Around The Crease: Dec. 19, 2011

Tommy Heidt from Brunswick (Conn.) Dan Burns/ESPNHS

ESPNHS continues its weekly feature, Around the Crease, which takes a look at players, teams and high school lacrosse news from around the country.

Look Who’s Playing

Brunswick (Greenwich, Conn.) sophomore goalie Tommy Heidt was a standout at the 2011 Prep School Lacrosse Invitational and will be called upon this season to be the starting net minder for a team that plays in a very competitive league in Western New England.

Brunswick plays in one of the nation’s most competitive conferences, the Western New England Prep League which includes Deerfield (Deerfield, Mass.), Salisbury (Salisbury, Conn.) and Avon Old Farms (Avon, Conn.).

Unlike other teams in the league, Brunswick does not allow post graduate players so they compete with true high school-age players against teams that may have several 19-year old Division I committed players competing in their fifth year of high school lacrosse.

Despite the age difference, Heidt has earned the starting spot.

“Tommy will transition well into the starting role and I think he will be able to handle the pressure,” Brunswick head coach David Bruce said about his young goalie. “ He is an extremely talented goalie and fits in well with our team. Everyone likes him and team chemistry is the most important part.”

Heidt, who made the varsity as a freshman, has impressed the Brunswick coaching staff with his quick hands, aggressiveness with the ball and his ability to provide great outlet passes.

Goin Clubbin

The Long Island-based club team, For the Love of the Game, was started by Mike Winkoff and Bob Jahelka in 2006 with one team.

The program believes in building more than just athletes. FTLG requires all the kids to participate in community service around Long Island.

For the Love of the Game also started a program called Lax4All, which helps build lacrosse in non-traditional lacrosse areas with the first program beginning in Roosevelt, N.Y.

Top Players You Probably Know: John Crawley, Jr., Port Washington (Port Washington, N.Y.), attack, Johns Hopkins; Jake Kiernan, St. Dominic's (Oyster Bay, N.Y.), defense; Chandler Kirby, Jr., Jericho (Jericho, N.Y.), defense, Cornell; Ryan Purcell, MacArthur (Levittown, N.Y.), goalie; Carney Mahon, Chaminade (Mineola, N.Y.), midfield; Jordan Walter, Cold Spring Harbor, midfield; Brian Ward, Jr., Bayport-Bluepoint (Bayport, N.Y.), attack, Ohio State; Allen Winkoff, Jr, Cold Spring Harbor (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), midfield, Ohio State.

College bound: For the Love of the Game has seven commits. “We speak to all our players on a regular basis and we try to help them find the perfect fit academically and athletically.” FTLG Director of Operations Vinny Alvarez said.

How to make the squad: For the Love of the Game allows 69 players per graduation year to tryout. The first 18 attackman, 18 defenseman, 27 midfielders and six goalies to sign up are in. The goal is for each player could get a fair amount of time to be evaluated. FTLG has teams from graduation years 2013 to 2021 for boys and 2013 and 2015 to 2021 for girls.

Recent Performances: “We had a great summer for all teams. All our teams played great and best of all got better as the summer went on.” Alvarez said. “The U-15 Team ended on a great note winning the US Lacrosse U-15 National Championship.”

Team Website: Get more information on FTLG at the team website here.

What You Might Have Missed

Top Story: Excitement for the 2012 season seems to be growing. The final poll in the boys’ POWERADE FAB 50 was the top story last week even though the original item posted in June.

The boys’ FAB 50 was a voted on by media members from around the country for the first time last season and crowned Haverford School (Haverford, Pa.) as National Champions.

To see more about the voting panel, click here.

Top Boys’ Commitment: De La Salle Collegiate (Warren, Mich.) senior goalie Joseph Takacs’ commitment to Hendrix College garnered the most views last week.

Top Girls’ Commitment: The No. 40 player in the ESPNHS Top 50 Junior list, Tegan Helms, verbally committed to play for Columbia last week.

News, Notes And What’s Going On

The 2012 season is little more than two months away from beginning -- Florida starts just after Valentine’s day -- and ESPNHS is looking for high school coaches to help with our 2012 Season Preview.

If you are a high school coach, please take 10 minutes and fill out our Season Preview form. All submisisons will be verifed as coming from the head coach before being included.