Boston High School: Salisbury (Conn.)

Baseball America unveiled its High School All-America Team this afternoon, and among the names on the list are Springfield Central shortstop Isan Diaz and Xaverian/Salisbury (Conn.) righthander Austin DeCarr.

Diaz, a second round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks, made the Second Team after hitting .492/.625/.898 this spring with four home runs and 14 RBI. He was also named ESPN Boston's "Mr. Baseball" last week as the state's top overall player, and is a two-time ESPN Boston All-State selection.

After getting drafted by the Diamondbacks in Compensatory Round B (70th overall), Diaz spurned his verbal commitment to Vanderbilt University and signed a contract reportedly worth $750,000.

DeCarr, a Foxborough resident, made the Third Team after an explosive post-graduate season this spring at Salisbury (Conn.) after finishing up at Westwood's Xaverian High. He struck out 19 batters in his second to last start, and reportedly topped out at 97 mph on his fastball.

After being selected in the third round (91st overall) by the New York Yankees, DeCarr spurned his commitment to Clemson University and signed a contract reportedly worth $1 million -- nearly double the designated salary slot for that pick.

To view Baseball America's complete First, Second and Third Team All-America selections, CLICK HERE.

Brewster's McCullough commits to Syracuse

November, 5, 2012
ESPN's Adam Finkelstein reported this afternoon that Brewster Academy (N.H.) forward Chris McCullough, the No. 17 overall player in the Class of 2014 according to ESPNU, has verbally committed to Syracuse University.

McCullough's uncle, Jerry, confirmed the news to Finkelstein. McCullough then tweeted his commitment to the Orange a short time later. One of his teammates, post-graduate Ron Patterson, committed to Syracuse on Saturday.

McCullough is a Bronx native who transferred into the Wolfeboro, N.H. campus from Salisbury (Conn.) School this past summer. The 6-foot-10 McCullough chose Syracuse after previously listing St. John's, Rutgers, Florida, Florida State, Louisville, West Virginia and UCLA among his favorites.

Rumors have circulated that McCullough might reclassify to join Syracuse's 2013 class, but both his AAU coach Terrence Williams and Brewster Academy head coach Jason Smith have said in recent weeks that such a move is highly unlikely at this point.

In an entry posted this evening on Basketball RecruitingNation, ESPN analyst Reggie Rankin feels McCullough is a natural fit for Jim Boeheim's famed 2-3 zone defense at Syracuse. To read that article,CLICK HERE (Insider only); below is an excerpt:

McCullough, who is the nation’s No. 17-ranked junior, is the type of long and athletic post coach Jim Boeheim loves to develop offensively. He can face-up and handle the ball pretty well for a post, but where McCullough truly excels is running the floor and finishing on the break with flare.

On the glass, he rebounds using his length and ability to explode off the floor with multiple jumps, which allows him to snag boards over and around opponents.

The staple of Syracuse’s defensive system is the 2-3 zone, which McCullough should be very successful in given his length, athletic ability and mobility. He will be able to cover the court with his long strides to contest and alter shots. In addition to playing power forward, McCullough can also stand in the middle at times as he has the mobility to cover the corners, wings and high post areas as a back line defender.

Locals shining at LeBron Skills Academy

July, 9, 2012
ESPN's team of basketball recruiting analysts have been checking in this week at the LeBron Skills Academy in Akron, Ohio, where several locals have stood out.

To read the complete recaps, CLICK HERE (Insider only) and HERE (Insider).

On day one, Salisbury (Conn.) forward Chris McCullough and Hotchkiss (Conn.) forward Austin Colbert made a favorable impression on Paul Biancardi, Joel Francisco and John Stovall:

Austin Colbert (Lakeview, Conn./Hotchkiss)
2013, PF, 6-foot-9, 200 pounds

He is an athletic, skilled forward who always stands out during drills. He showed he could make 17-foot jumpers and finish above the rim.

Chris McCullough (New York/Salisbury School)
2014, PF, 6-9, 200 pounds

Chris has great skills and moves well for someone who is 6-9. He even worked out with the wings and fit right in.

