Neptune senior LSM Chase Fairbanks. (Photo by Steve Meyer/Townsquare Media).

Defensemen to Watch

Braedon Baldwin, Sr., Howell

Baldwin was a first-team Class A North selection last season when he had 22 ground balls and four takeaways. Howell’s strength is on defense this season and Baldwin will be among those leading the way.

 

Richie Bianchi, Sr., Ocean

Bianchi’s numbers went down a bit due to a shift from LSM to defenseman last season, but his level of play remained high for a Spartans team that allowed 5.4 goals per game. Bianchi, who is committed to Monmouth University, fielded 44 ground balls and added four goals. He’s also a weapon coming off the wing on face-offs and will occasionally step in to take draws.

 

Sean Dolan, Sr., Holmdel

A second-team Class B North pick last season, Dolan picked up 22 ground balls and had seven takeaways for the Hornets.

 

Sean Duggan, Sr., Jackson Memorial

A returning Class A South all-division and second-team All-Shore selection, Duggan was sensational for the Jaguars last season with 130 ground balls (third most in the Shore), 33 takeaways and four interceptions. He was also an offensive threat with 17 points on five goals and 12 assists, including a seven-point game, to lead all Shore Conference defensemen.

 

Stephen Edler, Sr., Rumson-Fair Haven

A University of Richmond recruit, Edler was part of a Rumson defense that yielded just four goals per game last season. He earned second-team All-Shore honors as a junior and returns to anchor the Bulldogs’ defense as the lone returning starter.

 

Jack Fabean, Jr., Manasquan

Fabean will begin his third year as a starter for the Warriors and brings the complete package of experience, positioning, stick skills and lacrosse IQ. His play was a major reason why Manasquan allowed a Shore Conference-best 3.8 goals per game, won the Shore Conference Tournament and reached the South Jersey Group II final.

 

Chase Fairbanks, Sr., Neptune

A third-team All-Shore selection last season at LSM, Fairbanks is New Jersey’s leading ground ball gatherer coming off a season where he picked up a whopping 218 ground balls. He is committed to Bellarmine University.

 

Mike Ferrara, Sr., Brick Memorial

Ferrara is one of the few returning starters for Brick Memorial and will anchor the defense coming off a season where he collected 55 ground balls. He is a returning first-team Class A South pick and is committed to Eastern University.

 

Luke Gerhardt, Sr., Southern

Gerhardt is a four-year starter for the Rams and helped Southern allow just 5.7 goals per game last season. He was a second-team Class A South selection last season.

 

Kyle Harris, So., St. John Vianney

Harris stepped in as a freshman and picked up 67 ground balls to help the Lancers reach the SCT semifinals. He was a second-team Class B North pick.

 

Bobby Mahon, Sr., St. Rose

A Class B South all-division selection last year, Mahon collected 68 ground balls to help St. Rose to the SCT quarterfinals in the program’s most successful season. He will anchor the Purple Roses’ defense this season.

 

Shane Meyler, Jr., Wall

As the Crimson Knights’ LSM, Meyler picked up 54 ground balls last season and was a first-team Class B South selection for a defense that allowed 6.3 goals per game.

 

Sean Mylod, Sr., Howell

Mylod had a great junior season en route to second-team Class A North honors with 104 ground balls and 29 takeaways as the Rebels’ long-stick midfielder. He figures to be among the best in the Shore at his position once again this season.

 

Michael Page, Jr., Manasquan

Page transferred back to Manasquan after attending the Hun School for his first two years. He's an elite LSM who gives the Warriors a huge boost all over the field. He is committed to Syracuse.

 

Connor Ryan, Sr., Toms River South

Ryan was an honorable mention Class A South pick last season when he collected 43 ground balls and led the Indians’ defense.

 

Managing editor Bob Badders can be reached at bob.badders@townsquaremedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @Bob_Badders. Like Shore Sports Network on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel for all the latest video highlights.

 

Sign Up For The SSN Newsletter

Please fill out this form to sign up for the Shore Sports Network newsletter.