Defending Section 1 champion Somers.
John Jay and Rye, who have each won four sectional titles the last five years.
Horace Greeley, a 2009 Class B semifinalist.
Those are the four teams that join Byram Hills to form Conference III League A.
The Bobcats bring strong credentials to the league as well, having made a sectional final appearance in 2008 and sectional semifinal appearance last year.
Senior defenseman Brett Dresner says the Bobcats have the potential to achieve similar success this year.
Among the standouts from those teams are several players who have taken their skills to the collegiate level, including Stefan Carpentieri (Syracuse), Andrew Lohrfink (Georgetown), Ben Shafer (Stevens Tech), Matt DiPietro (Roger Williams) and Danny Kaufman (Hamilton). Both Carpentieri and Lohrfink earned spots their respective college programs as walk-ons.
The Bobcats, who are guided by second-year coach James Baranishyn, have been working hard in preparation for the season, which is Dresner’s third on the varsity.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
This offseason, weve really been focusing on getting back to the strength of our team as it was at the end of last season. We want to come into this season as strong as we were for sectionals last year. Weve got new guys coming onto the squad and theyre all getting acclimated into the team environment. Were making tweaks here and there and really making sure that our game is sound.
Can you talk about some of the key players you lost from last year and how you think you will be able to replace them?
Every year losing graduating seniors is difficult and this year has proven to be no different. Every senior played an important part in our teams success in one way or another. Some brought offense, some brought defense, some just brought energy. In the end though, every senior brought talent. But, just like in previous years, weve got guys stepping up to fill the voids left by the graduating seniors. When people leave, things change. They often become more challenging. On our team, there is no one shying away from the challenge. Everyone is excited for the season and very eager to start playing.
How does your schedule look and which games are you looking forward to most?
Our schedule looks good. Its filled with a bunch of talented and powerful programs that will give us the best competition. In that regard, there really isnt one game that we have circled on our schedule. On our schedule every game is circled. We know the caliber of the teams were playing and were excited and ready for them. Every team we play has the ability to rack up goals and play stellar defense. So, were going to go out there and play our game and have a good time doing it.
How does the team look as a whole?
Regardless of the loss of seniors from last years team, we still have a lot of returning starters and players who know what its like to play in a varsity game. Every player has progressed significantly since last year. From freshmen to senior everyone is bringing the energy and the will to win. Therefore, weve got 30 guys on our team that have the ability and will surprise people this season.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
This is one of the strongest lacrosse teams Ive ever seen or been a part of. Its a team filled with talented athletes. Every team has players. In that sense, it doesnt take much to be a player. All you need is a jersey. On our team weve got competitors. Weve got guys who love to win; who need to win. They go hard for every second of every minute from the time lacrosse season starts in March.
I think that the strength of a team is based on the amount of competitors that team has. The more competitors a team has, the stronger that team will be. And on our team, all weve got are competitors.
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