1. Haverford School, Haverford, Pa.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 1, 26-0
The Haverford School, No. 1 in the final USA Today High School Sports Super 25 rankings of 2015, enters the season as the team to beat on the national scene. The Philadelphia-area powerhouse bid farewell to a long list of decorated and experienced leaders that last season helped the Fords run to a 26-0 record, capture the Inter-Ac Challenge tournament championship and earn a reputation as the unquestioned top team in the land. Haverford will look to another loaded senior class to defend that estimation, including midfielder Dox Aitken (Virginia), attackman Forry Smith (Johns Hopkins) and goalie Alex DeMarco (Penn).
2. The Hill Academy, Vaughan, Ont.
2015 Finish: Unranked, 13-1
Coached by professional lacrosse star Brodie Merrill, the Canadian juggernaut rattled the lacrosse world in the offseason with a 16-11 win over the U.S. Men’s U-19 training team behind eight goals and three assists from senior attackman Jeff Teat (Cornell). The Hill embarks each year on a road trip through the Mid-Atlantic to battle a who’s-who of prep/private school teams from Washington D.C. and Baltimore. The Hill is physical, skilled and is considered by some to be the top scholastic program on the continent entering the 2016 seasons.
3. Culver Academy, Culver, Ind.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 14, 17-6
After a year with some challenging stretches, Culver returns with one of the nation’s deepest rosters – an astounding 23 Division I commits, from seniors all the way down to freshmen – and will again play a rigorous schedule decked with a Mid-West flavor and featuring some of the top teams in the country. Senior attackman Ethan Walker (Denver) scored 109 goals this year and leads a talented, athletic offense, while Jacob Kanak (Notre Dame) and Liam Duff (Delaware) will help direct a stingy defense.
4. IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 6, 10-4
The Ascenders’ national team worked its way up the Super 25 rankings last year with some big wins and impressive showings against some of the top teams in the land, including a victory over McDonogh (Md.) and a down-to-the-wire loss to top-ranked Haverford (Pa.). IMG Academy boasts one of the most wickedly talented attack groups in the nation: Canadian Ben French and Iroquois players Tehoka Nanticoke (uncommitted) and Mitch Laffin (Uncommitted) might be the most talented, electrifying trio in the nation and will be incredibly hard to stop.
5. Gonzaga College High School, Washington, D.C.
2015 Finish: Super No. 3, 18-3
The Purple Eagles captured their sixth consecutive WCAC title in 2015 and return a great deal of the heavy-hitters from last season, and more than 15 Division I commits in all, who should help overcome the loss of one of the program’s greatest of all time in Timmy Monahan, now at Maryland. Always facing one of the nation’s best schedules, Gonzaga is considered the team to beat in the Capital Region and will be lead by senior midfielders Avery Myers (Michigan) and Sam Offutt (Virginia), as well as gritty face-off specialist Nick McEvoy (Penn State) and attackman Luke McCaleb (Brown).
6. Victor Senior High School, Victor, N.Y.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 8, 22-0
The Blue Devils finished the 2015 untouched at 22-0 and winners of their first New York State Class B championship thanks to a convincing 17-8 win over Manhasset. The team returns an amazing junior class and much of its starting group intact from last season, especially in key spots. Returning American Family All-USA midfielder Jamie Trimboli (Syracuse) put up 59 goals and 23 assists last season as a junior and five other returnees registered more than 50 points. Face-off midfielder T.D. Ierlan (Albany) was dominant last season and could help Victor again be a terror in Rochester.
7. Brunswick School, Greenwich, Conn.
2015 Finish: Unranked, 14-4
Brunswick again drew praise entering the season as the team to watch on the elite New England prep school scene. The Bruins, competing in the New England West Division 1 league, are potentially more complete than in recent seasons, and thus could possess the ball more often. Brunswick is led by standout athlete and Duke-bound midfielder Reilly Walsh, who racked up 51 goals and 15 assists in 2015. He will be surrounded by the likes of senior goalie Jack Stephenson (Georgetown), long-stick midfielder Phil Kemp (Brown) and midfielder Sean Morris (North Carolina).
8. Syosset High School, Syosset, N.Y.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 8, 18-2
Syosset pulled off a series of exciting, albeit one-sided, wins last season on the way to the New York State Class A semifinals. The Braves fell to eventual champ Niskayuna, but return experience and skill at all positions, including attackman Mac O’Keefe (Penn State), who contributed 63 goals and 24 assists last season and is a member of the U.S. Men’s U-19 team. He returns, along with midfielder Lucas Cotler (Yale) and defender E.J. Aronson (Army), to make Syosset a favorite in Nassau County and on Long Island this year.
