The 2010 Team Previews


PRESEASON - 3/25/10



Penn Yan
 HM: Mid, P-M, Water

Once again this year, SportsFive will publish, each week, rankings in each class. SportsFive will continue to publish the New York State Sportswriters poll and will provide links to the Laxpower national polls.

preview 2009

updated special For many years the focus of lacrosse at the end of the year would be mostly about the Class A teams. This year that changes, as there will be first-rate games in all three classes when it becomes tournament time.

Canandaigua and Irondequoit will make in Class B very competitive and with Aquinas and Livonia loaded with talent, Penn Yan is not necessarily a shoe-in this year in Class C. Fairport looks strong in Class A, but there are a number of teams that will be looking for the Championship. Behind the obvious leaders are many teams that are close enough to make everyone vulnerable. This year there will be a whole bunch of great games.

Section Five grew again this year with the return of Bishop Kearney, who last fielded a Varsity team in 1999. Head Coach Greg Dries, moves with his team up from Junior Varsity. He played his scholastic lacrosse at McQuaid Jesuit. The Kings will play as part of the GRALL league.

There are a number of new Head Coaches this year. At Aquinas, Kevin Martin takes over. Matt Fitch, who was the Varsity Assistant at Midlakes takes over for Rich Doan. Mike Kelly is the new Head Coach at HF-L and previously played and coached at RIT. Jeremy Mettler takes over at Batavia and Tony Levin takes over at Hilton. Coach Levin has a long history in Section Five and has been the Head Coach at McQuaid Jesuit and an assistant at RIT.

There are some very talented players in the Section this year and as of this writing forty-eight players have already committed to college teams for the future. The list of the best is just too long to be listed here. Obvious standouts, however include Brendan Saylor (Fairport- Maryland) and Jack Hinderland (Thomas) who were both selected to the the All America team as juniors. Adam Trombley (Penn Yan - Ohio State) was named #17 on the Inside Lacrosse Top 25 juniors list last year and Nick King (Canandaigua - Penn State) also has a long resume as he enters his final year.

Over nine hundred players will represent their thirty-five teams and communities this spring. There will be a large number of very exciting games this season. Lets hope there are many fans in attendance and let's hope that regardless of the score, we all remember that this is a very special game.

Class A

Fairport returns one of the strongest senior classes in the section. Coach Mike Torrelli writes, "With sixteen seniors and thirteen of them going on next year to play lacrosse at the next level, this Fairport 2009should be a good year." Offensively the Red Raiders are returning their leading goal and point producer in Brendan Saylor (68g-29a) who finished last season second in goals and third in points in the Section. Joining him in the attack is the leading assister from last season, Martin Manilla (31g-31a). The pair will be joined by Chris Button (32g-12a). All together the starting attack this season accounted for 51% of the Red Raider points last season. All three have made commitments for the fall; Button will be attending LeMoyne, Manilla will be attending Gettysburg and Saylor will be attending Maryland. The Red Raiders have one of strongest attacks in recent memory.

The midfield for Fairport is very strong defensively with defensive midfielder Andrew Kristy and LSM James Cunningham. Kristy demonstrated his skill on the wing last season and his dedication to the ground ball became a key for the Red Raider short stick defense. Cunningham was named to the Second Team All League list last season as an LSM. The graduation of Jones and Lowe in the offensive midfield hurts Fairport but junior Andrew Hays (18g-8a) should step up this season as a contributing midfielder. Also expected to make contributions are Tim Modesti, James Manilla and Stephen Danylyshyn. From the midfield, Kristy (Ithaca), Cunningham (Hobart), Modesti (Providence) and Hays (UNC) have all made commitments for the fall (Hays made a verbal commitment for the fall of 2011).

If the Red Raiders have any weakness it might be in defense. With no readily apparent replacement for Sterzin (backup goalie Kyle Hall also graduated last season) the Red Raiders will need to look to new blood between the pipes. However, leading the defensive charge will be senior Ted Knowles (Drexel). Knowles returns with First Team All League honors from last year. Pittsford 2009

The Red Raiders look poised to make another run deep into the tournament. If they can stay healthy this season and integrate the new blood quickly, Fairport looks to be the team to beat early in Monroe County and Class A.

Pittsford was seeded third in Sectionals last season and lost to Thomas, in the semifinals 10-8. They only graduated six players from their 2009 roster and only one of those players received All League Honors as LSM Drew Moll finished with an Honorable Mention.

