1/11/12 11:00 AM
With the 2012 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft only a few days away, the Ohio Machine looks to fill in a few missing pieces with some of the up and coming talent in the 2012 NCAA class. Over the past few months, the Machine has been putting together an impressive roster filled with MLL veterans and previously untapped local talent.
Even before the start of draft season, the Machine had its sights set on a successful 2012 inaugural season and made moves to acquire MLL All-Stars Greg Bice, Anthony Kelly and Kyle Hartzell, as well as MLL veterans Brett Garber and Stefan Schroder. Adding to this veteran-laden core group, the Machine went into the MLL Expansion Draft looking for players that could add to the group synergy and be more than just individual talent on the field.
During the first draft, the Machine drafted multi-faceted players, such as attackman Connor Martin, defensemen Kevin Ridgway, Brett Hughes and Max Schmidt, and goalie Brian Phipps. The Machine then moved onto the Supplemental Draft a week later to round out its roster at 35, including MLL veterans Chazz Woodson, Jimmy Borell and Ray Megill.
The Machine now looks to the 2012 Collegiate Draft with seven picks total, including the second and eighth overall. With a roster that includes 17 midfielders and a defense that has more than 150 games combined under its belt, the Machine will likely look to add a bit of depth to its attack, which won’t be hard to find in this year’s class.
The 2012 Collegiate Draft might not have as much depth as it did last year but it is still jam-packed with future MLL stars, including two extremely impressive attackmen – 2011 Tewaaraton Award Recipient Steele Stanwick (UVA) and Tewaaraton Award finalist Rob Pannell (Cornell). Stanwick and Pannell have been vying for the number spot over the past several seasons with their college teams and seem to be headed for very promising careers in the MLL after the close of their college tenures.
On top of Stanwick and Pannell, UVA and Cornell seem to have rosters with multiple players that have the possibility of a bright future in MLL, including midfielders Colin Briggs (UVA) and Roy Lang (Cornell). But Duke and Princeton aren’t far behind UVA and Cornell with talented players such as goalie Tyler Fiorito (Princeton), defensemen Mike Manley (Duke) and Chad Weidmaier (Princeton) and midfielders Justin Turri (Duke) and CJ Costabile (Duke).
With the Collegiate Draft on Friday, January 13, fans won’t have to wonder too long as to who goes where and there are always those diamonds in the rough that don’t come out to shine until their senior years. Jeremy Boltus and Brian Karalunas are perfect examples of diamonds in the rough who have shined during their senior seasons and brought that success to the professional level. Boltus, who was drafted in the eighth round of the 2010 Collegiate Draft, was named the 2011 MLL Cascade MLL Rookie of the Year and Karalunas, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 Collegiate Draft, received numerous awards during his rookie season, including MLL Defensive Player of the Week.
But one thing is for certain with this year’s Collegiate Draft, the fans will being seeing the future of the MLL. These players will soon be making a name for themselves at the pro level once their college careers come to a close, no matter what round they are drafted.
Tune in on Friday, January 13, starting at 8:30 p.m. to see who the Machine drafts with its nine picks during the 2012 MLL Collegiate Draft. Fans can view a live stream by visiting the MLL website at www.majorleaguelacrosse.comor can follow live on the Machine’s Twitter at www.twitter.com/MachineMLL.