Jeff Kratky says it simply and best.
“The competition in the Western New England is always intense,” said the senior faceoff midfielder at the Taft School in Watertown, Conn.
It would be hard to argue with that assessment, considering the league includes Deerfield, Salisbury, Avon Old Farms, Brunswick, Westminster, Trinity-Pawling and Hotchkiss.
Kratky, a Darien, Conn., resident, is determined to make his senior season with the Rhinos a memorable one before heading off to the University of Virginia.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
In the fall, I lifted a lot and played some fallball with 3d New England. Now that it’s winter, I’m in wrestling season. Wrestling is tough but it gets you in great shape, so it definitely helps getting ready for lacrosse, especially with faceoffs.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule is always tough since the league is so good. I’m looking forward to the Deerfield game the most because last year they came from behind and won with 15 seconds left.
Hotchkiss is also our big rival so that game is always exciting.
Before the season starts, our team will take a trip down to Maryland and scrimmage some Baltimore teams. Usually we go to Florida, but we’re changing it up this year.
What player or players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
Our goalie, Angus Viebranz, will definitely surprise some people. We graduated Chase Murphy, who was lights out for us last year, but Angus will do well in the cage and I think could turn some heads this spring.
Also, captain Oliver Sippel, who is a defensive midfielder, will have more of a spotlight on him this year and I think people will be impressed.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
I think we’ll be really athletic as a team, and we could a very strong defense as well.
We are returning defensemen Chas South and Eric Smith, who are both studs, and with some new additions and other players stepping up, that end of the field could be pretty scary.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
The competition in the Western New England is always intense. Deerfield, Salisbury and Avon are always contenders, but with no postseason in the prep league, it’s just a matter of who plays best all season long.
There is more talent in the league this year than ever, so big games will be really fun to watch.
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