CLEVELAND, Ohio – While members of the Cleveland State University lacrosse team have parted ways with the season concluded, more than half of the Vikings will continue action indoors this summer.
Twenty eight members of the 2019-2020 CSU program are playing in sanctioned box lacrosse leagues this summer throughout North America.
Twenty three Vikings will be competing in the National Collegiate Box Series, 18 of whom will be playing in the second year of the Ohio Collegiate Box Lacrosse League.
Gage Johnson, Nate Menendez and Jared Stepka were all protected by the runner-up Walleyes following the conclusion of last season. The trio will be joined by teammates Matt Manfredi and Brandon Ruditz, two newcomers to the OCBLL this season that were drafted in the first two rounds by the Walleyes.
The Guardians are a new entry to the OCBLL this season, and the Cleveland-based squad will also have a significant CSU flavor. Chase Baker, Stephen Masi and Zach Whitenack, who were all picked in the top four of the Guardians' expansion selections, will be joined on the roster by OCBLL newcomers Jake Higgins and Jack Frickleton.
Defending Ohio Cup champion Rivermen kept Noah Gleeson as part of their protection allotment. A pair of freshmen from this past season, Adam Clark and Justin Miller, will suit up for the Aviators while Robert Humphreys will join the Stags for his second OCBLL season.
Four Vikings committed to join the program this fall are also playing in the OCBLL—Karson Burkey (Rivermen), Brendan Sigurdson (Aviators), Dylan Warner (Aviators) and Connor Zwagerman (Guardians).
Five more Vikings are competing in the Colorado Collegiate Box Lacrosse League.
Isaac Atencio and Troy Loper both returned to their teams from last season, the Bighorns and Gold Miners, respectively. Atencio won the Coaches Award for the regular-season champions last season while Loper was named the league's MVP after topping the circuit in assists.
Carter Jensen joined his collegiate teammate on the Bighorns after competing in the British Columbia Junior A Lacrosse League last season. Jason Sullivan (Blizzard) and Nick Wendel (Red Hawks) will both suit up in the CCBLL for their first seasons of box lacrosse.
The champions of the CCBLL and OCBLL will meet in early August for the inaugural NCBS Championship at USBOXLA Nationals.
While the American box leagues are just getting underway, their counterparts north of the border are well into their seasons.
Four Vikings are competing in the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League. Tristan Hanna has 34 points in 12 games for the Toronto Beaches while Michael Harris, a transition player for the Burlington Chiefs, has four points while playing in all 15 games. Brothers Gareth and Ryan Haigh have each played in all 15 games for the Mimico Mountaineers and have 31 and 18 points, respectively.
Incoming Viking commit Kevin Sobey has played in 12 games for the Delta Islanders of the British Columbia Junior Tier 1 Lacrosse League.
Cleveland State posted a winning record in its third season by winning seven of its final 10 games this past season. After having one DI win in their first season, the Vikings had four in 2018 before registering eight in 2019. In its third year of existence, Cleveland State had no true seniors on its roster in 2019.