On Day 2, Northwest Catholic (Conn.) wing Kuran Iverson made a splash:

Kuran Iverson (Windsor, Conn./Northwest Catholic)
2013, WF, 6-8, 200 pounds

Iverson is a long and lean wing forward prospect with excellent ball skills and a smooth shooting stroke. During the many shooting drills, Iverson exhibited an effortless shooting touch out to 22 feet.

Locals make Area Code Games squad

June, 27, 2012
The Northeast squad of the Area Code Games, represented by the New York Yankees, have unveiled the roster they will bring to Long Beach in August, and several locals made the cut.

Saugus native and Salisbury Prep (Conn.) junior righthander Riley MacEachern was among the most notables. Joining him are Lynn Classical sophomore catcher Kyle Devin, Hopkinton sophomore outfielder Ryan Sullivan, and Lynn English lefthander Ben Bowden (who last week was named to ESPN Boston's All-State Team).

To see the full roster, CLICK HERE.

Locals impress at Area Code Games tryouts

June, 18, 2012
Ryley MacEachernESPNHSSalisbury Prep's Ryley MacEachern was among the most impressive players at the Area Code Games tryouts at Waltham's Bentley University.
ESPNHS is covering each area tryout for the Area Code Games, which are set for August in Long Beach, Calif. The games' Yankees squad held tryouts over the weekend at Bentley University in Waltham, and several locals put on an impressive display.

To view the entire article, CLICK HERE. Below is Carl Stoeber's account of the Massachusetts area talent:

The Massachusetts stop included more than 100 scouts at the Bentley fields. Practically everyone stopped to watch when pitcher Ryley MacEachern of Salisbury School (Salisbury, Conn.) stepped on the mound. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior looked comfortable on the mound and showed the form that helped him go 6-0 with a sub-2.00 ERA this spring.

“I don’t like fooling around with an 0-2 count,” he said, “I like to challenge batters with my fastball and make them hit it.”

Along with his fastball (two-seam and four-seam), MacEachern impressed onlookers with a curveball, slider and a change.

Others who caught scouts’ eyes at the first Yankees’ stop were two lefties who showed power in their bats during BP — sophomore catcher Kyle Devin of Lynn Classical (Lynn, Mass.) and Lynn English (Lynn, Mass.) junior pitcher/first baseman Ben Bowden.

ESPNU updates hoops player rankings

May, 24, 2012
ESPNU's basketball recruiting section updated its national rankings for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 classes this afternoon. For the respective classes, this is the first ESPNU 100 for 2013, Super 60 for 2014 and Terrific 25 for 2015.

Northwest Catholic (Conn.) forward Kuran Iverson is the lone New Englander represented in the Class of 2013, coming in at No. 80, but there is plenty of local flavor in the underclass rankings. Haverhill native Noah Vonleh comes in at No. 4 overall in the 2014 class; the power forward was named to ESPN Boston's inaugural MIAA All-State Team in 2011 as a sophomore at Haverhill High, before transferring to New Hampton (N.H.) and reclassifying.

Below are the locals represented on the new rankings:

ESPNU 100 (Class of 2013)
80. Kuran Iverson, 6-8 SF, Windsor, Conn./Northwest Catholic

Super 60 (Class of 2014)
4. Noah Vonleh, 6-8 PF, Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton (N.H.)
12. Wayne Selden, 6-5 SG, Boston/Tilton (N.H.)
18. Chris McCullough, 6-9 PF, Bronx, N.Y./Salisbury (Conn.)
53. Kaleb Joseph, 6-3 PG, Nashua, N.H./Cushing Academy
56. Jared Terrell, 6-4 SG, Weymouth, Mass./New Hampton (N.H.)

Terrific 25 (Class of 2015)
18. Jarred Reuter, 6-8 PF, Rochester, Mass./Tabor Academy

For the complete rankings, follow the links here: 2013, 2014, 2015.

ESPN's Paul Biancardi breaks down the new rankings over on Recruiting Nation Basketball, and highlights several of the aforementioned locals, excerpted belo:

SG Wayne Selden (Boston/The Tilton School)
When it comes to power and strength Selden is at the top of the class. His ability to overpower defenders, even ones bigger than him, with his college-ready body is what separates him from the pack. He is physically dominant on the fast break, finishing through contact.

