Northport is on the rise.
The Tigers, after all, have improved their record in each of the last three seasons.
Considering they play in one of the nation’s most competitive conferences — Division 1 in Suffolk County on Long Island — that’s quite an accomplishment.
After all, Division 1 includes West Islip, Smithtown West, Smithtown East, Ward Melville and Sachem North.
If the Tigers are to take the next step, Brian Cannon will be one of the main reasons why.
One of the nation’s top juniors, the attackman committed to the University of North Carolina as a sophomore.
An athletic dodger with good speed and quickness, you’d be hard-pressed to find a game in which Cannon hasn’t produced one or two impressive plays worthy of any highlight reel.
Now, here are Brian’s perspectives on the upcoming season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
My team and I have been getting together working on our stick skills and shooting the ball around once or twice a week and the team has weight and agility training three times a week.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
We have a tough schedule against all of the top teams in Division 1.
I’m looking forward to playing Smithtown East, West Islip and Bay Shore because those were close games last year that we came up short against.
(Northport Head) Coach (George) Searing always plans for a tough out-of-conference schedule with games against Syosset, Corning, Mahopac, and the Daniel Hand Tournament.
What player or players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
Our returners from last season — John Trainor, John Glancy, Jack Pace and Sean Gilroy — will definitely stand out and be major contributors to our team this season as will our FOGO, Austin Henningsen.
But I think attackman Rocco Sutherland, defenseman Brett Hall and goalkeeper Danny Golden will surprise some people this season.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
We lost five seniors from last year, including my brother Jeff. I believe this team has great chemistry since we have been playing together for a long time now and we happen to be even stronger and faster than last year’s team. We have a more experienced and polished offense. We have a lot of size on defense and depth at midfield.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
Northport in the past has always been in the middle of the pack at year’s end. I hope this year we shake up the conference standings.
It’s going to be tough against the usual contenders like West Islip, Ward Melville and both Smithtowns. However, as a team we are ready and have set high goals for our season. We are more focused and determined this year and that is a credit to all my teammates.
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