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Nobody at Lawrenceville sees a need to talk about 2023.

The Big Red stood atop the rest of the country last spring, finishing as the NLF’s top-ranked high school team after an impressive 19-1 campaign. Jon Posner‘s group knocked off rival Brunswick in the Prep Nationals final to put a bow on a supern season, and there would be every reason for the Big Red to carry an aura of cockiness.


Not so much. There’s a lot to prove, and 2023 accolades expire in 2023. If you’re going to try to mimic last season, though, it’s great to have some veterans coming back a year older and wiser. It’s even better when they’ve been playing together forever the way that Sawyer English and Ted Rawson have.

The Burlington, Ontario natives grew up five minutes from each other and have been pretty much inseparable for the better part of a decade and a half. They’ve forged a connection through both box and field lacrosse and now, they’re two of the bellcows for a new-look Lawrenceville offense that tallied 14 times in a 14-12 win over MIAA power Calvert Hall last Friday.

Familiarity Breeds Goals

“We’ve been playing with each other for about 13 years, probably,” English said. “We live five minutes away from each other. We’ve just have that connection since we were, like, three, and we’ve had the two-pass rule in house league and it would only be us two passing back and forth.”

“It’s awesome,” Rawson added. “Sawyer’s always looking for me back side and the D is sleeping, and it’s awesome. We’re connecting.”

The two connected early in the second quarter when English drove downhill and spied Rawson open in the middle of the defense for a 4-1 Lawrenceville lead. They were back at it early in the third quarter on a similar play. By the time it was all tallied up, Rawson had four goals, English three assists, and the Big Red looked the part of a team that will be in the running for the No. 1 spot nationally all season long.

They were far from alone, though. Four-star senior Connor Gately (Yale) finished with five goals and an assist, including four goals and the helper in the second half. Gately was instrumental to Lawrenceville’s success as a junior. A quiet assassin, the Manhasset (N.Y.) native isn’t super flashy, but then you look down at the stat sheet and realize he’s racking up the points.

Sophomore Hansen Peck (Team 91 Long Island) rang up two goals and two assists for the Big Red. A transfer from Albany Academy (N.Y.), Peck has naturally needed an adjustment period to get used to Lawrenceville, both on and off the field. He sparked the Big Red offense early, though, and there’s plenty to indicate that he’ll be a force soon.

“I felt like in the fall, seeing guys start to get together and building our camaraderie was huge,” Peck said. “The jump has been huge, but iron on iron, as they say. Playing against the best every day helps. It’s just how fast it is here. Everybody’s able to get up and down the field. Adjusting to that and how fast we play has been a huge thing.”

On the other side, Calvert Hall showed that it has the makings of an MIAA contender. Yale commit Ben Cuomo was strong at the faceoff stripe, and his 5-for-5 stretch in the second quarter coincided with the Cardinals erasing a 4-1 deficit to knot the game at halftime. North Carolina commit Jermaine Anderson is a versatile threat at LSM, and Saint Joseph’s commit Jackson Mitchell (three goals) and High Point commit Owen Scott (five goals) led the charge offensively.

Lawrenceville vs. Calvert Hall Standouts

Ben Cuomo ’25, faceoff midfield, Calvert Hall (Md.) – Yale 

Cuomo and Johns Hopkins commit Alex Swinnie locked up in a battle of two of the country’s top junior faceoff men. It was the future Bulldog who came out on top statistically, winning 15 of 25 faceoffs. Cuomo did a nice job of winning the ball to himself, but also competed hard on 50-50 ground balls and had a couple of really impressive wins. On one, he shot the ball way up into the air for his wing mate to hawk down. It’s a play that you don’t see too often, but it worked to perfection because of the communication between Cuomo and his rope unit teammates.

