Junior goaltender Cameron Stephens made 15 saves as Fox Lane defeated Briarcliff 11-4 on Saturday. (Photo by Jim Stout/MaxPreps.com)

From time to time, we will be highlighting comments from you folks here in our new “Reader’s perspective” feature.

Long Island teams have gotten most of the acclaim thanks to some impressive out-of-section wins. (Speaking of which, be sure to check out the latest poll question.)

Hudson Valley, meanwhile, has struggled in its tests vs. Long Island teams, but within the region, the action has been as wild and wacky as ever. There’s been a lot to sort out, and blog poster “Route 35” did just that.

For the uninitiated, Route 35 is an East-West corridor in Northern Westchester that connects the Lewisboro area (John Jay) with the Yorktown region (Yorktown and Lakeland/Panas).

Here are his thoughts, originally posted on yesterday’s “Saturday Scoreboard” thread. Be sure to weigh in with your thoughts.

Comment by “Route 35”:

“With about 30% of the season concluded, here are a few observations and predictions for the lower Hudson Valley.

“Section 1 is not as strong as in the past 2 years. The section will improve as the season progresses but so will LI, Upstate and everywhere else. If any Section 1 team makes it to the state semis they will need a big game and big upset to move on. No need to panic, these things are cyclical. Good feeder systems and young teams equate to Section improving in 2011 and beyond…keep the faith.

“Somers will figure it out. As we know, Jo Jo could end up being one of the best players in the history of Section 1. His 5 groundballs, 3-4 goals, aggressive rides, in each game are sorely missed. Somers 2010 is not unlike Jay the year after Bocklet departed. They need to adjust and will. Look for them to get hot late and win 5 in a row. According to the coach (article in the Journal News) they aren’t worried about the physical play resulting in 5-6 penalties a game. Physical is one thing, slashes to the head, trips from behind, and late hits are another. More lacrosse and less football and they will be fine.

“Yorktown, like Jay vs Set, did not show up for a statement game against GC. Even so, other than the Jay loss, Yorktown will not lose a game is Section 1. Many new players on the field and all will be tested and ready for the playoffs. They win the Murphy Cup by 2.

“Mahopac is better than expected but will lose to LP and Town. They are good but not that good. Beating Somers looked huge a week ago, not so much now. They will have a great W/L record but they are still not challenging themselves with difficult out of section games. They have 4-5 great players. You need 6-7 great players to win the section.

“Arlington will continue to beat teams that I was not aware had lacrosse programs. They will lose to the top section 1 teams and in some cases by double digits. Jay had to turn the scoreboard off in their pre-season scrimmage. They will be very good in 3 years. Props to the Admirals for scheduling a tough second half.

‘Ossining same as Arlington. Better than people expected but people weren’t expecting much. Program is building though. If they maintain interest and get a few of the football players to convert they will be a school to watch in 3 years.

“Rye has a lot of good athletes and strong midfield play. The incredible comeback and heartbreaking loss to Jay had lingering effects versus Byram Hills. Cole not playing was one of those effects. They will compete come playoff time. PV giving them trouble tonight.

“Byram Hills, I am not convinced they are for real yet. The Rye win was one of their biggest in along time. Time will tell and so will the Somers game this week. Somers will be out for blood coming of multiple losses.

“John Jay team and coach still working on systems, slides, and scoring. Bocklet joining the coaching staff will help with more offense. All teams improve as the season moves along but this team good improve further and faster then others due to talent and coaching. They will need some upsets to go deep in the state tourney assuming they get out of the section. First things first.

“Looking forward to seeing PV, B’ville, P’ville and others have solid seasons. More winning programs in the section is a good thing. The entire section needs to step it up a notch or two (possible three) to win against LI teams.”

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55 Responses to “Reader’s perspective: “Route 35” breaks down Hudson Valley action so far”

  1. laxnoz says:

    i agree with Rt 35 Somers needs to start firing on all cylinders and once they do watch out that team has alot of talent

  2. wait, what? says:

    i dont agree with the comment about mahopac losing to town and l/p. not only do i think they can contend with them, but if they keep pushing themselves like they have shown over the last 4 games, i believe they can beat them. sec 1 is going to be very interesting this year

  3. slacrosse says:

    Route 35

    Forget LI–Until you face them in the playoffs–if you get that far. This season the best on LI are FAR better then Section 1 teams. Just be thinking about their Section 1 games and not looking to LI otherwise the way things are going this season, they’ll lose their Section 1 games. and not get to the play-offs!!