Offensively the Panthers graduated ten goals and three assists out of 158 points from last season. Their leading goals and points scorer, James Purpura, returns with 35g-17a. Leading assister, TJ Iuppa, who added 26g-18a also returns. Purpura and Iuppa look to lead the midfield with senior Thomas Rodenhouse, who will attend Lynchburg College in the fall. Purpura, who will attend Mount St. Mary's, will also continue to be a presence at the face-off. In the attack, Matt Gold (13g-6a) and Alex Kober (19g-11a) will look to produce offensively.

Defensively is where the Panthers shine. Last season they finished with the third lowest goals against average prior to the tournament with 5.5 goals against per game. Only Penn Yan and Canandaigua had fewer goals allowed. With the exception of Moll, the Panthers are returning their entire defensive unit. Goalie Alex Howell returns with 49 saves (55%) over 292 minutes of play. In the close defense Joe Dupra (Marist) and Justin McLiverty (Robert Morris) will continue to lead for the Panthers. Ryan Sullivan, who was named Honorable Mention defense, will also return for Pittsford.

The Panthers have all they need for a deep Sectional run. Coach Andrew Whipple says, "We are hoping to be competitive among the elite in Section Five and make a strong run at the end of the season. It should be an exciting year." Their first game of the season is against defending State Champion Canandaigua and will be an early test for the Panthers.

Churchville-Chili 2009Churchville-Chili is a team that has seen incredible growth over the past five seasons. The Saints demonstrated last year that a large roster is not necessary for a team to succeed as they finished the season with only seventeen players on their roster. They played most games with closer to thirteen. The Saints finished third in Monroe County Division II (behind Thomas and Irondequoit) with a 3-2 record (8-8 overall).

Of the Saints eight losses, five were within three points. They have become a strong program in their short history and look to extend their growth with hopes to become the first west-side team to make the semifinals in Class A.

Offensively, the Saints are returning their leading scorers in Ryan Yunker (43g-25a) and Jon Hemink (39g-27a). Alex Pavone (25g-13a) will join Yunker and Hemink in the attack and last year's offensive strength will continue. Pavone, Yunker and Hemink were responsible for 63% of the goals and 71% of the assists for the Saints last year. Yunker (Bryant), Hemink (RIT) and Pavone (Potsdam) have both made commitments to continue lacrosse in the fall. Yunker was fifteenth on the points leader board for all of Section Five last year. At the midfield Churchville-Chili will look to Taylor Kolmer, Scott Shamp and Adam McWilliams to step up from last season.

Dan Fingland will look to bring stability to the defensive end as the Saints look to a new goaltender.

Coach Childs writes, "Every game will be a true test and we look forward to the challenge." With Canandaigua moving to Monroe County Division II the Saints will have an even more difficult challenge in their division. However with all three of their strongest competition playing in Class B, the difficultly of their schedule will hopefully prepare them for the Class A tournament.

Class B

The New York State Class B Champion Braves of Canandaigua return in 2010 with a twenty game winning streak intact.

All together the Braves graduating class of fourteen seniors accounted for 168g-107a. Of those, seven continue to play lacrosse as freshman in college. With the impressive list of graduating seniors one could assume that there could not be talent left from the 2009 roster but the Braves continue to show their depth with the talent that is returning for 2010.

Canandaigua 2009Of the returning players, seven have already signed letters of intent to continue playing next season. Offensively, their leading goal scorer is returning in Deven Alves who returns after 47g-20a last season. Alves will be attending UMBC in the fall. Joining him in the attack will be Adam Knapton, who finished last season with 20g-11a as a non-starter and Brandon Thomson who finished with 45g-8a.

Although the attack will be stronger, the midfield has enough star players to be a threat to most teams. The midfield is returning five players who had significant playing time last season; Tom LaCrosse, Gannon Osborn, Colin Peck, Bryan Peck and Parker Weeks. LaCrosse (Penn State) and Osborn (Marist) are both expecting to continue their lacrosse careers in college. LaCrosse, who finished with 30g-12a was the second highest scoring midfielder for the Braves behind Johnson.

If there is a weaker place for the Braves it would be in the defense, but that is not to say that they are in trouble and many teams would envy their talent. Three seniors (Adam Fingar, Kyle Stanney and Matt George) all split time at long stick midfield last season and will be moving down the close defense. Fingar (Hartford) and Stanney (Mercyhurst) have both made commitments for the fall.

Goalie Nick King is certainly among the strongest players on the Braves roster. He was named D&C All-Great Rochester Super 16, NYS Defense Player of the Game, All Tournament Team and Second Team All League (behind Senior Penn Yan goalie, Ethan Kamholtz). He finished last season with 127 saves (62%) including 34 saves (57%) during the length of the Section and State tournaments. King, Irondequoit 2009who will attend Penn State in the spring, is one of the strongest goalies in Section Five and will be a cornerstone for the Braves' defense.

