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Apex National Fall Showcase 2024/2025 All star write ups and photos

By Jake Nordhausen, 10/21/21, 2:45PM EDT


Team Black MVP's

Grayson Manning, 2024, Goalie, Royal Bay Lacrosse Academy, Royal Bay Secondary

Manning played beyond expectations at Apex National Fall Showcase. A leader on the defensive end Manning was calm and collected making saves look easy throughout the weekend. He is explosive and athletic in between the pipes, and was near perfect in an all star game filled with talent. In tight he displayed some quick able to track shooters sticks and stuff what looked to be lay up opportunity. Great lateral speed demonstrated by moving pipe to pipe Manning was unstoppable in net. Manning is young but has all the qualities of a keeper you can build a defense around. 

Conner Wheeler, 2024, Midfielder, Impulse, Booker T Washington

Wheeler was making plays all over the field and was a spark plug on the offensive end. When Wheeler got defenders in space he was blowing past them with ease. He is athletic and quick off the bounce demonstrating some top notch change of direction and change of speed dodge. When he got a step on defenders he had a myriad of choices to go with when finishing. His ability to shoot on the run was on full display, as he was punishing defenses for a lack of slides. When he sets his feet his shot was just as lethal able to pick apart goalies with great accuracy. His vision is just as strong as his ability to take it for himself. Wheeler never dropped his head and was able to find open shooters all across the backside. Look for Wheeler to continue to grow and develop into a force on the offensive end. 

Team White MVP's

Asher Presnell, 2025, Faceoff, Texas Oilers, Woodlands Texas

Presnell was dominant at the face off X throughout the event and took over in the all star game at Apex national fall showcase. Athletic as they come at the position, Presnell was pushing transition almost every rep after clean wins. He can fight in a tie up just as well as he can push it out to himself with speed. There wasn't a moment Presnell didn't look confident as he showed off high lacrosse IQ with recognition of his wings. Presnell played smart on his exits and never put himself in a position to get pinched. Great stick skills and the ability to run the break make Presnell a special player to keep and eye on. 

Daniel Villa, 2025, Defense, Texas Oilers, Woodlands Texas

Villa was physical all over the defensive end, and had ball carriers running for the hills when he put the pressure on. He has great size and uses it well as he got strong pieces of offensive players knocking them off their lines. Villa plays like a ballhawk pressuring out to the sideline, but never put himself out of position. He approaches with the full length of his stick and broken down showing strong discipline. Villa was just as strong off the ball able to bring the body on slides and displayed high IQ with his positioning.  Off the ground Villa didn't seem to miss a GB, and was able to push transition with some strong stick work. Villa has everything you ask for in a leader on the defensive end, and should be someone to keep an eye on in the coming years. 

Honorable Mention

Thomas White, 2024, Attack, Arizona Outlaws, Notre Dame Prep

White played with some top level confidence with his ball in his stick at National Fall Showcase. He seemed relaxed while analyzing the defense, and when he saw an opportunity to strike he made the most out of it. White plays smooth in all aspects of the game able to survey the field like a quarterback. When he goes for himself he made it look effortless at times, blowing by defenders and picking corners of the net. Mostly operating behind the cage, but able to have an impact just about anywhere on the field White was a matchup nightmare for defenders. Slick change of direction moves allowed him to create a ton of space to operate, and that opened up his passing game. White had a knack for reading slides and hitting open shooters on the backside. White is athletic and touts a high lacrosse IQ making him a dangerous player and one to keep tabs on in the coming months. 

Liam Whittle, 2024, Defense, Crabs, Mcdonogh

Whittle can make plays all over the defense end, and his high IQ make him one tough defender to matchup against. Athletic with great footwork Whittle is aggressive on the ball able to force turnovers with constant pressure on ball carriers. He never put himself out of position always throwing well timed checks and bringing his feet with him. Off the ground Whittle didn't seem to miss an opportunity as he was turning GB's into fast breaks at will. He had one of the strongest sticks out of a defender from the entire weekend making clearing easy for his team. Whittle is physical and athletic making him a scary player and one too look out for in the spring season. 

Ryan Baik, 2024, Attack, DC Express, St. Andrews

Baik was taking ankles all over the offensive end, and couldn't seem to be stopped once he got going. Operating from behind the net Baik is explosive and decisive. When he got just a single step he turned on the accelerator and was blowing by his matchups. Change of direction moves and the ability to stop on a dime are the hallmarks of Baik's dodge. When he got to GLE he did a great job of finishing around the crease in tight and made a habit of keeping goalies guessing. Able to take it with either hand Baik is a dynamic dodger that had defenses on their toes all weekend long. 

Cooper Metz, 2024, Defense, VLC, West Springfield High School

Metz has great size and displayed some extremely physical play that allowed him to dominate matchups. He plays in a textbook stance broken down and using the full length of his stick on approach. He wasn't overly aggressive with his stick, able to disrupt offensive players with the mere presence of the stick in their hands. When Metz did throw checks he always seemed to land them and frequently dislodged the ball. Metz plays physical and isn't afraid to bring the body as he was getting pieces of ball carriers all weekend long.  He is a vocal defender having success off the ball in help spots and slide positions. Great off the ground in scrums, Metz has all the makings of a lockdown defender who can be a leader on the defensive end. 

Kevin Graff, 2025, Attack, Team Minnesota, Bloomington Jefferson

Rounding out our standout players from the All Star game is Graff. He has great size for his age, but never relied on it to make plays. Graff is athletic as they come able to pull of confident change of direction dodges that give him time and room. Great footwork allows him to pull shots on the run extremely well, and he can definitely bring the heat. Never dropping his head in the dodge Graff displayed top level vision, as he found open shooters across the defense. Off the ball he never stopped moving his feet and was a nightmare for defenses to keep track off. Graff is young, but has all the pieces in his game to be a playmaker on the offensive end. 

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