Namely, 10 players who are now on collegiate teams.
If the Indians are to have a shot at repeating as champions, Syracuse University-bound midfielder Ricky Buhr will undoubtedly have to continue doing what he does best — namely winning faceoffs and getting Manhasset possession of the ball.
We caught up with Ricky to get his thoughts on the 2010 Indians as the start of the season rapidly approaches.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
I have been working on shooting with my left hand and working on facing off in my basement. Ive also been running the track after school, and going to weight room sessions with some of the guys on the team. The seniors on our team know it takes that extra step to get back to the state championship and we are setting the tone for everyone to make sure they come into our first game in shape and ready to play.
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?
We lost a lot of seniors. Connor English was the quarterback of the offense, Jeff Molinari was the key for our midfield, and Jack Meyer was the leader of the defense. The one guy that we will miss the most was our long-stick midfielder Johnny Duvnjak. He was the leader of the whole team and pushed everyone to their limits.
There were a lot of seniors that we lost, but Manhasset could never replace a Johnny Duvnjak. Myself, Drew Belinsky and Kevin Coleman are following his footsteps to get back on top. The underclassmen are really stepping up their game. Bobby Duvnjak, Matt Tompkins, Ryan Matthews and Frank Morelli are showing that they can play at the varsity level. With the addition of Chris Cook and Ryan Lawler were key assets to make our team stronger. People are saying that we cant contend for another championship, were all working hard to prove those voices wrong.
How would you describe your strengths as a player?
Facing off is my major strength. There isnt a better feeling than coming off a fastbreak goal straight off the faceoff. Last year I was the FOGO and pushed myself to every ground ball to get the ball to our stellar attack. Im working on my shooting to get to the top of my game.
What were the main factors in your decision to attend Syracuse and what other schools were you considering?
I have been dreaming of playing for Syracuse since I was 7. Coach (John) Desko, Coach (Roy) Simmons (III) and Coach (Lelan) Rogers are really great. Not only are they phenomenal coaches, but even better people. My official visit went really well. I loved every guy on the team and the incoming recruits. I was considering Army, Villanova, Georgetown, UMass, Drexel, Fairfield and some Divison III schools like Middlebury, Denison and Williams. After being in contact with all these schools, I realized Syracuse had the best lacrosse, the best atmosphere, and the best spot for me.