Prep Profile - Northfield Mount Hermon
After three different NMH products committed to division I schools earlier this week, it seemed only fitting to close the week with a glance at the collective Northfield Mount Hermon team of 2017-2018.
NMH has proven themselves to be an annual contender, both locally and nationally, in recent years all while staying consistent to their commitment to being the best combination of academics and athletics anywhere in the country under head coach John Carroll.
Last year they advanced to the finals of both the NEPSAC AAA and National Prep Championships, only to be turned away by Brewster at both spots. This year, with a strong veteran core returning and a couple of impactful newcomers, NMH promises to be right in the hunt.
There are 11 players back from last year’s team, far and away the most of any school in AAA, led by recent Notre Dame pledge Nate Laszewski, who returns for his third season at NMH. The 6-foot-9 flame thrower has already played a key role in leading NMH to a NEPSAC championship, winning tournament MVP honors back in his sophomore year. Now, coming of his big summer, he’s more mature, confident, and versatile than ever before.
Chuck Hannah, who committed to Elon last week, is the leader of the team. He’s as tough as they come with an unmatched motor that is focused on winning and nothing else. Kai Toews and Calvin Whipple, who have committed to UNCW and Fairfield respectively in recent weeks, should both be ready to take on bigger roles in the backcourt this season after having big summers of their own.
Davis Franks should also be ready to take on increased responsibility and may even be utilized some in the backcourt thanks to his ball-handling and passing abilities while sharp-shooter Simon Chamberlain and the ultra-tough Zach Light figure to be prominent members of the rotation as well.
Max Lorca-Lloyd’s third season at NMH could be a breakout one as this could be the year that he asserts himself as one of New England’s most dominant big men. Fellow junior Brian Bennett is also back in the line-up and ready to fight for playing time.
Noah Kirkwood, who committed to Harvard earlier this week, is the only post-graduate on the roster and he’s the perfect piece to help take this team to the next level. A big wing who can pass and facilitate like a guard, Kirkwood could play with the ball in his hands quite a bit this year and help to fill the void left by the graduation of Kellan Grady and Andrew Platek.
Ryan Greer, a junior point from Atlanta, will also help in the backcourt with his chiseled physique and disciplined floor game. Fellow junior Isa Maguire, a 6-foot-10 big man, may be more of a long-term stock, but one with a significant ceiling if he can put all the pieces together.
Sophomore guards Darius Ervin and Garrett Kirk are both back for their second years at NMH while three incoming freshmen are expected to suit up with the varsity squad as well in big man Kekoa McArdle, big guard Jack Lerner, and scrappy floor general Brett Hutchison. It remains to be seen just how much time any of these youngsters get this year, but they’ll follow the traditional NMH pedigree and get on-the-job training in order to play important roles as upperclassmen.
There is obvious depth, but it is appropriately allocated among the classes. The underclassmen will rightfully have to pay their dues and earn their way while there probably won’t be an upperclassmen on the team who won’t play significant rotation minutes.
This is also a group that fits the style of play that NMH has thrived with over the years. Kirkwood’s I.Q. makes him a perfect piece in their traditional sets and a great compliment to an especially deep and talented frontline.
Finally, the collective confidence is at an all-time high as Laszewski, Hannah, Whipple, Toews, Lorca-Lloyd, and Kirkwood are all coming off top-notch summers.
They may not be the best of the best on paper, but they have the weapons to play with anyone and the framework for what could be a very well designed roster. In short, they’ll undoubtedly be among March’s contenders again this year.