Around the Crease: Jan. 2, 2012

Colton McCaffrey from Chaparral (Colo.). Sheri McHenry Lynch/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

Chaparral (Parker, Colo.) sophomore attackman Colton McCaffery is anther example of how much the game of lacrosse has grown out west.

McCaffery made the varsity team his freshman year, which his coach Michael Magrin said was a choice that was “non-negotiable." McCaffery lead the team in scoring as a freshman with 43 goals and had 23 assists in 2011.

“His lacrosse IQ matches his athletic ability," Magrin said of McCaffery. "He understands that great players don't just happen and he is willing to put in all the time and effort in the off-season to increase his fundamentals.”

McCaffery was named First team All-League and Second team All-State and was the only freshman to receive both honors. Magrin said the 6-foot-1, 171-pound sophomore has caught the eye of top Division I programs including Duke, Denver, North Carolina, Virginia and Ohio State.

Player of the Year

The Bellevue Reporter announced its Best of 2011 last week and Sammamish (Sammamish, Wash.) senior Tyvan Schmidt was named Player of the Year.

Schmidt is a modern renaissance man. Not only does he play lacrosse, but also sings has taken to glass blowing and performs community service.

To read more about Schmidt, check out the orginal story here. The Reporter’s Best of 2011 story can be found here.

What You Might Have Missed

Top Story: The Friday before Christmas, ESPNHS reported on the story of Tommy Mallon who broke his neck during his final high school lacrosse game and has turned the event into a call to help athletes recognize the signs of concussions and other head and neck injuries.

The story and video can be seen here.

Top Boys’ Commitment: Kevin Gayhardt from Episcopal Academy (Newtown Square, Pa.) gave Pennsylvania men’s lacrosse a verbal commitment and will enter the admissions process at the Ivy League school.

Top Girls’ Commitment: Last week, Amanda Sutor from St. Paul’s School for Girls (Baltimore, Md.) gave her verbal commitment to Michigan and was our most viewed commitment of the week.

Looking Ahead

The Adrenaline Challenge kicks off 2012 as the first big recruiting event of the year. Held in Del Mar, Calif., the Challenge boasts 70 teams from the West over two days from Jan. 7-8.

The event boast two high school divisions -- Elite and High School -- for players from 9th to 12th grades.