Categories: clam_chatter
      Date: Aug  3, 2010
     Title: Two Clams commit; one changes plans
As commitment season begins to hit strides, three Clams make decisions

As we head into August, the number of phone calls & emails I receive picks up significantly. The nature calls are also different. In June & July, they're very short and scattered, often from sidelines as coaches ask me to provide info on a player as they watch him. In July and into the fall, they're more thought out and thorough. Coaches are for the most part not running from one field to next in 95 degree heat, shuffling papers around as they call. They tend to be in the comfort of their offices, with their notes in front of them (and wits, genrally, about them). In short, they have time to talk, and listen.

It's a refreshing time for me as well, because I also am not doing the same thing, just on the other side of the operation. Minus my daily jaunts to our two remaining camps, I too have time to sit in the office and talk. And I also have the value of a full season of personal evaluation of our players, as well as notes from every coach who was in the system this summer.

So with all the pieces in place, its no wonder things happen quicker throughout this month, with D1's finalizing plans, and D3's beginning to do the same. And for our program, August is off to a good start.

It started last week, when I heard that late week prior, big, strong defenseman Ryan Breen (Phillips Exeter/PG at Taft) has decided he will become a Lafayette Leopard in the fall of 2012. Lafayette, a Patriot League power, experience a resurgence last season, going 8-6 with wins vs. D1 powers such as Navy, Bucknell & UPenn. Before finally deciding on Lafayette, Ryan had also been pursued aggressively by UMASS, Brown, Holy Cross and Providence, among others. Surprisingly, Ryan becomes the first Clam we have had go to Lafayette in several years. We as a coaching staff all believe he will do great there.

Shortly after receiving the news from Ryan, I received an interesting call from Murph Vandervelde (St. Sebastians, midfield). Earlier in the spring, Murph had made a verbal commitment to Lehigh. Through his process, he had considered a long list of schools that included but was not limited to Hofstra, Notre Dame, Duke, UPenn, Bucknell, Harvard, and, of course, Lehigh. As the spring wore on, Murph was faced with the feeling that spots at his top choices were all but gone. So he made the decision to commit to Lehigh. But as sometime goes with this process - especially when a player shows on-field excellence that surpasses the expectations of some - Murph experienced a resurgence of interest from some who had previously indicated their doors were closed. One such school was Harvard. And with the new coach (who had recruited Murph while at UPenn) and overall new situation, Murph had a new lease on life with the Crimson. Seeing as this was a school at the very top of his list all along, he could not say no. Murph will join four other Clams on the Harvard roster next fall: Garrett Campbell & Mark Scalise (both former St. Johns Prep players), Jack Walker and Eric Slingerland.

And just yesterday evening, the third starter from the attack line on our strong Clam teams this summer became the third D1 commit, as Matt Thistle (Bishop Guertin) decided to head to the big apple to attend Manhattan College. One former Clam, Luke Dilillo of Lexington, had had a solid career as a midfielder at Manhattan. But he has just graduated, so Matt will not be joining any former Clams on the Manhattan squad. Before landing at Mahattan, where he has been fortunate enough to become a scholarship athlete, Matt had considered D1 schools such as Hobart, Siena & Providence, among other.


So it's seven D1's and counting for the 2011 clams. And with a handful of players right on the cusp of finalizing their plans, I expect the numbers to sharply increase in the coming weeks. (And, in fact, I have anectdotal evidence there are a couple Clam commitments that have happened, but I have not received the call yet). So keep checking back periodically for updates on where this very strong class of players ends up.

Below are all of players from this summer's team who are currently committed to a program for 2012:

Ryan Breen, defense/LSM, Phillips Exeter/Taft - LAFAYETTE UNIVERSITY

Matt Thistle, attack, Bishop Guertin HS - MANHATTAN UNIVERSITY

Jimmy Murphy, attack, Brewster Academy - UNIVERSITY OF HARTFORD

Murph Vandervelde, midfield, St. Sebastian's School - HARVARD  UNIVERSITY

Tanner Powers, defense, The Rivers School - UNIVERSITY OF VERMONT

Will Walker, attack, Phillips Andover - DUKE UNIVERSITY

Conor Fraylick, goalie, Pleasantville HS - FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY