Few players in the Hudson Valley/Long Island/Connecticut region enjoyed the rapid rise Somers senior John Bello did last season.
After coming off an injury-riddled sophomore season, Bello emerged as one of the area’s top defensemen and a Division I recruit. Over the summer, he accepted a scholarship offer from St. John’s of the newly formed Big East Conference.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
I’ve been lifting and running several days a week at (senior midfielder) Matt Deiana’s house. He has a full gym in his basement and he’s basically my own personal trainer. As a team we lift once a week together and then play a short scrimmage at the Sports Complex in Brewster on Wednesdays.
Do you have more of a sense of urgency since you’re a senior?
Yes, I am very excited for this season. After football ended all I’ve been thinking about was March 1st. I’m trying to get myself both physically and mentally prepared for this season but, I’m really anxious for practice to start. I’m anxious but at the same time its hard to think that this lacrosse season will really be my last athletic season at Somers. Time really flew by. I’m just hoping to end on a positive note.
How does your scrimmage schedule look and which ones are you looking forward to most?
I’m really looking forward to the second annual Red and Grey Classic on March 20. We are playing some of the best competition in the tri-state area. Last year’s tournament was a great success and with a great list of schools such as: Fox Lane, Auburn, Don Bosco, Guilderland and St. Anthony’s. This year’s tournament should be even better.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
There are going to be a lot of surprises this season. One player that it seems no one really talks about is Christian Smith. Christian played with me this summer on WestRock. We developed a great chemistry with each other. It seemed like every time I made a mistake he was there to make me look good. I’ve actually told him that he is the Ying to my Yang because it seems that all of my flaws he makes up for. We have almost a sixth sense of when the other is going to slide or double. I expect him to have a breakout season and surprise a lot of people.
Can you talk a little bit about how your defense and goaltending look?
Excellent. Christian Smith is going to fill Erik Zmuidins’ shoes very well as the third close defenseman alongside Eddie Schurr and I. Since they both wear about a size 18 shoe, it’s not really a surprise. Eddie is and has always been a solid on and off-the-ball defenseman. He has only been able to play with us a few times because of conflicts with basketball but I have really seen tremendous growth in him and he is going to be a huge asset to our defense. It is no wonder he was recruited by one of the best-known names in college lacrosse, Johns Hopkins. As far as our goaltender, Chris “The Wall” Longo, he looks to pick up right where he left off last season, making huge saves and winning games for us.
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