Again and again this past lacrosse season at Loyola Blakefield, attackman Cole Williams showed how dangerous he is with the ball in his stick.
An imposing 6-foot-4 with power and finesse, the recently graduated Don would consistently demand a double team and one of his many strengths would be finding an open teammate for an easy goal.
Over at Boys' Latin this spring, Logan Wisnauskas displayed a wicked shot. Throughout his senior season, he had a knack for getting open and then needing little time to put away a scoring chance.
The two are no longer Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference rivals. Instead, on Saturday night, they will be teammates representing the South squad at the 2016 Under Armour All-America Game at Towson University. Game time is 8 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The combination could make life miserable for the North's defense.
"Logan is a really good shooter. He likes to get into open space, so hopefully if I can initiate and then get it to him, he's got the cannon shot and can finish," Williams said.
Williams, set to play at Johns Hopkins, and Wisnauskas, headed for Syracuse, enjoyed fine senior seasons to earn All-Metro first-team honors in addition to one of the coveted roster spots in Saturday's showcase game. A four-year varsity player, Williams finished with 44 goals and 29 assists to lead the No. 3 Dons to the MIAA semifinals. Wisnauskas wrapped up a three-year varsity career with 44 goals and 29 assists as the No. 2 Lakers reached the league title game
Both players bring versatile skills, fierce competitiveness and leadership to Saturday's game.
"I'm just really honored to be playing in the game," Wisnauskas said. "I'm just going to take it as a regular game and play my game, so what I do best and have fun with all those great players. I'll make some great friendships and take the experience on to college and just run with it for whatever it's worth."
Williams and Wisnauskas will be joined by McDonogh standouts Jackson Morrill and Arman Medghalchi as the local talent set to play on the South team. Morrill, a fellow attackman, earned All-Metro Player of the Year honors, while Medghalchi earned All-Metro first-team honors as the area's top defenseman. The South team is 6-4 against its North counterparts and has claimed the past five games. Last year, the South earned a 25-17 win with former Loyola Blakefield standout Ryan Conrad, now at Virginia, taking Most Valuable Player honors.
Williams is looking forward to upholding the fine tradition of Loyola Blakefield standouts doing well in the spotlight.
"It's a great honor being selected as one of the best 44 players in the country and Loyola Blakefield has had a history of guys playing in the game, so just being part of that tradition is pretty cool," he said.
Medghalchi, who played a big role in leading the No. 1 Eagles to the MIAA A crown this spring, is well aware of what Williams and Wisnauskas bring to the field. After years of trying to contain them, he's glad to be on their side this Saturday.
"They're two guys you really have to game plan against because they can change the outcome of a game. They're great players that dodge well and have great shots so it should be fun to watch," he said.
Boys' Latin coach Brian Farrell, a former standout defenseman for the Lakers, got a first-hand look at what both players can bring.
"You look at them and they have so many similarities — big, strong left-handed guys that can make plays all over the field. They're both very high IQ lacrosse players and it will be special to watch," he said.
Williams and Wisnauskas, along with Morrill, have played with each other at times, but mostly against each other since they were playing in recreation leagues when they were around 11 years old. Come Saturday, they hope the familiarity they have with each other can help keep the South team on its successful roll.
"In the MIAA, we're always friends except during the season," Williams said. "So it's going to be good playing with them. We're probably going to have good chemistry already just from playing in the MIAA because we know how competitive we all are."