PF Noah Vonleh (Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton)
He has a strong frame and his physical tools are becoming elite as he grows into his body. Vonleh's versatility and ability to create his own shot off the dribble make him unique. His handle is a weapon that we just don't see that often at this stage for players with his frame.

For Biancardi's full breakdown, CLICK HERE (Insider only)

Finkelstein's top NEPSAC tourney performers

March, 5, 2012
ESPN's Adam Finkelstein recaps the top performances from the NEPSAC Boys Basketball Tournament's Class A, AA, and AAA Finals, last weekend at Endicott College.

You can view the entire entry here on ESPN's Basketball Recruiting Section. Here's the highlights:

Standout prospects
Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario/St. Mark’s)
2012, SF, 6-6, 205
College: Michigan
Stauskas finished with 19 points but his impact on the game far exceeded that total, as he not only scored the ball in different ways but also facilitated for others in both pick and roll as well as drive-and-kick action. While the complete versatility of Stauskas’ offensive repertoire was on full display, the most impressive part of his performance was that innate star quality that allowed him to make big play after big play at the most pivotal moments of the game.

Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Tilton)
2012, C, 6-10, 215
Noel’s biggest contributions once again came on the defensive end, where he not only anchored the team with his shot-blocking presence but also showed his ability to defend a dominant low-post player as he utilized his quickness and agility to prevent Kaleb Tarczewski (Claremont, N.H./St. Mark’s) from being able to establish any type of seals on the low post. Offensively, his 10 points included one incredible alley-oop finish which he caught literally above the box, in addition to a number of high-level passes.

Chris McCullough (New York, N.Y./Salisbury)
2014, PF, 6-9, 210
McCullough scored a game-high 26 points in the class A final, continuing to show his potentially lethal combination of length, athleticism and skill. McCullough brought good energy throughout the game, running the floor and being active on the offensive glass, while continuing to show a consistently expanding offensive repertoire. He was a consistent threat at the 3-point line, turned the corner in big-to-big ball screen action, and then iced the game with great poise at the free throw line.

Surprise performer
Spike Albrecht (Crown Point, Ind./Northfield Mount Hermon)
2012, PG, 6-1, 180
Albrecht showed great resiliency and endurance, playing all 40 minutes of an incredibly hard fought AAA final and serving as the team’s primary ballhandler from start to finish. He was at his best down the stretch, knocking down a deep 3-pointer and two clutch free throws in the game’s final 30 seconds. Albrecht is a cerebral point guard who is super crafty inside and is especially adept at keeping his dribble.

Keep an eye on
Rodney Sanders (Linden, N.J./St. Thomas More)
2012, SG, 6-4, 185
Sanders' Division I stock has consistently grown over the last couple of months and it got another boost on Sunday. The big southpaw guard showed an ability to make shots in bunches from behind the 3-point line, which provides only added value for a utility guard who can impact the game by defending multiple perimeter positions, playing with a very high motor and showing general versatility on the offensive end.

NEPSAC Boys Basketball Finals results

March, 4, 2012
Class AAA
Northfield-Mt. Hermon 74, St. Thomas More (Conn.) 60
MVP: Spike Albrecht, NMH

Class AA
St. Mark's 59, Tilton (N.H.) 53
MVP: Nik Stauskas, St. Mark's

Class A
Salisbury (Conn.) 72, Choate Rosemary Hall (Conn.) 60
MVP: Ryan Frazier, Salisbury

Class B
Beaver Country Day 60, Rivers 56
MVP: Jeff Spellman, Beaver Country Day

Class C
Hyde (Conn.) 64, Hebron Academy (Maine) 53

Class D
Hoosac School (N.Y.) 64, MacDuffie 57

Updated Super 60 and Terrific 25 rankings

January, 25, 2012
This morning, ESPN's Basketball Recruiting section updated its Super 60 and Terrific 25 lists for the Class of 2013 and 2014, respectively, and several familiar locals populate the list.

