Friday, May 4, 2012
Warrior Watch: Balkam, Barrett among top goalies
By By Mike Grimala
Matt Barrett is considered one of the top goalies in the class of 2013.
The third annual Warrior 40 competition is Aug. 13-15 in Commerce City, Colo. The three-day event hosts the nation's best high school boys lacrosse players.
Each week until the final roster is announced, ESPNHS will profile four athletes from our Warrior 40 Tracker.
Brian Balkam, Jr., Smithtown East (Smithtown, N.Y.), goalie Balkam is one of the top goalies in the nation, regardless of class, so it's a no-brainer to include the North Carolina commit in the Warrior 40 Watch. He's rated the No. 23 player in the ESPNHS Top 50 Juniors list, and he's No. 2 among goalies. In 2011, he posted a .621 save percentage, using his quickness to smother shots from all angles. If he earns an invite to the Warrior 40, don't expect the attackmen to be happy about it.
Matt Barrett, Jr., Malvern Prep (Malvern, Pa.), goalie Rated No. 28 on the ESPNHS Top 50 Juniors list, Barrett checks in just behind Balkam in the goalie rankings (Barrett is No. 3). Barrett has played extremely well this season, stopping double-digit shots on a seemingly regular basis, and a duel between he and Balkam could steal the show if both end up at Warrior 40. Barrett committed to Virginia in September, choosing the Cavaliers over Notre Dame, UNC, Princeton and Penn State.
Sam Bonafede, Soph., Chaminade (Mineola, N.Y.), midfielder Bonafede doesn't get much burn for the Chaminade varsity squad, as the Flyers are currently ranked No. 1 in the POWERADE FAB 50 and loaded with Division I-bound upperclassmen. But his talent is undeniable — he was one of the top players in the Class of 2014 at last year's Jake Reed Blue Chip camp, and his faceoff skills are already elite. Bonafede could use a Warrior 40 invite as a springboard into the mainstream.
Kyle Borbi, Soph., Shawnee (Medford, N.J.), midfielder Borbi is one of the most productive players in the nation, which is why he's an early candidate to earn a spot on the Warrior 40 roster despite being just a sophomore. As a freshman last year he scored 42 goals and dished out 28 assists, and that was enough to draw attention from top college programs. Borbi committed to Notre Dame just before the start of his sophomore season, but he hasn't let expectations slow him down — against Kingsway on May 1, he tallied four goals and three assists to lead Shawnee to an 18-9 win.