ESPNHS continues its new weekly feature, Around the Crease, in which we take a look at players, teams and high school lacrosse news from around the country.
Look Who’s Playing
Michigan high school lacrosse has taken a fast break to becoming a state with a growing number of very skilled players.
Travis Sparling, a sophomore from Novi (Novi, Mich.), took the summer circuit by storm. He was selected to the All-Star game at the Blue Chip 225 Rising Sophomore summer camp.
As a freshman last season, Sparling stared on the varsity team and helped Novi to a regional championship and a 16-2 record.
New Novi head coach Nick Zoroya coached against Sparling last season.
Zoroya has been working with the sophomore to prepare him for the Mid-American combine and showcase in Pontiac, Mich., on Nov. 19.
“When I was coaching against him I couldn’t believe that he was a freshman,” Zoroya said. “If you look at him you wouldn’t think he lives here – you’d think he moved here from our east. He’s got good fundamentals and we’re working on cleaning up little things to help him go from great to elite.”
The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder is athletic and starts as a sophomore at offensive guard on the varsity football team.
Novi was a high-scoring offense last season -- averaging 12.44 goals per game according to LaxPower.com -- and Sparling played mostly at long stick midfield.
Team: Laxachussetts is located in Massachussets and has teams for athletes from 4th to 12th grades.
Total Players Committed To College: 38 with another 20 players who are all in the early admissions process and expect them all to be committed by Dec.
Top Players You Probably Know: James Burke, Duxbury, Penn State; Seamus Connelly, Duxbury (Duxbury, Mass.), Duke; Conor Darcey, Wellesely (Wellesely, Mass.), Penn State; Joey Kruy, Andover Academy (Andover, Mass.), Duke; Matt O'Keefe, Duxbury, Johns Hopkins; Oliver Saffery, Wellesley, Gettysburg.
Most Recent Travels: During in-state tournaments Laxachussetts teams (2012, 2013 and 2014) went a combined 35 - 0 at the Harvard Summer Tournament and then 10 - 0 at the UMass Mid Summer Classic. 2012 AA Team made the Championship at King of The Hill Tournament Session II. 2012 A teams (two) Both even weighted teams attended the Gait Cup Tournament and went a combined 11-1. The only loss was when they faced each other. 2013 AA Team lost in the Championship game 6-5 to the 2012 Relentless (PA) team at King of the Hill Session I. Won the 2013 AA Division at the Tri State Tournament.
Tryout Information and Website: Tryouts are in the Fall (September/October every Fall). To view the team's full website, click here.
The New Hotness
Each week ESPNHS will highlight the most popular story and the most read commitment on the site from the past week that you may have missed.
Top Story: The boys’ 2013 Watch List was the runaway No. 1 story last week, even though it was released the week before. The list was updated over the weekend -- adding several players an updating the commitment status of a few more. We will release the girls’ 2013 Watch List right after we release the Top 50 juniors list on No. 30.
Top Commitment: Colin Heacock from Boys’ Latin (Baltimore, Md.) verbal commitment to Penn State was the most read commitment from last week. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound attacker was the No. 11 player on the ESPNHS Top 50 junior list.
Have an idea for our weekly notebook? E-mail lacrosse editor, Mike Loveday, at Email Michael.Loveday@espn.com with player or story ideas. Follow ESPNHS on Twitter @ESPNMike.