SAINT LEO, Fla – With the 2014 season on the horizon, Saint Leo men's lacrosse team will see plenty of fresh faces on the official 2014 roster, all of whom will be expected to make a positive impact both on and off the field.
The newcomers hail from various lacrosse hotbeds from around the country, with seven of the 18 calling the Sunshine State home. Four are New York natives, with two each coming from New Jersey and Ohio, while Maine, Colorado, and Massachusetts round out the list of home states.
Breaking down the list even further, the Lions will gain six defensive players, eight middies, and four attackmen. With three transfers from junior college programs, the newcomers offer not only various amounts of talent and skill, but assorted amounts of experience and veteran strength to the core of the Green and Gold.
This week's installment features the defensive newcomers Kyle Brooke, Nick Buckley, Mike Kavanagh, Robert Mendez, Gregory Miles, and Sean Thomas.
6-0 | 230 | Goalie
St. Pete Beach, Fla.
St. Petersburg Catholic High School
Brooke played under Head Coach Jim Wiggers at St. Petersburg Catholic HS. The 6-0 defender was named to the Florida Gulf Coast Lacrosse League All-Star Game during his junior and senior seasons. Brookes was named team captain of his team his junior and senior year. During his senior year, Brooke registered 255 saves, 26 ground balls, 385 shots, 129 goals against, and a 66.0 save percentage. During his junior year, Brooke earned the Florida Gulf Coast Goalie of the Year.
6-2 | 215 | Defenseman
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Ponte Vedra High School
Buckley played for Ponte Vedra High School under Head Coach Tom West. The 6-2 defender helped his team to back-to-back state final-four appearances (2011-2012), and back-to-back District and Regional Championships. In 2012, he was named North Florida First Team Preseason All-American. The Ponte Vedra Beach native was selected as a member of Team Florida, as well as the Ponte Vedra Possums, and was a member of the first lacrosse team from Florida to win the Battle of the Hotbeds National Tournament held at the University of Delaware. Buckley chose Saint Leo because it offers him the unique opportunity to learn and grow as a student-athlete within a Catholic institution.
6-1 | 210 | Defenseman
Smithtown High School East
Kavanagh is a four year varsity starter for Smithtown High School East, playing under the direction of Head Coach Jason Lambert. He was named Defensive MVP as the Nike Lacrosse Camp held at the University of Vermont. A member of the Athletes Helping Athletes Club, Kavanagh was also given First Team All-Division Honors for his efforts as a linebacker on the football team, where he racked up 70 tackles and eight sacks in 2012. The Smithtown, N.Y. native chose Saint Leo because of the accounting program, and comfortable atmosphere on campus. His cousin, Jake, has also signed with the Lions to play in 2014.
5-8 | 190 | Defenseman
Ward Melville High School
Mendez competed at Ward Melville HS under the direction of Head Coach Mike Hoppey. While at Ward Mellville, Mendez lettered in football and lacrosse, where was named an All-League Defenseman.
6-0 | 165 | Long Stick Middie
Freedom High School
Miles competed at Freedom High School under the tutelage of Head Coach Andrew Almansberger. He was named to the All-Metro team in 2012 and 2013, and was named team captain for the 2012-13 year.
5-10 | 180 | Long Stick Middie
Mullica Hill, N.J.
Clearview Regional High School
Thomas, who will redshirt his true freshman season, played for Clearview Regional high School up in New Jersey. He was also a member of the Bravehearts Lacrosse club team.