Dewey Egan, a 'Once in a Decade' Player, is the West Player of the Year

Dewey Egan watched as his older brothers achieved big things on the lacrosse field and wanted to carry on the tradition as he climbed the ranks at Torrey Pines High School (Calif.). Considered the most talented of the three Egan brothers — probably because of how much he learned from Evan and Brendan — Dewey didn’t disappoint.

Taking on a different role this year in getting is teammates more involved in the attack, Egan still proved to be the most impactful player for the Falcons. The senior attackman tallied 41 goals and 21 assists to help West top-ranked Torrey Pines to a third straight CIF San Diego Open Division title, and as coach Jono Zissi put it, he “made everyone around him better.”

Egan, who will join Evan Egan at UNC in the fall, is the Nike / USA Lacrosse West Boys’ Player of the Year — just like Evan was in 2018.

“I remember him getting that [honor] — it was really cool,” Dewey Egan said. “I always looked up to him, all the things he achieved, playing at Torrey and going to UNC. That had a huge influence on me. I looked at all the stuff he got, and I was like, ‘I want to do that, too.’ It’s kind of neat to be able to do some of the things he achieved because I really look up to him.”

Egan has all the attributes and accolades that come with being a Player of the Year talent, and Zissi calls him a “once in a decade player.”

He was an Under Armour and USA Lacrosse All-American, San Diego Player of the Year and a full scholarship player to UNC for good reason. This season, shortened to 15 games, he showed how well-rounded he is in still putting up impressive numbers while helping teammates shine as well.

“He evolved as a player by maturing to play at a more under control optimal speed as teams would shut him off, slide early, or run backer zones geared to stopping him,” Zissi said. “And rather than force things he made the proper decisions and helped our offense thrive playing 5-v-4 a lot.

“He scores goals and assists but other than forcing it, he made other guys around him better. The best players make guys around them better. Teams were playing with two guys on him and so he was involving his teammates more. He was doing the right things to make sure we won and other guys had success. That’s what the best guys do.”

That was the biggest adjustment Egan experienced in his high school career, which included winning the first of his three section titles alongside his brother, Evan, in 2018, then quickly becoming a bigger focal point for the team the next season.

“He evolved as a player by maturing to play at a more under control optimal speed.”

— Jono Zissi

Torrey Pines reaped the benefits of having a versatile playmaker. The Falcons dropped two tough losses to quality opponents in their first six games, by a combined three goals, then finished the season on a nine-game winning streak to claim the San Diego Open title.

“It was a big transition going from more of a dodger and shooter to more of a passer, so I was trying to get my teammates more involved and realizing that when I draw attention I can get my teammates the ball,” Egan said. “A lot of them stepped up. It was one of the hardest-working teams I’ve been on, and I saw a lot of improvement from every guy. Everyone was playing their best lacrosse the last couple weeks of the season, that just showed how much time the guys and coaches were putting in.”

Zissi said Egan put in the effort to make himself and the team better, noting how rewarding it was for him as a coach to see the team’s best player also being the hardest worker. Egan was always putting in extra time doing wall work, lifting or just staying late after practice.

There was plenty of natural ability that came into play for Egan, as well. At 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Egan was more physically dominant than his brothers but still as quick and athletic. That made him a nightmare to defend, Zissi said.

“He moves better than the small guys, and the differentiator is his killer mindset,” Zissi said. “He’s not just big, he’s mean and tough.”

Egan said he works out in a way that helps him play “a really physical style of lacrosse,” including a mix footwork, speed and agility drills and lifting weights to keep up his strength.

A lot of his style also probably comes from playing against his older brothers. He spent many of his younger days taking on his older brothers in the back yard or going to the park to work on one-on-ones with Evan or shooting lessons with Brendan.

Egan said that played a “huge part” in his development. Those are memories he cherishes, along many of the experiences he shared with his Torrey Pines teammates and coaches. Winning a championship in 2018 along with Evan, then a senior, was a great way to begin his career, especially because the Falcons had lost in the final the previous two seasons. He also will remember sophomore season when he scored five goals against rival La Costa Canyon (Calif.), and of course, finishing with another championship.

“It was special,” Egan said. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the program with the coaches, and it means a lot to everyone, even the alumni to end up winning. It was special to end my career the way it started. It means a little more as a senior because there is so much more that goes into it playing a larger leadership role and getting more guys involved and trying to bring guys under your wing. It was really satisfying to finish with a championship.”

Nike/USA Lacrosse High School Rankings
National Boys' Top 25 | National Girls' Top 25
Northeast Boys' Top 10 | Northeast Girls' Top 10
Mid-Atlantic Boys' Top 10 | Mid-Atlantic Girls' Top 10
South Boys' Top 10
| South Girls' Top 10
Midwest Boys' Top 10
| Midwest Girls' Top 10
West Boys' Top 10
| West Girls' Top 10

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1. Torrey Pines (Calif.), 13-2

The Falcons beat La Costa Canyon (Calif.) 10-3 in the CIF San Diego Open Division final June 5 to become the first team in CIF San Diego Section history to three-peat. Torrey Pines ended on a nine-game win streak after early-May losses to Corona del Mar (Calif.) and St. Ignatius Prep by a combined three goals. Griffin Crawford tallied 42 goals and 23 assists, Dewey Egan (UNC) had 41 goals and 21 assists, Tayden Bultman (UNC) added 27 goals and 18 assists, and Griffin Grant (Notre Dame) chipped in 26 goals and 17 assists to lead the offense. Henry Brayer finished with an 87 percent win rate on faceoffs, and the defense proved to be the strongest unit of the team, allowing less than five goals a game.

