Three Henlopen Conference players make boys’ lacrosse All-State first team

Lacrosse players like Will Niebrzydowski and Demetrius Stevenson don’t come along every day.

So watching them finish up their high school careers wasn’t easy at either Dover High or Caesar Rodney.

Clearly, though, the two senior Kent County standouts both left their mark.

Stevenson and Niebrzydowski not only were recently named first-team All-State but each earned one of the state’s eight All-American spots.

Cape Henlopen senior Liam Zolper joined the two as an All-American as the Henlopen Conference put three players on this year’s first-team All-State squad.

A senior attack, Niebrzydowski was a scoring machine for the Senators, putting up 249 goals and 396 points in his career. That included 65 goals and 29 assists as a senior.

A two-time All-American and first-team All-State pick, Niebrzydowski also helped Dover reach the DIAA state tournament in all four years of his career.

“Will is a player with great wisdom beyond his years,” said Senators coach Will Denman. “With his humbled approach to the sport, he will always be remembered as one of the best lacrosse players to ever come through Dover High. … He always understood that the team comes before any individual. It has been an honor to coach this kid over the last four years.”

Ranked in the top 10 in his class, Niebrzydowski is headed for Villanova where he plans to major in nursing. He’s considering trying to make the Wildcats’ lacrosse team as a walk-on.

“The future is bright for this young man,” said Denman. “I am extremely proud of all that he has accomplished in his time at Dover High.”

Stevenson leaves behind a similar resume at CR, where he also was a two-time All-American and first-team All-Stater.

A 6-foot-3, 228-pound midfielder, Stevenson netted 35 goals and eight assists while helping the Riders reach the DIAA state title game this spring. He finishes with 119 goals and 33 assists in his career.

“Demetrius is the complete package,” said CR coach Matt Faircloth. “He’s exactly what you look for in a student athlete. The athleticism he possesses to go along with his physical size is the first thing people notice. But probably his best attribute is his tireless work ethic.

“Demetrius sets goals and achieves them, leading to his success on and off the field.”

An honor roll student, Stevenson is headed for Division I Rutgers on an athletic scholarship in the fall.

Demetrius Stevenson of Caesar Rodney

“Demetrius has made the most out of his time as a Rider and will surely continue to be successful as he moves through life,” said Faircloth.

Zolper helped Cape Henlopen capture the Henlopen Conference title and reach the state semifinals by winning 69 percent of his faceoff opportunities this season.

Zolper also added eight goals and six assists, tallying three goals in a state tournament win over Archmere.

Vikings’ coach Mark D’Ambrogi said Zolper was always making himself into a better player.

“Liam has approached each season with a willingness to improve, whether it is his stickwork, defense or ground ball play,” said D’Ambrogi. “He has always been an excellent faceoff man, but he has been tireless in his efforts with that as well.

“These last two years, he has seen that work pay off and his team has been the beneficiary of that work. We have enjoyed coaching him and he has been a real pleasure to work with each season.”

Zolper plans to attend Lynchburg in the fall.

Notes

The Blue-White All-Star Games are slated for next Tuesday, June 12, at Dover High. The girls’ game starts at 6 p.m. with the boys’ contest to follow at about 8 p.m. … The all-lacrosse banquet will be held on Monday night at Dover’s Modern Maturity Center with the two all-star squads practicing beforehand at Dover. … State champion Salesianum had six players make first-team All-State. … A total of 17 Henlopen Conference players were named to one of the All-State teams.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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