It’s possible that in 2022 the Tewaaraton Award, recognizing the best men’s and women’s college lacrosse players, could be won by players from the same state.
And not only that, it could be that they’re both from the same high school.
So that high school would have to be located squarely in one of lacrosse’s traditional hotbeds—a place like Maryland or Long Island, right?
Actually it’s in Texas.
Both Tewaaraton winners?
It’s more than possible. Not one but two graduates of The Episcopal School of Dallas are contenders for the Tewaaraton in 2022.
And at least part of that equation seems like a near certainty.
On the women’s side, ESD alum Charlotte North has already won the Tewaaraton. She’s returned to Boston College for a final season after leading the Eagles to a national championship in the ’21 season. In the process, she scored an NCAA record 102 goals, including 10 in a single game.
Prior to Boston College, North played two seasons at Duke, where the second of ESD’s Tewaaraton candidates is entering his own final season. Nakeie Montgomery, a USILA First-Team All-American at midfield in 2021, was named to the Tewaaraton Award Watch List for the 2022 season last week.
That makes both players more than legitimate contenders for the Award in ’22.
But Montgomery isn’t the only former ESD player currently playing D1 men’s lacrosse.
And he isn’t the first to be a credible Tewaaraton candidate.
Episcopal School of Dallas and D1 Lacrosse
There are currently 99 players from Texas on D1 men’s college lacrosse rosters.
13 are graduates of Episcopal.
5 of those former Eagles are playing in what’s generally recognized as D1 lacrosse’s elite conference : the ACC.
They include not only Nakeie Montgomery of Duke, but also Duke teammate Reed Landin (rated by Inside Lacrosse as the 8th best midfielder in the 8th best midfielder among incoming freshman and the 29th best recruit overall), John Loftus at North Carolina, Kyle Rolley at Syracuse, and Scott Bower at Virginia.
(Bower especially has managed to gain playing time within the elite defensive unit at defending national champion Virginia. The defensive starters for the Cavaliers represent several areas outside traditional lacrosse hotbeds: Cole Kastner of California, Quentin Mitsui of Minnesota, and fellow Dallas native, a Highland Park grad, Cole Saustad).
The total number of players is significant, but so is the way they’re distributed throughout D1 lacrosse.
ESD alums are playing in 7 of Division 1’s 11 conferences, in programs as geographically dispersed as Holy Cross in Massachusetts, Bellarmine in Kentucky, and the University of Utah.
ESD Lacrosse and The Tewaaraton Award
As with football’s Heisman Trophy, defensive candidates for the Tewaaraton Award are at a particular disadvantage. Their position doesn’t lend itself to some of the alluring numbers that offensive players can banner in their candidacies.
In support of his Tewaaraton bid, Foster Huggins could’ve pointed to a very low, but still very compelling number: 3.
Despite enduring three operations during his college career to repair the same torn ACL in his knee, the ESD grad was a First-Team All-American, and a serious Tewaaraton candidate in 2018, his senior year at Loyola.
A two-time First-Team All-Patriot League selection, Huggins led the nation that year in both caused turnovers, and caused turnovers per game.
As with fellow Texan, Princeton’s Bear Goldstein, Huggins excelled despite being regularly assigned to the opponent’s top attackman; this forced him to go head-tp-head with players like Michael Kraus of Virginia, Shack Stanwick of Johns Hopkins, and Duke’s Justin Guterding.
Originally drafted by the Denver Outlaws of the MLL, Huggins now plays in the Premier Lacrosse League
The Football-Lacrosse Connection
Foster Huggins’s knee issues can be traced to his high school days, playing not lacrosse but football.
Not surprisingly, there’s considerable cross-over between football and lacrosse in Texas. Nakeie Montgomery, whose father played alongside Michael Strahan at Texas Southern, broke the school record for touchdowns at Episcopal, and had originally been recruited at Duke for both football and lacrosse. Last fall, he finally competed for the Blue Devils at running back.
Football success has not only been a hallmark of ESD grads, but also of most of the top lacrosse players from Texas. Brandon Mullins, for instance, who would go on to win multiple All-American at defense for Syracuse, was also a star linebacker at Coppell.
Chris Hipps, who went on to win a national championship as an All-American defender at Duke, played on three consecutive state championship football teams at Highland Park, and just in his senior season alone caught 86 passes for 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns.
The Episcopal School of Dallas ’22 D1 College Lacrosse Roster
2022 D1 Players
Nakeie Montgomery (GR, M, Duke)
Reed Landin (FR, M, Duke)
John Loftus (SO, M, North Carolina)
Kyle Rolley (FR, G, Syracuse)
Scott Bower (JR, D, Virginia)
Ross Chazanow (SO, FO, Binghamton)
Wilson Murphree (SO, M, Bellarmine)
Drew Wasserman (SO, A, Utah
Brandon Meaux (SR, A, Georgetown)
Carson Raney (JR, D, Ohio State)
Henry Watson (SO, D, Bryant)
Jake Griffin (FR, M, Holy Cross)
Pat Skalniak (JR, M, Navy)
Some Past Episcopal School of Dallas D1 Lacrosse Players
Carlos Navarro (Denver ’08/Butler, D)
Gregory Clement (Navy ’08, A)
Rhett Miller (Dartmouth ’11, A)
Seth Ratner (Brown ’11, M)
DJ Sprenger (Bellarmine ’12, M)
Colt Power (Notre Dame ’12, G)
Basil Kostaras (Quinnipiac ’13, M)
Cody Solaja (Hofstra ’13, D)
Phillip Wagley (Harvard ’15, A)
Grant Fitts (Johns Hopkins ’15, G)
Barrett Anigian (Air Force ’17, M)
Foster Huggins (Loyola ’17, D)
Richie Loftus (Dartmouth ’18, A)
Jack Beare (Notre Dame ’19, A)
Adam Aronowitz (Fairfield ’20, M)
Trey Bender (Duke ’21, M)
David Parry is the founder and editor of LaxAcrossAmerica. A New York-based digital marketer and copywriter, he played Division 1 lacrosse as a walk-on at Brown.