Pittsford, Fairport, Penfield and Thomas Top Class A

- Preseason

Pittsford comes out on top of the pre-season poll with two exceptional athletes. Defenseman Nick Panara (Fairfield) was recently named to the Northeast Region Top Players Watch List by Lacrosse magazine. He finished last season with 44 ground balls and 17 takes for the Panthers. Stephen Quinzi (Georgetown) finished last season with 34g-17a and was named to the All Section Team. He is one of only four non-seniors named to the list in 2013. Quinzi had the second highest goals and assists for the Panthers last year behind graduated senior Albie DiPasquale. He will continue to be a serious threat this season for the Panthers.Stephen Quinzi In addition to Quinzi, the Panthers return Brandon Barker (Ohio State) with 30g-11a and Billy Cooper (13g-3a). They lost their fourth, fifth and sixth leading scorers to graduation but are still strong in the offense. In addition to their returning roster, they picked up two transfers from Aquinas in attackman Jonathan Perotto and defenseman Mike Perotto (Binghamton). Jonathan finished last season with 17g-18a for the Little Irish. Defense is certainly a strength for the Panthers this year with depth and talent that includes senior Greg Weyl (Mercyhurst) and sophomore Jared Conners (Virginia). Their roster boasts four goalies including junior Kevin Maguire (St. John`s) and freshman transfer Dylan Sulzbach (Penn State). The Panthers have not been in the finals since they won the title in 2011 and look to come back this season to win the fourth championship in their history.

Fairport has been seeded first, four times in the last five years (they were seeded second in 2011) and have won the title twice in that time. Last season was the first time in the last five years that they failed to make the finals after their semi-final 10-8 loss to Penfield. The Red Raiders have the largest roster in the Section this season with forty players. They are returning sixty percent of their roster with twenty-four players returning to varsity. They also have the largest senior class (twenty athletes) and second largest freshman class (three). They return their leading scorers in seniors Justin Kesselring (Le Moyne) with 32g-15a and Dan McAvoy (Siena) with 32g-13a. In addition, sophomore Cameron Gebhardt returns after an impressive 21g-4a as a freshman last year. Other noteworthy players include senior middie Kacin Welch (Le Moyne) and senior defenseman Sam Dovan (Jacksonville). The graduation of their starting goalie, Jake Newkirk, will hurt the Red Raiders. However senior Joe Scalise (Cortland) is ready after his back-up duties last season (68% with 43 saves). Fairport finished last season with the fifth highest scoring offense (second in Class A) with 12.4 goals per game.

Kevin HillPenfield won the Class A Title last season with a 9-6 win over Webster Thomas. The Patriots defeated Orchard Park (Section VI) in overtime (12-11) before losing to West Genesee (Section III) 11-6 in the NYS Semi Finals. They had a bit of revenge last weekend when they defeated West Genesee 4-3 in overtime. Last year was the second year in a row that the Patriots were in the finals and are looking for the hat trick this season. This year they have the third largest roster in the Section with twenty-six athletes. They also have the third largest senior class with fourteen. The Patriots graduated their leading point scorer in Jonathan Spaan and previous All American Connor Russell(Albany) last season and both will be difficult to replace. However, they return their leading goal scorer in senior Brian Wall (Bellarmine) with 31g-7a. They also return junior attackman Max Spaan (27g-9a) and senior midfielders Jake Sproule (Cortland) with 15g-3a and Mitch Standera (Marist) with 24g-37a. Defensively, they also return senior Liam Guiton (St. Rose) between the pipes. He finished at 58% last season with 188 saves. The Patriots look good to have a deep run again this season.

Thomas made it to the finals last season where they lost to Penfield 9-6. They took some pleasure in beating Penfield last week 11-7. The Titans look, this year, to take their first Class A title since 2009. The Titans graduated their leading scorer in Jake Giudice (Brockport) with 50g-25a. Their second and fourth leading scorers also graduated in John Hill (RIT) and Justin Bird (Ithaca). Kevin Hill (Penn State) with 37g-15a is the top returning offensive threat. Senior attackman Mitch Hutteman (22g-4a) also returns along with senior midfielder Nick Schuman (Oneonta ) with 13g-9a. A number of players have made college commitments including junior attackman Pat LeMoine (Virginia), sophomore Travis Ford (Fairfield) and senior Coz Fiore (Oneonta) The Titans return a significant defensive threat in senior Ryan Nugent (RIT), who finished last season with 35 ground balls and a team leading 10 takes. Both of last season`s goalies graduated (John Bezek who is at Potsdam and Alex Gulisano who is at MCC). The Titans will need to look to a new goalie (Davis Bird or Dean O`Neil) to lead their defense that should include Ryan Nugent (RIT) this season.

 



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