    Somers. At this point in the season YOU ARE WHAT YOUR RECORD SAYS YOU ARE. PERIOD! WIN GAMES. NO MORE EXCUSES.

    Yorktown. “They will not lose any more Section 1 games????” Maybe not. But objectively just as likely they may lose to PV, Pac, Somers , and LP.

    “You need 6-7 great players to win Section 1:Section 1 teams have many VERY good D1 type players but I’m defining “great” as “elite” like Belinsky of Sett, Gallaso of WI, etc. No team in Section 1 has close to 4-5″GREAT” players, let alone 6-7. Don’t care about top D1 commitments. IMO the only CLEAR, “ELITE” players in Section 1 are Daniello/Interlichio at attack and McCormack at FO (ground ball machine). Teams that have the MOST very good players are Jay, Somers (why cant somers win?). OTHER TEAMS CLEARLY HAVE VERY GOOD D1 TYPE PLAYERS WHO ARE TOO NUMEROUS TO LIST.

    Remember I’m fine-tuning the above to “elite” players.

  4. TownLaxer says:

    Route 35 or Joe,

    Can you tell us more about the JJ defense?
    What does Coach Tim Schurr have to work with? We all know of Johns Hopkins bound Pickel at LSM . How far along are they, in your opinion in learning the Schurr System and Zone? I saw them early against Town I thought they looked good, shuuting down KI but that they had problems with fast middies. Many posters say they are big, strong and fast…. but who are “they”? Give us some insight..

  5. stats says:

    Yeah, obviously, don’t count out Somers. They can still win close to ten games.

    But if I’m an opposing coach I’m more worried about them working with a lower seed and sneaking up on people in the first and second round.

  6. give it a take says:

    How can you say Pac wont beat L/P or Town? clearly going off a bias because Mahopac is the most proven right now. They have beaten a good team that town has yet to do. (I am aware they play much tougher competition) however if u dont have a presentable win like mahopac does it does not seem fair to count them out. Also saying that matchups are one hundred percent in the Indians favor.

    Thompson over Porcelli in the faceoff should give Mahopac an edge in possessions.

    Defensively both teams are gonna struggle to cover eachothers talent. Yorktown has a better defensive unit but have so much more to stop.

    Goalie play is gonna be a huge deciding factor, id take Mcguigan over Koelsch

    Dont get me wrong Yorktown is a phenominal team and Mahopac needs to come to play. That said i think it will be a much better game than you people may anticipate

  7. Joe Lombardi says:

    TownLaxer –

    There’s no doubt that defense is one of the main reasons John Jay has jumped out to the 5-1 start. The defensive effort has been especially noteworthy since, other than the Brewster and Yorktown games, I don’t believe John Jay has had a faceoff advantage in any other game. (Please correct me if I’m wrong on that.)

    In each of the six games, seniors Bobby Maher and Fletcher Franklin have split time evenly in goal. The plan is to continue with that rotation by half, but it is not set in stone. In other words, if one of the goalies separates himself, he could get the nod for all four quarters.

    As for the defense, you mentioned the Hopkins-bound Pickel at LSM. Last year, he was used more as a backer. This year, that’s not the case. I think this has allowed him to be more freewheeling, get to more ground balls and use his size and athleticism more.

    The close defense is made up of two seniors – Greg Smyth and Zack Waldman – and a freshman, Jack Lambert. All have good skills and size. Smyth is 6-3, 195; Waldman is 6-1, 180; Lambert is 6-0, 170.

    On paper, defense was a question mark for John Jay entering the season. But so far, those questions have been answered in a positive way. That, along with balanced scoring and lacrosse IQ (which I will get to in a minute) have been the keys to the Indians’ strong start.

    Another key has been the experience the returning players gained last year. We’ve talked a lot about the fact that John Jay had 12 sophomore on the team last year, with all of them except Mike Daniello being first-year varsity players.

    That year of experience has been a big benefit now. They are mentally and physically tougher. Last year, I thought Somers had a big advantage in terms of athleticism and physicality and was one of the main reasons it beat John Jay twice.

    That was not the case in the teams’ meeting last week. John Jay dished out as many hits as it received, and, most importantly, was only called for two penalties, none of which Somers capitalized on. John Jay, meanwhile, cashed in on three of its six EMOs. In a two-goal game, you could argue that was the difference.

    I have always felt that teams that are disciplined enough to effectively thread the fine line of playing physically while not taking many penalties have a big advantage. Bottom line – in highly contested games, good teams will pounce on man-up opportunities, so you just can’t give them. But at the same time, you have to play physically and with intensity. So again, it’s a fine line.

