In recognition of their athletic prowess, five senior Brunswick student-athletes signed National Letters of Intent (NLI) on Wednesday. In return for athletic-scholarship aid, four are committing to play NCAA Division I lacrosse, while one is slated to play Division I baseball.
All five students are headed to Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) schools. Lacrosse players Patrick Burkinshaw and Xander Dickson are committed to the University of Virginia, while Jordan Ginder and Wilson Stephenson have chosen Duke University. Brunswick baseball player Aaron Sabato has decided to attend the University of North Carolina.
The lacrosse quartet of Burkinshaw, Dickson, Stephenson and Ginder is coached by David Bruce. The four players are all highly ranked nationally by recruitingrundown.com.
Last season, Brunswick’s lacrosse team finished with a 15-1 record and a program-best mark of 14-0 in the New England West 1 conference, winning the league title. Brunswick finished the 2017 season ranked fourth in the nation by Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse.
Burkinshaw, rated as the top goalie in the country for the 2018 class, made 130 saves for the Bruins last spring, including numerous point-blank stops right in front of the Brunswick net. The Madison, Conn., resident and 2018 co-captain was the backstop to a stingy defense that allowed just 6.87 goals per game last season.
Dickson, rated as the 14th-best pure attack players in the country, will be joining Burkinshaw at Virginia next fall. The goal scorer from Greenwich, Conn., had a superb junior campaign, netting 25 goals and dishing out 33 assists (58 total points) last season.
Dickson and Burkinshaw have another Brunswick lacrosse connection with the Virginia Cavaliers, as former Bruin standout John Fox ’17 is a current member of the team.
Duke University will be getting a pair of Bruins as well. Co-captain Wilson Stephenson, the fourth-rated defenseman in the nation, and Jordan Ginder, the nation’s number two face-off specialist, are slated to be Blue Devils next year.
Stephenson, who covered the opponent’s top scorer in every game last season for the Bruins’ defense, picked up 34 ground balls in 2017. The Greenwich, Conn., resident and defensive standout will continue to keep the front of Burkinshaw’s cage clear in 2018.
Ginder, an elite face-off specialist from New York City, looks to continue his stellar performance at the X for coach Bruce in 2018.
The two future Blue Devils will join former Bruin Reilly Walsh ’16, a current sophomore on the Duke squad.
In baseball, Aaron Sabato is committed to play at the University of North Carolina. The co-captain from Rye Brook, N.Y., will be a four-year varsity player for coach Johnny Montanez this spring.
Sabato had another outstanding season in 2017, belting a career-high nine home runs and 20 RBI, while scoring 20 runs in 20 games. Last season the shortstop batted .444, slugged an eye-popping .963, and had an OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging) of 1.550. Sabato also made two relief pitching appearances last year, picking up one save, while holding an ERA of 0.00 over 2.1 innings of work. Sabato is rated as the top shortstop prospect in New York State as well as being named a 2nd Team Preseason All-American by Perfect Game.
Sabato will have more than a former Brunswick teammate at North Carolina next year, as his older brother Teddy Sabato ’16 is a sophomore on the Tar Heels’ baseball team.