The St. Augustine Prep lacrosse program has an impressive track record when it comes to sending its players on to the college ranks.
Aaron Denesevich and Joe Eisele are the two latest Prep players to verbally commit to play Division I lacrosse and continue that tradition. Denesevich, a rising senior, will play at Wagner College. Eisele verbally committed to play at the University of Delaware. Denesevich and Eisele are each 16-year-old Egg Harbor Township residents.
"I'm very excited," Denesevich said. "It was always my dream to play Division I lacrosse. I can't wait for it."
Denesevich is the fourth member of the class of 2014 to give verbal commitments, joining Bryce Young (Maryland), Dean DiSimone (Delaware) and Will Fox (Fairfield).
Eisele will be a junior and is already the third member of his class to give commitments, along with fellow Delaware recruit Chase Young and James Kitchen (Hofstra).
"I just thought that Delaware had everything that I wanted," Eisele said. "It was an easy choice. It was a good fit for everything and I liked the coaches so it was an easy choice."
St. Augustine went 12-8 this season and reached the South Jersey Non-Public A quarterfinals in its second season playing an independent schedule.
Not having a conference schedule allows the Hermits to play some of the top teams in the state as well as Pennsylvania, Delaware and even California.
"I think that has helped us out a lot," Denesevich said. "I think it was a great choice and now it's showing that we can play against those teams."
Added Eisele, "You get to play against the top talent around so it makes everyone better. I think the change has helped us become more of a team."
Denesevich was one of the top midfielders in South Jersey. Eisele scored 33 goals and had six assists from his attack position.
The duo grew up playing lacrosse together in Egg Harbor Township.
Each credits Prep coach J.C. Valore with being vital to their development.
"He knows what he's doing," Denesevich said. "He's definitely one of the best coaches I have ever had."
"He makes players into what they are," Eisele said.
With college choices done for now, Denesevich and Eisele can focus on the upcoming season.
The Prep will look to replace much of its defense but loses only one starter on offense.
Denesevich said next season is going to be "really good" with all the talent returning.
"We have a lot coming back," Eisele said. "We're looking good. We definitely have a good shot at states."
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