Sawyer English ’25, midfield, Lawrenceville (N.J.) – Brown

English had a trio of assists, but it felt like he was involved on every play. In a game where it felt like Lawrenceville initiated almost exclusively from up top, he was the party starter who couldn’t be covered 1v1. He’s extremely slick and his agility and change-of-direction gave the Calvert Hall defense fits, even when they knew he was going right every time. English showcased excellent vision throughout the night, and his nicest pass may have been when he spotted Rawson inside off of a downhill dodge to start the third quarter. English’s head is always up and he knows where he’s going with the ball before the slide even comes his way.

Connor Gately ’24, attack, Lawrenceville (N.J.) – Yale

The NLF’s No. 52 player in the ’24 class started slowly with one goal in the first half. He finished with five goals and an assist and was instrumental in helping the Big Red put the Cardinals away. Gately finished with three of Lawrenceville’s last four goals and had an assist to Ted Rawson on the man-up on the other goal. Gately doesn’t have elite athleticism, but he makes up for it by using deception and head fakes to fool defenders. He had a couple of impressive goals where he left defenders lunging at air, including a nifty face dodge for a backbreaking Lawrenceville goal.

Jackson Mitchell ’25, attack / midfield, Calvert Hall (Md.) – Saint Joseph’s 

You simply cannot leave Mitchell with his hands free. You will pay the price. The scoreboard will change numbers. It’s going to happen.

See? Calvert Hall loves to get him involved with this play, which they must have run a half-dozen times, at least. That’s smart, because it gives Mitchell the opportunity to stretch out the defense with his shot. Mitchell also had a low blast from up top on the man-up in the second quarter off of a Peyton Forte (Team 91 Maryland / Navy) setup. He’s got the range to make any defense pay, and the Cardinals’ coaching staff does a nice job of freeing him up for those looks.

Hansen Peck ’26, attack, Lawrenceville (N.J.) / Team 91 Long Island 

As you’d expect from a sophomore, there were some ups and downs to Peck’s performance, but hooo boy, the ups are something else. He was the best player on the field in the first quarter, when he racked up two of his four points on the day. A low sidearm rip off of a Kevin Morrow rebound got him on the board, but it was a ludicrous pass to the back pipe to set up a goal from defenseman Harrison Vassel (Lehigh) that really raised eyebrows.

I mean…

That’s the good stuff. Peck’s traditionally known more as a goal scorer – he burnished that reputation with a fourth-quarter crank off of a slick feed from Princeton commit Evan Calkins – but he also showed his passing chops with that pass to Vassel and one from X in the third quarter to set up Calkins for a dunk on the crease.

“Ever since I came to Lawrenceville, I’ve been trying to make my all-around game better, and that was definitely a bigger part, just trying to get my vision better and seeing the field a lot more,” Peck said.

Ted Rawson ’25, midfield, Lawrenceville (N.J.) – Ohio State

The Ontario native finished with four goals. It’s no surprise to see a Canadian finisher thriving in Jon Posner‘s offense, because we’ve seen that basically every year since Posner started coaching. Per official Canadian lacrosse rules, off-hands are not a thing, so Rawson just finds a way to finish everything as a lefty. He made some nice plays happen on the receiving end of Sawyer English dodges, but he also just showed that he can be the perfect complementary piece to a good passer. Watch how he moves here to get open off of a seal inside to catch and finish a pass from Connor Gately. 

That’s terrific work right there. Rawson was able to cash in some inside opportunities in this game, and if you leave him open for a split second, it’s over.

Owen Scott ’24, attack, Calvert Hall (Md.) – High Point

Scott led the Cardinals’ offense with five goals, and it was him who gave Calvert Hall a late spark with a pair of goals to trim the Big Red lead to two before the Cardinals’ comeback bid came up short. He got on the board with a second-quarter high-to-high and had a beauty of a dive goal that gave Calvert Hall a boost as it erased a 4-1 deficit. Scott also gave the Cardinals their last lead of the night when he dunked a Peyton Forte feed on the crease on the EMO. If anything, Scott showed that he’s able to score in a bunch of different ways, and you always have to account for him.