One is fighting to gain his piece of the spotlight, to imprint his name in the minds of college coaches. The other is looking for a resume builder, attempting to boost his profile as one of the best high school lacrosse players in the country.
Gordie Koerber is a relative unknown. The talented attack from Gilman has only seen nibbles from colleges. "Unfortunately no offers," he said with a chuckle.
Deemer Class is already an established commodity. The rising senior midfielder at Loyola is discussed at length on message boards and recruiting sites. His play to this point has already earned him a scholarship to Duke, where he has committed .
Class and Koerber were both among the 126 players recently invited to Towson University to compete in the Warrior 40 Mid-Atlantic regional camp.
Only 40 players nationally will be selected attend the final Warrior 40 camp from July 7-9 at Harvard, where college coaches will be waiting to poach some of the best talent the country has to offer. Ten automatic invites were handed out at Towson.
The players were subjected to scores of drills and hypothetical scenarios early in the afternoon. The coaching staff was led by former Maryland standout and Major League Lacrosse player Jimmy Borell. With him were current and former MLL players, as well as college stars, including Maryland midfielder Dan Burns and Virginia defenseman Bray Malphrus, who both played in the national title game three weeks ago.
The coaches could often be found barking instructions to the young players. But it was still a fun, jovial atmosphere. The camp is also free, a departure from normal standards.
"We do things a little differently than the other camps they go to," Borell said. "We try to get them to relax a little bit and have fun out here. Obviously this being free is a great thing for them to be coached by all these guys."
More than 30 Baltimore-area players participated. After drills, the players were divided into three teams, which scrimmaged each other twice before the night ended.
Class and Koerber both shined. Class showed his range as a midfielder, scoring three goals and playing excellent defense. Koerber showed his athleticism around the goal, putting two shots into the net and almost rifling in a behind-the-head toss during a scrimmage.
As the camp wrapped up, the players huddled at midfield to hear an encouraging speech and — most importantly — learn who would earn an automatic invite to the final Warrior 40 camp.
Three names passed before Class was called. Koerber had to wait for another three names to be called before he got his invite.
"It's an honor," Koerber said
Bullis standout Nick Fields won camp MVP honors, while Boys' Latin rising junior Mac Pons also made the list of players chosen for the final 40.
Class doesn't stand to earn too much from this venture. He's already got his scholarship to a premier ACC school in tow.
So why was he there?
"I want to be considered one of the top-10, top-15 players in the country," Class said. "That's what gets me going and wanting to get better."
Class made that impression.
"We were all very, very impressed with not only his stick skills, but his vision," Borell said. "He's a complete player."
Like Class, Koerber said competing in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association helped him prepare for this type of competition. But it still didn't ease his nerves.
"I always get nervous coming into these kind of things," Koerber said.
Koerber said he's talked to coaches from a few schools and hopes to get a Division I offer.
"I'm trying to go high D-I," Koerber said. "My No. 1 [choice] would definitely be Maryland. It would be great if I could go there."
Koerber should get plenty of looks when he travels to Harvard next month, and his days as a lightly recruited player may be numbered.
"I don't see him being uncommitted much longer," Borell said.
Final Warrior 40 Camp
Where: Harvard University (Cambridge, Mass.)
When: July 7-9
What: The top 40 high school lacrosse players in the country are invited to the final Warrior 40 camp to compete against the best competition, learn from camp instructors and showcase their skills in front of college coaches.
*Currently, 28 out of the 40 roster spots have been filled, 10 of those coming from the Towson regional camp. The remaining 12 players will be athletes who didn't earn an automatic bid at the regional camps.
TV: The Warrior 40 Final Competition will be broadcast live onESPNU
Area players invited:
Deemer Class, Loyola, Class of 2012
Gordie Koerber, Gilman, Class of 2012
Mac Pons, Boys' Latin, Class of 2013