Around The Crease: Dec. 5, 2011

Brendan Francis from Ponte Vedra (Fla.) at the 2011 Battle of the Hotbeds. Mike Loveday/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

Connor Cunningham has come into his own as the starting goalie for the 2011 Maryland Class 3A/4A state champion, Hereford (Parkton, Md.).

The junior netminder was recognized for his play by coaches around the state this past spring as Cunningham made the MSLCA Honorable mention team.

Cunningham plays club lacrosse for Maryland-based team the Roughriders. Roughriders head coach Booker Corrigan has high praise for Cunningham, who has his leadership skills on the defensive end.

“Connor is a solid goalie who finds ways to make the spectacular save,” Corrigan said.

Goin Clubbin

Club: Team Florida claims to be the best club team in the Sunshine State and they have developed numerous college recruits to prove it.

In its sixth year, Team Florida travels up and down the east coast throughout the summer and fall displaying the top talent in Florida to college coaches at the top recruiting camps in the country.

Top Players You Probably Know: Brendan Francis, Sr., Ponte Vedra (Ponte Vedra, Fla.), Navy; Devon Lewis, Jr., Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.), Georgetown; Grant Mahler, Jr., St. Andrew’s (Boca Raton, Fla.), Cornell; Conor Peaks, Sr., Ponte Vedra, Delaware; Jacob Rooney, Sr., Timber Creek (Orlando, Fla.), Hofstra; Max Susskind, Sr., St. Andrew’s, Princeton.

Recent Travels and Performances: The U-19 team finished in third place at the Battle of the Hotbeds tournament at the University of Delaware this summer. The U-13 and U-15 teams both won the Futures Lacrosse Tournament held at Gettysburg this summer.

Team Information and Website: Team Florida is comprised of athletes from highs school’s from as far south as Miami up to the Jacksonville area. Any player in is eligible and to find more information about the team visit them at TeamFloridaLax.com.

What You Might Have Missed

Top Story: Based on the numbers, we saved the best for last. The ESPNHS Top 50 Junior list was the No. 1 story last week and was the most visited story in the girls ESPNHS player rankings. The list was highlighted by six players from the Top 10 who are already verbally committed to an Atlantic Coast Conference program.

Top Boys’ Commitment: Michigan men’s lacrosse has exploded on the Division I recruiting scene and the Wolverines picked up a commitment from Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) junior, Will Biagi. Biagi is a faceoff midfielder for Paul VI and won 200 of his 350 (57 percent) of his faceoffs last season.

Top Girls’ Commitment: In a first for Around The Crease the same player commitment reached the top spot this week. ESPNHS reported Stuart Humphrey’s commitment to Duke on Nov. 26. The junior midfielder from Summit (Summit, N.J.), commitment was the No. 1 girls’ commitment story in last week’s ATC as well.

News, Notes And What’s Going On

The ESPNHS player rankings have been completed for the year, but on Wednesday, Dec. 7 we will be releasing the ESPNHS Girls’ Watch List for the Class of 2013.

Already released for boys’ lacrosse, the Watch List is comprised of the elite high school lacrosse players who will be considered for the ESPNHS 100 in 2012. Requests for a player to be added must come from a high school or club coach and include, player name, high school, position and have information on what college’s have shown serious interest thus far.

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.

E-mail lacrosse editor, Mike Loveday, at Email Michael.Loveday@espn.com with player submissions.

The Season Preview package will launch with a look at the returning leading scorers in January. To get an idea of what to expect, check out our 2011 Season Previews.