Categories: clam_chatter
      Date: Sep 20, 2010
     Title: HUGE week for Clam 2011 commitments
D3 "commitment season" continues to roll along with four more in last five days

It's nearing the peak of the D3 commitment season, and for our program it feels like it's here already. The NESCAC - actually one NESCAC school - landed three outstanding Clams, each of whom brings with them a D1 skill set to the D3 ranks. And one other D3 school out of the Liberty League landed another strong Clam midfielder, who also brings tremendous skill to his chosen program.

The first call came from Chris Garibaldi (Salisbury School, midfield), who had been considering a number of schools including Hamilton, Bates, Bowdoin and Colby. But it was the Union Dutchmen who grabbed Chris, after an outstanding visit this fall made what had been a tough decision a rather easy one. Known for his gritty & tireless effort, toughness and talent, Chris was one player who seemed to never tire on the field, regardless of how hot, muggy and miserable the weather was, or whether it day one or day four of a tournament. At the risk of sounding cliche, Chris was the proverbial coaches dream. Coach Wehrum is getting in Chris not just a player who will see significant time early in his career, but also one who will be a front-runner for the squad's Captainship sooner rather than later.

Next came three more commitments in rapid-fire succession, and all to the same school. Apparently new Colby Head Coach Justin Domingos got his early admissions reads, and these came back favorably for three Clams. With this information in hand, Coach Domingos wasted no time in moving on three outstanding Fighting Clams.

The first call came from Duxbury defenseman Pete Willauer, who said that Colby would be his new home next year. Over the course of the past several months, Pete has had close to a dozen schools he has considered; the list includes but is not limited to D1 schools such as Quinnipiac, Fairfield, Dartmouth & Providence, and D3's such as Middlebury, Tufts and Amherst. But the stars aligned at Colby - good news for Pete, and good news for Colby. Arguably the strongest close defenseman in the 2011 Clam class, Pete is the type of player who will be an immediate contributor at Colby. Without knowing who he'll go against, I for one would not be the least bit surprised to hear that Pete starts in year one, something very rare for a defensive player in the NESCAC.

Two more calls came later the same day. First was Derek Youngman (Thayer), who told me his visit to Colby was great, and that despite still having irons in the fire at Wesleyan, Hamilton, Tufts and others, he decided it was the place for him. An attackman/midfielder with near equal ability at each position, Derek is not only hard-working but very creative and skilled; he will be an immediate asset for Coach Domingos.

Then, about an hour later, came a call from another attackman/midfielder who can play either or both, and may do just that at Colby depending on the team's needs. Brendan McNeill (Rivers) considered a number of other NESCAC schools and a few D1's including Bucknell, Lafayette & Holy Cross before deciding to become a Mule. Known for his lightning quick first step and tremendous playmaking ability, Brendan makes everyone around him better. He did this all summer, and he'll certainly do this up in Maine.

Pete, Derek and Brendan join fellow Colby Mules and St. Johns Prep alumni John Jennings (attack) and Tyler Cash (goalie). John broke onto the scene as a freshman starter this past spring at Colby, notching 14 points before going down with an injury; Tyler has seen spot duty as a backup for his first couple years.

Here is the updated list of players from the summer 2010 Clams that have committed:

UNION
Chris Garibaldi, midfield, Salisbury School - UNION COLLEGE

COLBY
Pete Willauer, defense, Duxbury HS - COLBY COLLEGE

COLBY
Derek Youngman, attack/midfield, Thayer Academy - COLBY COLLEGE

COLBY
Brendan McNeill, attack/midfield, The Rivers School - COLBY COLLEGE


Jimmy O'Connell, midfield, St. John's Prep - TRINITY COLLEGE

SACRED HEART
Mark MacDonald, midfield/FOGO, St. John's Prep - SACRED HEART

HAMILTON
Charlie Finnegan, defense/LSM, Thayer Academy - HAMILTON COLLEGE


Tommy Rehnert, defense/LSM, The Rivers School - AIR FORCE


Matt Scalise, attack, St. John's Prep - HARVARD  UNIVERSITY


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

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


Will Walker, attack, Phillips Andover - HARVARD  UNIVERSITY


Conor Fraylick, goalie, Pleasantville HS - FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY