2012 Preseason Overview: MC-D1


- Monroe County Division 1 appears competitive again this season. Although Class B Champion Irondequoit has left to join MC-D2, there are still plenty of top tier teams playing DeJoeagainst each other. The top teams in the league appear to be Penfield, Fairport and Pittsford.

The biggest stand-outs include attackman Derek DeJoe (Fairport), midfielder Corey Parke (Pittsford), defenseman Chris Bechle (Fairport), goalie Blaze Riorden (Fairport), goalie Keith Keehn (Penfield) and face-off specialist Connor Russell (Penfield). Additional units that stand out are the defenses from Penfield (Nick Kimmins, Charlie Cummins, Justin Rehm and Kyle Covey), Pittsford (Derek Jamison and Nick Panara) and the offensive line from Penfield (Andrew Huntington, Matt Condon, Matt Bilak and Russell).

Offensively, the top team is Penfield. However, Fairport and Pittsford are close behind. Penfield's Bilak, Condon, Huntington and Russell make a great combination. One piece of their strength comes from the specialty Russellof Russell at the face-off. This season, as a junior, he returns with second team league honors in 2010, first team league honors in 2011 and second team All Section in 2011. Russell made a commitment to Syracuse as a sophomore. His skill at the draw keeps possession for the Patriots which can swing any game in the Patriot's favor. This season, Russell hopes to make more of an impression offensively. Over the past two seasons he has accumulated 10g-5a. In the midfield, the scoring comes from Bilak and Condon. Both Bilak and Condon were named to the second team last season and finished with 31g-21a and 17g-13a respectively. Bilak tied for leading the team in points. In the attack, Andrew Huntington finished with 15g-11a.

Pittsford's offense is also not to be taken lightly. The Panthers return Parke to lead the scoring. He finished with 36g-10a and was named to the first team All League and second team All Section. He will be attending Georgetown next season. Surrounding Parke will be Tyler Aycock (second team), Albie DiPasquale (HM) and Jack Lauroesch (HM).Parke

For Fairport, DeJoe returns with 34g-11a and second team honors. After a successful run at the Empire State Games in 2011, DeJoe signed to play at Syracuse as a sophomore. He has a blazing side-arm shot from outside that is extremely accurate. Surrounding DeJoe will be Pat VanBortle and Brian Martin (second team). Much of Fairport's offense was dominated by a strong senior class last season and a high number of talented athletes did not see playing time. Expect many "new" names to show up this season for the Raiders, now that their time has come for serious playing time.

Overall in Division 1, the defenses are stronger than the offenses. Penfield and Pittsford return nearly their full defenses and look on paper to be the strongest units. Fairport, led by Bechle cannot be discounted nor can Webster Schroeder returning three players who all received HM honors. Penfield's Kimmins, Cummings, Rehm and Covey have been together for a number of seasons for the Patriots and are looking to excel even more this season. Rehm is one of the most demonstrative LSM in Section Five and will make big plays for the Patriots. Pittsford is in a little bit of trouble with the graduation of goalie Conor Quinn and an injury to Kevin Sanna. Quinn was named to the first team All League and All Section last season and will be Zawickidifficult to replace this season. At Fairport, Bechle and Keith Mierzwa will lead the close defense. Schroeder, although they struggled last season, is returning three starting defensemen who all received HM honors. Schroeder's starting defense consists of Chase Kuhl, Tom Moriarty and Josh Reed.

Between the pipes, the top returning goalies are Riorden and Keehn. Riorden finished with 137 saves (63%) for the Red Raiders. He was named first team for both All League and All Section and will attend Albany next season. If he can remain healthy, a problem in the past, he is poised to be one of the strongest goalies in Section Five. For Penfield, Keehn is the lynchpin of their defense. His coach, John Schembri, writes, "(he) is one of the best leaders in the goal that I have had the pleasure of coaching." He will be the major factor in keeping the score down when their opponents get a possession.

Penfield's combination of possession (from Russell), scoring (from Bilak, Condon and Huntington), and defensive skill (from Keehn, Kimmins, Cummings, Rehm and Covey) make them a dangerous team to underestimate. With one of the largest senior classes in the Section (twenty seniors this year) this is the season for Penfield to step up and aim for a title.