2017 Mercury-Area Boys Lacrosse Preview


Coach: Grady Wise, first season.

Last year’s record: 8-6 PAC, 8-10 overall.

Players to watch: Seniors Jason Clinton, attack; Chris Moccia, attack; Zackary Derstine, midfield; Grayson Hamrick, defense; Dan Yednock, LSM; Mark Fredericksen, goalie. Juniors Mason Turner, attack; Christian Hellriegel, midfield; Nick Moccia, midfield; Skylar P. Wallace, midfield; Brett Heuer, defense.

Outlook: The Bears showed a lot of promising signs last season and return a strong core that features All-PAC defensemen Dan Yednock (1st team LSM) and Grayson Hamrick, plus top scorer Jason Clinton and middies Nick Moccia and Skylar Wallace. The key piece will be replacing standout goalie Gavin Yingling, the PAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. Under new coach Grady Wise, formerly the head coach at Phoenixville and a Methacton assistant, the Bears are setting their sights high. “During the offseason the team set their goals at winning a PAC-12 championship and getting to the District 1 playoffs. The whole coaching staff believes we have the talent, work ethic, and cohesiveness to achieve these goals,” Wise said.

Daniel Boone

Coach: Jake Snyder, first season.

Last year’s record: 1-15 overall.

Players to watch: Sophomores Tommy Buchert, defense; Ben Sjosten, defense; Kyle Golden, midfield; Anthony Stevenson, attack.

Outlook: Daniel Boone has found it difficult to gain traction as a program since gaining varsity status in 2011. New coach Jake Snyder will look to a sophomore core to try to get the Blazers off the ground. “We’re looking to improve as a group from previous years. New coach, new team, new philosophy,” Snyder said. “We are looking to change the identity of the program. It will be a process that requires grit, pride and perseverance.”

Hill School

Coach: Dave Mullen, fourth season.

Last year’s record: 3-2 Mid-Atlantic Prep League, 6-9 overall.

Players to watch: Seniors Jason Bram, attack; Matt Krick, midfield; Wes Shaw, midfield; Drew Hutchison, goalie. Juniors JJ Pickard, midfield; Chase Taylor, attack.

Outlook: There are many signs of continuity in Dave Mullen’s fourth year that makes the Hill head coach confident the Blues will be on the right side of .500 and beyond in 2017. Hill has that by returning goalie Drew Hutchison and nearly the entire defense in front of him and an attack led by senior Jason Bram. “With a stout two lines of midfield and a few college-bound attackman, our team should make a good run for the 2017 season and into the Inter-Ac Invitational,” Mullen said.


Coach: Nat Ryan, eighth season.

Last year’s record: 6-8 PAC, 8-10 overall.

Players to watch: Seniors Kyle Derrickson, defense; Harvey Smith, goalie; Ryan O’Toole, midfield. Juniors Kyle Kacala, attack; Stanley Kolimago, midfield.

Outlook: Methacton is annually in the PAC playoff picture, though it has missed that target the past three seasons. To regain a spot in the PAC Final Four the Warriors will look to the leadership of three-time All-PAC defender Kyle Derrickson (14G, 6A, Vermont commit) and first team midfielder Ryan O’Toole (17G, 13A). “We have great senior leaders who have really embraced the role and we are excited for the upcoming season,” Ryan said. Methacton hopes to get prepped with a challenging non-league slate to contend in the PAC. “We have a number of good teams with whom we are competing for those slots and playing each team one time around (instead of home and away as in previous years) makes each league contest that much more important,” Ryan said.

Owen J. Roberts

Owen J. Roberts’ Austin Koury, left, looks to carry it past Spring-Ford’s Matt DellaCroce. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Coach: Ben Carville, first season.

Last year’s record: 13-2 PAC (PAC finalist), 13-7 overall (Distict 1 qualifier).

Players to watch: Seniors Austin Koury, midfield; Noah Calle, midfield; J.C. Capaldo, goalie; Mike Giandonato, LSM; Evan Massa, attack. Junior Joe Tordone, attack.

Outlook: The changes are noticeable around the OJR lacrosse team entering 2017. Longtime coach Jeff Neese stepped away in the offseason after 16 seasons and top lieutenant Ben Carville takes the helm. The Wildcats graduated many key pieces from last year’s PAC runner-up, including All-Area first team attack Jack Colt and second team defenders Colin Devine and Colton Pence. All-PAC midfielders Austin Koury and Noah Calle will be looked on to lead. OJR will have its hands full battling the likes of Spring-Ford, Perkiomen Valley and Boyertown if it wants to keep its 11-year streak of making the PAC final in tact. “We are only as good as our last play and the effort that was put out. We have a strong history, and look to build on that tradition while defining ourselves by the work we put in today,” Carville said. “We are excited to be a part of the new look PAC and the competition it will provide.”

Perkiomen Valley

Perkiomen Valley’s Shawn Coulter defends Owen J. Roberts’ Jack Colt. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Coach: Bryan Churchey, fifth season

Last year’s record: 10-4 PAC, 12-7 overall (District 1 playoff second round)

Players to watch: Seniors Shawn Coulter, midfield; Matt Dudley, attack; Mario Scotese, midfield; Connor Willey, midfield; Kyle Beaudoin, mid./def.; Nick Marren, defense; Sam Bonavita, defense; Kevin Mo, goalie; David Neilsen, attack. Juniors Brian Fehr, attack; Remy Sell, defense/LSM; Richie Marshall, att./mid./FO. Sophomores Connor Donovan, LSM; Nick Steele, mid. Freshman Matt Brock, mid./FO.