9. The Hun School, Princeton, N.J.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 5, 19-1
The Raiders burst onto the scene in 2015, upending IMG Academy in overtime for a major win for the program’s resume and putting together an impressive 19-1 record. The reigning New Jersey Prep A champions added an assortment of talented players and return several key contributors from last year’s powerful squad. Sophomore standout Chris Fake (Virginia), transfer Mike Farnish (Notre Dame) and netminder Jon Levine (Princeton) should lead the defense.
10. McDonogh School, Owings Mills, Md.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 13, 14-5
The Eagles ran into St. Mary’s to end last season, falling to a team that had a perfect storm of face-off dominance, offensive patient and defensive discipline to upend McDonogh. But the Eagles return one of the nation’s most seasoned and talented defenses, led by senior Arman Medghalchi (Princeton) and juniors Brandon Shure (Johns Hopkins) and Zeke Narcise (Duke). McDonogh will look to attackman Jackson Morrill (Yale) to help the team replace scoring and leadership on offense.
11. Landon School, Bethesda, Md.
2015 Finish: Super 25, No. 2, 20-2
Landon closed out yet another impressive season in 2015 as champions of the Interstate Athletic Conference, head coach Rob Bordley’s 30th title. However, the Bears bid farewell to an incredible class of 17 seniors from last year’s team and will look to some new faces to step up, primarily on defense. At attack, Landon will rely on Nate Buller (Duke) and Joe Epstein (Johns Hopkins) to spark the offense after each put up 58 points last season and in the midfield will lean on Griffin Brown (Colgate).
12. St. Paul’s School, Brooklandville, Md.
2015 Finish: Unranked, 13-6
St. Paul’s might have graduated an excellent class of players last season, but returns another terrific lineup of seniors – including more than a dozen heading to play high level college lacrosse – who will look to run wild in a fairly open MIAA “A” conference. The Crusaders have several players who return after nursing injuries and could be poised to breakout. Seniors Joe Pollard (Johns Hopkins), Mitch Gordon (Virginia) and Tyler Rockhill (Maryland) lead the way.
13. Georgetown Preparatory School, North Bethesda, Md.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 11, 13-4
The Hoyas enter their second season under head coach Charlie Horning, who took over in 2015 and guided Georgetown Prep to a 13-4 season that ended in the IAC championship game with a 14-9 loss to Landon. One of D.C.’s most storied lacrosse programs, Georgetown Prep should find itself in a great spot this spring to contend for the IAC title behind the likes of senior midfielder Terry Lindsay (Duke) and senior defender John Railey (Loyola).
14. Darien High School, Darien, Conn.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 21, 20-3
Led by standout athlete and lockdown defender Mark Evanchick (Penn), Darien is expected to be a challenging matchup as a Connecticut’s Class L force after the team won the 2015 title in a grudge match with Ridgefield (Conn). The team returns a talented group on offense, including Colin Minicus (Amherst), Jack Kniffin (Brown) and Kevin Lindley (Loyola).
15. Chaminade High School, Mineola, N.Y.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 19, 13-4
The Flyers enter 2016 riding a three-year run as champions of the Catholic High School Athletic Association AAA conference title after routing rival St. Anthony’s 15-7 to end last season. Face-off midfielder Brendon Luu (Yale) and goalie John Zullo (Notre Dame) return to help make Chaminade strong up the middle to start the season. Depth of talent, across numerous classes, will give the Flyers options this year.
16. New Canaan High School, New Canaan, Conn.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 25, 18-4
The reigning Connecticut Class M champions, now the lone Class M team remaining in the FCIAC, return a loaded senior class that was key in last year’s success. That includes a potent midfield group headlined by senior Kyle Smith (Denver) and junior Ryan O’Connell (North Carolina). The Rams have Division I-bound players on attack, defense and in the cage, where Drew Morris (Maryland) returns.
17. Smithtown High School East, St. James, N.Y.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 16, 18-2
The Bulls were a wrecking ball for most of 2015 before being slowed down by Syosset in the Long Island Class A championship. Though they lose some key veteran players, like leading scorer Brian Willetts (Notre Dame), the Bulls have a lot of experience to work with and a hunger after last season’s season-ending loss. It all starts with face-off wizard Gerard Arceri (Penn State) and Dan Rooney (Ohio State), who torched opponents last season with 73 goals and 34 assists.
18. Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.
2015 Finish: Not ranked, 9-7
The Big Green is the beneficiary of a major addition at attack, as Joe Manown (Duke) will spend a postgraduate year in Deerfield. The team is athletic and skilled, especially in the cage, where they are led by Phil Goss (Brown), a member of the U.S. Men’s U-19 team. Head coach Chip Davis has Division I talent as far down as the sophomore class. Midfielder Nigel Andrews (Harvard) and defenders Chris Sullivan (Denver) and Teddy Sullivan (Denver) are just a few of the returning contributors.
19. Massapequa High School, Massapequa, N.Y.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 10, 17-1
The Chiefs were rolling last season at 17-0 before running into Syosset in the Section VIII Class A championship. But a seasoned group returns, one that helped the Chiefs win it all when they were sophomores. Ryan Tierney (Hofstra), a dynamic and experienced offensive threat, returns after notching 36 goals and 31 assists last season and midfielder Casey Kimmel (Towson) returns as well after contributing 16 goals and 10 assists.
20. Bridgewater-Raritan High School, Bridgewater Township, N.J.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 15, 23-0
New Jersey’s 2015 Group 4 state title winners lost some key figures to graduation but return a strong senior class that was important to last season’s success. Senior Nick Grill (Marquette) is one of the best defenseman in the country and forms the backbone of a defense allowing less than five goals per game, on average, in 2015. Ryan Kaden (New Jersey Tech) is back after posting 29 goals and 29 assists, and goalie Luke Konen (Army) returns after allowing just 71 goals last season while making 194 saves.
21. Jamesville-DeWitt, High School, DeWitt, N.Y.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 24, 18-2
Jamesville-DeWitt returns the bulk of a team that was just a couple goals short of the New York State Class B title game, falling 11-9 to eventual champion Victor in Section III-Section V showdown. The Red Rams, one of the most consistent teams in Central New York and oftentimes dominant in Section III Class B, have significantly enhanced their schedule this season. Grayson Burns (Bucknell), Ryan Archer (Hobart) and Griffin Cook (Syracuse) will charge the offense after while Sam Mueller (Hobart) will lead the defense.
22. Cold Spring Harbor Junior/Senior High School, Huntington, N.Y.
2015 Finish: Super 25 No. 23, 19-1
The Seahawks’ only loss last season came to Nassau County Class A power Syosset as Cold Spring Harbor turned on the jets and cruised to the New York State Class C championship to defeat Cazenovia. The team returns a variety of weapons and experience that should go a long way in helping making another run at the state playoffs. Matt Licciardi (Cornell), a dynamic player, returns after notching 16 goals, 20 assists and many important face-off wins.
23. Brother Rice, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
2015 Finish: Unranked, 19-4
In 2015, the Warriors were Michigan state champions for the thirteenth consecutive time, the eleventh since the Michigan High School Association has sanctioned the sport. The Warriors lost last year to only the Hill Academy (Ont.) once and Culver Academy (Ind.) three times. Brother Rice returns a rock solid defense, led by Brian Cosgrove (Fairfield). Attackman Morgan Macko (Bellarmine) returns after putting up five goals and an assist in the 2016 state title game.
24. Boys’ Latin School of Maryland, Baltimore, Md.
2015 Finish: Unranked, 15-5
The Lakers look to rebound from a year that saw the retirement of legendary head coach Bob Shriver and a semifinal loss to McDonogh in the MIAA “A” conference playoffs. Brian Farrell, a standout multi-sport athlete at Boy’s Latin before going on to star at Maryland, takes over and has an excellent staff and talent to work with in Year One. It starts with attackman Logan Wisnauskas (Syracuse), Jack Pezzulla (North Carolina), a senior goalie who made the U.S. Men’s U-19 roster, and solid corps of midfielders.
25. Salisbury School, Salisbury, Conn.
2015 Finish: Unranked, 10-4
The Crimson Knights put together a nine-game win streak last season through some of the toughest games on the New England slate. The experience coming back will help Salisbury, along with a healthy batch of underclassmen – some already committed to Division I colleges – who could make a major impact this season. Matt Gaudet (Yale), an All-League selection at attack, returns after registering 34 goals and 25 assists last season. Salisbury has a long list of additional options.