Simeon (Ill.) swingman Jabari Parker retains the No. 1 overall spot in the Class of 2013, but the gap is closing between him and Everett's own Nerlens Noel. ESPN's Dave Telep explains in his column today:

Following last summer, we targeted two players for our top spot -- small forward Jabari Parker (Chicago/Simeon) and center Nerlens Noel (Everett, Mass./Tilton). Fast-forward six months and our opinion is that they remain the lone candidates for the No. 1 spot, however, the gap between the two is more negligible than ever.

Parker is viewed by many as the top prospect in high school basketball, regardless of class, and for good reason. He embodies physical and mental traits needed in a player to perform, succeed and win at the highest levels. He has competitive greatness and a balanced floor game. Noel, his competition for the top spot, is the Anthony Davis of high school basketball. No one player in high school affects the game as much as Noel does on the defensive end.

As Noel's offensive repertoire expands, so does the discussion regarding the top spot. Ultimately we decided to stick with Parker, a player everyone on our staff feels worthy of the honor. However, our straw poll of staffers as to who gets the nod for No. 1 was closer than ever.

Meanwhile, Northwest Catholic (Conn.) forward Kuran Iverson continues his descent down the list. Nearly two years ago, the Hartford native was ranked in the Top 5 for the Class of 2013. After falling from No. 3 to No. 30 in the last update, the 6-foot-10 wing player has dropped out of the Super 60 altogether.

You can view the entire lists here (2013) and here (2014). Below are the locals making the Super 60 and Terrific 25:

SUPER 60 (Class of 2013)
2. Nerlens Noel, 6-10 C, Everett, Mass./Tilton (N.H.)
38. Dominic Woodson, 6-9 C, Round Rock, Texas/Vermont Academy (Vt.)

TERRIFIC 25 (Class of 2014)
4. Noah Vonleh, 6-7 PF, Haverhill, Mass./New Hampton (N.H.)
6. Wayne Selden, 6-5 SG, Boston/Tilton (N.H.)
12. Chris McCullough, 6-8 PF, Bronx, N.Y./Salisbury (Conn.)

Salisbury's McCullough drawing heavy crowd

October, 18, 2011
ESPN's Adam Finkelstein is off again on his fall tour of the prep school basketball powers, and checked in yesterday on ESPN's Recruiting Nation blog with rising Connecticut power Salisbury.

The big draw this fall at Salisbury is sophomore forward Chris McCullough, a New York native who is currently ranked the No. 3 overall Class of 2014 player on Finkelstein's New England Recruiting Report.

You can check out the full article here. Below is what Finkelstein had to say about this rising big man:

One school that is getting an unprecedented amount of visitors is the Salisbury School. Last week, I followed in the footsteps of close to 30 different schools and made the trip into the hills of northwest Connecticut to watch a late night run.

Chris McCullough is the school’s big draw. Fresh off his breakout summer, McCullough has drawn coaches from Connecticut, Florida, Iowa State, Louisville, Rutgers, Seton Hall, St. John’s, Syracuse, Villanova, West Virginia, Xavier, and others this fall.

A reclassified sophomore, this is the New York native’s third season at Salisbury, and he’s made big strides each step along the way. That growth culminated with his explosion onto the national scene this summer, resulting in a long list of early scholarship offers.

In terms of potential or upside, there are few in the Class of 2014 who can compare to McCullough. He’s long, athletic, and smooth. He’s a 4-man who can utilize those physical tools to thrive in the open floor or around the rim, but also has the signs of skill to stretch his game to the perimeter. His first step is as quick as it is long now, and his soft touch is now showing range out to the 3-point line.

Like most young players, McCullough still has plenty to work on, as he turns his potential into production on a consistent basis.

Scouts Inc.'s most recent evaluation of McCullough reads as follows:

McCullough is a very long and athletic forward with obvious upside. He runs the court with long fluid strides, gets off his feet quickly, and gets his head on the rim. He is equally mobile laterally and is consequently a potentially versatile defender down the road while also a dangerous weakside shot-blocker. He handles the ball well for a player his size, has good composure with it in his hands, and scores around the rim by running in transition and facing up in the half-court.