Outlook: Perk Valley has been pushing to break up the Spring-Ford/Owen J. Roberts reign of dominance in the PAC since Bryan Churchey took over five seasons ago. It has come close on multiple occasions only to find disappointment. If the Vikings are ever going to break through, this is the year. PV returns a large, experienced senior group that includes All-PAC first team middie Shawn Coulter (44G, 23A), defender Nick Marren (Lehigh recruit) and second team goalie Kevin Mo (Seton Hill). “Honestly, we feel we are strong in all areas of the field this year. All units are strong, we are still working out stuff on offense so maybe defense has a slight edge but both sides, and special teams, have looked good thus far,” Churchey said. “Hopefully we can maintain our focus and be playing our best lacrosse in late April/early May when it’s going to matter most.”


Phoenixville’s Derek Bullotta looks to turn it upfield against Pottsgrove last season. (Austin Hertzog – Digital First Media)

Coach: Chip Mittnacht, first season.

Last year’s record: 1-13 PAC, 2-16 overall.

Players to watch: Matt LoPolito, defense; Max Farbstein, defense; Derek Bullota, attack; Danny Jackson, midfield

Outlook: First-year coach Chip Mittnacht is looking for a close-knit culture around the Phoenixville program to help it improve from last year’s two-win season. Returning All-Area honorable mentions Danny Jackson and Matt Lopolito lead a group that has some experience. “If they perform and execute the way I know they can, the talent of the team will shine through,” Mittnacht said.

Pope John Paul II

Coach: Blase Cesarone, first season.

Last year’s record: 2-12 PAC, 2-16 overall.

Players to watch: Senior Ryan Kormos, attack. Juniors Justin Kent, attack; Mike Florig, defense; Kyle Donovan, attack; Jake Bildstein, defense; Noah Balliet, goalie; Luke Roth, midfield.

Outlook: The Golden Panthers look poised to break away from the lower tier of the PAC under new coach Blase Cesarone, a former Daniel Boone standout who went on to play at Gwynedd Mercy. They’ll look to a junior-heavy group to accomplish it. PJP returns leading scorers Ryan Kormos (21G, 12A) and Kyle Donovan (19G, 15A). “We are returning most of last year’s roster as well as a majority of the makeup of the team is juniors with experience. We need to buy into our systems, as well as be accountable for one another to promote a new team culture,” Cesarone said.


Coach: Jason Gault, first season.

Last year’s record: 3-11 PAC, 6-13 overall.

Players to watch: Nate Tornetta, Defense/LSM; Tyler Smith, defense; Keegan Currie, attack; Sebastian Nelson, attack; George Crock, attack; Ian Eggert, attack; Khaliym Smith, midfield; Nehemiah Collins, midfield; Justin Houck, goalie.

Outlook: A six-win season was a strong output for the Falcons in 2016. To replicate it, a largely new crop of players will have to do it. Pottsgrove graduated All-Area second teamers Wyatt Porter, defender Tyler Van Horn (Misericordia), and honorable mentions Brendan Wurtz and Viet Le. Jason Gault enters as head coach in place of Todd Van Horn, who remains with the team as an assistant.


Coach: Kevin Donnelly, 14th season.

Last year’s record: 14-0 PAC (sixth straight PAC championship), 21-3 overall (District 1 sixth place).

Players to watch: Seniors Danny Cassidy, midfield; Tanner Romano, defense; Tate Pijanowski, midfield/attack; Drew Giovinco, midfield; Kyle Reed, midfield. Juniors Jarrod Marenger, Kyle Mason, LSM; Ryan Rosenblum, attack; Gage Warrell, defense; Kyle Pettine, goalie.

Outlook: This year’s Rams may be less of a known commodity than the 2016 version, but that doesn’t mean a drop in level is ahead. The most successful class in school history that featured six Division I players, including All-Area Player of the Year Liam Hare (St. Joseph’s), departed after a sixth straight PAC championship and deep run in the District 1 playoffs. Fortunately for the Rams, the program has found sustained success for the past decade. That won’t change in 2017, especially with the return of All-Area first team Danny Cassidy, the league’s best two-way player who will attend Boston University), and second team defender Tanner Romano. Vacated spots allow other players to step into the forefront, such as Tate Pijanowski (25G, 26A), Jarrod Marenger (25G, 26A) and Ryan Rosenblum (18G, 5A), among others. “We hope to carry on the tradition that has been laid down by the teams in years past. This team has been working hard, having fun and playing for each other,” coach Kevin Donnelly said.

Upper Merion

Coach: Brady McCormick, 10th season .

Last year’s record: 8-6 SOL American, 8-8 overall.

Players to watch: Will Borkowski, midfield; Kyle Thornton, defense; Nick Freda, midfield; Alex Kvetan, defense; Collin Ginsburg, midfield; CJ Rose, defense; Connor Stutzman, attack; Johnny Salamy, goalie; Josh Reinhardt, attack.

Outlook: Upper Merion brings a wild-card element to the 2017 lacrosse season, its first year in the Pioneer Athletic Conference. The Vikings graduated only two players and return SOL American first team midfielder Will Borkowski and second teamers Nick Freda and CJ Rose. “Our chemistry should be much stronger this year and we have a lot of younger guys eager to contribute along with the experienced upperclassmen. Our hope in the new league is to be a strong team within the PAC,” coach Brady McCormick said.  Upper Merion expects to be a factor in the Frontier Division straightaway and will hope to make some noise in its new surroundings.

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