Now, it all starts.
Yes, folks. Just think about it. From now on (through most of the region at least), we won’t have to talk about scrimmages and precisely what they mean if anything in the grand scheme of things.
Because now, our friends in Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess are all joining Nassau by playing actual games. (With Fairfield soon to follow.)
It’s opening week for most teams in the region. And that means it’s time for “Previews and predictions.”
Now, please keep in mind. This is a two-way street. It starts here. We will throw out some games from throughout the region coming up each week and offer an analysis and prediction. Many games will be left out. But hopefully not for long. Just ask for a prediction on any game, and you’ll get it.
Away we go.
John Jay at Brewster (Thursday, 4:30 p.m.): This is a rematch of last year’s Class B sectional final, won by the Indians 13-2. Both teams lost a lot personnel-wise, but John Jay still has a a big advantage in depth. Prediction: John Jay 9, Brewster 4
Somers at Mahopac (Thursday, 4:30 p.m.): There will be plenty of Division I talent on display in this one, including senior stars and former ESG teammates Joe Marasco (Syracuse) of Somers and Tyler Perrelle (Binghamton) of Mahopac. Tuskers have the advantage of having a more athletic midfield and in lacrosse, that’s a big advantage. Prediction: Somers 8, Mahopac 6
St. Anthony’s at Yorktown (Saturday, 2 p.m.): These longtime rivals always wage heated battles, but this year’s should be especially so. Both teams have the potential to have extraordinary seasons. So no matter who wins, will get a big boost going forward. Between the two teams combined, there are 14 players who have already committed to Division I schools, including a pair of the nation’s top juniors St. Anthony’s midfielder Thomas Schreiber and Yorktown attackman Kevin Interlicchio. Schreiber, ranked fifth by Inside Lacrosse, is likely to attend Princeton. Interlicchio has committed to Hopkins. Prediction: St. Anthony’s 10, Yorktown 8
Manhasset at John Jay (Saturday, 7 p.m.): This has emerged as one of the area’s premier regional rivalries. Two years ago, John Jay picked up a dramatic 9-8 win. Last year, Manhasset won 10-8. This season, though, nationally ranked Manhasset, perhaps the leading contender to win the Class C state title, is a solid favorite.The matchup of John Jay’s Hopkins-bound junior defenseman Jameson Pickel on UVa-bound Manhasset senior star Connor English should be fun to watch, Prediction: Manhasset 11, John Jay 5
Yorktown at Rye (Thursday, 4:30 p.m.): Though the Garnets have played Yorktown as tough as anyone in Section 1 over the last few years, this time around won’t go as well. In fairness, Rye is getting Yorktown at a bad time (not that there is ever a good time) because it has a lot of turnover from last year’s state semifinal squad. Once Town takes care of North Rockland, it will be thinking about St. Anthony’s, but will be mindful of Rye. Though the Garnets are a very good defensive team, the Huskers are better. It will be a case of too much of the usual suspects — Ranagan, Interlicchio — for Yorktown and not enough offense for Rye. Prediction: Yorktown 12, Rye 5.
Hen Hud at Lakeland/Panas (Thursday, 4:30 p.m.): Because little is known about L/P other than the prowess of Jack Doherty, I see Hen Hud in this game. The Sailors have offensive stars in attackman Cole D’Addario and converted middie Collin Parkhurst. I saw Hud have many defensive lapses against a Mamaroneck squad that really ran just one midfield and was clearly not at the skill level of Hud. I don’t know if the Sailors have enough to contain Doherty and the rest of the Rebels. Expect a high-scoring game. Prediction: L/P 13, Hen Hud 11.
St. Anthony’s at Chaminade (Thursday, 4:30 p.m.): These longtime rivals should once again put on a show. We will learn a lot about the Friars this week, what with this one followed by Yorktown on Saturday. While I agree with Joe that St. Anthony’s will eke past Town, albeit barely, I think they’ll have an easier time with the Flyers. For Chaminade to have a chance, middie Robert Lucas will have to control the apces between the retraining boxes and pole John Urbank will have to figure out a way to stop Will Manny. Prediction: St. Anthony’s 11, Chaminade 6.
Once again, be sure to ask for predictions of any games not included.
Reach Joe Lombardi at email@example.com.