Five players who matriculated from Massachusetts high school programs were selected during Friday night’s Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft.
The Boston Cannons chose two of those players, selecting former Medfield High School All-American and current University of Massachusetts defenseman Jake Smith in the fourth round (30th overall) and former Duxbury High School All-American and current Notre Dame defensive midfielder Quinn Cully in the eighth round (62nd overall).
Smith could have a chance to help fill the Cannons void at close defense following the trade of Jack Reid - ironically another former UMass standout - during the offseason. Cully will vie for a spot to help fill a similar hole at defensive middie left by the retirement of J.J. Morrissey (Winchester/Governor’s Academy).
Amherst native and Deerfield graduate Josh Hawkins was the highest player with Bay State connections taken, going fifth overall to the Hamilton Nationals. Loyola teammate Davis Butts - a high school All-American at Walpole - was a third round pick of Denver (19th overall). Westford native and Middlesex School graduate David Lawson (Duke) was taken by Rochester in round 5 (40th overall).
Extending local ties to college programs around New England, Will Manny and Colin Fleming joined Smith as UMass draftees. Manny, an attackman and Tewaaraton Award finalist last spring, was picked by the Cannons in round 2 while the 6-foot-6 Fleming (midfield) went to Ohio in the seventh round; Mason Poli (Bryant University) was chosen by Charlotte in the fourth round; and Roger Ferguson (Brown University) joined Denver.
The Cannons had a very strong draft - perhaps one of their best ever. University of Denver midfielder Cameron Flint was the team’s first selection (sixth overall), followed by Scott Ratliff (LSM/Maryland), Manny (attack, UMass), Lee Coppersmith (midfield, Johns Hopkins), Smith (defense, Medfield/UMass), Dave DiMaria (attack, Lehigh), Brendan Buckley (defense, Army) and Cully (defensive midfield, Duxbury/Notre Dame).
"As always with the collegiate draft, we were looking for players who are athletic on the field and can complement our offense," said Cannons head coach Steve Duffy in a press release issued by the team. “We believe our first three picks will be able to come in and make an immediate
impact this season."
Added Cannons General Manager Kevin Barney in that release, “I'm very pleased with the players we were able to draft tonight. My coaching staff did a tremendous job of scouting and preparing for tonight, allowing us to draft players that will immediately make us a better team.”
Also in December's Supplemental Draft, the Cannons selected former Masconomet standout and faceoff specialist Craig Bunker, who will help fill in behind top FOGO Chris Eck with the trade of Billerica native John Ortolani during the offseason.