Saint Viator’s boys’ lacrosse team learned this month that one of its players was named a High School All-American and another was named an Academic All American, as determined by U.S. Lacrosse, the national governing body of the sport.
Elijah Black of Mundelein, an Ohio State recruit, was named an All-American while Drake Imhoff of Barrington was named an Academic All American. Both selections recognized their achievements on and off the field.
Their selections come on the heels of a standout season for the Lions, in the first year of IHSA lacrosse. They advanced to the sectional semi-finals, before losing to perennial powerhouse, New Trier. However, they posted a 15-4 season and had four players make all-state, including Kyle Pearce ’18, Wyatt Rich ’18, Luke Baer ’19 and Elijah Black.
Coach Bill Sanford described both Elijah and Drake as tremendous leaders on the team, who led their teammates by example.
“Elijah put a tremendous amount of pressure on opposing defenses, which helped create space for his teammates,” Coach Sanford said. “He was more than willing to share the ball, which led to a really balanced offense.
“I think his game has grown a tremendous amount in two years,” Coach Sanford added, “and will continue to do so over the next year before he heads off to Columbus to play for Coach Myers at OSU.”
Elijah came into lacrosse season, coming off wrestling, where he was one of only two Lions to advance downstate, eventually losing in the second round. This versatile athlete also plays football. As a running back, he helped lead his team to a consecutive Class 5A playoff appearance last fall.
Drake is a two-time captain and he was an All-Conference selection this year in the East Suburban Catholic Conference. While he fielded offers to play NCAA lacrosse at schools like Haverford and Middlebury out east, he chose instead to concentrate on academics and attend Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC.
“Drake consistently lived up to our expectations, on and off the field,” Coach Sanford said. “He was a two-year captain that brought maturity and focus to our team, and he was able to apply those traits to all of his endeavors.”