The Hudson Valley/Long Island/Connecticut region has no shortage of premier programs.
One program that often gets overlooked is Brunswick.
If you look at the scheduled the Bruins play – and the number of college recruits they churn out – you could argue Brunswick is as good as any program around.
How do the Bruins look this coming season?
That’s among the topics we discussed with Darien’s own Jimmy Craft, a Yale-bound defenseman for the Bruins.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
A lot of the guys have been taking advantage of the new indoor facility
down at South Norwalk, at the SONO Fieldhouse. This has allowed us to
sharpen up our stick work, start thinking about the season, and letting
some of the guys get used to playing together. We have a lot of two- and
three-sport athletes which hasn’t allowed us to get in there as a full
squad, but we have been out on the field when the weather has permitted.
Coach (David) Bruce has always emphasized the importance of playing multiple
sports, and I think that by not taking seasons off, we have a heightened
competitiveness and determination.
Can you talk about some of the key players you lost from last year’s team
and how you think you will be able to replace them?
Last year our team was extremely balanced with outstanding play by our
senior goalkeeper Peter Castine, all-American defenseman Billy Chapman
(Middlebury), all-New England defenseman Spencer Hurst (Middlebury), all-New England midfielder Garrett Virtue (UVM) and all-New England
midfielder Charlie Payton (PG at Lawrencville, Duke-bound). Castine was
extremely solid and consistent in net, and it’s going to be hard to replace
the chemistry of last years defense.
Fortunately we return four of our top six poles which hopefully will lead to another outstanding defensive team. They are senior Phil Pierce (Brown), senior captain Brett Moscati (Michigan) and junior David Better. Virtue and Payton combined for a lot of our scoring from up top and we are going to have to look towards our youth at the midfield position this year.
What regular-season games are you most looking forward to?
I know everyone on the team is looking forward to our first game against
St. Andrew’s from Florida. The NE WEST 1 is as strong as ever this year,
and every game is huge in the league especially Deerfield, Avon and
Salisbury. We also are looking forward to out-of-league games against
Lawrenceville, Penn Charter, and of course against our rivals, Greenwich
High School. The game you circle every year is Greenwich because of the
environment that comes with the crosstown rivalry.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
The surprising players on the team this year are going to be our young
midfielders, and our senior midfielders and attack. Captain Sam Vallely is
sure to have a really solid season, and we are going to rely on his
ability to play both ways.
Senior attackman Kit Jeffrey is going to be a main X-factor for us this year, and for us to win the big game, he is going to be huge. Sophomores Eddie Dedeminico and John Kelly are sure to account for a lot of our production from the midfield position. Lastly,
goalies Will Driscoll (junior) and Jack Rogan (senior) are fighting for the starting spot and they both are looking really solid so far as we have just started our tryouts.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
Our attack is going to be unreal this year. Juniors Bo Stafford and
Conrad Oberbeck are two of the best attackmen around and they will account
for a lot of goals this year. Bo Stafford can create his own shot from
anywhere and has the ability to put the ball in the net. Conrad Oberbeck
had 50 goals last year, and he has been working extremely hard trying to
get himself ready to go even higher this year. Kit Jeffrey and sophomore
Nick Bartlett will also be a big part of our attack.
Senior defensmen Phil Pierce and Brett Moscati are both lock-down poles with the ability to create turnovers and push the ball in transition. We are a transition team and everyone gets in on the offense.
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