  8. TownLaxer says:

    Joe,

    Thank you for the great analysis and insights on JJ. So in your opinion, does Timmy have the D, where he wants it or do you feel they will get even better as they learn and fully implement his “system”?
    I had heard the same comments they were getting more mentally and physically tougher with each game.

  9. Joe Lombardi says:

    The John Jay defense is ahead of where I thought it would be right now, TownLaxer. Other than the Manhasset game, the results prove it.

    I don’t see any reason it shouldn’t continue to improve, but as we all know, it’s a long season, so that remains to be seen.

    I think the second Somers game (on May 4) will tell us a lot because I don’t expect John Jay to change anything that it did (why should it?), but Somers will obviously have had time to make some adjustments.

  10. Route 35 says:

    Joe, thanks for highlighting my recent post. When I say I am not worthy of the attention I am speaking the truth. I am not an expert on the sport of lacrosse like slacrosse, syracuse, and benlaxman are. I am a fan of the sport who respects all the hard work that goes into making and maintaining a great program. I am, however, very observant and I stand behind my predictions from yesterday.
    From “good” to “great”. Slacrosse took me to task for calling players on Section 1 teams “great”. I even had the audacity to say that you need 6-7 great players to win the section playoffs. I actually debated substituting “good” for “great” in my post before I hit send. So I do agree with some of his thinking here. But in the end I remembered that the blog is covering high school lacrosse and in my book many of these 16 and 17 year olds are great. And there are more than three great/elite players in section 1.
    Here are some other thoughts and questions that you can read or delete…
    – The origin of the Route 35 name is just as Joe indicates. This is the corridor that connects many great lacrosse communities. It’s also a treacherous road with twist and turns and has far too many crashes (sounds like Section 1 lacrosse 2010). Route 35 also connects to Ridgefield Ct. another great lacrosse community. Route 35 is the North-South divide between long time established lacrosse programs north of 35 and new and emerging programs south of 35. How about a Route 35 Classic doubleheader next year for charity? Play it a Purchase one year and West Point the next. Someone get on that please.
    – Hockey dads are insane, football dads are nuts, but is there anything more annoying than a lacrosse dad from a top program. The hat, the shirt, all logoed to the hilt. Some even come to games with a stick. As bad as hockey dads are I never see them show up with a stick.
    – How many programs in Section one have coaching ties to Yorktown?
    – Should Section one start recruiting coaching talent from LI? Would they come?
    – Where did Benlaxman go and what made him come back?
    – Why would anyone spend time on the Journal News lax blog? Although I must say the stories in the paper have gotten better. Now if they could just get the names and stats right it would be perfect.

  11. Lax Fan 2010 says:

    I know it is obviously still very early but what are all of your Section 1 All – America teams?

  12. Laxtime says:

    Umm … tough to say now but I’ll give it a shot …

    Daniello/JJ
    Smyth/JJ
    Waldman/JJ
    KI/Ytown
    Brandofino/Pac
    Honovich/LP
    McCormack/Rye
    Fitzgerald/PV
    Pfiffner/Somers

  13. Laxin says:

    those 2 jj defenders wont make it over pickel, i honestly dont see ki getting it right now, and for somers it will be deiana over pfiffner without question

  14. lax123 says:

    Right now Daniello and Brando 24 goals so far. look like locks.KI could be there..Honovich nad MCcormack right there.Goalie could go to JJ or Somers unless MCGuigan steps up.Fitz has great shot.Somers deianna .

  15. scooter says:

    I can’t give AA to KI at this point in the season. He just isn’t having the kind of year that makes him an elite player

    Daniello-JJ
    Brando-Pac
    McCormack-Rye
    Petre-Somers
    Honovich-Lakeland
    Fitzgerald-PV
    Walter-JJ

    If Pac beats Town and Lakeland then I give the 8th spot to McGuigan. If they lose either one or both then I think a goalie won’t get it.

  16. reLAX says:

    Scooter, there are now 9 AA spots not 8 anymore. It went up 2 years ago. The coaches didn’t even realize it until they picked 8 and then added a 9th kid a week later. lol. Anyway, you get to add 1 more. Here’s what I got:

    Daniello – JJ (the only real lock right now)
    Pickel – JJ
    – One of the other JJ defensemen is possible Smyth or Waldman –
    Brando – Pac
    Honovich – LP
    KI – Town (has struggled vs good teams but will still have enough stats vs weak teams)
    McCormack – Rye
    Christopher or Fitzgerald – PV
    Schurr Petre or Pfiffner – Somers
    Near or McCormick – Bxville

  17. Lax94 says:

    KI gets THE MOST respect in not only the section but really any team Ytown plays…He is either shut off or slid to IMMEDIATLEY while being covered by every teams best Dman….Daniello is the real deal and will def get AA, he is quick and very smooth.

