By Scott Springer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the stable of stars at Moeller High School going on to play at the Division I level is lacrosse midfielder, Logan Dieball. In the same week, Jaxson Hayes announced for Texas basketball, Dieball committed to Syracuse lacrosse, one of the more storied programs around.
The Orange have won 10 NCAA championships and have 23 former players in the U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame. Many will recognize NFL great Jim Brown for his Syracuse stick work, but the program has had many successful players grace the field long before the Carrier Dome was even built.
"His hard work has definitely paid off," Moeller coach Sean McGinnis said of Dieball's announcement for Syracuse. "He had the potential to be one of the bigger DI recruits in this class. The way he elevated his game over the course of his junior year got him enough exposure this summer. You can never go wrong with a team like Syracuse. This is a real big-time commitment."
McGinnis sees the commitment of Dieball to Syracuse as a plus to his program. The only previous Crusader to suit up for the Orange was Pat Kennedy in the 1990s.
"A giant weight has been taken off of my chest," Dieball said of choosing the Orange. "It feels good not to worry about it anymore. It's a dream come true for me."
Dieball comes from Moeller's miracle Division I state championship team where the Crusaders went to double overtime with Cleveland St. Ignatius. Moeller prevailed when he found the net with 26 seconds remaining to win 9-8.
The goal capped a tremendous comeback season as Moeller was 7-7 on May 5 and 17-7 and state champion on June 3 at Ohio Wesleyan.
Dieball was noticed for that and for playing for the Under Armour Midwest team over the summer at the All-American games. Syracuse needed a defensive midfielder, Dieball was playing that for the all-star squad and a match was found.
"Playing for Syracuse is a big accomplishment for a kid from Southern Ohio," McGinnis said. "It's a great thing for Logan and his family. He's going to play the best competition in the country."
Dieball is 6-foot-5 and weighs 190 pounds, which turns the heads of many coaches. The Syracuse staff believes he can produce turnovers, which will lead to offensive opportunities. At Moeller, Dieball was more offensive-minded.
Starting in Lakota, Dieball began playing the game in the second grade. He dressed varsity as a Moeller freshman and has been playing regular the last three seasons. The senior is confident the Crusaders can reach the pinnacle of the tournament again.
"I think we have a really good chance," Dieball said. "We're looking just as strong as last year. Maybe stronger."
Moeller's championship was one of three in the Tristate area as Mariemont took the Division II boys crown and Indian Hill won the Division II girls title.
"Cincinnati's becoming a lot bigger in lacrosse," Dieball said. "It's one of the hot places in the Midwest. The Midwest doesn't get too much respect. Especially with those East Coast teams that are all amazing."
Moeller and McGinnis are also blessed with other Division I seniors. Jack Stahanczyk, who is now playing football, will play lacrosse at Rutgers. Justin Miller will play at Cleveland State. Several younger Crusaders are also drawing plenty of interest.