2. Loyola-Los Angeles (Calif.), 20-1

The Cubs ended the season on a 19-game win streak after suffering a narrow loss to St. Margaret’s Episcopal on April 9. They capped it off with a 9-7 win over Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.) to claim the first CIF Southern Section Division I championship on June 8. Senior midfielder Owen Gaffney (Harvard) finished with 56 goals, 36 assists and 46 ground balls, junior attackman Aidan Lee had 60 goals, 22 assists, 59 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers and senior Matt Gottfried won 83.7 percent of faceoffs and had 233 ground balls to pace Loyola’s attack. Preston Barnes (52 ground balls) and Jack Shoemaker (38 ground balls, 15 caused turnovers) led the defense.

3. Sacred Heart Prep (Calif.), 17-4

In each of the first four meetings (all losses) against nationally-ranked St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.), the Gators showed steady improvement in closing the gap from a 12-goal margin loss in the initial contest to a one-goal decision in the WCAL final. The fifth time was the charm in the game that mattered most, and Sacred Heart showed it was no fluke. Finally back to full health for the CIF Central Coast Section final, Sacred Heart rolled to a 17-8 victory over the Wildcats to claim the section’s first title. Max Sloat registered a team-high 69 goals and 102 points (33 assists), while Eric Bollar added 54 goals and 27 assists, Kai Lockton had 58 goals and 30 assists and Billy Barnds finished with 42 goals and 25 assists. Ben Ramsey, despite playing just 10 games, had 23 goals and 16 assists. Goalie George Northup played just four games but had an 85 percent save rate and played a key role in the CCS championship, where he had 12 saves.

4. St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.), 17-1

The Wildcats were finding it more and more difficult to beat Sacred Heart Prep in their many meetings this season and finally succumbed to their WCAL rival in the CIF Central Coast Section championship after winning the first four matchups. It was a stunning loss to spoil a perfect season. The 17-8 defeat was just their second time this season being held under 10 goals, as St. Ignatius featured a talented attack led by Nils Barry, Will Miller, Jackson Kane and Oliver Bligh. The Wildcats were the top-ranked team all season up until that loss.

5. Mountain Vista (Colo.), 10-2

Dillon Pless scored the game-winner 40 seconds into overtime to lift the Golden Eagles to a 10-9 win over Valor Christian (Colo.) in the CHSAA Class 5A final. It was the program’s first state championship, in its first title game appearance. Mountain Vista won three straight overtime games en route to claiming its trophy, including avenging a 7-5 regular-season finale loss to Fairview (Colo.) in the quarterfinals. The team’s only other loss was by a goal to Regis Jesuit (Colo.). Pless finished with 33 goals and 12 assists, while Jake Ward led the attack with 33 goals and 35 assists.


6. Valor Christian (Colo.), 11-2

The Eagles rallied in the fourth quarter to force overtime on Gunnar Fellows’ final goal in the CHSAA Class 5A championship against Mountain Vista, but after winning possession to begin the extra period, a turnover led to the game-winner for the opponent. Both of Valor’s losses this season came against Mountain Vista. Jake Likes finished with 49 goals and 13 assists, and Fellows had 39 goals and 10 assists. Goalkeeper Mitch Gutgsell posted a 54.7 percent save rate and a 6.7 goals against average.

7. Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.), 14-4

The Knights finished as the CIF Southern Section Division I runners up, falling to Loyola 9-7 after Kenny Seiler knotted the game at 7 with under five minutes to go. Foothill had avenged a regular-season loss to Mater Dei (Calif.) in the semifinals, but the Knights couldn’t do the same against Loyola, who had beaten them 7-5 on April 17. Their only other loss was to Torrey Pines. Easton Babb led the team with 50 goals and 24 assists, while Luke Fox, Jackson Hines and Seiler all added 25 goals or more. Joey Garcia was solid in goal with a 61.6 percent save rate and 6.8 goals against average.

8. Corona del Mar (Calif.), 14-4

The Sea Kings had won 10 straight games before falling to Loyola in the CIF Southern Section semifinals June 4, including beating crosstown rival St. Margaret’s Episcopal (Calif.) 7-4 in the quarterfinals on June 1 to avenge an overtime loss to SMES from earlier this season. CdM also had notable wins over Mater Dei and Torrey Pines.

9. Corner Canyon (Utah), 22-0

The Chargers capped a perfect season with the UHSAA/Mountain America Division A title, coming back from a halftime deficit to beat Park City (Utah) 20-13 in the final May 29. Corner Canyon trailed 7-6 at halftime. Jon King led the offense with 112 goals and 49 assists, while Mason Quick wasn’t far behind with 105 goals and 43 assists. Eric Neilson had 72 goals and 44 assists. Blaze DeGracie finished with a team-high 84 ground balls, and Anthony Mackay had 82 ground balls and finished with a 74.2 percent faceoff win rate. Ayden Santi allowed 6.9 goals per game and had a 69.3 percent save rate. Previous: 9

10. Cherry Creek (Colo.), 11-1

The Bruins didn’t get a chance to defend their 2019 state title after suffering an overtime loss to Mountain Vista in the CHSAA Class 5A semifinals. After racing to a 4-0 lead, Cherry Creek gave up five straight goals and never could regain control in a game that was tied eight times. Dakota Johnson paced the offense with 25 goals and nine assists, while Carter Korzenski added 20 goals and seven assists. Sophomore Alex Fredrich won 78.4 percent of the 102 faceoffs he took.