John Jay lacrosse has started a new era. Tim Schurr, who has taken over the program, is just the third varsity head coach in the 31-year history of the program.
The Indians, who saw their run of consecutive sectional titles end at four last year, welcome back a strong nucleus, and drew the No. 20 spot in Inside Lacrosse’s Preseason National Power Rankings.
Now, here are Kenyon College-bound senior goaltender Fletcher Franklin’s thoughts as we prepare for the start of varsity practice.
How has the transition to your new coach, Tim Schurr, been going so far?
Coach Schurr is great. Obviously it’s a tough situation to come in to, but he and all of us have pushed that aside. I think Coach Schurr is being very well-received because he coaches a lot like Sav (former coach Nick Savastano). I think the whole team is looking forward to our season, and players and coaches alike have the sectional final in mind.
You play Somers twice during the regular season and could very well play them three times if you meet again in the playoffs. What are your thoughts about that and how do you think you guys match up with them this year compared to last year?
With the way the leagues are aligned this year, it definitely makes our schedule feel almost professional. Playing teams twice will give us a great chance to win the second game, no matter what the first result may be. I think that our games with Somers will be great games to watch — very fast-paced with a lot of physicality. The matchup is great. I think we’re both solid teams with solid defenses, and I’m looking forward to that.
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?
Obviously, we lost some key players on both sides of the field. Geoff Stearns was a strong presence on defense, but I feel very confident in both our senior and junior defensemen. I actually think our defense is going to be a very strong unit. Will Stewart really controlled the pace at midfield, and that’s hard to replace. But we have middies like Forrest Walter, Jake Weil and Evan Chen, who are all crafty and draw the attention of the best defenders, and make the goalie instantly think shooter. And without guys on attack like Drew Beck, Mike Daniello will definitely be increasing his role.
What games are you looking forward to the most?
I’m really happy with our schedule, despite the new league alignments. I’m not a huge fan of seeing the same teams twice, but like I said, that will give us a great look at teams we could see further down the road. Our out-of-league games are pretty much the same as years past, with many Long Island opponents like Manhasset and Syosset in the regular season. I’m looking forward to the preseason scrimmages, which this year more than ever, we’re really going to need to sharpen us up for the road to sectionals. But I’m most looking forward to our cross-border game vs. Ridgefield, I know that’ll be a ton of fun.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
I think we have some seniors on the team that will step up to get playing time that may not have been heard about in the past. Also our junior defensemen like Alex Lanza and Trevor Caviola are looking real sharp and I think they’ll stand out. As well as some of our middies like Weil, Chen, and the Morris twins, though Brendan Morris plays attack. All of those guys are going to be crucial to our success this season.
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