ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. – St. Bonaventure men's lacrosse head coach Randy Mearns has announced the addition of 14 student-athletes who have joined the program this fall – Mark Belles, Brett Beetow, Jack Chapman, Brett Chiodo, Jacob Emmick, Dominic DeMartino, Ben Garcia, Conan Lynch, Joey Paterno, Bryan Rafferty, Jacob Rosa, Adam Shank, Colby Sroda and Brady Wijbrandts.
"This class, as a whole, we're really excited about," Mearns said. "Our coaching staff put a lot of work into this class. We tried to concentrate on the offensive side of the ball and bringing in more left-handed lacrosse players. We wanted to make sure we brought in more size, more athleticism and guys with a high-end lacrosse IQ."
Bryan Rafferty is an attacker from Chester Springs, Pa. Over his high school career, he scored 135 goals while adding 66 assists. He helped lead his team to two state championships, two district championships and a 76-11 overall record.
MEARNS ON RAFFERTY: "Bryan is going to be a special talent at St. Bonaventure. He's a left-hander who excels on the offense side of the field. He has great vision, and a great lacrosse pedigree. He knows what success is, and that mentality is a big part of what we're trying to build in this program."
Jake Rosa is the lone Canadian recruit in the class, hailing from Windsor, Ontario. The midfielder netted 58 goals and added 28 assists over 19 games his senior year at Kiski. His father, John Rosa, played professional lacrosse for 12 years.
MEARNS ON ROSA: "Jake is a lefty who is smooth, sleek and has a great IQ. He's got all of the stick fakes in his repertoire, and he's a phenomenal athlete. In this class, we really tried to focus on adding left-handed players, and Jake perfectly fits the mold of what we were looking for."
Jacob Emmick is a Penfield, N.Y. native who earned a spot on the all-league first team as an attackman and Section 5 (Class A) All-Tournament Team. Over his four-year career, he scored 62 goals and added 55 assists. His father played lacrosse professionally for the Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks.
MEARNS ON EMMICK: "Jacob is already one of the fastest guys on the team. He plays like a Canadian box lacrosse player. He's got great vision, he can make any pass from anywhere on the field, and he can really sling the ball on net. He's going to be a valuable piece on the offensive end."
Brett Beetow is one of four transfers in the class. A midfielder from Lancaster, N.Y., Beetow arrives at St. Bonaventure from the University of Tampa where he played in 10 games for the Spartans. He has three years of eligibility remaining. In high school, he scored 72 points his senior year playing alongside fellow Bonnies Ben Mazur, CJ DiRienzo and Andrew Hersey.
MEARNS ON BEETOW: "Brett has a lot of experience with the group we have in place, and he will be a great fit in the program. Coming from Lancaster, he has a good lacrosse background and will be a great piece to add to the midfield."
Ben Garcia, a midfielder from Springfield Pa., is another of the four transfers in this year's recruiting class. The redshirt freshman originally committed to the University of Hartford last season, but will still have four years of eligibility at St. Bonaventure. Over his high school career at Springfield-Delco, he scored 72 goals while adding 42 assists for 114 career points. He was a two-time All-Deco in 2017 and 2018 and helped lead his team to a PIAA State Championship in 2017.
MEARNS ON GARCIA: "Ben is a two-way midfielder with good size. What we like about him is that he can really sling the ball. In this class, we were looking for guys who can be a threat from deep, and Ben fits that mold."
Brady Wijbrandts is an attacking midfielder from Peoria, AZ, who registered 225 points over his four high school years. He was a 2019 U.S. Lacrosse All-American and Arizona First Team All-State selection after tallying 41 goals, 26 assists and 90 groundballs over 13 games.
MEARNS ON WIJBRANDTS: "Brady is going to be something special. He's got good size, he's very fast and I think he can play a lot of positions for us. He can be offensive, run the wings, or be a defensive midfielder. We're really excited to have him."
Adam Shank is a long-stick midfielder from San Diego. His senior year, he collected 207 groundballs, caused 80 turnovers, scored 18 goals and added 33 assists. Over his high school career, he was three-time first team all-league and a two-time league MVP.
MEARNS ON SHANK: "Adam has a great stick and a great lacrosse IQ. With this class, we were focusing on offensive-minded players and were very selective on the defensive end. Adam is one of the few defensive players we brought in, and we couldn't be more excited to add him to our roster. His versatility and ability are going to be big assets."
Mark Belles is an attack from Canandaigua, N.Y. His senior year of high school at Canandaigua, he scored 34 goals and added 26 assists on his way to being named to the All-Greater Rochester Team. Off the field, he was named a US Academic All-American.
MEARNS ON BELLES: "Mark has great size at 6'3" and 230 pounds. One of the main things we were looking for in this class was to up our size and athleticism and Mark accomplishes both of those things. He can really sling the ball, and can hammer it home from anywhere on the field. Once we get him in the weight room and get him into excellent shape, he going to be a key offensive threat."
Joey Paterno collected 110 goals, 37 assists and 147 points over three years at the Academy of the New Church including 47 goals and 14 assists his senior year. The attackman helped his team to the National Prep Championship Semifinals in 2018 and 2019 and led the way to a No. 3 ranking in Pennsylvania out of public and private schools in 2019. His sister, Caroline, is a member of the Bonnies' women's lacrosse team.
MEARNS ON PATERNO: "Joey has size, a great stick, and he can really sling the ball. He can hammer it from 16 yards out, and he's going to help draw the defense out and create more opportunities for us on offense."
Brett Chiodo is a midfielder from Hamburg, N.Y. His senior year, he scored 38 goals and added 29 assists and 29 groundballs on his way to being named First Team All-Western New York and a US All-American. He started for three years at Hamburg High School, a perennial powerhouse that has won 10 Section VI championships.
MEARNS ON CHIODO: "Brett comes from a great program at Hamburg. He's a two-way player with good size. He's slick with the stick and he's a really intelligent player. Offense or defense, Brett is going to make an impact at the collegiate level.
Colby Sroda is a native of Eden, N.Y. who earned Second Team All-State and All-Section VI honors over his career at Eden Junior Senior High School. He also graduated with an advanced regents diploma with honors in math and science. The midfielder and face-off specialist played club lacrosse with Performax Lacrosse.
MEARNS ON SRODA: "Colby has an excellent pedigree as a face-off specialist and should immediately help us out in an area that we really struggled with last season."
Conan Lynch, a native of Atlanta, Ga., is the lone goalkeeper in the class. As a team captain, he put up impressive numbers in net his junior and senior seasons, posting a 68 percent and 75 percent save percentage, respectively.
MEARNS ON LYNCH: "Conan is going to come in here and compete for a spot with two fantastic goalkeepers, and we're confident he'll have an impact and make our team better. He's got a great lacrosse IQ and comes from a great program."
Dominic DeMartino is an attacking midfielder from Derby, N.Y. via Lake Shore High School. He originally committed to Medallie College in Buffalo. He did not see any action, and will have all four years of eligibility remaining.
MEARNS ON DeMARTINO: "Dominic is a triple purpose player. He's a lefty who can play midfield, and attack, and he's very good at taking face-offs. We're really excited to add his versatility to our team."
Jack Chapman joins the program from Alfred State where he started 11 of 15 games last season for ASC. He scored 46 points during the year, registered 26 goals and added 22 groundballs and caused five turnovers.
MEARNS ON CHAPMAN: "We are excited to have him here as he brings a year of NCAA experience. He can provide range to our offensive unit."
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