MSLA 2023 Preview, Kyle Bernlohr Interview

The Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Association (MSLA) is the birthplace of lacrosse in the Midwest. Founded in the early 1970s, the MSLA brought teams together from Michigan, Ohio, and Western Pennsylvania to help grow the game in the Midwest.

Today, the MSLA is made up of twelve teams from Western Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Canada. The league is made up of a diverse group of schools made up of prep schools, private schools, and public schools. Each May the teams come together for two days to play in a tournament.

Culver Academy (Indiana)

Cathedral (Indiana)

Western Reserve (Ohio)

St. Ignatius (Ohio)

St. Edward (Ohio)

Archbishop Moeller (Ohio)

Mason (Ohio)

Milford (Ohio)

Kiski School (Western Pennsylvania)

Shady Side Academy (Western Pennsylvania)

North Allegheny (Western Pennsylvania)

Everest Academy (Canada)

The league is home to the top teams and players in their respective states and the Midwest. We wanted to give you a list to see who you can keep an eye on as the season approaches. But first, there is a new face roaming the sidelines for Cleveland St. Ignatius. Kyle Bernlohr was announced as the Wildcats’ new head coach.

https://twitter.com/SIHSSports/status/1578090211027947520?s=20&t=kr7-J15CD2i-sLt6ckXSEw

The Akron native played his high school ball at neighboring Western Reserve Academy before heading to Maryland to play for the Terps. Kyle currently is the starting goalie for the Whipsnakes Lacrosse Club of the Premier Lacrosse League. He is a three-time PLL champion, five-time All-Star, and was named the 2022 Goalie of the year. I sat down with Kyle this week to learn more about his decision to take the head job for St. Ignatius.

You were on Coach Sheridan’s staff last year. Any insights that you gathered from him about your first head coaching gig?

I was originally with him at Cleveland State University when we started the division one program there. I worked with him for two years and then I worked at Bellarmine University for two years. I got out of college coaching after COVID.

Dylan pulled me back into work with him out of Western Reserve last year. I’m very close with Dylan and we just share a lot of the same wavelengths when it comes to coaching and our philosophies. He’s just very impressive to be around. So, you know, he’s always had a great guy to work with.

What drew you to take the St. Ignatius job?

I wanted to be a head coach, it’s what every assistant coach wants to do. Ignatius also has great facilities. They’ve got two new turf fields in the back and a new indoor field house. Ignatius has so many athletes, they’ve always had really good teams, had Final Four teams, but they just haven’t crossed that home. Just being a head coach at a place that hasn’t won, but has the athletes to do so, is just just a calling to want to take it over until we can get out of it.

You grew up in Akron and played at Western Reserve, how has lacrosse grown since you were playing in Ohio?

More than anything, it’s the emergence of club lacrosse and its expansion. When I played for Medina youth lacrosse growing we had our season and you had then put down your stick until the next Spring.

Now, these kids have so much exposure to create club teams throughout Northeast Ohio, and throughout all of Ohio. You know, on top of that, there are so many pros out there who run businesses train all year round, the opportunity to go to amazing recruiting events and work with collegiate coaches. These are all things that just weren’t really there back in the day and even touring when I was in high school is still pretty limited.

All that combiners naturally going to raise the level of talent and raise the level of competition. These kids are extremely talented compared to what a was. We’re not to liking anywhere on the East Coast or anything quite yet. But the athletes in Ohio are always there just fine-tuning the lacrosse side of it.

You are working with the Spider Lacrosse Club. I know this is a newer program in Northeast Ohio, can you talk a little about the program?

I had the opportunity to join forces with Coach Sheridan and Coach Corto. It’s a collection of some awesome coaches and in my opinion the best coaches around Northeast Ohio. We’ve collectively joined together and said, ‘Hey, let’s change the landscape for the better for Cleveland club lacrosse. There’s a bunch of guys doing it for the right reasons and trying to make every player better.

How does St. Ignatius benefit by playing in and competing in the MSLA Tournament?

It’s huge for us, talent-wise with teams like Culver and Western Reserve, those are two of the top teams in the country. Having them at a tournament right in our backyard is awesome and then getting some of the best teams in the area, throughout the Midwest, all into one central location to have a tournament is awesome.

It resembles how colleges have their conference tournament, and then you go right into the NCAA tournament. So for us, our mindset is, ‘hey, let’s, see what we can get out of this MSLAs and then reset, see where we’re at as a team where we can get better and head into the state tournament.’

