
Malik James, Notre Dame Prep
Kaleb Joseph, Cushing Academy
Tyler Nelson, Central Catholic High School
Jeff Spellman, Beaver Country Day
Jacquil Taylor, Beaver Country Day

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Abdul Malik-Abu , Kimball Union Academy
Isaac Copeland, Brewster Academy
Chris McCullough, Brewster Academy
Jared Terrell, Brewster Academy
Kevin Zabo, Brewster Academy
Mike LeBlanc, New Hampton School

RHODE ISLAND
Bonzie Colson, St. Andrew’s School
Kealen Ives, Classical High School

Brewster Academy's Randall commits to BU

December, 26, 2012
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Brewster Academy lacrosse senior defenseman Reid Randall has committed to Boston University, he told ESPN Boston.

Randall has been a varsity player for the Bobcats since his freshman year in both lacrosse and soccer.

Last summer, Randall played for 3D New England's championship team at the Denver shootout where he made the all star game. He also played for NESLL at the Brine Shootout and King of the Hill. He also attended Maverik Showtime and Jake Reed's Nike Blue Chip.

Laxachusetts announces latest commitments

September, 18, 2012
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The Laxachusetts lacrosse club has seen a group of its 2013 and '14 players give college commitments during the last week.

Here's a look at the team members and their college destinations:

Class of 2013
Brendan Altieri, Norwood - Skidmore

Brendan Fitzgerald, Duxbury - Beloit

Jon Gomer, Duxbury - Sacred Heart (Will PG at Brewster Academy)

Conor Hilton, St. Sebastian's - Providence College

Andrew Melvin, Medfield - Bates

Bobby O’Brien, Duxbury - Merrimack

Class of 2014
Shane Rinkus, Dexter - UMass

Cleaning the ice: Summertime hockey notes

August, 8, 2012
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The dog days of summer are upon us, but local rinks are still hopping through August with plenty of great tournaments going on in and around the Boston area.

So we thought we’d take the opportunity to catch up with some of the happenings of local skaters during the offseason, along with a smattering of other notes collected in our notebook during the last month or so.

CLEARING THE CREASE
Bailey MacBurnie burst onto the MIAA hockey scene last season, helping lead St. Mary’s of Lynn to a second seed in the Super 8 tournament. All the while, the Beverly native backstopped the Spartans with a measly 1.66 GAA, placing him among the state leaders.

During the summer, MacBurnie has skated with the New England Thrashers. He and his Thrasher teammates had a solid showing in the recent Chowder Cup College Open championship, finishing fourth in a field of 56 teams while facing teams that largely were comprised of older players.

We caught up with the sophomore netminder to talk about his offseason, how practicing yoga has helped his game and his upcoming season at Brewster Academy:

Q: What kinds of things do you do in the offseason away from the rink to keep you sharp for the upcoming season?

A: “I’ve started doing yoga, it’s my first year doing it. I go to classes at Merrimack College. And then I do on-ice work with Brian Daccord, who’s my goalie coach.”

Q: How do think yoga might help your game?

A: “I’ve found that it’s already made me more flexible. It definitely helps out and gets you in shape.”

Q: What other elements of your game have you wanted to work on this offseason?

A: “Puck handling, definitely. I want to be more confident playing the puck and quicker with making decisions with the puck. And skating, you can always be a better skater.”

Q: Your team had a great showing at the Chowder Cup recently. How did that team come together?

A : “I played with a lot of guys I knew, like [Central Catholic’s] Mike Kelleher, Lloyd Hayes, Zack Cote, Jake Donahue and [former St. Mary’s teammate] Jarrod Fitzpatrick. We had a good tournament. First, we played the Nordiques, beat them 3-1, then we played Mass Attack and beat them, 7-2, and then Team One, 4-2. We played some Canadian teams in the playoffs. We did well though, especially because we were playing a lot of teams that had older players. We thought we should’ve went further, but we were playing against teams that he players that were mostly 92s and 93s [birth dates] and we were mostly 95s.”

