We’re about two months away from the start of varsity practice, but there’s still plenty of recruiting news and schedule info going on throughout the Hudson Valley/Long Island/Connecticut region, the nation’s No. 1 lacrosse hotbed.
If you checked out the comments portion of our “Schedules galore” post today, you saw the completed John Jay scheduled for the 2011 season.
One of the most talked about dates on that schedule isn’t even a game.
It’s the Indians’ March 24 scrimmage against Darien.
Though the teams don’t play during the regular season, a thread that asks which of the teams is stronger is closing in on the 200-comment mark.
But for Darien, John Jay is the least of its worries.
In addition to FCIAC rivals Greenwich, New Canaan, Wilton and Ridgefield, the Blue Wave face many Northeast powerhouses both inside the region (St. Anthony’s, Manhasset and Yorktown) and outside the region (Niskayuna and Haverford).
University of Maryland-bound senior defenseman Eric Parnon of Darien weighed in with his thoughts on what lies ahead.
Today, we get the perspectives of a player who has been featured regularly here, most recently this story after his verbal commitment to defending national champion Duke.
We’re talking, of course, about star attackman Case Matheis.
Matheis, of course, registered a school-record nine goals to go along with three assists as the Blue Wave won their sixth straight Class M state title by beating New Fairfield 17-5 in last year’s final.
An all-America and all-state selection last year, Matheis, of course, is the No. 2-ranked junior in the nation by Inside Lacrosse. He narrowed his college choices to Duke and Virginia.
In a moment, Case will tell us what the Blue Wave’s motto is for the 2011 season. (Hint: They will know if they achieve it on June 11, the date of the Connecticut state championships).
Without further ado, here are Case’s thoughts on the upcoming season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
I have been doing weight, speed, and conditioning training and have been practicing lacrosse with members of the team since September. I’m working to be noticeably stronger and faster than last year.
How does your schedule look, including scrimmages, and what games are you looking forward to?
We have an outstanding schedule this year. The highlight of the schedule has to be our game against the likely preseason No. 1 team in Haverford. Our other notable games are against Manhasset, Yorktown, Niksayuna, and the recent addition of St. Anthony’s. We also play a good FCIAC schedule with the addition of Ridgefield this year, which I’m happy about. As far as scrimmages go, I’m looking forward to the hyped up John Jay scrimmage and the Salisbury scrimmage. I think we may also be scrimmaging Somers again like last year, but I’m not positive.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
The ones that will step up into the roles of key seniors who graduated last year. This includes Dylan Torey (Quinnipiac commit), who will take over for Andrew West at goalie, Richard Gregory (Union) who will move to left attack for Brian Gleason, JP Walsh (Lehigh) who will have a more offensive role this year and become a do it all middie, and Bobby Weaver who is a junior middie that has really stepped it up in the offseason.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
The strength of the team will undoubtedly be our defense. We have Dylan Torey (Quinnipiac) in goal, Eric Parnon (Maryland), Christian Kolderup (Villanova) and junior Tony Britton (Cornell) at close defense, and then Baylis Treen (Hamilton) and Justin Shaw (Loyola) at long-stick middie. Going up against that group everyday in practice will really help the offense improve. The offensive group is also very strong with junior Henry West (Cornell) as well as Graham Maybell (Villanova), JP Walsh (Lehigh), Bobby Weaver, and junior Tim Murphy at midfield, and then Ben Preston (Trinity), Richard Gregory (Union), senior Alex Brown, and junior Jamie Kerr all competing for time at attack along with myself.
How do you view the race in the FCIAC and in the state as a whole and who do you think the contending teams will be?
The team motto this year is “Seven in 11” and that goes to the first priority of defending our streak in state titles. The competition in Class M will be good as always with New Canaan, Wilton, and New Fairfield as our main competitors. Darien has not won an FCIAC title in the last two seasons which is very unusual for our program, so we are definitely looking to bring the title back. The competition here is very strong with Greenwich, Wilton, New Canaan, Ridgefield, Staples and St.Joseph’s.
Darien 2011 schedule
March 24 Thurs John Jay home 4:15 p.m.
March 26 Sat Darien Jamboree home 8 a,m.-1 p.m.
March 30 Wed Salisbury away 4 p.m.
April 2 Sat Darien Jamboree home 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
April 6 Wed St. Joseph’s home 4 p.m.
April 9 Sat Greenwich away 1 p.m.
April 12 Tues Danbury home 4 p.m.
April 14 Thurs Wilton home 4:30 p.m.
April 16 Sat Haverford away TBA
April 20 Wed Yorktown home 4 p.m.
April 23 Sat McMahon home 1 p.m.
April 27 Wed St. Anthony’s away 7 p.m.
April 30 Sat Niskayuna home 3 p.m.
May 3 Tues Fairfield-Ludlowe away 7 p.m.
May 5 Thur Manhasset home 4:30 p.m.
May 7 Sat New Canaan away 4 p.m.
May 10 Tues Fairfield-Warde away 4 p.m.
May 12 Thurs Westhill home 4 p.m.
May 14 Sat Norwalk home 1 p.m.
May 18 Wed Ridgefield home 4 p.m.
* For schedules for teams from throughout the region, be sure to check out the “Schedules galore” thread, and scroll down to the comments portion for the most recently released schedules.
MSG Varsity coverage
(Only on Optimum)