Garden City has no shortage of players who helped the Trojans win the Long Island Championship in football this past fall, but whose focus has now shifted to winning a second straight New York State title in lacrosse.
We’ve heard from one of them, Boston University-bound senior midfielder Brian Badgett.
Matt Cortese is another.
A two-way lineman in football, Cortese is contending for the starting goaltender’s job in lacrosse. University of Virginia freshman Dan Marino is one of several standouts from last year’s team the Trojans lost to graduation.
“Having the opportunity to play behind Dan Marino was an honor for me,” Cortese said. “Watching him throughout the season taught me how to approach my game and how I should be making changes for myself. He was a great role model for both me and the team, and I’m glad I had the chance to experience that.”
After this spring, it’s on to college at Lafayette for Cortese.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
Following the end of our football season, things shifted straight into lacrosse mode. Tuesdays and Thursdays we play box lacrosse out on the turf as a team. We also do speed and weight training over at one of our local facilities the other three days of the week.
Our team participates in a winter league where we play a game against other local teams every Sunday.
In addition to all this, many members of the team put in the extra hours by spending some time shooting and running on our field whenever they can.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
It’s never a surprise to us when we see how challenging a schedule (Garden City Head) Coach (Steve) Finnell sets up for the season. We will be facing teams such as La Salle (Pa.), Loyola Blakefield (Md.) and Duxbury (Mass.).
However, our conference games such as Manhasset, Wantagh and Rockville Center, tend to be just as competitive.
I feel most excited for our game against La Salle because it’s early in the season and will really show us where we stand.
We will be taking on teams like West Islip, Delbarton, and St. Anthony’s prior to the regular season.
What player or players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
I believe that we will have a lot of standouts this year.
I feel as if Justin Guterding will lead the offense this year.
With James Sullivan facing off for us, I believe we will be able to maintain possession of the ball.
Brian Badgett will definitely step up this year and really contribute a great deal on both sides of the ball.
Our returning defenders, especially Eddie Blatz and Scott D’Antonio, who shut down the offenses of our opponents last year, will lead our defense.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
Our communication and attention to detail is key to our success. (Garden State Head) Coach (Steve) Finnell always stresses we use the “one more” pass and that we always play unselfishly. Nobody plays as much as a single unit as we do. Our transition game is definitely another one of our strengths.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
As always, our rivals from Manhasset always give us a run for the Nassau County title. However, teams like Wantagh and Long Beach and Rockville Center have been on the rise as well and always provide us with some in conference competition.
I’m confident that we can match our accomplishments from the previous season and conceivably win our conference. We look to return the conference title back to Garden City High School. Coach Finnell as always, will do an exceptional job preparing us for every game.
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 email@example.com.
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