HERE AND THERE
  • On the rise: A bumper crop of New England prospects were scooped up earlier this summer during the NHL Draft and the region’s best have continued to crop up during the summertime months. Four players with New England roots were chosen for the U.S. Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. Three of those players had their names called in the most recent draft, including goaltender Jon Gillies (South Portland, Maine),defenseman Matt Grzelcyk (Charlestown) and forward Jimmy Vesey (North Reading). Former St. John’s Prep star and 2011 ESPN Boston Mr. Hockey Colin Blackwell (North Reading) also made the final cut for tournament play. Former Phillips Exeter standout and recent Tampa Bay Lightning draft choice Brian Hart was among those participating in camp practices at Lake Placid last week.
  • One to watch: Junior Robby Devaney helped Reading on a late-season Super 8 push last season, while leading the Rockets in scoring during the regular season. While catching Devaney play in both the Bay State Games and the Chowder Cup this summer, he looks like an early candidate for most improved player honorifics – if there were such an award. In the small sample size, he showed good speed, but also exhibited attention to detail, playing solid neutral zone defense in the summertime – something that’s usually missing from offseason tournaments. Of course, we all know how well those Rockets are coached defensively.
  • Comings and goings: One of the more telling aspects of summertime tournaments is often found just looking at team rosters. Players are often listed with their corresponding schools next to their name, and that can often signify changes in locales. One of the more prominent changes listed was that of former Billerica standout Ross Olsson. The Northeastern commit played at Williston Northampton last year, but will move to the USHL, joining the Lincoln Stars, the team that drafted him in May’s entry draft.
Brewster Academy attack Austin Shanks is among the 10 latest players added to this year's Warrior 40 roster, ESPNHS lacrosse editor Mike Loveday reports today.

Here's what Loveday had to say about the Canadian-born junior:

"A tough attackman hailing from Canada, Shanks is dangerous once the ball is in his stick. The Michigan commit excels on the right side of the field with a dangerous side arm shot and finishes almost anything in close with great hands. Not exceptionally quick, the strongly right-handed Shanks makes up for it with precision shooting and cuts. The attacker was an all-star at the Philly Lacrosse Showcase in November."


This year's competition takes place Aug. 13-15 at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colo.

For the complete Warrior 40 roster, click here.

Dunn, Warren selected for McDonald's All-American

February, 9, 2012
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The 24-player roster for the boys' McDonald's All-American game were announced on Thursday, with two New Englanders in the mix.

Kris Dunn of New London (Conn.) and T.J. Warren of Brewster Academy were selected to the East Team rosters.

For the complete roster, click here.

With 21 of its 24 players in the top 30 of the ESPNU 100, this year's game is sure to be must-see TV when East and West clash on March 28 (9:30 p.m. ET on ESPN) at the United Center in Chicago.

ESPNHS Top 50 lacrosse juniors announced

October, 12, 2011
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ESPN High Schools released its boys' lacrosse rankings for the Top 50 juniors in the country today and six New Englanders cracked the list.

The entire rankings are located here, but here's a look at the locals on the list.

8. Tate Jozokos, Governor's Academy (Byfield, Mass.), Attack, North Carolina

18. Matthew Ryan, Phillips Exeter (Exeter, N.H.), Longstick midfielder

29. Shane Simpson, Salisbury School (Salisbury, Conn.), Midfielder, North Carolina

31. Jeffrey Kratky, Taft School (Watertown, Conn.), Faceoff

32. Adam Hardej, Groton School (Groton, Mass.), Midfielder, Princeton

40. Austin Shanks, Brewster Academy (Wolfeboro, N.H.), Attack

Brewster's McGary leaves mark at Elite 24

August, 27, 2011
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Brewster Academy's Mitch McGary is participating at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 this weekend in Venice Beach, Calif.

And the 6-foot-10 power forward left and indellible mark (while delaying competition), breaking the back board while going through the layup line Saturday night.

Check out the video here, along with McGary's interview with ESPN senior recruiting analyst Dave Telep.

McGary selected to Boost Mobile Elite 24

July, 20, 2011
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ESPN RISE today unveiled the first 12 of 24 roster spots for next month's Boost Mobile Elite 24 event, one of the nation's premier summer showcases, at the famed outdoor courts of Venice Beach, Calif.

As usual, New England prep school talent has found its way into the event. This year, that's Chesterton, Ind. native and Brewster Academy senior forward Mitch McGary, the nation's No. 4 overall player in the Class of 2012 according to ESPN's latest rankings.

