Jeff Haws’ Top 10 List

We can’t confirm this, but 82 percent of Listers agree that trophy-making businesses in Atlanta make 64 percent of their money during the high school spring sports season.

OK, that’s a completely made-up stat, but we’re just going to assume it’s true anyway. With all these spring sports championships, how could it not be in the ballpark?

Next up on the ledger is lacrosse, with the semifinals kicking off Tuesday night and the finals coming up this weekend in both classifications.

We can’t wait to see the guys get out there and battle for supremacy, while we scarf down another bag of popcorn.

So, as a little primer for those of you headed out to see some great games, here are 10 boys players to watch this week.

10. Will Russ, Lovett

For Lovett, the offense has a way of running through Russ, and for good reason. He’s got great size, athleticism and instincts that help him score often from the midfield position. The best thing for the Lions is he’s only a sophomore, so he’s got two more years to keep improving.

9. Matt Geran, Lambert

Next year, Geran will be continuing his lacrosse-playing days at Furman, but he’s got a little business to take care of first – helping the Longhorns win a third consecutive state title. He’ll lead them from the attack, where he’s one of the state’s best with the ball in his control.

8. Matt Biondich, Northview

It probably shouldn’t be surprising that an athletic wide receiver for the football team also excels on the lacrosse field, and that’s just what Biondich does. Already a star on the gridiron, Biondich is also an All-American lacrosse player on a team that’s fighting for a state title.

7. Austin Prescott, Centennial

Perhaps the biggest standout in an impressive veteran midfield group for the Knights, Prescott is one of the state’s best on both ends of the field. He’s been recognized as an All-American for his work.

6. Josh Porter, Northview

Porter is an example of a player who doesn’t have to control the ball to make a major impact on a championship contender’s offense. He moves fluidly in the offensive area and does a brilliant job of putting himself in a position to receive passes and score. An All-American, watch him, and you’ll understand lacrosse a little better.

5. Zach Levy, Centennial

It’s not always the flashiest way to make a living in lacrosse, but Levy makes his mark in the faceoff circle. At one point earlier this season, he had won close to 90 percent of the team’s faceoffs. We’re pretty sure we’ve never succeeded 90 percent of the time in anything. Oh yeah, he can score and pass a little too. He’s not bad.

4. Simeon Johnson, Decatur

A talented midfielder and All-American, Johnson is part of a large senior class that has the Bulldogs ranked No. 1 in the state and in their second straight state semifinal. He may be one of the smartest players you’ll see out there, and he’s fantastic at attacking the net.

3. Ben Rigger, Decatur

Is he the best goalie in the state? We’re about ready to say yes. He’s almost certainly the best one still playing, though seven other goalies may have something to say about that. A senior captain, Rigger is the kind of goalie who gives his defense confidence to play in front of him.

2. Nate Solomon, Centennial

Only a sophomore, Solomon has already established himself as one of the state’s best attackers. He was selected as an All-American this year, and he’s had 18 points (10 assists, 8 goals) in his first two playoff games, this season. He’s quick and has great field vision.

1. Kevin Colton, Northview

A veteran, dynamic scorer, Colton is a two-time All-American and one of the most exciting attackers in Georgia. He’s started all four years on the attack, and he had 96 regular-season points this season. Yeah, it’s probably fair to say the Titans go as Colton goes.

Now we want to know what you think. Who do you think are the best players to keep an eye on this week? Will you be getting to any games? Have you ever tried to run while holding a lacrosse ball in the stick without dropping it? It’s really not easy. Let us know here in the comments or on Twitter at @ajcprepsports.

7 comments Add your comment

Metro Coach

May 14th, 2013
8:13 am

You do realize that the baseball tournament is being played right now, don’t you? For the last month you’ve don nothing but try to convince us to watch soccer and lacrosse, while saying little to nothing about all the great baseball being played.

Jeff Haws

May 14th, 2013
9:51 am

Metro Coach –

Thanks for the thoughts. There are lots of sports in the spring, with none dominating the news cycle, so I try to keep it fairly balanced with respect to these lists. A few weeks ago, I wrote about the best baseball players to come out of Georgia. Next week, you’ll see a list similar to this one about the baseball players to watch. (I haven’t decided yet whether to post it late and make it for the finals only or post it Monday and cover the semis and finals.)

Baseball will have its day, and it’s getting its share of coverage elsewhere on the site for now. Keep an eye on this spot in a week. Cheers.

LaxStats

May 14th, 2013
8:34 pm

Jeff,
Thanks for pumping up lax. We all appreciate the press coverage. All of these players have been instrumental in getting their teams to this point in the season. One stat for you though that may have changed your thoughts on the rankings above: Nate Solomon has 176 total points this season to-date in 6A playing excellent teams like Milton, Lassiter, Hooch, McCallie, Roswell

Jacketaxe

May 14th, 2013
10:30 pm

laxfan

May 15th, 2013
9:56 am

Kind of some head scratching picks. Hard to see how no players are represented from state championship bound Westminster. #20 Trense, #12 Hudson, #4 Davis, and #19 Wray are all deserving. 3 each from Centennial and Northview is a little far fetched. Good to see lacrosse get publicity, regardless.

re:LaxStats

May 15th, 2013
10:02 am

Not to take anything away from Solomon, he is a fantastic player and is deserving of a spot on this list. However, take those stats with a grain of salt, Centennial is a team that does not mind to score 20+ points a game against weaker talent, also keeping their starters in, ie: Solomon, for most of the game. Poor display of sportsmanship. Scoring 8+ points against weak GA opponents is simply a stat padder. That being said, Solomon has performed well against top talent just the same. While hes one of the better attackmen, the absurd amount of points should be taken with a grain of salt.

Coffeec100

May 16th, 2013
2:47 am