To make it to the state title game again this season, Garden City must first get out of Nassau.
That’s no easy task — to say the least — considering two-time Class C state champ Manhasset has moved up to Class B for the 2011 season.
Now, we begin getting the perspectives of the players.
First up is University of Pennsylvania-bound senior attackman/midfielder Brian Coleman of Garden City.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
Obviously, the offseason is critical to the success of any high school team. All of our guys have been working hard to prepare for the upcoming season. Many guys participate in the Strength/Agility training at Performance Center three days a week. A few guys participate in winter sports, especially wrestling and basketball. To prepare for the season, I have been working out at a local gym with a few other teammates three days a week. We also try to get out two days a week for box lacrosse after school just to get the stick in our hands. On Monday nights, we get a bunch of guys and play pick-up games (indoors) at Turf Island (in Oceanside) and on Sundays the varsity team has been playing in Tully Park Keague which is very competitive. It’s always a very busy offseason but it usually pays off in the end.
How does your schedule look, including scrimmages, and what games are you looking forward to?
Coach (Steve) Finnell does an incredible job every year scheduling a very competitive non-league schedule. Scrimmage-wise, Delbarton is always a great indicator to see where we are at early on in the season. St. Anthony’s is another match-up that really prepares us for the tough non-league games we play. As far as games, Manhasset goes without saying, and last year was a tough loss for us. Playing San Ramon Valley will also be a very cool experience since we’ve never played a California team before. I’d have to say that the game I’m most excited for is St. Paul’s. The trip to Maryland last year was one of my favorite parts of the season and the last two times we’ve played them we just couldn’t pull off the win. This year the game was almost cancelled because of stick specs, which would have been a bummer, but Coach was able to work it out. They were the MIAA champs last year and always have a very talented team. The Long Island/Maryland rivalry is always pretty exciting because our styles are so different. Hopefully, this year we can pull one out at home.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
Coming off last year, we return a ton of talent in all aspects of the game. At attack, I expect Devin Dwyer and Tommy Gordon to have great years. Those guys have really developed a great connection and are keys to our offense. The third attack spot is unclear right now but I think junior Liam Kennedy has a pretty good shot at taking on the finishing role. He had some game changing goals last year during the playoffs. At midfield, Pat Berkery and Rob Savage are two juniors that will continue to have a huge impact. They are both deadly shooters and dodgers and will cause a lot of problems for defenses. Defensively, seniors JP Burnside, Stephen Jahelka and Brian Fischer will be a lethal unit alongside junior goalie Dan Marino. Danny had some huge games last year and I expect him to have a breakout season.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
Defensively, we’ve always been very strong. Steve, JP, Brian and Danny are all very experienced and play extremely well together not only individually, but also as a unit. However, I think our offense will surprise people this year. We have a lot of offensive talent and most of us have been playing together since elementary school so I think our chemistry will be strong.
How do you view the race in Section 8 Class B and who do you think the contending teams will be?
Last year, the race to the title was very competitive and there were a lot of teams in the running that we didn’t expect to see in the beginning of the season. Wantagh and Division both had great seasons and although they graduated some talented players, I except they will return with a lot of guys filling in. South Side and Lynbrook are always tough, but having Manhasset in our class will make it pretty interesting.
Garden City 2011 schedule
3/16 at St Anthony’s (scrimmage), 4:30 pm
3/17 Hicksville (scrimmage), 4:30 pm
3/19 Delbarton,NJ (scrimmage), 11 am
3/22 at Syosset, 4:30
3/26 SMITHTOWN WEST, 11 am (time is tentative)
3/29 at Jericho, 4:30 pm
4/2 Ward Melville (at Stony Brook University), Time TBD
4/7 SAN RAMON, Calif., 4:15 pm
4/9 ST. PAUL’S, 10 a.m. (time is tentative)
4/13 LEVITTOWN DIVISION, 4:30 pm
4/16 DUXBURY, noon (time is tentative)
4/21 WANTAGH, 11 am
4/27 at Carey, 4:30 pm
4/30 at Manhasset, 7 pm
5/3 MEPHAM, 4:30 pm
5/10 at South Side,4:30 pm
5/13 at Bellmore JFK, 4:30 pm
5/16 ROSLYN, 4:30 pm
* 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.
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