Recruiting Notebook: Madison Grads Nielsen, Favero to Transfer to Mason; Tuft Commits to UVA

June 3 - The last couple weeks were busy for current and former Madison players, with Warhawk alums Pete Nielsen and Matt Favero announcing their intention to transfer from Brigham Young to George Mason and sophomore outfielder Colin Tuft committing to Virginia over the weekend.

Nielsen and Favero helped key Madison’s run to the Class 6 state championship in 2015 and join an incoming Patriots recruiting class that includes Lake Braddock outfielder and right-hander Lyle Miller-Green, West Potomac righty Tyler Rulapaugh and Battlefield outfielder Craig Miles. Both are currently serving as missionaries as part of their obligation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after playing with the Cougars in 2017.

Nielsen, a 6-foot-2, 185-pound infielder, was a first-team All-Met selection by The Washington Post in 2016. He saw limited action in his one season at BYU, going 1-for-4 while appearing in two games, and will have three years of eligibility remaining. Favero, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound left-handed pitcher, did not appear in any games with the Cougars and retains all four years of eligibility.

Tuft was one of two sophomores - Westfield’s Nick Lottchea was the other - named a first-team All-Concorde District selection this spring. He joins Justice lefty Dean Kampschror as area players from the Class of 2021 to commit to the Cavaliers.

Paul VI Frosh Dolby to Join McLean’s Stieg With Hokies

Paul VI Catholic’s Bryce Dolby, a 6-foot-5 right-hander and one of several freshmen to see significant time for the Panthers this spring, committed last week to pitch for Virginia Tech.

Dolby becomes the second area freshman to commit to the Hokies, joining McLean outfielder Griffin Stieg.

Earlier this year, Paul VI freshman lefty Bradley Gagen announced his intention to pitch for Virginia. A talented area 2022 class has also yielded commitments from Osbourn Park’s Mason Balsis (Virginia) and A.J. Shepard (Indiana) as well as the St. John’s (D.C.) duo of James Triantos (North Carolina) and Jack O’Connor (Virginia), both residents of Northern Virginia.

Retrievers Get Late Additions in Westfield’s Clancy, Transfer Belanger

The University of Maryland at Baltimore County got two late additions to its incoming recruiting class, gaining the commitment of Westfield senior right-hander Joe Clancy and former West Potomac standout Luke Belanger over the past two weeks.

Clancy, who has been one of Northern Virginia’s best pitchers this season, enters this week’s Class 6 state tournament carrying a perfect 9-0 record with a 0.24 ERA and 111 strikeouts to 25 walks in 57.2 innings. Belanger hit .200 in 35 at-bats as a freshman at Radford in 2018 and .195 in 41 at-bats this past spring at St. Johns River State College, a Florida junior college. He will retain two years of eligibility.

Clancy and Belanger join UMBC’s incoming class that includes Fairfax infielder Dylan Wilkinson.

Marucci Stars Honor 40 College-Bound Seniors at Banquet

The Marucci Stars held a banquet over the weekend and recognized the 40 seniors who suited up for the travel program last year and will play next year at the collegiate level.  

The Stars’ senior class includes several Division I-bound players, including: Battlefield’s Zach Agnos (East Carolina) and Carter Cunningham (Gardner-Webb), Centreville’s Hunter Bell (Virginia Commonwealth), Flint Hilll’s Alex Walsh (Lafayette), Freedom-South Riding’s Ben Williamson (William & Mary), Lake Braddock’s Lyle Miller-Green (George Mason), Loudoun County’s Donovan Burke (James Madison), Madison’s Matt Howat (William & Mary), Potomac’s Brody Mack (William & Mary), Robinson’s Ethan Rothstein (James Madison) and West Potomac’s Tyler Rulapaugh (George Mason).

Additionally, Fauquier’s Carson McCusker, who will play at Roanoke, was awarded with the annual Matthew Vernon Poyner Memorial Foundation Scholarship and Leadership Award. The scholarship and award is named for late Stars and Langley player Matt Poyner, who passed away in February 2015 of viral myocarditis, which is an inflammatory disease of the heart muscle.

Photos, clockwise from left, of Madison’s Colin Tuft by Albert Jacquez, Westfield’s Joe Clancy by Fred Ingham, Luke Belanger courtesy of Radford Athletics, and of Carson McCusker courtesy of Marucci Stars