McGary is the second Bobcat in three years to play in the event, joining incoming Memphis sophomore guard Will Barton from back in 2009. St. Mark's forward Alex Murphy, an incoming freshman at Duke, played in last year's event.

The slam dunk competition will air on Friday, August 26 at 6 p.m. on ESPNU. The game will be broadcast the following night at 7 on ESPNU.

The roster (so far) can be found here.

Locals shining at LeBron Skills Academy

July, 9, 2011
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ESPN basketball recruiting analysts Dave Telep and Reggie Rankin check in today with a recap of the LeBron James Skills Academy at the University of Akron's Rhodes Arena, which concluded yesterday, and make light of some of the New England prep schools' top ballers.

Soon-to-be Brewster Academy senior forward TJ Warren looks to one of many names in early contention for a McDonald's All-American spot next year:


On the final day at camp, amongst many of the nation's best players, Warren presented his strongest case yet to be a McDonald's All-American. It was almost as if he, Omar Calhoun (Middle Village, N.Y./Christ The King) and Jordan Price (Decatur, Ga./SW Dekalb) were engaged in their own game of H-O-R-S-E in one contest; Calhoun made the game-winning layup for good measure. Warren isn't married to a spot on the floor, has extended range and a body that allows him to create separation inside the arc.


The matchup of the camp might have been Brewster's Mitch McGary going up against soon-to-be Findlay Prep senior Brandon Ashley. McGary won the early rounds, before Ashley made a strong second-half push:


This was one of those camp matchups that makes a long day in the gym worth the trouble. In the first half, McGary stroked jumpers and owned the paint. There are times on the floor where the Chesterton, Ind., native's intensity may overwhelm opponents. If his jumper is rolling and he's using it to feed his game in the lane, it's over. To Ashley's credit, after experiencing little success in the first half, he kept plugging away until he solved the riddle inside and used his length and tenacity to rally. Since the beginning of the spring and through the summer, Ashley's made the decision to crank up the intensity and commit himself at both ends. The result is that the Oakland, Calif., native solidified himself a spot among the top 10 players in the class.


Meanwhile, two of the Boston Amateur Basketball Club's most highly-sought players, Everett-bred center Nerlens Noel and Roxbury native swingman Wayne Selden, made a splash on campus this week:


Class of 2013 post Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Tilton) is a rim-protector thanks to his great length and mobility. He attacks the offensive glass and displayed nice touch and body control on the rim, where he finishes with length more than strength. Kentucky, Syracuse, Duke, Florida, North Carolina and Connecticut, among others have offered.

Class of 2014 prospect Wayne Selden (Boston/The Tilton School) has a grown man's game. He is a strong, physical, athletic SG who attacks the rim and scores through contact regularly.


Brewster's McGary shines at May Classic

May, 17, 2011
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Brewster Academy junior forward Mitch McGary continues to see his stock soar this offseason. The latest praise being thrown at the 6-foot-9 Indiana native comes courtesy of ESPN's John Stovall, who was on the campus of Indiana University last weekend for the Adidas May Classic.

Stovall writes of McGary, who suited up for the Gary, Ind.-based Sport Youth Foundation:

"He is a big, strong bully in the paint who reclassified about a year ago and has become a true force inside. McGary has increased his skill level a great deal, is effective handling the ball some on the perimeter and has improved his outside shot. You would prefer him scoring in the lane, but he can step out and make jumpers to 19 feet. He has a tremendous motor, which could be his best asset and McGary has made himself one of the top talents in the 2012 class."

Brewster's McGary names favorites

February, 16, 2011
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Just before the start of a long weekend break on the Brewster Academy campus, junior big man Mitch McGary gave ESPN's Adam Finkelstein an informal list of favorites, which he is reporting on his blog today.

McGary told Finkelstein his current list looks as follows, in no particular order: UConn, Florida, West Virginia, Pitt, Villanova, Miami (Fla.), Wisconsin, Indiana and Arizona.

"I probably won't make a decision until next year," McGary told Finkelstein. "Maybe next fall. It depends."

Like several other teammates, the 6-foot-10 Chesterton, Ind. native has seen his stock rise playing alongside a loaded Bobcats roster that includes the likes of Naadir Tharpe, Markus Kennedy, Jakarr Sampson and Durand Johnson. McGary has thrived as a four on the Wolfeboro, N.H. campus, often playing huge minutes off the bench when Kennedy gets into foul trouble.

