After releasing our initial Watch list last Friday, our Top players list (10-8) on Monday, and our Top Players (7-4) on Thursday we are back with the final installment in our top players series, featuring the Top 3 Early-season candidates for our first annual Bruce Lerch Player of the Year award.
The talented players on all of these lists, as well as some others who have started 2017 off with a bang, represent players from Western Mass., Central Mass., Eastern Mass. and the ISL, who will all be considered for the honor.
We will be running a featured column, updating this list and featuring the top performers in the MIAA and ISL all season.
Players 3 through 1
No. 3 – Marc O’Rourke ’17 – Attack – Hingham
The lefty attack is a returning All-American and a two-time Boston Lax All-American game nominee. O’Rourke is a well-rounded attackman who can do damage from the perimeter along with an incredible ability to push the cage and finish. Amazingly, O’Rourke has been Hingham’s leading scorer since his freshman year. He tallied 51 Goals and 50 Assists as a sophomore and scored 73 goals to go with 30 Assists last season. The veteran attack is also a star hockey player, earning numerous postseason honors this winter. He will take his talents to Bryant University next year to suit up for the Bulldogs, but he will first look to lead Hingham back to the Division 2 Championship game, and an opportunity to possibly dethrone 3-time State champion Medfield.
No. 2 – Griffin Harris ’17 – Attack – Governor’s
The University of Virginia commit is another lefty attack who can do it all with the ball in his stick. Harris has incredible vision and is an elite play-maker. He also possesses a rocket shot from the outside and from the wing. Also a star football player, the Boston Lax All-American game nominee was an all-New England performer this past fall on the gridiron. Gov’s will look to the veteran, who pairs with X attack Zach Ludd, to form one of the most dangerous duos in Massachusetts. Harris and Gov’s have a big early-season match-up with returning ISL champion Belmont Hill on Saturday. Boston Lax will be there with live coverage.
No. 1 – Will Bowen ’18 – Defense – BC High
The decorated junior defenseman helped lead a resurgent BC High team to the Division 1 State championship game last year, and he will look to improve on that effort this season. Bowen is a prototypical defender, combining size (6-foot-3, 220 lbs.) with speed, quickness and an aggressive defensive mentality that wears down his opponent. Bowen, who also stars on the gridiron in the fall, excels in one-on-one situations and is also an adept team defender. The University of North Carolina commit is a returning All-American, Boston Lax All-American Game nominee, Catholic Conference All-Star and Mass Prep Stars 2016 Defensive Player of the Year.,