CLEVELAND, Ohio – With the full Cleveland State University lacrosse team set to report to campus shortly, a number of Vikings will be arriving in Cleveland after impressive performances in summer box lacrosse leagues.
Twenty one members of the 2019 roster competed in sanctioned box lacrosse leagues, including 13 that were part of the inaugural season of the Ohio Collegiate Box Lacrosse League.
Incoming Viking Troy Loper headlined the summer slate for CSU by earning Most Valuable Player honors in the Colorado Collegiate Box Lacrosse League. Loper led the National Collegiate Box Series with 17 assists and was second with his .596 faceoff percentage (min. 25 attempts). He also led the CCBLL with 33 loose balls and was fourth in overall points (35). He helped the Gold Miners to a 7-3 record as they finished one game out of first place.
Junior defenseman Isaac Atencio won the Coaches Award for the Bighorns in the CCBLL. He was a regular contributor to the squad that won the league's regular-season title and allowed the second-fewest number of goals.
Juniors Chase Baker and Noah Gleeson won the inaugural Ohio Cup in the OCBLL as members of the Rivermen. Gleeson was credited with 12 points and 44 loose balls while Baker added nine points and 20 loose balls. They helped defeat the Walleyes, a team that consisted of a handful of their college teammates, in the finals.
Junior Gage Johnson won the Coaches Award for the Walleyes where he was a mainstay on the defense end for the Cleveland-based squad.
A number of Johnson's teammates featured prominently in the league leaderboards. Sophomore Michael Wilson was second in the NCBS with 16 assists and his 24 points tied for fifth in the OCBLL. Junior Jared Stepka led the NCBS with his 64 loose balls and was also among the top 10 in the Ohio league in goals (11) and assists (7). Both junior Nate Menendez and freshman Zack Kasson were among the top 10 in the NCBS in loose balls and among the top 10 in the Ohio league in goals with 12 and 11, respectively. Sophomore Jason Sullivan notched 11 points and 34 loose balls for the Walleyes.
Junior Zach Whitenack was second on the Stags with his 21 points, a total that put him seventh in the OCBLL. His 15 goals tied for fifth in the league while his teammate Stephen Masi added 11 points and 16 loose balls. Incoming freshman Jacob Humphreys also saw action for the Stags while his brother, junior defenseman Robert Humphreys, and junior Tristen Copeland competed for the Aviators of the OCBLL.
Five more Vikings competed north of the border on the Ontario juniors circuit.
Sophomore Tristan Hanna tied for the lead in goals (26) on his Toronto Beaches team in the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League. He posted a career-high 55 points in the regular season before he helped engineer a huge upset in the league's quarterfinal playoff round. He helped the Beaches upset the top seed and notched 19 points in nine playoff games overall.
Fellow sophomore Michael Harris played in five regular-season games for the Burlington Chiefs of the OJALL, helping the squad to the regular-season title on the strength of a 15-5 record, and also played in every one of the team's playoff games. Harris, also played for the Brampton Excelsiors of the Ontario Junior B League, notching 10 points in seven games as a defender.
Freshman Ethan Stannard also played for the Excelsiors of the OJBLL and was third on the team with his 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists). Stannard also played in 17 games for the Peterborough Lakers of the OJALL.
Incoming freshmen brothers Gareth and Ryan Haigh put up points in bunches for the Mississauga Tomahawks of the OJBLL. Ryan led the team with 75 points in 18 games, posting 32 goals and 43 helpers while Gareth was right behind, collecting 74 points in 17 games on a team-best 47 goals and 27 assists. Both brothers surpassed their point totals from last year for the Tomahawks while playing in slightly fewer games in 2018. The Haigh brothers also competed in a handful of games for the Mimico Mountaineers in the OJALL, helping the team to a playoff berth.
Junior Carter Jensen made sure that Cleveland State was represented in western Canada as well as he competed for the New Westminster Salmonbellies of the British Columbia Junior A Lacrosse League. The Salmonbellies finished second in the league and advanced to the league's championship round.
Cleveland State, under head coach Dylan Sheridan, will be competing in its third season of lacrosse in the 2018-19 academic year.