McCullough repeated his freshman season at Salisbury and remains still very raw. While he has a naturally soft touch he must raise his release, develop a more consistent mid-range shooting stroke, and become more of a threat to score with his back to the basket. He has a tendency to jump to pass, must further develop his left hand, and continue to learn the game and polish his I.Q.

Bottom Line:
McCullough is a reclassified freshman who made great strides in his first year on the high school seen and shows all the tools to be a big time prospect if he continues to improve in the future.

ESPNHS 100 lacrosse rankings unveiled

October, 5, 2011
ESPNHS unveils its first Top 100 rankings for the Class of 2012, and the list is littered with local flavor.

One week after being named the nation's top attack by ESPNHS, Darien (Conn.) High's Case Matheis is ranked as the nation's top overall player; Salisbury (Conn.) attack Mikey Morris comes in at No. 7, while Deerfield Academy goalie Luke Aaron rounds out the top 10 at No. 10.

Three members of Duxbury's MIAA Division 1 state championship squad last spring are ranked in the top 60 -- Matt O'Keefe (32), Seamus Connelly (36) and Reilly Naton (51).

The full list can be found here. The locals populating the ESPNHS 100 are listed below:

1. Case Matheis, Attack, Darien (Darien, Conn.) - Duke
7. Mikey Morris, Attack, Salisbury School (Salisbury, Conn.) - Johns Hopkins
10. Luke Aaron, Goalie, Deerfield Academy (Deerfield, Mass.) - Duke
26. Tanner Scales, Defender, Salisbury School (Salisbury, Conn.) - Virginia
32. Matt O'Keefe, Defender, Duxbury (Duxbury, Mass.) - Johns Hopkins
36. Seamus Connelly, Attack, Duxbury (Duxbury, Mass.) - Duke
39. Dickson Smith, LSM, Holdnerness School (Holderness, N.H.) - Virginia
44. Joe Kruy, Midfielder, Philips Andover (Andover, Mass.) - Duke
51. Reilly Naton, LSM, Duxbury (Duxbury, Mass.) - Yale
61. Oliver Saffery, Midfielder, Wellesley (Wellesley, Mass.) - Gettysburg
64. Will Ryan, Goalie, Avon Old Farms (Avon, Conn.) - Johns Hopkins
65. Connor Darcey, Goalie, Wellesley (Wellesley, Mass.) - Penn State
71. Sean Conners, Attack, Deerfield Academy (Deerfield, Mass.) - Princeton
83. Bob Fahey, Defender, Bishop Guertin (Nashua, N.H.) - Undecided
93. Corey Wisnowski, LSM, Berkshire School (Sheffield, Mass.) - Undecided
96. Billy Heidt, Midfielder, Brunswick School (Greenwich, Conn.) - Dartmouth
100. Greg Stamatov, Goalie, Foxborough (Foxborough, Mass.) - Villanova

Darien's Matheis named nation's top attack

September, 28, 2011
ESPNHS completes its countdown to the ESPN 100 lacrosse rankings today for the Class of 2012, with its list of the nation's top attacks.

Darien (Conn.)'s Case Matheis, a Duke commit, holds the top spot, while a handful of other New Englanders populate the list.

The entire list can be found here. New Englanders making the list are below:

1. Case Matheis, Darien (Darien, Conn.), Duke
Matheis made ESPNHS All-American second team for his play this past spring. The future Blue Devil has been arguably one of the top lacrosse players in the country the past two seasons. Matheis was named MSG Varsity Tri-State Player of the Year that includes Long Island and Hudson Valley, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The two-time All-American is the all-time assists leader at Darien.

3. Mikey Morris, Salisbury (Salisbury, Conn.), Johns Hopkins
Morris hails from the box style of lacrosse in Canada. The crafty and quick attackman has a great swim move and low to high shot on goal. Morris only played eleven games this past spring for Salisbury due to a knee injury, though he managed to score 20 goals and tallied 14 assists.

9. Seamus Connelly, Duxbury (Duxbury, Mass.), Duke
Connelly had a productive 2011 season for Duxbury and throughout the summer. The rising senior had 55 points (35 goals, 20 assists) for the 2011 State Champions. Connelly was named King of the Hill All-Star this summer and was invited to tryout for Team USA.

