SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo men's lacrosse team and Head Coach Brad Jorgensen announce the addition of three for the 2017-18 academic year during the early signing period this fall.
The Lions add depth on attack, in the midfield, and on defense with the addition of Ben Hynek, Justin Taylor, and Will Toman.
"We are excited to welcome this class to Saint Leo," Jorgensen remarked of his newest Lions. "All three of our signees continue to raise the academic and athletic profile of this squad. We added a new level of size, speed, and athleticism with this group, and they will be excellent compliments to a roster that does not graduate many players in May. This group continues to build our national brand and recruiting efforts, bringing our count to 16 different states and two Canadian provinces on our roster."
Hynek, a 6-foot-2 attackman, comes to the Lions from Mount Carmel High in Chicago, Ill. At Mount Carmel, he played for Coach Matt Mcguire. He scored 79 points in his junior season, including an MCHS school-record game where he tallied 11 goals. He also was named to the Brine All-American Illinois team, twice. In his freshman and sophomore year, Hynek attended Crown Point High. There he scored 68 points in his sophomore season, earning the team Offensive MVP honor, and First Team All-Conference. He also played club ball for both True Illinois State and New Wave, under coaches Jake Deane and Paul Stolzer, respectively. He earned the New Wave Team MVP honor three times.
"Ben will be a tough cover for anyone we play," Jorgensen said of the attackman. "He is a big body that has excellent hands and a nose for the goal."
Off the field, Hynek is a four-year honor roll student, and has participated in may service activities such as Mount Carmel's Impact Week, and helping wash senior citizens' walkers at Hartsfield Village.
"The reason I chose Saint Leo was that of their constant strive for excellence, not only on the lacrosse field but also in the classroom," Hynek said of his choice. "Specifically in the lacrosse aspect, Saint Leo just keeps getting better every year, and I believe this team possesses something special. The atmosphere of practice, family feeling, and great coaches helped me ultimately make Saint Leo my number one for the lacrosse aspect. In addition to the lacrosse program, the location and overall beauty of the campus is persuasive. Last but certainly not least, the academics and smaller classroom size at Saint Leo will help me get the attention or support I need, as well as know my professors and classmates at a personal level."
Taylor, a 6-foot-4 middie, joins Saint Leo from Faith Lutheran High in Las Vegas, Nevada where he played for Coach James Gravitt. In his junior season at FLHS, Taylor was part of the Las Vegas State Title runners-up squad that finished 2016 with a 12-3 record. He was the leading face-off specialist with a 55.3-winning percentage. In his freshman and sophomore season, Taylor attended Creighton Prep in Creighton, Neb. He was named the captain of the JV squad in both seasons, and also started for the varsity team. In 2014-15, he led his team in face-offs with a 64.3-winning percentage. He also earned a place on the Nebraska All-State Team in 2015. Taylor also a member of the USBOXLA U18 National Team.
"Justin is a superior athlete with an outstanding frame," Jorgensen mentioned. "His size coupled with his athleticism and lacrosse IQ make him a complete package."
Off the field, Taylor has found success in the classroom, earning AP credits and taking multiple honors courses. He was named to the National Society of High School Scholars in 2015, and was part of both the Youth Leadership of Omaha and Ignatius Leadership Institute. He also served as a Pee Wee lacrosse assistant for Lacrosse Force camps and volunteered for the Lydia House as a food server and deliverer. Taylor joins his sister Jaclyn at Saint Leo. Jaclyn is a junior on Saint Leo's swimming team.
"After visiting Saint Leo, I felt that it would provide both an academic and athletic fit and challenge me in both areas," Taylor remarked. "I live my life by the Poem of Tecumseh, 'So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.'"
Toman, a 6-foot-1 defender, and long-stick middie, joins the Lions from Plainfield South High out of Plainfield, Ill., where he played for Coach Jay Barangan. He enters his senior season as a three-year varsity starter and a three-year team captain. He was named team MVP twice, and earned All-Conference honors twice as well. He plays his club ball for True Lacrosse for Mike Gabel and was named to the True Lacrosse National Team.
"Will is a versatile defender, able to help us at the long-stick midfield or close defensive positions," Jorgensen stated. "He is very driven to succeed, and brings a great desire to win along with his many physical talents."
In the classroom, Toman has pushed himself, taking multiple AP courses, including AP Computer Science, Physics, Government, Economics, and Calculus, all while maintaining a 4.9 GPA on a 5.0 scale. He also took the initiative to start the Computer Club at PSHS.
"I chose Saint Leo because I enjoyed what the University has to offer academically, athletically, and socially," Toman stated of his choice to continue his education at Saint Leo. "After spending time with some of the players and getting to know Coach Jorgensen, the decision was easy."
Toman, Taylor, and Hynek are the first three signees for the 2017-18 school year.
For more information on the Saint Leo men's lacrosse program, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.