Coach Ed Mulheron has high hopes for his Braves. In talking of the depth his team possesses this season he writes, "...our roster currently has 18 seniors. Of those 18 seniors, 16 of them have been in our program since third grade." After switching to Monroe County division II the Braves only have 3 additional out of league games and they have scheduled Corning East and Hamburg along with their annual Penn Yan game.

Irondequoit's senior attackman Drew Coholan (All American, D-2 Player of the Year) led the Eagles in goals and points with 56g-18a and will be the most difficult to replace this season. Coholan continues to play at Hofstra. The Eagles only graduated six seniors last year and are returning a vast majority of their roster.

Coming into this season, sophomore attackman Nick Doktor, who led the team in assists with 16g-28a, will be joined by a number of strong players from last year. Seniors Ian Brooks, Erik Kleehammer, Jordan Napirala and Mike Utz will all take on leadership roles this year. Underclassman Emmy Poccia and Matt Wolfe will also be looking to fill key roles.

Junior Greg Coholan, who has verbally committed to Virginia, will continue to be a major player. He finished last season with 26g-18a. Ian Brooks has signed a letter of intent to play at Mercyhurst in the fall. Coach Craig Whipple notes that a difference maker for the Eagles will be senior midfielder Justin Buonomo. Coach Whipple writes, "He will be a do everything guy for us and will be strong at the face-off draw."

The Eagles defense is stronger than their offense. Anchoring the defense is two year First Team All League goalie and senior captain Tyler Nash. Nash, who will attend Mercyhurst in the fall, finished last season with 240 saves (67%). He will also have seasoned close defensemen in front of him. Seniors Rick Looby, John Mikel and Ryan Vella will play close defense this season.

Overall the Eagles are looking good. Irondequoit has been in the Section Five finals for the past three years and are in position to win a championship this year.Thomas 2009

Webster Thomas won the first Section Five Tournament in 1975 and after thirty-four years, won again in 2009. It was a thrilling game, as they defeated Fairport 11-10 in overtime. The Titans move to Class B this season and look to continue to challenge the top Class B teams.

The Titans graduated thirteen seniors, including six who continue to play in college and nine who received All League honors. Graduation included both starting goalies, two strong First Team defenseman and two First Team midfielders; Austin Fox (Air Force), Andrew Glagolev (Drexel), Billy Gurowski (Ithaca), Mason Hill (MCC), Pat Morrill (Jacksonville) and Nick Sclazo (Jacksonville). The graduating senior class accounted for 108g-72a and 197 saves (60% between both goalies).

Jack Hinderland, who led in goals, assists and points for the Titans, returns for his senior year. He finished with 59g-33a last season and was third in goals and fifth in points in all of Section Five. Hinderland will be the cornerstone of the offense for Thomas as he returns for his senior year with 102g-48a over the span of his three year varsity career. He is certainly one of the strongest attackman in Section Five and is a key resource for the Titans.

Senior Brad Hutton (44g-14a) and junior Kyle Rothfuss will also be among the top players in the Titan attack. Coach Rob Ruller will also look to Kenny Tomeno and JT Hauck for significant contributions in the midfield. Tomeno has signed a letter of intent to play at Marist in the fall. Tomeno finished with 39g-15a last season while Hauck finished with 20g-18a.

The replacement of four senior defensemen (three of them three year starters) and two starting goalies will be the most difficult task for Coach Ruller in 2010.

Class C

Penn Yan 2009Penn Yan won their twelfth straight Class C title and look to make it thirteen in 2010. With their move from Finger Lakes to an Independent school, the Mustangs have a much tougher schedule this season than in the past.

In what has become a perennial fact, the Mustangs graduated an extremely talented class with nearly all of them continuing to play lacrosse in college. Nine players graduated from Penn Yan last season and eight of them are continuing to play.

The Mustangs are accomplished and experienced in the art of getting players to step up. Even with the loss of some of their strongest players, the Mustangs have a number of returning players who will fill the void. Leading the offensive charge in his senior year is attackman Adam Trombley. Trombley finished second in assists and sixth in total points in the Section last season. He was named to the D&C All Greater Rochester team three years in a row, the only player in the history of Section Five to do so, and was named to the First Team attack two year running. Trombley was also named #17 on the Inside Lacrosse Top 25 juniors list. He enters his senior year with 182 assists and 287 points over his career and has signed a letter of intent to play at Ohio State in the fall.

Joining Trombley are a number of other strong offensive players including Nate Nichols, Preston Maciejewski and Adam Stork. Stork was named First Team All League. Additionally, sophomore Jordan Owen, who has been injured in both of the last two seasons, returns for the Mustangs and looks to be a major presence this season.