The Next 15
18. Sean Conners, Deerfield (Deerfield, Mass.), Princeton

O'Keefe, Coady among Top 25 defensemen

August, 31, 2011
ESPN High Schools continued its feature on the Top 25 lacrosse rising seniors at each position today with a look at the defensemen.

New England was again well represented with six players making the cut, including two Massachusetts talents with Matt O'Keefe of Duxbury and BB&N's Chris Coady.

For a look at lacrosse ranking expert Tom Peace's full list click here.

Here's how the locals ranked:
4.Tanner Scales, Salisbury (Salisbury, Conn.), Virginia
Scales was named First Team All-American and New England Defender of the Year. Scales is a leader on the field and is very athletic. He sticks with his attackman and is quick to scoop up the groundballs.

6. Matt O’Keefe, Duxbury (Duxbury, Mass.), Johns Hopkins
O’Keefe is a coach’s dream on defense. He is a leader, he is aggressive, and he clears the ball with precision. Being the Quarterback for the Duxbury football team gives O’Keefe the intangibles to be a great defender at the next level.

12. Tony Britton, Darien (Darien, Conn.), Cornell

14. Bob Fahey, Bishop Guertin (Nashua, N.H.), undecided

17. A.J. Carfora, Salisbury School (Salisbury, Conn.), Penn State

23. Chris Coady, Buckingham Browne & Nichols School (Cambridge, Mass.), Duke

ESPNU Terrific 25 Updated

August, 12, 2011
ESPN's basketball recruiting section has updated the "Terrific 25" for the Class of 2014, and several local standouts are on the list.

New Hampton (N.H.) forward Noah Vonleh comes in at No. 6 overall in the country after an explosive July on the AAU circuit with Mass Rivals. The 6-foot-7 Vonleh was previously ranked No. 23 in the Class of 2013 before transferring out of Haverhill High and re-classifying to the Class of 2014.

Four spots below Vonleh is Tilton (N.H.) shooting guard Wayne Selden, while Salisbury (Conn.) power forward Chris McCullough rounds out the locals at No. 11.

The full Terrific 25 can be found here.

Player Perspective: Jimmy Bitter

May, 11, 2011
Deerfield lacrosseRyan Kilian for Deerfield Academy's Jimmy Bitter is ranked the No. 2 attack by ESPN, and will join his brother Billy next year at UNC.

Deerfield Academy attack Jimmy Bitter is no stranger to lacrosse success, as he is the youngest of six college lacrosse playing siblings. Jimmy’s older brother Billy is currently a two-time First Team All-American attack at North Carolina, where Jimmy will play next season. His eldest brother Matt played at Navy from 2006-09.

Bitter is the No. 2 ranked attack in the Class of 2011 by ESPN RISE, and No. 4 overall. The Manhasset, N.Y., native has been instrumental in Deerfield’s success, as they are currently ranked No. 6 in the country in the latest Under Armor/Inside Lacrosse poll. caught up with Jimmy recently, as Deerfield hits the home stretch in its season.

Q: Being undefeated (11-0) and a top-ranked team in the country, can you talk about expectations and goals for your team?
A: "As a team, our goal is to win each game, taking it one game at a time. We have to stay disciplined, focused and make sure we do not look ahead or past teams. We must play each game like it is our last game of the season."

Q: How was last season for you both personally, with the injury (Bitter missed six games with a broken thumb), and overall as a team?
A: Last season was a tough season for me. I got hurt early on in the season and missed a major chunk of the schedule because of this. Then when I returned, I was never able to fully play at 100 percent, which was also frustrating. As for the team, I thought we had a great season, with many of our young players stepping up when the team suffered injuries. If it was not for one loss to Salisbury, who played a great game, we would have won it all."

Q: Talk a little about your summer lacrosse experience? How does summer help with improving your game?
A: "Over the summer I played for FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes), the Under Armour Long Island team, and in the Warrior 40 game. FCA is a great experience because we play top level lacrosse along with learning how to reach out to God along the way. It was quite an eye opener to learn how to feel comfortable talking about my faith with others.

