’24s Buonanno, Friedman, Szewczyk Tabbed as Five-Star Recruits
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Leading up to the spring high school season, Prep Lacrosse will be unveiling an updated Top 100 for the Class of 2024, and at least three seniors are set to become five-star recruits after initially being named four-stars heading into…
Leading up to the spring high school season, Prep Lacrosse will be unveiling an updated Top 100 for the Class of 2024, and at least three seniors are set to become five-star recruits after initially being named four-stars heading into 9/1 of junior year.
Today, we’re taking a look at that trio of no-brainers and why they’re deserving of five-star recognition.
Buonanno has taken his game to another level in the last six months to position himself as one of the very best players in the class, having checked in as the No. 35 recruit in last August’s initial class rankings but due for a big promotion. Now a postgrad at Deerfield (Mass.), the Princeton-bound lefty was a three-time First Team All-State selection at Moses Brown (R.I.) and has developed at a rapid pace, so he’s likely to put on a show with the Big Green in 2024.
There was some initial skepticism about his slight frame, however, Buonanno looked bigger, faster, and stronger — not to mention utterly dominant — during a stellar summer with 3d New England. In the two-man game, he’s as poised and proficient as they come. On the ride or when the ball is on the ground, he’s all over it and can quickly make things happen in an eye-popping fashion before the opposition can adjust. His savvy playmaking ability, slickness, and elusiveness are attributes that are on display at all times, and he’s just a blast to watch. At the Best In Class Committed event this weekend (look out for a more extensive writeup in the coming days), Buonnano took home MVP honors and was a steady force both in skill sessions and games, even if he’d already cemented five-star status long before that.
Friedman made a name for himself as the goalie for Prime Time’s 2023 squad, and as an underclassman, bided his time as a backup behind Notre Dame redshirt freshman Thomas Ricciardelli, the No. 4 overall recruit and top-ranked goalie in the Class of 2022. Now, coming off of a tremendous junior year in which he often stood on his head when the lights were the brightest, Friedman has the potential to eventually earn similar recognition within the ’24 goalie class.
It took him some time to get going in the spring, but once he did, Friedman was routinely making 15-plus stops when the lights were the brightest — the bigger the stage, the better Friedman was. Unflappable in net and possessing terrific hand speed, he was constantly affecting outcomes and robbing top-ranked recruits of goals left and right in Taft’s biggest matchups, and it’s clear that his play in the clearing game has improved as well. He still tends to flop and end up on the ground, so improving his footwork will be his next step, but even so, Friedman is undoubtedly deserving of a bump in the rankings after coming in at No. 19 a year ago behind 18 other five-stars.
The Naperville (Ill.) native narrowly missed last year’s rankings after performing impeccably well at several events last summer, kicking things off with a brilliant four-goal showing in his first game at Juniors Open before going on to help True Illinois and Culver win multiple championships. He’s elevated his game significantly since he first arrived at the Indiana prep powerhouse, and broke through for a 42-goal, 30-assist junior campaign for the No. 8 team in North America.
Tall, tough, and dynamic, Szewyczk has polished his skills and developed a hammer of an outside shot, looking flat-out unstoppable at times this summer as part of a nasty 1-2 punch with Ohio State signee Liam White for the True Illinois midfield. So many aspects of his game look ACC-ready right now, and his skill set was on display at Committed Combine’s Fab 50 event. This spring, he’ll have the opportunity to have another massive spring and go out on top as the offensive linchpin for a Culver senior class that features many of his club teammates.