We are one month into the high school lacrosse season and Lacrosse Playground wanted to provide an update on the MSLA standings. Everest Academy is new to the MSLA in 2023. We had the opportunity to sit down and talk to Everest Academy Lacrosse Director and Head Coach Clem D’Orazio about the program and what made them move to the MSLA this season. We’ll finish up by checking in on how three MSLA teams faired on their East Coast road trips.
2023 MSLA Standings
The MSLA Tournament will be held in Hudson, Ohio on May 5th and 6th at Western Reserve Academy. The twelve teams will be split into three brackets: A, B, and C. Here is a look at the conference standings as of April 1st. The team’s overall records, where available, are in parentheses and the MSLA record is in the wins and losses column.
|Culver Military (8-1)||4||0|
|Western Reserve Academy (8-3)||4||0|
|Mason High School||3||0|
|Kiski Prep (4-6)||2||3|
|St. Ignatius (3-3)||2||1|
|Everest Academy (1-2)||1||1|
|Milford High School (3-2)||1||2|
|Archbishop Moeller (3-3)||0||2|
|Cathedral High School (1-3)||0||3|
|North Allegheny High School (2-2)||0||2|
|Shady Side Academy (1-1)||0||0|
|St. Edward (2-2)||0||3|
Clem D’Orazio: Everest Academy
Everest Academy is an athletic private elementary, secondary, and post-secondary school in Vaughan, Ontario. Clem D’Orazio came to Everest Academy just over ten years ago. He was a teacher in Canada and had spent time coaching hockey and lacrosse. D’Orazio was excited about the opportunity to work at a school and with student-athletes with a like-minded focus. “I get to work with high-level, like-minded student-athletes daily which is pretty cool. It’s something I wish I had when I was a kid.”
D’Orazio shared that Everest Academy provides their student-athletes with a similar experience that they would experience at the D1, D2, D3, or Canadian university/collegiate level. “Kids are practicing, they’re lifting, they have their academics, and study hall. We’re putting them through the paces of what it’s like at the next level. And we’re starting to see the fruits of our labor there with a lot of our kids being very successful at the next level, not just on the field, but also in the classroom.”
Coaching Staff & Offseason Preparation
In addition to his duties at Everest Academy, D’Orazio is also the Assistant General Manager in the NLL with the Albany FireWolves. D’Orazio’s two assistants play in the NLL. Bryan Cole plays for the Georgia Swarm (NLL) and the Whipsnakes Lacrosse Club (PLL). Leo Stouros is the team’s defensive coordinator and plays for the Firewolves. With their vast experience, D’Orazio shared how Everest Academy incorporates the indoor game into their preseason preparations. “We’re one of the first schools in Canada and in the U.S. to have a box curriculum for our student-athletes. It helps them with their stick skills, working in tight areas and off the ground, and making good passes up the floor.”
He also shared how it helps the coaches share their passion for the indoor game and also prepares the student-athletes for the next level. “These kids are all either playing midget or junior lacrosse or have tryouts for lacrosse. So we want to get them ready for that as well.”
2023 Season Overview & MSLA
Everest Academy has a heavy travel schedule in 2023. We spoke D’Orazio the morning after the team got in from their trip to Pittsburgh to play North Allegheny and Kiski Prep. Currently, the team has only two scheduled home games in 2023. D’Orazio admitted it is a unique schedule, but the move to the MSLA made sense after a conversation with Dylan Sheridan at WRA. D’Orazio thought the move to the MSLA would benefit his players by allowing them to earn recognition for their season and compete for a championship.
“It’s hard for our kids to play a 10-15 game schedule and there’s no culminating event, the championship for them. I think that’s a big part of what athletes want. They thrive for championships, especially in team sports. I jumped all over (an invitation to join the MSLA) because it’s tough to schedule games, being Canadian and getting down south. So it alleviates some of that stress. But the big part for me is giving our kids an opportunity to play in the league and get recognition, league awards, and league championships. The ability that we can jump to be a part of that was a big selling factor for me.”
Everest Academy Players to Watch
Hamish McPherson ’23
Committed to Maryland
Caden Hewitt ’23
Committed to RIT
Ethan Williams ’24
Jacob Janke ’24
East Coast Road Trips
Culver started the season 6-0 playing teams mostly from the MSLA and Midwest. They defeated their opponents by an average score of 23.5 to 3.5. Their closest game was a 14-12 victory over Kiski Academy in late February. The team traveled east for a three-game road trip to take on #9 St. Anthony’s (NY), #23 Boys Latin (MD), and Gonzaga (DC). Culver went 2-1 with wins over Boys Latin and Gonzaga. April will see them play the rest of their MSLA schedule. Two games of note, Culver hosts WRA on April 15th and plays The Hill Academy at the University of Michigan on April 23rd.
Western Reserve Academy
WRA started the season 4-0 defeating St. Xavier and Trinity from Louisville and Kiski Prep and Cathedral in MSLA play. The Pioneers showed off its offensive firepower outscoring their opponents 18.75 to 2.5. They traveled out east for a three-game road trip to play Loyola Blakefield, Archbishop Spalding, and Gilman from the MIAA in Maryland. The Pioneers went 1-2 with both defeats coming by a single goal. WRA will wrap up April by completing their MSLA schedule and travel to Culver on April 15th to likely determine the top seed in the conference.
Shadyside Academy started its season with a two-game east coast road trip to Philadelphia and Baltimore. They split their two games losing to William Penn Charter (PA) 18-10 and defeating Archbishop Curley 17-5. The rest of the team’s schedule will be split between opponents from the MSLA and WPIAL. Shadyside welcomes former MSLA member Detroit Catholic Central (MI) on April 16th.
Follow Craig on Twitter.