Five Seniors Sign National Letters of Intent at Penfield

- 2014 Penfield NLI Signing

There is a lot of excitement in Penfield this year. Seniors are determined to make this a year to remember and have been working hard to make their dream come true.

Last week, during the National Letter of Intent week, five seniors signed their contracts in front of family and friends as they finalized their plans to continue to play lacrosse while earning college degrees. Midfielder Carter Jordan will be heading to Mercer University in Macon Georgia. Goalie Willie Klan, who transferred for his senior year from Webster Schroeder will go to Ohio State University. Defenseman Ethan Parks selected Cortland State. Attackman Max Spaanwill be the closest to home when he leaves for Hobart College and defenseman Jack Taddeo will be playing at Bentley University in Waltham Massachusetts.

 

Carter Jordan - Mercer University

"As soon as I hit the campus, I knew I could see myself there for the next four years," said senior midfielder Carter Jordan about his decision to take his lacrosse skills to Mercer University (Macon, Georgia).

During his weekend visit, shared with other recruits, Carter felt the coaches and players were a perfect fit for him. "I really like the way the coaches handle the program and from what they told me [about their plans for the future] I think it's a good fit for me."Carter Jordan

The Mercer Bears are a relatively new D-I lacrosse program who joined the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2011. In 2014 the school completed a $30M stadium complex exclusively for football and lacrosse, and will move to the Southern Conference beginning in the spring of 2015. The Bears finished 7-7 under new Head Coach Kyle Hannan in 2014.

The four year Varsity midfielder will start the season with 20g-22a, even after missing part of last year with an injury. "I feel this year like Max [Spaan] and I will be able to take command of the offense. We work really well together and we have been playing together for years."

What does "take command mean"? "It means helping the younger kids out and if we need a play, coming through. It is saying I`m going to beat this guy one-on-one and make a play for my team. Whether it is making a goal or an assist or anything like that, I think it is important when you are a senior and a leader."

Before he heads off to college Carter plans on working on getting stronger and faster. "There is a big difference between high school and college. Working hard in those areas will benefit me."

He says he is thankful for his parents. "Obviously, Mercer is far away and they have supported me through all of this... including my injuries in high school. I want to thank Coach Schembri who has given me opportunities all the way since my freshman year. Playing for him for four years has really allowed me to grow." He also thanked his trainer, Kwasi Boaitley.

Early in his high school career he found himself looking up to player like Matt Bilak and Matt Condon. "On the field and off the field they were really good leaders. I remember, as a freshman, saying to myself, I want to be like them when I am a senior."

As for his last season with the Patriots, Carter says, "I do think we are going to be very strong. A lot of people thought that if we were going to do it, it was going to be last year, but I think this year people may be underestimating us and what we are going to bring in this spring.

 

Willie Klan - Ohio State University

Getting the obvious question out of the way, Willie Klan talked about moving to Penfield from Webster Schroeder, where he played in the goal for his first three years of high school lacrosse. Growing up, he played his youth lacrosse in Penfield and both in and out of season had many close friends with the players on the Patriots squad. When he had the opportunity to move to Penfield for his final year he was pleased. He says he has the highest respect for his Schroeder coaches Matt Petz and John McGurk. "I shed a few tears when I told them. We were really close. In the end, though, my best friends are on this [Penfield] team. I want to leave Rochester with a Sectional Championship with my best friends."

Klan and coachesWillie will be going on to the Ohio State University next fall. He committed to them as a fourteen year old after his freshmen year at Schroeder. He is expected to join a host of other Section Five players including a good friend from Pittsford, Brandon Barker.

He was taken by the school and the coaches at first look. Head Coach Nick Meyers is building an impressive program and recruiting excellent players. "The school is absolutely unreal. They have one of the best business schools." In addition, his father works in Cleveland and is a die-hard Ohio State fan, so I had a link there."Willian Klan and family

When asked about how he got this far Willie quickly credited youth coaches Paul Jordan (Carter`s Dad) and Rocky Delfino who worked with him from third through sixth grade. Coach Jordan "has been a big part of my career." At the modified level, his coach was his guidance counselor. "He was really there for me." Then it was on to Varsity at Schroeder. "Coach McGurk basically adopted my like a son. He busted my chops but I really had a good relationship with him."

At the club level, he spoke of Kevin Martin (SweetLax). "He saw my stats on Sportsfive and asked me to go to a tryout in Duxbury Massachusetts. I was on a team with Nick Weston (HF-L), James Burdette (Penn Yan), Bradley Voigt (Penn Yan) and Brandon Maciejewski (Penn Yan) and we all became great friends."

Blaze Riorden (Fairport) was someone Willie looked up to. "I wore number 7 because of him. I love the way he plays, the way he clears the ball, the way he stops the ball. He is always fun to watch." Willie has wanted to be a goalie for a long time. "I remember seeing Brett Queener (Penn Yan) and Mike Levin (Pittsford) who were splitting time in the goal for the Rattlers and I just fell in love with being a goalie. It was so cool to see them stop that ball."

