HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team has signed 15 recruits, head coach Jon Torpey announced on Thursday. The group will join HPU in the fall of 2013 and includes three attackers, seven midfielders, two defensemen and two goalies.
“When we started recruiting for this class we looked for student-athletes that will compliment the team we already have,” Torpey said. “We found players with size, athleticism, skill and a good work ethic to help us continue to build the foundation of our program. This is one of the most talented groups I have ever been part of recruiting and I can’t wait to have them on campus.”
The Panthers signed three attackmen: Matt Koerner from Kings Park, N.Y., Michael LeClair out of Elkridge, Md. and Drew Ortiz of Charlotte, N.C.
Koerner went to lacrosse power-house, St. Anthony’s High School. He helped the Friars to a fourth-straight 2012 Long Island Class AAA CHSAA title and a No. 5 national ranking. Koerner was named one of the Top 50 Rising Juniors by Inside Lacrosse.
“Matt can see the field and has great dodging skills,” Torpey said. “He comes from a great high school program and has a high lacrosse IQ. He has the skill and ability to make an immediate impact on our offense.”
LeClair is an Under Armour All-American from Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, Md. He was an All-Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association selection last year.
“Michael comes from an MIAA school in Mt. St. Joseph’s, which is regarded as the best lacrosse conference in the country,” Torpey said. “He is a very dynamic attackman. He can see the field well, dodge and feed the ball. He has been playing with and against some of the best lacrosse players in the country for the last four years and has the potential to develop in to a phenomenal Div. I player.”
Ortiz comes to High Point from Myers Park High School in Charlotte, N.C. In two varsity seasons he has 93 goals and 50 assists and helped Myers Park to back-to-back conference championships. Ortiz was named a US Lacrosse All-American last season after guiding Myers Park to a final four appearance in the state tournament.
“Drew is an explosive attackman,” Torpey said. “He had a great junior season as a quick, shifty offensive player. He flew a little under the radar during recruiting which worked out to our benefit as he creates matchup problems for other teams.”
Seven players will join High Point’s midfield: Nick Basile of Milton, Ga., Reece Callies of Langley, British Columbia, Cole Carns of Chesterfield, Va., Sean Harrison of Ellicot City, Md., Mick Horrocks of Glen Mills, Pa., Sean Irvine of Downington, Pa. and Sam Klingsporn of Aloha, Ore.
Basile is a three-year varsity player from Milton High School. He helped Milton to state championships in 2010 and 2012 and scored the game-winning goal in the first round of the 2012 state championship tournament.
“Nick is a very versatile midfielder,” Torpey said. “He can take faceoffs, push the ball in transition and has a great shot on the run. He caught our eye over the summer and we were more impressed with his play each time we saw him.”
Callies is a highly-touted midfielder from Langley, British Columbia. He helped Langley to a 2011 National Championship and was selected to the All-Canada games.
“Reece plays lacrosse like a quarterback,” Torpey said. “He has great speed and can create plays on the offensive end. He makes other guys play better around him.”
Carns comes to HPU from St. Christopher’s High School in Chesterfield, Va. He scored 41 goals during his junior season and was an All-Prep midfielder. He has also played four years of varsity football and two seasons as a sprinter on the track team.
“Cole will probably be the fastest guy on the field,” Torpey said. “He has explosive speed and is a great slashing type of midfielder. He is a skilled shooter but can also get back and play defense.”
Harrison is a two-sport athlete Marriotts Ridge High School. He scored 47 goals and picked up 97 ground balls as a junior to earn All-County and All-Metro honors. Harrison also helped Marriotts Ridge to a state championship in soccer in 2011.
“Sean is a big, aggressive presence in the midfield,” Torpey said. “He is a humble, hard-working person off the field but on the field he is incredibly competitive. He shoots the ball on the run as well as any player I have had the opportunity to coach.”
Horrocks plays high school lacrosse at Malvern Prep where he is also a four-year member of the varsity ice hockey team. 16 players from Horrocks’ Malvern Prep team have committed to Div. I lacrosse programs. He also played club for Duke’s Lacrosse and Mesa Fresh.
“Mick has a very high lacrosse IQ,” Torpey said. “He knows the game and that has a lot to do with coming from a great program. He is very versatile and is the type of player the offense can flow through.”
Irvine also joins HPU from Malvern Prep and played club lacrosse for Mesa Fresh. He was selected to the 2011 National Lacrosse Classic despite missing much of his junior season with an injury.
“Sean plays hard at all times, he is a bull on the field.” Torpey said. “He has really good dodging skills and can definitely get a shot off. He will really fit well in the style of play we want from our midfielders.”
The final addition to the midfield is Klingsporn from Aloha, Ore. He started every game for Aloha High School for the last three seasons and has tallied over 160 goals. He is a three-time All-Metro selection and earned All-State honors as a junior.
“Sam came to one of our clinics and I was blown away by what a phenomenal athlete he is,” Torpey said. “He was a dominating force and we saw right away that he has the potential to be a special player. We are looking forward to working with him.”
Torpey and his staff have signed three defenders for 2013-14: Tucker Coil from Roundhill, Va., Tanner Landstra out of Cincinnati, Ohio and Daniel McKenna of Ridgewood, N.J.
Coil earned All-State and All-Area honors at Woodgrove High School. He was also a first-team All-District selection in 2011. Coil is the starting quarterback at Woodgrove as well.
“At six-foot-four and 220 pounds, Tucker is a big, physical presence on the defensive end of the field,” Torpey said. “He got some looks from ACC schools for football so we are very thankful to have him at High Point. He doesn’t come from one of the traditional lacrosse hotbeds so it will take some time for him to adjust to playing at a high level consistently but he has a ton of upside.”
Landstra was an Under Armour All-American at Indian Hill High School. He earned All-Region honors as a sophomore and junior and was an All-State selection as a junior. He helped Indian Hill to the state semifinals last year as well.
“Tanner can cover a lot of area and has a strong attacking mindset which will help us push the ball in transition,” Torpey said. “Every time we have seen him play or worked with him at camps he has developed his game a little more.”
McKenna is another Under Armour All-American who helped Ridgewood High School to a Group 3 New Jersey Championship in 2012. He has been selected to the Baltimore Summer Kick Off All-Star game for the last two years.
“Daniel was at our team camp two summers ago and we immediately identified him as a top defenseman for this class,” Torpey said. “He is a tough, left-handed defender who covers the field like few players can. He has a pitbull mentality and brings that nature to the field.”
The final two additions to the team are goalies: Russ Bartle from Gilbert, Ariz. and Skyler Morse of Arnold, Md.
Bartle is a two-time Under Armour All-American and played for the West team at the 2012 Under Armour Underclass All-Star Lacrosse Tournament. He played club lacrosse for AZ Burn and was an All-Star at the Adrenaline Elite Shootout in Sonoma, Calif. in 2011.
“We have been tracking Russ for three years,” Torpey said. “He is a big, athletic goalie who is very skilled at saving the ball and running the defense. He has a great presence on the field and is a natural leader.”
Morse is a left-handed goalie from Saint Mary’s Annapolis where he was a three-year starter. He made 190 saves as a sophomore and increased it to 212 saves as a junior. He earned All-County both years and was an Inside Lacrosse Player to Watch in 2011.
“Skyler is a three-year starter at an MIAA school,” Torpey said. “Assistant coach Mike Phipps saw him play and immediately expressed interest in bringing him to High Point. He has a great presence in the cage and does a great job running the defense.”
The 15 recruits will join HPU for the second season of the men’s lacrosse program. The first season begins Feb. 2 against Delaware at Vert Stadium.