Few leagues in the country are as competitive as the Western New England League.
Among the contending teams in the league’s Division I:
* Salisbury, with arguably the nation’s top senior in Maryland-bound attackman in David Solomon, a transfer from St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes in Arlington, Va., and Virginia-bound Tyler Scales, one of the top defensemen in the country. (Salisbury did not lose another game after falling to Boys Latin in its opener last year.)
* Deerfield, with an always strong defense and premier attackman Jimmy Bitter.
The list of premier programs in the league goes on.
One of them is Brunswick, located, of course, in Greenwich, Conn.
The Bruins, as usual, are stacked with talent.
Before we get David’s thoughts on the season, be sure to weigh in with your thoughts on the league race. (On the right panel of this page, just scroll past the “New Comments” and “Popular” tabs and click on “Poll,” and then cast your vote from the choices available, or write in your choice if it’s not listed.)
Here’s David’s perspective on the season:
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
Most of the team has been playing at the SoNo Field House in Norwalk during the fall and winter, which has been a great way to keep our sticks in shape. In addition, the guys that aren’t playing a winter sport have been working hard in the weight room and shooting balls in the gym every day. We are also starting to do some indoor sessions by position as well so that we are ready to go by the first day of practice.
How does your schedule look, including scrimmages, and what games are you looking forward to?
Our schedule is awesome this year. In particular, I am loooking forward to the games we will be playing over the second week of our Spring Break. In Florida, we will play St. Andrews, as well as Kent-Denver, one of Colorado’s best teams. We will then travel to Philadelphia to play Germantown Academy. Episcopal (Pa.) and the Katie Samson Invitational are the two other big out-of-state tests we’re looking forward to. In our league, we have our usual slate of tough games, highlighted by home games against Deerfield and Salisbury.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
Will Driscoll, our goalie, is primed to have a great season for us in his first year starting. He has been on varsity for three years and has waited for his opportunity and he is ready to go. Brian MacFarlane, a senior LSM, quietly had a great year last year and will be counted on to shut down teams’ top midfield threats this year. Another player looking to make a big impact is John Baker, a junior defenseman who transferred from Darien this year.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
Our offense returns five out of six starters from last year and looks to be potent. Led by senior attackmen Bo Stafford (Georgetown) and Conrad Oberbeck (Yale), as well as junior midfielders John Kelly (Georgetown) and Billy Heidt (Dartmouth), our offense will have the ability to score in bunches. Our transition game has traditionally been one of our strengths and we’ll look to continue that trend this year.
How do you think your team and some of the teams you play each year compare to the premier public school teams from the region talent-wise and otherwise?
I think that anyone who has watched one of our games knows that our league stacks up with any in the country. Every year our league is loaded with some of the best talent in the country and every game is highly competitive.
While the PG issue is always hotly debated, there is no question that they create a deep talent pool and as a result, players from our league are well prepared when they make the jump to the next level.
One thing that I think sets our league apart is the amount of multi-sport athletes each team has. If it’s not a lacrosse PG you’re going up against, it’s a hockey recruit, or a football recruit, which makes for a faster overall game. It’s a shame there are scheduling restrictions because we would welcome the opportunity to play more of the top public schools from the region.
Brunswick 2011 schedule
Wed 23 St. Andrew’s (in Florida) 2 p.m.
Sat 26 @ Germantown Academy (PA) 12 p.m.
Wed 30 Open
Sat 2 Deerfield 6 p.m. (tentative time)
Tue 5 @Episcopal (PA) 4:15
Sat 9 @Loomis
Wed 13 Taft
Sat 16 Salisbury
Mon 18 @Gunnery
Wed 20 OPEN
Sat 23 @Hotchkiss (Alumni Weekend)
Wed 27 Lawrenceville
Sat 30 Downingtown Town East (PA) @ Katie Samson Lax Festival in Philadelphia
Wed 4 @Choate
Sat 7 @Westminster
Wed 11 @Avon
Sat 14 TP or Millbrook
Mon 16 Millbrook or Trinity-Pawling
Wed 18 @Kent
Sat 21 @Berkshire
* 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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