McGary transferred to Brewster from Chesterton (Ind.) High, and is repeating his junior year. Prior to Brewster, McGary says he had offers from Purdue, Indiana, Cincinnati, Marquette, Dayton and Valparaiso.

Brewster lost its first game of the season last night -- an 84-71 decision to St. Thomas More and Andre Drummond, the nation's No. 1 junior -- to fall to 24-1.
The ninth annual National Prep Showcase took place this weekend in New Haven, Connecticut. The event featured 23 of the top prep school teams in the country and well over 100 division I prospects, including some of the nation’s highest-ranked players. By the time the weekend had come to an end, close to 200 college coaches had come through the doors to evaluate talent along with 30-plus members of the national and local media.

The three full days and 21 games of action provided insight on what to expect from the upcoming season as well as some intel on the world of college basketball recruiting.

Here are five lessons we came away having learned:

1. Khem Birch is a Panther…in 2011
The gym was abuzz on Saturday with news that Khem Birch had signed a National Letter of Intent with Pittsburgh, meaning that he was forgoing his intended post-graduate year at Notre Dame Prep and reclassifying from 2012 to 2011. The implications of the decision were widespread as Birch went from the second ranked player in 2012 to the ninth overall prospect in ESPNU’s Super 60, Pittsburgh’s recruiting class went from unranked to the 12th best in the country, and Panthers head coach Jamie Dixon solidified the highest ranked recruit he has ever landed. Birch was dominant with his performance on Friday and there is little doubt that he will be an instant impact type freshman next season in the Big East.

2. Brewster Academy has a chance to repeat
Brewster Academy was the consensus top prep school team in the country last year after scoring both the NEPSAC Class A title, as well as the National Prep Championship. And based on what we saw this weekend they have a very good chance of repeating. Head coach Jason Smith’s squad is loaded at every position and returns Naadir Tharpe, the Kansas-bound floor general who was at the helm of last year’s squad. That is really only the beginning as Brewster has two legitimate high-major big men inside with Markus Kennedy and Mitch McGeary, a pair of high athletic swingmen in Jakarr Sampson and Durand Johnson -- who are pledged to St. John’s and Pittsburgh, respectively -- a knockdown shooter in Max Hooper, and a scoring combo-guard in Elijah Carter. The squad was dominant both times they took the court this weekend, scoring blowout wins over Fishburne Military Academy as well as Princeton Day Academy.

3. New England is loaded in 2012
The local boys defended their home turf this weekend as all of the top players in New England’s class of 2012 played to rave reviews. St. Thomas More’s Andre Drummond, the top-ranked player in the country, was dominant on Saturday turning in a 22-point, 16-rebound, and six-block performance with his incredible physical talents inside. The St. Mark’s duo of Alex Murphy and Kaleb Tarczewski was no less impressive as Tarczewski established position inside and finished with power for 26 points and 12 rebounds. But it was Murphy who owned the glass as he pulled down a career high 17 boards while also handling most of the ball-handling responsibilities, creating for his teammates, and scoring 18 points of his own. Rhode Island native Ricardo Ledo was no less impressive on Friday night going for 30 points by showing his ability to create his own shot at virtually anytime. With all four players proving themselves against the highest levels of competition, it only reinforces that this junior class is among the best ever in New England.

4. High-Majors are desperate for big men and point guards
All six of the BCS conferences were represented by various coaches this week and almost all of them were looking for the same things -- big men and point guards. With 96 of the top 100 prospects in the ESPNU 100 having signed during the early signing period, high-major programs all around the country are starting to look for Plan B. The simple matter of fact is that there are more spots than there are suitable high-major prospects at those two crucial positions. The consequence will undoubtedly be a trickle down effect as high-major schools will settle for mid-major prospects, mid-majors will be forced to settle for low-major types, and so on.

5. Every game will be a battle in NEPSAC AAA
All eight members of the newly formed class AAA of the NEPSAC were in action this weekend. While Brewster was dominant, it was hard to establish much of a hierarchy after that. St. Thomas More, Northfield Mount Hermon, Bridgton Academy, Maine Central Institute, and South Kent all went 1-1 while New Hampton and Winchendon both suffered hard-fought losses to go 0-2. But even Winchendon and New Hampton proved plenty as the Green were arguably the grittiest team in the field and New Hampton will undoubtedly be dangerous once they get more experience with the team’s offensive strategies. Outside of Brewster’s supremacy, the only thing we can come away from this weekend having learned about the new league is that it will be as competitive as ever with virtually any team capable of knocking off anyone else on any night.