Who are the names to watch for St. Ignatius heading into the 2023 season?

Mitch Rini is a senior captain committed to Lynn University. A smaller kind of Jitterbug type kid. I think he was hurt I think four games into last season. So he kind of had his junior season taken away. He’s been doing really good this fall and is kind of just our groups of five work.

Mike McManamon is a freshman at attack is going to be a very good player. His dad was a former coach at Ignatius so he’s been around the game throughout his life and is someone that can really step up, even as a freshman, to make some impact places here.

Hunter Moriarity is one of our midfielders and is committed to Fairfield. He’s just a big boy, a big bruiser. He’s gonna be a huge piece to our success.

Defensively, the two guys that that’s been out, have been Tommy Nolan, a senior committed to Marist, and John Klinge, he’s a junior committed to Utah. Both are versatile and can play LSM or close. They have a knack for the ball, a knack for toughness, have a knack for just kind of just get in the way of things.

And then really a battle for the goalie position, which is, which is awesome. We have a junior, a sophomore, and a freshman, who are all really talented. So I can’t really say right now, who’s the starting goalie, but I know we have competition, and that’s the most important thing.

Lastly, I know you have your own Goalie Academy. Can you tell me a little bit about what a player can expect by taking part?

I cater to girls, boys, and anyone from sixth grade up to 12th grade. They work in small pods of kids, their age, or their skill set. It’s the best amount of reps and the best coaches in the area.

The product that they’re getting is going to be fast-paced, they’re always going to be getting a ton of reps, but doing it the right way. We’re training the right way, train smart, and really just doing all the drills that I like to do today, you know, it’s, I don’t have any time to do any gimmicky BS type stuff, I just, I train the kids the same way I like to train.

It’s been really good to have consistent kids over time and keep coming back every week, rather than kind of just one-off clinics. I know every kid’s name and I know their parents. I know their flaws and their strengths. I make sure that I’m always roaming the on the turf and just making sure that we’re building each time and not just, you know, hey, thanks for coming. See you later. Now we’re trying to build some relationships and you know, help these kids get recruited.

Below, a list of returning All MSLA athletes.

Attack

JP Henry ’23
School: Shady Side
Commitment: Marquette

Mike Niere ’23
School: Mason
Commitment: Uncommitted

Gabe Sorchetti ’23
School: Culver
Commitment: Johns Hopkins

Aidan McDonald ’24
School: Culver
Commitment: Princeton

Josh Schlackman ’24
School: Western Reserve
Commitment: Uncommitted

Midfielders

Marc Bartolomucci ’23
School: North Allegheny
Commitment: St. Leo’s

Joe Ginnetti ’23
School: Archbishop Moeller
Commitment: Air Force (Football)

Jordan Ito ’23
School: Western Reserve
Commitment: Tufts University

Weston Simmons ’23
School: Mason
Commitment: Uncommitted

Ethan Salvia ’23
School: Shady Side
Commitment: Marquette

Lowen Martin ’24
School: Kiski
Commitment: Uncommitted

Luke Macaluso ’24
School: Culver Academy
Commitment: North Carolina

Jared Maznik ’24
School: Western Reserve
Commitment: Harvard

Defense

Ty Banks ’23
School: Western Reserve
Commitment: Georgetown


Jack McCloskey ’23
School: Western Reserve
Commitment: Bryant

Tommy Stines ’23
School: Archbishop Moeller
Commitment: Army

Dom Cuda ’24
School: Kiski
Commitment: Uncommitted

Cade Driscoll ’24
School: St. Edward
Commitment: Mercyhurst

John Klinge ’24
School: St Ignatius
Commitment: Utah

Joe Konesco ’24
School: Cathedral
Commitment: Uncommitted

Specialists

Dominic Florio ’24
School: St. Edward
Commitment: Uncommitted

Spencer Reagan ’24
School: Culver
Commitment: Dartmouth

Tay Rodriguez ’25
School: Culver
Commitment: Uncommitted

Goalies

Colin Vickery ’23
School: Culver
Commitment: Princeton

Tyler Coryea ’24
School: Western Reserve
Commitment: Maryland

Attention MSLA offensive players.

2 Wolves Performance will be in Indianapolis January 8th.

DM Coach Jack to save your spot.

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Craig McMichael

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