  18. scooter says:

    I honestly can not think of anyone else who deserves it at this point at the season. If I had to pick then I would go Pickel from JJ.

  19. Bigeasy says:

    I did not see Towns game yesterday but have seen them and their other 4 games. They are just a work in progress. They have no real dodgers that can break down a D. Their whole D is new. I think they may lose a section game but no more than one more. Hope for their sake it is not the Murph Cup. Their O is ok, the ball moves but they struggle shooting and finding open men. Their D is not good enough to make big mistakes, have to play clean man to man and slide at the right times with no lapses. This obviously went all wrong yesterday. But in ’08 they got crushed by McDonogh. In ’07 the lost 8 or 9 games. They will be OK but not dominant. They seem to be real young so get em now.

  20. slacrosse says:

    AA

    Locks.
    Daniello-J
    McCormack-Rye
    Honovich-LP

    In Consideration (no order)
    Fazio-LP–A LOCK if he was taller–a beast with great speed and pole skills.
    Prunty-LP
    KI-Town
    Pickel, Walter-Jay
    Brando, McGuigan-Pac
    Petre, Pfiffner, Deiana, Bello, Schurr, -Somers
    Fitzgerald-PV
    Leventhal-Greeley (long shot and only with some BIG wins and individual play).
    Near, McCormick-Bville (possibly but only If win or get into finals in Class C)

  21. well said says:

    +1 scooter

  22. slacrosse says:

    Route 35,

    Firstly there are many knowledgeable bloggers on this site, too many to list for sure and you are one of them. Dont’t be modest. Your recent posts are great and have given us alot to think about. Please keep it up.

    Secondly I was definitely “not taking you to task” for your comment about 6-7 “great” kids, etc. I know what you were getting at. Was just jumping to “fine-tune to talk about who is “elite” in Section 1. Again I’m speaking of kids that are pretty much “locks” to become impact players at top D1 programs, like JoJo (getting there), Daniello, Bocklett, Ranagan (getting there), etc.

    Keep up the great posting.

  23. Section1LaxNut says:

    Well said slacrosse. Excellent post Route 35. I definitely know your stuff and present it in an interesting way. Looking forward to reading more of your comments!

  24. Joe Lombardi says:

    There’s no harm in throwing out names for AA consideration, even at this early stage. But only if you discuss the achievements of the players you mention and do not take the opportunity to make negative comments about other players. Thanks in advance.

  25. PV Lax says:

    HV AA’s …

    Daniello/JJ
    Pickel/JJ
    Interliccio/Town
    Honovich/LP
    Ryan Fitzgerald/PV
    Kevin Christopher/PV
    McCormack/Rye
    Brando/Pac
    Someone from Somers

  26. Laxer says:

    How good your team is huge in picking AA’s. Last year Perrelle got it even though Pac had a bad yr but that doesn’t normally happen. So we have to wait and see what teams are definately the best.

  27. Right now says:

    Right now the only AA lock is Daniello. Wide open for the other 8 spots.

  28. laxing says:

    I think with the crazy season so far, no team should have a substantial amount of AA, and mainly because no team has a ton of more talent than any other. IMO it is great to see all these teams getting considered like pv and bville who ordinarily are not mentioned when jj/ytown have 4 AA’s. Should be fun to see how it unfolds

  29. Valley Lax says:

    Daniello, KI, McCormack, Honovich, Pickel, Smyth, Schurr, Brando, Petre or Pfiffner.

  30. TriLax says:

    OK. I’ll take a stab…

    JJ – 2 or 3 slots:
    Daniello
    Pickel
    Smyth

    Town – 1 slot:
    KI

    LP – 1 or 2 slots:
    Honovich or Prunty

    Somers – 1 slot (maybe 2-3 slots if they finish strong and win section):
    Any of the D-I players who does best if team finishes .500… Petre, Pfiffner, Bello, Schurr

    Rye – 1 slot (McCormack – if his injury gets worse and he misses time, then 0)

    PV – 1 slot (probably Fitzgerald)

  31. Husker Pride says:

    Route 35,
    Nicely stated. To answer your question about coaches with Yorktown ties:
    Dave Marr, Adam Lodewick, Bob Ellis – Yorktown
    Tim Schurr – John Jay
    The Dooley’s – Rye
    Scott Dahlke – Eastchester
    Roy Colsey – Ridgefield
    Paul Bordonaro – Briarcliff
    and College
    Scott Nelson – Marist
    Paulie Santavicca – Marist
    Ted Georgalis – Army
    Frank Vitolo – CW Post
    Jim Castrataro – Babson

    others??

