Garden City hopes to build off last year’s breakthrough season.
After falling in the New York Class B state title game two years in a row, the Trojans coasted to an 11-4 win over Irondequoit in the final at Middletown High School after beating Yorktown 14-4 in the semifinals at Hofstra University.
The championship capped a season in which GC won the Woodstick Classic against rival Manhasset for the second straight year and finished 22-0 as the consensus top-ranked team in the nation.
So, for our first “Player’s perspective” of the 2013 calendar year, we start, fittingly, with Garden City.
Twelve standouts from last year’s squad have now taking their games to the collegiate level, including attackman Devin Dwyer (Harvard), goaltender Dan Marino (Virginia) and midfielders Pat Berkery (Penn) and Rob Savage (Penn).
This season, the Trojans will once again have a strong senior class. Seven GC 12th-graders are bound for D-I collegiate programs: attackman Justin Guterding (Duke), midfielders Brian Badgett (Boston University) and Matt Leto (Richmond), defensemen Eddie Blatz (Georgetown), Scott D’Antonio (Cornell) and Kyle Skramko (St. John’s) and goaltender Matt Cortese (Lafayette).
Several of those players are coming off a football season in which Garden City won the Long Island Championship, including Badgett, who returned for the title game after missing much of the season with a hand injury.
Badgett is a two-way middie with good athleticism and speed whose unselfish style of play is a perfect fit for the team-oriented Trojans. He is bound for the newly launched Division I program at Boston University.
Now, here are Brian’s perspectives on the upcoming season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
As a team, we work out three times a week at a local training facility. We also do box lacrosse at the high school two times a week consisting of drills and scrimmages to improve our stick skills during the offseason. Also, on Sundays we are in a winter lacrosse league in Hicksville facing other school teams.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
As always, (Garden City Head) Coach (Steve) Finnell wants us to have the most challenging schedule he can arrange.
Some of the games include La Salle (Pa.), Loyola Blakefield (Md.) and Duxbury (Mass.) and conference games with Manhasset and Wantagh.
I most look forward to traveling to Maryland and playing Loyola Blakefield as well as LaSalle coming to Garden City.
Before the season we will be srimmaging Delbarton, St. Anthonys, and West Islip, which will be almost as competative as real games.
What player or players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
Some of the main players from last year will be coming back to hopefully help us repeat our 2012 season.
I think Justin Guterding will start from where he left off last season and control the attack. James Sullivan will be taking faceoffs for us. As a freshman last year, he helped us win possessions from the midfield. Eddie Blatz and Scott D’Antonio, two starters from last year, will be defending for us.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
Our team work. Nobody on our team is selfish. We move the ball well, and Coach Finnell stresses the “one more” for a better shot. We have a lot of speed so we excel in moving the ball from the defense to offense in transition.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
Manhasset is always a top contender to beat to make it to the Nassau County championship. Wantagh, who we beat last year in the Nassau County championship, and Garden City, are, in my view, the top teams in the league.
I believe we have a very good chance to win our league. Working hard in the offseason, forgetting about last year and moving on to this season will be the key to success.
If you’re a player from the NY/NJ/CT region and would like to share your perspectives on the 2012 season, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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