We continue with Looking Ahead series with our Georgia 2017 Boys’ Lacrosse Preview. This is an early look at just some of the teams expected to compete for a state championship and the underclassmen who could make it a special season.
Teams to Watch
Lambert (Suwanee, Georgia), 21-0, Class 6A State Champions
The Longhorns finished 2016 with a 21-game winning streak and the Class 6A championship. Lambert can never be counted out, so even with a team that boasted 15 seniors last year, they will be a team that other teams need to keep an eye on next season.
Westminster (Atlanta), 18-3, Class 5A runner-up
The Wildcats graduate three first-team All-State players from last year’s Class 5A state runner-up, but head coach Tony Souza is the state’s all-time leader in wins for a reason. Westminster has won at least 10 games every year since 2010 and only had one losing season since 2005. Rising senior Jack Patton returns to the lineup after earning Second Team All-State honors last season and leads a team that had 20 underclassmen on the roster.
Allatoona (Acworth, Georgia), 19-2, Class 5A State Champions
The defending Class 5A champions return First Team All-State attackman Carson Sorrells along with Second Team selection and defenseman Gridley Wright. They need to replace all-state players Trevor Stuart (midfield) and Danny Tesler (fogo).
Centennial (Roswell, Georgia), 17-3, Class 6A quarterfinalist
The Knights finished last year 17-3 and reached the state quarterfinals. The 2017 season is promising with three young players returning to the lineup. Nicky Solomon led the state with 159 points as a sophomore. Fellow sophomore Colin Hall finished the year with 108 points with 68 goals and 40 assists. Freshman Ryan Siracusa got into the act with 93 points (58 goals, 35 assists).
Johns Creek (Johns Creek, Georgia), 15-5, Class 6A quarterfinalist
The Gladiators are coming off a 15-5 season and return its top two scorers. John Hennessy led the team with 56 goals and Sean Monahan was second with 49 goals. Both Hennessy and Monahan earned Second Team Class 6A All-State honors last year. Johns Creek does graduate their leading assist man in Trip Meyer who had 32 assists and 31 goals. Head Coach Russ Armistead took over the program last year and won three more games in 2016 than the program did in 2015. The 15 wins are a program record and their most since they won 13 in 2014.
North Paulding (Dallas, Georgia), 13-5, Class 6A First Round
No doubt, the Wolfpack lose the best player in the program’s short history with the graduation of leading scorer Kyle Banks. But there is reason for optimism in 2017. In fact, there are at least six reasons. After Banks, North Paulding’s next six leading scorers were all underclassmen, who combined for 192 goals. Two of those players, Tyler Pellegrino and Nathaniel Rodgers were first and third on the team, respectively, in assists. In three seasons, North Paulding head coach Jason Reardon has led the program to progressively more wins: 8, 12 and 13.
Underclassmen to Watch
This is not a recruiting list of top players, instead is meant to reflect some of the players who led or were among the team’s top scorers from last season and return in 2017.
Jack Binkley, Pinecrest Academy (Cumming, Georgia), 2017
Binkley was second in the state with 72 assists last season and fourth in points with 106. The attackman helped the Paladins improve to 7-11 in their second season, up from 3-11 in 2015.
Lloyd Delatour, Greater Atlanta Christian (Atlanta), midfield, 2018
The midfielder was third on the team with 38 goals last year and will be the team’s leading returner. He averaged two goals per game and finished the year with 61 points.
John Hennessy, Johns Creek, attack/midfield, 2017
Hennessy led Johns Creek with 80 points last year, helping his team to a 15-5 record. Playing attack and midfield, the rising senior also scooped up 75 ground balls. Hennessy earned all-state honors last season.
Dylan Hicks, North Paulding, attack/midfield, 2019
One of the highest scoring freshman in the state last season, Hicks had 36 goals. He had a season-high six goals against McEachern (Powder Springs, Georgia) on March 22.
Sean Monahan, Johns Creek, 2017
Monahan was second on the team with 53 goals and 22 assists last year. He was also second for the most shots at 136 and earned All-State honors.
Eric Overbay, Lambert, attack/midfield, 2017
Overbay has been committed to Villanova since his sophomore year and will be a key cog in the Longhorns attempt to repeat in 2017. The midfielder was named to the South team at the Under Armour Underclassmen tournament this year.
Tyler Pellegrino, North Paulding, attack, 2018
The attackman was second on the team with 81 points last season. He scored a season-high 11 points in a 19-18 win over St. Pius X Catholic (Atlanta) on April 26. The rising senior had seven games with at least three goals last year.
Ryan Siracusa, Centennial, attack, 2019
Siracusa was the only known freshman in Georgia to break the 90-point mark last year. The attackman scored 58 goals and dished out 35 assists in his debut varsity season.
Nicky Solomon, Centennial, 2019, North Carolina
In just two seasons Solomon has inked his name among the state’s best players. Solomon improved upon his freshman campaign and posted the best known assist season in Georgia history with 85. The UNC commit had three games with at least 15 points. What might make 2016 more impressive is he did it all after the graduation of his brother, Nathan, who finished the 2015 season as the state’s all-time leading scorer and one of just four to surpass 600 career points.
Rawley Smith, Wesleyan (Norcross, Georgia), attack, 2018
Smith finished his sophomore season on a tear, scoring 20 goals in the final four games of the year, including a 10-goal game against Riverwood (Atlanta) on April 21.