As for the 2015 season, Willie is excited. "This is really going to be a big year. I`m back to Penfield. I have new energy. I love it."

 

Ethan Parks - SUNY CortlandAndrew Schoeneck

"Proximity to home, was a big thing" when Ethan Parks selected SUNY Cortland as his next lacrosse home. "It`s not too far and it`s not too close." He was attracted to the atmosphere and he liked the coaches. "Everything about it just clicked when I visited." He spent time at Drexel, Towson, Binghamton and Delaware, before making his final decision. "They are very similar, but Cortland just felt like the right place." After an official visit hosted by Jake Sproule (Penfield 2014) and Joey Scalise (Fairport 2014), he knew he would go to Cortland.

At this point in his career Ethan loves to be the kind of defenseman that is counted on. "I feel that is someone needs to rely on me to make the play, I am capable of doing that. I think I am strong as a one-on-one defenseman but I like to play as a team."

Ethan was quick to come up with a long list of people who helped him get to this point in his career. "I have to credit coaches, Coach Schembri, [Assistant] Coach Woody (Jeremy Woodworth) and Coach [Kevin] Randall. They have taught me some many aspects of the game." He also credits his parents for "taking me to all those recruiting tournaments during the summer and helping me to get my name out there." He also acknowledged his athletic trainer, "Without him, I wouldn't be in the shape I`m in today."

In the summer, after his freshman year, Ethan started to notice that as he was playing against better competition he could play with them. "I found that I could compete against these top level teams. I guess that is when I started to realize that I was good at what I did."

With one more year left in his high school career, Ethan looks forward to an exciting time this spring. "The team is looking strong. Although we graduated some guys last year, I think we have the talent to do well in the States and win a State Championship."

 

Max Spaan - Hobart College

"There is a great lacrosse tradition at Hobart and it was a good mix of athletics and academics," said attackman Max Spaan of his decision to go to Hobart College next year. "There are a lot of different majors to choose from there ... and my brother [Jonathan] is there too".

He considered Drexel, Stony Brook and Siena, but the size of the school was important to Max who also noted that "I just felt most comfortable with the coaching staff at Hobart. They just made me feel at home."Max Spaan and family

Max sees himself, moving into his senior year as an offensive finisher. "That means scoring goals." He likes to move from outside to inside, dodging and shooting. "That and trying to create my own shots," finding ways to get himself open to take a shot. In his two years at Varsity, he has ninety-nine points (69g-30a) with sixty-three last year when he scored in eighteen games.

Max credits his parents for contributing to his successes thus far. "They pushed me," in a positive way, "to be the best I can be, and then my brother and sister have always encouraged me. I've always looked up to my brother and have wanted to be like him." His brother, Jonathan, left Penfield after four years on the Varsity with ninety-five points (40g-55a).

He looked up to Connor Russell and Andrew Schoeneck in his sophomore year "when I played alongside of them. They were two of my brother`s friends. Then, last year I got to play with Mitch Standera in the attack". This year, however, Max knows that it is his turn to be the role model.

He knew, early in his career that he would be headed toward college ball. "My freshman year, when I got called up to Varsity, I saw players that were going to [NCAA] Division I, and I thought that I could be at that same level."

As for his last season, "I just want to keep going, and accumulate stats and help to win a Sectional Championship and then get to the [New York] State Championship. We have a core group of guys back from last year and great chemistry. We put in the work to get it done."

 

Jack Taddeo - Bentley University

Jack Taddeo looked at a number of educational opportunities like Dartmouth, Mount Saint Mary (Md), Yale and Hobart before deciding the Bently University (Waltham, Massachusetts) was the place. "It was definitely the combination of lacrosse and the education. Coach [Jim] Murphy and Coach [Chris] Marmiani were great and presented a great opportunity for coaching." Location was unimportant to Jack, but he admits that "it is fifteen minutes from Boston and yet it is a suburban campus. It is a great and welcoming place where I can see myself being for the next four years."Jack Taddeo

A senior defenseman, Jack likes team defense but also likes to control his one-on-one opponent. "Communication is a big part of my game. I like to direct players where to be and make sure everyone is on the same page." He likes playing point with Ethan Parks backing him up. "Ethan is taller and has a longer reach and I think he plays really well toward the crease. I think we work really well together. We have been playing together forever."

Jack quickly spoke of his family, when he was asked who helped to get him this far. "My Mom and Dad and Little brother [Dan], who plays attack actually. He is a freshman this year and I'm always in the back yard going against him." He then went on to mention, teammates, coaches and teachers.

He admits that he had great models in the class ahead of him, who helped him along the way. "Guys like Mitch Standera, Brian Wall, Jake Sproule, Jake O`Connor and of course Liam Guiton. He was my goalie for all of high school, pretty much."

The goal for his last year with the Patriots, "I think, as a whole, our defense will be ready to go out and take the ball away. I see us as a very good match up regardless of what offense we are going to be playing." Obviously, the goal is to win everything. We have been working hard off season [in the weight room] and in [Captains] practices. All of the off season things are important."

 



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