July kicks off our first-ever Looking Ahead features with an in-depth look at underclassmen to watch, what milestones could be reached and the teams to watch in 2017 for Florida high school lacrosse.
Florida High School Lacrosse Teams to Watch
Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Florida), 12-9
The Highlanders won six consecutive games after having a 6-8 record to reach the final four. Their top two scorers were underclassmen, led by sophomore Christian Cisneros and junior Jack Phillips.
Ponte Vedra (Ponte Vedra, Florida), 23-1
The Sharks went 23-1 and reached the state championship game and returns all its key players from last season. Reid Smith returns after leading the team with 74 goals and 65 assists last year. The Sharks Top 5 and eight of their Top 9 leading scorers all return from last year. Only two players from the defense graduate and both goalies return in 2017.
St. Andrew’s (Boca Raton, Florida), 18-3
The Scots return five of their top nine scorers from last season, including junior Nick Iznaga who led the team. Carl Klepper is just a sophomore, but was second on the team with 40 goals. Junior midfielder Owen Bezick scored 19 goals last season. St. Andrew’s was the favorite to win the FHSAA for most of the season, suffering just one loss to an in-state team. Unfortunately, that one loss came in the playoffs to Oxbridge Academy. St. Andrew’s has been a staple in the state playoffs, so expect to see them there again.
Oxbridge Academy (West Palm Beach, Florida), 19-3
The Thunderwolves were a balanced team in 2016 with a pair of freshman and a junior among their leading scorers from a team that won the district championship. Freshman Benno Janssen led the team with 34 goals and was tied for the team lead with senior Austin Roca with 47 points. Roca along with senior Liam Lisec (20 goals, 17 assists) and Zach Ranta (23, 24) graduate. But junior Bobby Kilian (23, 19) along with freshman Connor Davies return. Junior goalie Ethan Randall also returns after making 155 saves last year.
Terry Crowley could win his 400th career game for St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) in 2017. Crowley started at Aquinas in 2010, but had stops at Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Florida), Parkland (Florida) and Coral Springs (Florida). Crowley needs just nine wins to reach 400.
Underclassmen to Watch in Florida High School Lacrosse
This is not a recruiting list of top players, instead is meant to reflect players who led or were among the team’s top scorers from last season and return in 2017.
2017 Players to Watch
Brad Baker, Tampa Jesuit (Tampa, Florida), M, 2017, Holy Cross
Baker led Long Island in assists last season while with St. Dominic (Oyster Bay, New York). He transferred to Tampa Jesuit where he will play his senior year. Baker led Long Island with 54 assists while playing at St. Dominic. He was 13th on Long Island with 80 points. LaxRecords has the Holy Cross commit at No. 12 overall in New York for assists last season. He was 13th on Long Island with 80 points.
Chris Dunne, Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), attack, 2017
Dunne was the Panthers’ leading scorer last season, helping them to a 13-5 record. Dunne finished with 89 points on 48 goals and 41 assists.
Nick Iznaga, St. Andrew’s, attack, 2017
Iznaga led the Scots in points (95) and goals (68) this season, helping them to an 18-3 finish. He had his best goal-scoring game of the year on Feb. 27 against Oxbridge Academy (Fla.) when he scored eight. He had five games with at least five goals scored this season.
Matthew Keeler, Ponte Vedra, Jacksonville, 2017
Keeler was second on the team with 65 goals and 32 assists last season. The Jacksonville commit had five goals combined in the FHSAA semifinals and finals and had 19 goals and 12 assists in the playoffs.
Reid Smith, Ponte Vedra, Delaware, 2017
Smith leads a talented 2017 class for the Sharks. He totaled 139 points last season and led the team in goals and assists. The Delaware commit converted on 48 percent of his shots and is one of eight underclassmen returning to the Ponte Vedra lineup next season. Smith led the team’s playoff run with 27 goals and 20 assists.
2018 Players to Watch
Christian Cisneros, Lake Highland Prep, attack, 2018
Cisneros was crucial in the Highlanders late season run that included six consecutive wins en route to the state Final Four. Cisneros saved some of his best games for the top competition, scoring 16 goals in those six games, including five against Bishop Moore (Orlando, Fla.) on April 8.
Brennen Fountain, The First Academy (Orlando, Florida), 2018
Fountain finished up a sophomore season by leading the team in points with 93. He scored 49 goals and had 44 assists this year, including four games of at least 10 points. He improved upon his freshman year totals, helping the team to a 10-7 record. Through two seasons, Fountain has 76 goals and 63 assists.
Jake Lemon, Tampa Jesuit (Tampa, Florida), 2018
Lemon led the Tigers in scoring with 65 points. Lemon improved upon his freshman year in which he was the team’s top underclassmen scorer with 45 goals and nine assists. As a sophomore he had 38 assists and scored 27 goals (good for third on the team).
Chase Scanlan, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Florida), A, 2018
Scanlan made headlines last spring by scoring 14 goals in a single game for Gowanda Central (Gowanda, New York) in a game on May 5. The attackman transferred to IMG Academy over the summer and will play his junior and senior seasons in Florida. Scanlan totaled 169 points last season with 104 goals and 65 assists. He helped Gowanda reach the Section 6 Class C championship game. IMG Academy’s prep team went 12-1 last season, playing a national schedule that included games against Hill Academy (Canada) and Army Prep.
2019 Players to Watch
Connor Davies, Oxbridge Academy, attack, 2019
Davies led the Thunderwolves with 64 points and 42 assists last season as just a freshman. Davies led the team in assists eight times last year and matched a season-high eight points against Martin County (Stuart, Florida) on March 30. Davies already posted the second-most points in a season in Oxbridge Academy’s short history and owns the Top 3 individual single point game records.