"The Under Armour games and the Warrior 40 were both incredible experiences as well. In both events I was able to play with and compete against the best players in the country. This was very helpful in the development in my game because not only was I competing against great talent but because there was such a wide range of players from diverse places I was able to learn new styles of play and set higher goals for myself."

Q: Can you talk about your family and what kinds of advice you get about the game and what to look forward to in college next year?
A: "My brothers were all great players and I always looked up to them as I grew up and watched them play. I always tried to incorporate what they did into my game, and I'm still doing that today. As for advice, my family has always been supportive by coming to my games and driving me to all those youth practices and events. In many ways I was blessed to be the youngest, because each of my siblings has had input and enabled me to absorb something they did well. My oldest brother, Ward, was and still is one of the best runners I have ever seen. Matt went to Navy to play lacrosse, and has gone on further to become a Navy Seal. He taught me the meaning of toughness and true-grit. Billy is known for his bursts of speed and dodging. While growing up in Manhasset, I spent many days and nights with my brothers in our backyard. Sometimes I was shooting and often they had me all suited up and they shot on me. I think I am a better shooter today because of it. Also, if they saw anything I needed to work on they wouldn't hesitate to let me know."

Q: Can you talk a little about how the recruiting process went and the main factors that went in to the decision?
A: "The recruiting process was a very difficult one. My mind was not always set on UNC, I was considering schools such as Duke, Hopkins, Harvard, Virginia, Notre Dame, and Navy, however after discussing it with my family they and I both felt UNC was the best fit for me. I absolutely loved everything about the school from the town, the coaches, the players, the academics, etc. UNC also did very well by Billy and the entire UNC package is almost too good to be true. I can't wait to get to work down there."

Q: Can you talk about the major influences in your life that have shaped you on and off the field?
A: "The single greatest influence in my life is and has always been my family. As I mentioned earlier, we would play for hours in our backyard together. If I had to choose someone from my family, it would have to be my Dad. He had been my coach ever since I could remember. As a coach he was very knowledgeable about the game of lacrosse, he was an all-American at Boston College, so I was always listening to what he had to say. It's no different now either, he comes to many of my Deerfield games and gives me plays and pointers from the sidelines. He has taught me to plan ahead of games and think during the game about what is happening or how to counter the opponent’s efforts. Obviously off the field, my father was my mentor, but my Mom was the best care giver I could ask for. I think both my parents and my siblings are the reasons that I can be so confident about making sure I am making good, sound decisions in life. I also want to give credit to my uncle, Kevin Cook, as the other big coaching influence I can reflect upon."

Q: Can you talk about your overall experience at Deerfield Academy?
A: "Deerfield has been an amazing place to go to school. Deerfield was my number one choice of all boarding schools from the start. Personally, when deciding boarding schools I couldn't think of any negatives about Deerfield, it has great academics, a very friendly environment, and a top athletic program. Deerfield has been even better than I could have hoped. The school has taught me to push myself academically and grow as a lacrosse player. Coach [Chip] Davis and Coach [Jan] Flaska are very knowledgeable about the game of lacrosse and really make an effort to improve each player. Also, Deerfield promotes playing multiple sports as a way to develop other talents. I was able to play soccer and basketball, which for me were very beneficial to my lacrosse game."

Q: Who are the best long sticks that you have played or will play against this year with Deerfield?
A: "I would probably have to say the toughest defenders I play against are the ones I go against every day in practice. Will Swindell (Brown), Bobby Osgood (Dartmouth), and Mike Mueller (Dartmouth), are all tremendous players and know a lot of my tendencies making it very difficult to go against them."

Q: What other sports do you enjoy watching or playing?
A: "If there was sport I wish I could play better it would probably be soccer or skiing, both are great sports. I grew up watching my siblings excel at both of those sports but because of playing so much lacrosse I haven't had the time to ski as much as I would like to."

Q: What do you like doing in your spare time?
A: "In my spare time I'm mostly just hanging out with friends, maybe playing a pickup game of something of that nature."