Brewster Acad.'s Hooper commits to Harvard

October, 26, 2010
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Brewster Academy head coach Jason Smith has confirmed to ESPNU that shooting guard Max Hooper has verbally committed to Harvard University for the fall of 2011.

Hooper, an Irvine, Calif. native, is doing a post-graduate year at the Wolfeboro, N.H. prep school after graduating from Mater Dei High School last spring. He is the sixth player to commit to head coach Tommy Amaker for the Class of 2011.

Tharpe poised for big things at Kansas

October, 14, 2010
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Naadir Tharpe had first met Bill Self two years ago, when the Kansas head coach was on the Brewster Academy campus to check in on commit Thomas Robinson. That was when Self put the bug in Tharpe's ear that stuck with him as he continued to rise on the national radar.

"You're going to be a real good player someday, just keep working hard," Tharpe said Self told him.

Fast forward to two days ago, when Self came to visit the Wolfeboro, N.H. campus and offer Tharpe a scholarship. Many a school has come calling ever since his de-commitment from Providence last June, but it's admittedly a little different when Kansas comes knocking. So much so, the 6-foot Worcester native didn't even wait until his scheduled official visit to Lawrence, Kan. later this month to make his decision.

"I couldn’t really speak," Tharpe said. "Basically, it was just the excitement of being blessed with this chance. But it's just the beginning now. I understand it's just the beginning, there's more to come and I'm just going to get ready for what lies ahead for me. The sky's the limit."

And with it comes closure on just what the athletic point guard is capable of. At a time where athleticism and scoring ability are at a premium on the recruiting trail, Tharpe's teammates embrace him for his pass-first mentality, and his intuitive ability to create off the dribble and out of pick-and-roll's. His own coaches, both at Brewster and with the New England Playaz, extol him for his relatively high basketball IQ. Still, things weren't always like this.

Tharpe made the varsity as a skinny eighth-grader at St. Peter-Marian High, and in three years with the Guardians surpassed the 1,000-point milestone. But with little supporting cast, he shouldered the load for a laboring offense, full of clear-outs designed to put the ball in his hands.

Averaging over 30 points a game on a team that didn't qualify for postseason wasn't doing it, and he took his services to the renowned Wolfeboro prep school in 2008, repeating his sophomore year. There, he honed his distribution skills playing alongside big bodies like Thomas Robinson (his soon-to-be KU teammate) and Maurice Walker (Minnesota), and high-flying finishers like Memphis freshman Will Barton.

"Naadir is the definition of a true point guard, of what the job entails," Brewster head coach Jason Smith said. "You need to be a facilitator of the offense, make good decisions and not turn the ball over. I don't think you're going to find anyone in the country who has played with more high-level players over the last three years than Naadir, between Brewster and the New England Playaz. They all love playing with Naadir."

As for his home city, players of this caliber don't come around too often. The Dwayne McClains and Michael Bradleys of the world come once in a generation in this part of the state, and Tharpe is prepared to elevate his game in Lawrence.

"I feel like they're super happy back home," Tharpe said. "I want to be one of the first players from Worcester that goes somewhere big and does big things in a real long time. Like I said, the only thing to be right now is blessed. I've got a lot of people back home supporting me, that are going to be happy."

After finishing the day's classes at 10 a.m. (Brewster had a half day Wednesday), Tharpe promptly put his cell phone in his locker. Then he hit the weight room for 90 minutes, followed by a short lunch and then 300 shots in the gym. He then joined the team for an organized workout at 2 p.m., stopped by five different sporting events on campus to support his classmates, then joined the team again at 5 p.m. for an hour-long conditioning session.

He then washed up and accompanied his roommate, Villanova commit Markus Kennedy, to a meeting with headmaster Michael Cooper ("He said he was excited to see my hard work pay off," Tharpe said).

Finally, at 7 p.m., he fielded some phone calls. And then, it was off to study hall. Big day indeed, but far from over. Time to get back to work.

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