Minnesota’s Top Midfielders in the Class of 2024
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On the heels of last week’s post on top senior attackmen in Minnesota, we’ll now be highlighting the top ’24 midfielders in the state. Editor’s Note: I’m pleased to welcome Ted Sperides on board as a Prep Lacrosse contributor covering…
On the heels of last week’s post on top senior attackmen in Minnesota, we’ll now be highlighting the top ’24 midfielders in the state.
Editor’s Note: I’m pleased to welcome Ted Sperides on board as a Prep Lacrosse contributor covering prospects in Minnesota – the home of Prep Network HQ – as well as the rest of the Midwest. Ted has extensive coaching experience in the state as director of 36 Lacrosse and also is a co-host of the Down The Alley Podcast.
Gus is one of the best players – if not the very best – in Minnesota. The Army commit has been producing huge numbers for the Red Knights since he arrived and does it consistently against the state’s second-toughest schedule, according to LaxNumbers.com. Gus is a tough, physical dodger who will initiate contact and overpower his defender. He creates offense for both himself and the team with his ability to win his 1v1 matchup consistently. Bell has strong stick skills and rarely gets the ball dislodged, running through stick checks and most body checks with ease. In addition to his ability to create, he is automatic with time and space. If he gets a step-down shot from anywhere inside 16 yards on that lefty wing, it is hitting the back of the net. Gus has posted 51 goals and 20 assists in 2023 but only 14 of 19 games have been submitted to the official stats, so that number appears lower than it was.
Scherman is an athletic, powerful dodger who can get to the goal comfortably with either hand. He has logged minutes as both a midfielder and attackman but played mostly midfield this past season. In addition to his offensive ability, the Marquette signee impressed me with his dedication to some of the tougher work riding and on groundballs, bringing a level of grit and toughness that I admire. While Brol can certainly create for himself and get to the goal, he has also shown the ability to elevate the production of his teammates as well. He has a high lacrosse IQ and makes good decisions with the ball in his stick. He’s been contributing since he was a freshman and last year posted 71 points in 15 games, earning himself All-America and Second Team All-State honors.
Rold was one of the state’s best players as a sophomore in 2022, but, unfortunately, he had his 2023 season ended by injury. He still, to me, is one of the best pure lacrosse players in the state and brings a true point guard type of role to the Benilde-St.Margaret’s offense. I love the level of calmness that comes to their offense when the ball is in his stick, and he dictates pace well and understands when to create his own shot or distribute the ball to others. A quick, shifty player with great finishing ability and a high lacrosse IQ, he had 52 points in 18 games in 2022 to earn Third Team All-State honors as a sophomore. The Red Knights graduated their offensive quarterback in Marquette’s Carsen Brandt, IL’s No. 54 incoming freshman, so I’d anticipate Sky stepping in to assume that role as a senior in 2024.
A powerful lefty dodger who can shoot on the run with pace and accuracy, Bick is deceptively fast and gets downhill in a hurry. He can take dodges in either direction, showing off a nice shot with both hands and both directions. On tape, I loved the way he broke down his defender and capitalized on whatever the defense was giving him. He was able to create in a multitude of ways. Gunnar, while doing well on the club circuit the last few years, is relatively unknown statewide due to him being on a high school squad that is pretty lean. He was able to log 30 goals last year on a team that only scored 59 total goals, showing how much they rely on him – you’re unlikely to find any other player in the state who accounts for 50 percent of their team’s production by themselves. While he flies a bit under the radar in the HS scene, he has done well on the club circuit. College coaches certainly took notice and he will be headed to play for Queens next year.
Simon has been a starting midfielder for Eagan Wildcats since he was a freshman. Long and athletic at 6’4, he’s one of those players who looks like he is going half-speed but yet pulling away from everyone when he runs. He is a do-it-all midfielder who does not shy away from playing in the defensive end, sniffing out tough ground balls, or getting involved in the clearing game. I once saw him cause a turnover playing 1v1 defense, pick up a ground ball on his own end, single-handedly punt return clear the ball, set up a dodge, beat his man, and score with a shot on the run. He’s one of those players who is so athletic that he can play any role in any scenario, and Eagan will lean on him more this year with the graduation of a few of their other top scorers from 2023. Posting 36 goals and nine assists along with 39 groundballs a year ago, I’d expect him to carry a large workload on offense and continue to use his athletic gifts to thrive in the uptempo system they run at Eagan.
Listed at 6’4″, Blythe is another do-it-all powerful midfielder who deserves more attention than he currently gets. He is a physical mismatch who uses a combination of power and speed with great body control to weave his way into scoring areas. While he certainly takes on that initiator role for the Spuds to create his own shots, he is more than willing to set other guys up as evidenced by his 29 assists to go along with his 37 goals last season. On tape, I was impressed with his hands and ability to catch and finish inside, demonstrating a highly dynamic skill set for a player of his size. That starts to create some problems defensively for teams if he goes inside to mess with matchups, even on the crease, he can still be quite dangerous. While Moorhead does schedule well, the proximity from the Metro probably hampers a bit of the attention he gets around the state. Moorhead has been a tough team the last three seasons and I expect him to continue to lead the way for the Spuds in 2024.