Check out our five players to watch for the 2019 high school boys lacrosse season.
Kevin Blaz, Marian Central, jr., Attacker-Midfielder – Blaz scored 49 goals and had 33 assists last season for the Hurricanes. Besides being the ‘Canes’ top offensive player, Blaz also is a strong defender and often helps clear the ball out of Marian’s end. Coach Jim Blaz said Kevin (his son) “displays good leadership in his work ethic and commitment to fundamentals in catching, passing and shooting.”
Ethan Kirchberg, Prairie Ridge, sr., Midfielder – Kirchberg scored 67 goals and had 34 assists last season for the 20-1 Wolves and will be a fourth-year varsity starter. “He brings a lot of experience and stability to our offense,” Wolves coach Josh Cole said. “His work ethic and determination are truly exceptional, and his level of play speaks for itself. I can’t overstate how valuable it is having someone who can instantly flip the complexion of the game with great individual play.”
Blake Nolan, Cary-Grove, sr., Goalie – Nolan should again be one of the FVC’s top goalies. Trojans coach Zac Cheatle describes Nolan as someone who is quiet, but leads by example. “He’s a good representation of what our senior group has been, taking pride in trying to build this,” Cheatle said. “He has very good fundamentals, he’s very sound, his positioning is strong. He is very vocal and communicates well with the defense and he’s very good at clearing the ball.”
Sam Ripple, Prairie Ridge, jr., Goalie – Ripple was an All-Fox Valley Conference player as a sophomore. Prairie Ridge often had big leads and the Wolves’ defense made it easy on Ripple, but he also plays on the 2020 True Elite State Team, a highly competitive travel team that sees some of the nation’s best competition. Prairie Ridge coach Josh Cole considers him an NCAA Division I college prospect.
Ryan Strach, McHenry, sr., Attacker – Strach led the offense for the Warriors (8-7) with 57 goals and 11 assists. He is an offensive threat both as scorer and facilitator. “He’s a very hard shooter with a big lacrosse IQ,” Warriors coach Mike Richberg said. “He knows the game inside and out and imparts that knowledge to his teammates every day in practice.”