3d Rising Player Evaluations: AJO4Lax Fest in Georgia

Two other factors have contributed to the high level of lacrosse in Georgia. First, kids begin playing lacrosse a young age. The number of community-run youth feeder programs for the public high schools has continued to grow, with teams competing in the Metro Atlanta Youth Lacrosse Association (MAYLA) or similar organizations. Further, most private schools field middle school teams. The second area of growth has been in club programs. Among Georgia's many summer club teams, Thunder LC, LB3, and Rage stand out. These programs are highly competitive in hotbed tournaments. Thunder LC joined the very exclusive NSCLA this year.

College coaches have found Georgia. Since last year's season, 15 2015s have committed to play D1 lacrosse at schools like Syracuse, Notre Dame, Delaware, Lafayette, Army, Air Force, Fairfield, and Holy Cross. There are at least four 2016s sitting on D1 offers now. Many were identified in 3d Rising last year.

Game 1: Pope 7, Blessed Trinity 4

Pope High School, Marietta, GA - Pope entered the game with a 5-5 record. However, their wins were against weak region teams, and they had yet to record a "quality" win. This game showed Pope can compete against better teams.

Blessed Trinity, Roswell, GA - Blessed Trinity entered the game 6-2, but like Pope had no "quality" wins to their name. A 10-1 loss to Lambert was telling and exposed the lack of depth on BT's roster.


#4 Michael Oswald, 2016
Pope High School, Marietta GA
Position: Goalie
Rating: Watchlist

Oswald was awarded MVP for the game and deservedly so. He had a number of inside saves as well as making all of the outside saves he should have. His clearing game was crisp and intelligent. Oswald fills the goal, steps to the shot, and commands the defense. I've watched Oswald since his U13 days, and he is definitely coming into his own.

Game 2: Northview Titans 18, Decatur Bulldogs 8

Northview High School, Johns Creek, GA - Northview entered this contest 6-0 with a high quality 12-11 win over Lambert early in the season (repeat of 2013). Northview played in the 5A State Championship last May, losing to Westminster, 8-4. They graduated several very talented seniors, so the question is whether other players can step up to fill those shoes this season. They are always talented, athletic, and well coached by Mike Ryan. Certainly against Decatur, Northview showed they are very much championship contenders again this year.

Decatur High School, Decatur, GA
Decatur came into this matchup 4-1. Wins were against weaker programs, and their only loss was to John's Creek, a well-respected 6A program. 2013 was Decatur's Cinderella season, with many believing Don Rigger could take his Bulldogs all the way. That dream ended when Decatur fell to Westminster, 6-5, in a semifinal game that was one of the most exciting of the season. Graduating seniors have left big holes in Decatur's roster, most notably in goal, as AA Ben Rigger moved on to play at Ohio Wesleyan.


#11 Matt Biondich, 2015
Northview High School, John's Creek, GA
Position: Midfield
Sub-Position: Feeder, dodger
College Commitment: Army
Rating: Legit

Matt is quick, shifty, and patient with a very high lacrosse IQ. He draws the pole against most teams and adjusts his game to contribute with the hand he's been dealt. He had 5 assists.

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