  32. GreenWhite says:

    Husker Pride – You forgot about Brian Kuczma/HC at PV and his brother Kevin, former HC at Greeley and I believe still an assistant at New Fairfield. Does anyone know if he still is?

    Also, Joe Bucello at Westlake is another.

  33. laxing says:

    I’m surprised that if Ted Georgalis is a coach at Army that Yorktown doesn’t have more connections with Army.

  34. slacrosse says:

    Husker Pride, GreenWhite,

    Wow, what a list!

    Is there any other school (s) close to Town in terms of spawning so many high school/college coaches??

  35. TownLax says:

    Teddy G just came aboard the Army staff last year.

  36. Husker Pride says:

    laxing,
    Ted Georgalis graduated fron Yorktown, but taught/coached at Mahopac for many years

  37. Lax map says:

    Are the AA picks done by position or is it simply the 9 best players? If there are four attackmen that are deserving, do they take the four then have one less midfielder or d man?

  38. Bigeasy says:

    Billy Dwan Hopkins
    Matt Dwan Loyola
    Brecht Siena
    Kuczma PV
    Degregorio Greeley
    there are more I am forgetting.

  39. Section 8 says:

    Scott Marr – Albany

  40. Joe Lombardi says:

    Laxmap – The AA picks are the nine best players regardless of position.

    As for former Yorktown players who are now coaches, I did a story on this not too long along. I’m surprised no one has mentioned some obvious ones currently at Yorktown in addition to Dave Marr, Adam Lodewick and Bob Ellis, namely Rob Doerr, Dave Graham and Mitch Lieberman as well as Donny Connolly (Arlington), Mike Solazzo (Pelham) and Mike D’Andraia (former head coach at Ossining). And how about former Yorktown players Gerry Walsh and Bob Kear. Walsh was head coach at Yorktown and Brewster and Kear was head coach and John Jay, who founded the Indians’ program in 1979. Also, no one has mentioned Frank Vitolo, a Yorktown grad who founded the Lakeland program.

    Bigeasy – Good job mentioning the Dwans. (Brian Kuczma had already been noted.) Brian Brecht at Siena was an assistant for one year at Yorktown but never attended Yorktown HS.

  41. mike B. says:

    Brecht is from long island

  42. lboy says:

    somers slot right now is deiana, hes the only reason theyve been in any of there games

  43. Sec1 says:

    HG Vinny DiGregorio, Arl Don Connolly, Hop Bill Dwan, Loyola Matt Dwan, Albany Scott Marr, Somers Brian Smith, Others who were JJ Rob Kear, Fox Lane Paul Carcaterra

  44. Husker Pride says:

    Hi Joe,
    Frank Vitolo was on the first list!

  45. Townie says:

    What’s interesting is that Vitolo never played lax at Town. He wrestled and wrestled at Ithaca where he joined the lax team because they need players.

  46. JJ-Lax Alum says:

    JJ thanks the Yorktown Alumni group for the gift of Tim Schurr.!!! We will cherish him and treat him well.

    On another note …. I like the discussion onpossible AA’s from JJ for 2010, I hear that Daniello, Pickel, Smyth and Waldman are all “academic” all-americans. This could play to Joe’s point of Lax-IQ

  47. funsky says:

    AA locks
    Pickel jj
    Daniello jj
    Hononvich l/p

    the rest up for grabs

  48. Baller Lax says:

    Honovich is a sick athlete but what are his stats? Not sure he’s a lock. Honestly right now I think Daniello is the only lock. If Town wins a few big crossovers and beats everyone in the section then KI will get it even if his stats don’t get any better. Right now he’s on the outside looking in though.

  49. Famous Amos says:

    Daniello today vs greeley 1-1.

  50. Long time laxer says:

    The only school that has turned out more coaches than yorktown is Cortland State. The cradle of lax coaches in NYS

  51. lax123 says:

    There are no locks for AA unless it goes by name. Daniello 1 goal 1 assist vs Greeley as I predicted Bastian very physical.

  52. Old Coach says:

    FWIW – Jay site says 1 and 2

  53. Laxit says:

    Excellent post R-35.

  54. noah says:

    yorktown lacrosse

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