2010 Preview: Canandaigua



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- The New York State Class B Champion Braves of Canandaigua return in 2010 with a 20 game winning streak intact. The Braves, after losing two games early in the season to Orchard Park (4-5) and Corning East (6-9), the Braves won the last 20 games of the season including the state title game against Niskayuna. The Braves had a perfect end to their season in 2009 and look to continue that momentum into 2010. This season Canandaigua moves from the Finger Lakes to Monroe County Division II. The change in leagues will make the Braves schedule more difficult but they should be up for the challenge.

Canandaigua 2009Canandaigua graduated fourteen seniors from their State Championship team. Of those, seven continue to play lacrosse as freshman in college. From the defense, the Braves graduated their entire starting close defense in Matt Smith (Potsdam), Sean Regan (Hobart) and Evan Burley (RIT). In the attack, Will Johnson (Eastern University) and Tanner Scharr (Belmont Abbey) both continue to play after high school. Attackman Brian Scheetz (Mercyhurst) finished the 2009 season leading in both assists and points for the Braves with 45g-48a. Midfielder Marshall Johnson will probably be the hardest to replace for the Braves. Johnson (Fairfield) finished with an impressive list of achievements including D&C Player of the Year, NYS Tournament Offensive Player of the Year, US Lacrosse All American, First Team All League and Section Five All Tournament Team. He was also the face-off man for the Braves and a strong team leader. All together the Braves graduating class accounted for 168g-107a. 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.

Of the returning players, seven have already signed letters of intent to continue playing next season. Offensively, the Braves may have lost their leading feeder but the leading goal scorer is returning in Deven Alves who returns after 47g-20a last season. Alves will be attending UMBC in the fall. He was also named the Section Five Tournament MVP last season. Joining him in the attack will be Adam Knapton, who finished last season with 20g-11a as a non-starter and Brandon Thomson (Honorable mention) who finished with 45g-8a. Thomson will be attending Mercyhurst in the fall. Senior Jordan Reals, sophomore Dave Serron and junior Nick Wood are all expected to make contributions to the attack this season for the Braves.

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. Sophomore Matt Scharr and junior Evan Helming will also contribute to Canandaigua's midfield.

Canandaigua 2009If 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 to the close defense. Jake Smith, Mike Reed and Nick Smith will also be fighting for the starting positions at close defense. Fingar (Hartford) and Stanney (Mercyhurst) have both made commitments for the fall.

With all of the talent on the team it would be easy to think that the top returning player for the Braves has already been mentioned, but not so. 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, who 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. Senior LaShawn Williams and junior Corey Griffin will also provide depth at the position for Canandaigua.

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. Coach Mulheron has scheduled Corning East and Hamburg along with their annual Penn Yan game. Coach Mulheron, "Our hope is that this schedule will help us prepare for what is sure to be an extremely competitive Class B Sectional Tournament."


Top Returning Players:

Deven Alves 12 A All League 2nd Team Attack (FL-d1), Section 5 MVP (Class B) All Tournament Team
Adam Fingar 12 D All League 2nd Team Defense (FL-d1)
Matt George 12 D All League Honorable Mention (FL-d1)
Nick King 12 G D&C All-Greater Rochester Super 16 (Goalie), All League 2nd Team Goalie (FL-d1), Section 5 (Class B) All Tournament Team, NYS Tournament Defense Player of the Game (Class B)
Adam Knapton 12 A  
Tom LaCrosse 12 M D&C All-Greater Rochester (Honorable Mention-FL-1), All League 1st Team Midfield (FL-d1)
Gannon Osborn 12 M All League 2nd Team Midfield (FL-d1)
Bryan Peck 12 M All League 2nd Team Midfield (FL-d1)
Collin Peck 12 M All League 2nd Team Midfield (FL-d1)
Kyle Stanney 12 D All League Honorable Mention (FL-d1), Section 5 (Class B) All Tournament Team
Brandon Thomson 12 A All League Honorable Mention (FL-d1)


Top New Players:

Nick Smith              - D  
Matt Scharr - M  
Dave Serron - A  
Evan Helming - M