The loss of Tim Dyer, Kerrick and Chisom at close defense and Kamholtz in the cage will set back the perennially strong Mustang defense. Kamholtz will be the hardest to replace but after nearly a decade of the strongest goalies in the Section, the Mustangs will undoubtedly find yet another presence between the pipes.

Coach Brian Hobart has been able to arrange one of the most challenging schedules in the Section, looking for strong teams to challenge his players throughout. He has scheduled Livonia, Bath, Schroeder, McQuaid Jesuit, Aquinas, Thomas, Geneva, Penfield, and favorite, Canandaigua for in Section games. For out of Section games, the Mustangs are facing Carthage, West Seneca East, Lakeland/Panas, Somers, Frontier and Amherst.

Aquinas 2009Aquinas finished their league season with a perfect 7-0 record (15-3 overall) including a win over McQuaid Jesuit during the GRALL Championship game. Seeded second in the Class C tournament, the Little Irish lost (9-10) to third seeded Livonia in a semifinal game.Although Aquinas beat Livonia twice during the regular season (11-3 and 9-8), this game was close all the way with Livonia scoring the winner with 1:47 remaining.

The Little Irish lost six players to graduation. Midfielder Ryan Doherty continues at Niagara University. Senior goalie Kraig Heston will be the most difficult to replace. Heston, who continues this season at Binghamton, finished last year with 232 saves (70%). He was one of the strongest goalies in the Section and without a backup goalie returning, the Little Irish will need to look to their previous JV goalie, David Loomis, to step into the starting role.

The return of GRALL Player of the year Austin Gorman will be a big boost to the Little Irish attack. Gorman finished last year with 45g-28a and led in all three categories. Junior Klay Heston, during his second year on varsity added sixty-one points to his career total with 44g-17a. Heston and Gorman will both play major roles in the Little Irish attack. At the midfield Aquinas has Anthony Bianchi and Mike Messina. Bianchi finished with 29g-26a last season and was the leading scorer in the midfield. Messina, a junior, returns for his third year on Varsity. He added 25g-8a last year as well as being one of the face-off men for the Irish and has verbally committed to Syracuse for the fall of 2011.

Defensively, the graduation of Casey Vogl leaves an open spot in the close defense for the Little Irish. Seniors Mike Owens and Dan Foley return to lead the close defense. The Little Irish will need to find more close defenders to step into the lineup in front of Loomis as the season progresses.

Livonia, after making it to the Class C finals last season against Penn Yan, looks to go one better this season and take the tournament. Coach Brett Wood is looking to a returning team with strong offensive potential and great senior leadership to achieve those goals.Livonia 2009

Graduation wasn't as bad as it could be for the Bulldogs. The loss of three year starting goalie Justin Becker is the most devastating loss. Becker finished last year at 59% for Livonia and continues to play lacrosse at Alfred University. Midfielder Matt Girolmo will be a loss on the offensive side of the field with 16g-30a last season and 41g-63a over the last three seasons.

Coach Wood writes, "Looking at the different facets of the team it is easy to see that our strength lies in the offensive end of the field." Returning to the attack are Chris Bausch and Mike Donals, who were both named to the GRALL First Team list. Bausch and Donals combined for 89g-39a last season and will both be big time players this season. Wyatt Struble, who was named to the All Tournament team last season, returns for his sophomore year. He has already demonstrated his commitment off-season and will be coming back to an increased role.

The Bulldog midfield holds one of the strongest players in Section Five. Jeff Wester (D&C All Greater Rochester Super 16 - 2009, D&C All Greater Rochester Honorable Mention - 2008, First Team All League two years running, All Tournament team two years running) led Section Five in total points in 2009 with 116 and led in assists with 62. Wester is coming off both a Hockey season during which he was named to the Exceptional Senior game and Football season after which he was named Class C Defensive Player of the Year.

Defensively, the Bulldogs will look to Tristan Hudak both in the close defense as well as matching up against midfielders. Hudak was named to the All League GRALL list and the All Tournament team. He has spent the last two season guarding midfielders but has spent a great deal of time in the off-season playing close defense. Kevin Walthers spent a significant time in the weight room over the off-season which has led to an increase in strength and leadership skills.

Between the pipes Livonia has two strong options to replace Becker. Sophomore Ethan Jamison and junior Jake Keller both look for the job. Keller was the starting JV goalie last season and Jamison was the Varsity back-up keeper. Each has different skill sets which Coach Wood and his staff will be looking at during the early part of the season.

After losing to Penn Yan in finals two years running the Bulldogs are looking for that elusive title.