It was a fantastic finish for Iona Prep last season.
The Gaels rallied back from a three-goal fourth-quarter deficit to beat rival Fordham Prep 10-9 for their fifth New York CHSAA Division AA title in the last six years.
How does Iona Prep look in 2013?
For more, we turn to Ross Schnitzer.
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound senior defenseman will continue his career at defending national champion Loyola.
But first, he has his sights set on helping the Gaels capture another CHSAA crown.
Now, here are Ross’ perspectives on the upcoming season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
I’ve been training with the team during our workouts and winter league games in Brewster. Besides the winter workouts, I’ve been lifting on my own.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule looks challenging, as it is every year. (Iona Prep Head) Coach Rick (Trizano) manages to schedule teams from all over when making our schedule.
Our big conference games are against teams like St. Anthony’s, Chaminade and Holy Trinity.
Our out-of-conference games are against teams like Don Bosco and John Jay, and they are always good games.
I’m looking forward to playing Chaminade this season. We played them to a close game last season, and I feel like we could pull out a W this season.
This year we have great competition in our scrimmages. We scrimmage Manhasset, Yorktown and Mahopac, as well as some others.
What player or players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
This season we’re expecting a lot from our juniors, as well as some seniors that did not get as much PT last season as they will this season.
Junior Mike Orefice will continue to dominate the faceoff X, and he’ll help us push transition. Hopefully he will also see some time on offense as a midfielder.
Junior middie Jack Korzelius will score a lot for us this year. He worked in the offseason, and looks to be unstoppable. He’s tall and fast, and he’s a great shooter.
Riley Aviles is another junior who makes his way up from JV for this season. He’s a quick attackmen, who can dodge, and is great off ball.
Phil Verre is a senior attackman, and is a great shooter. We expect him to be a good goal scorer for us this season.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
Our team is going to be the strongest at the defense. We return all of our starters, except Tim Hefferon.
Seniors John Van Bramer and Vin Larocca are two-year starters who will make an impact. Vin is a huge, physical presence. Although he takes a lot of penalties, he holds our defense together from crease.
Jack Tracy and Ryan Moores can also be expected to get playing time at either close D or LSM.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
We have high expectations for this season, and a chip on our shoulder from last season. Last year we made it to the state championship, and lost to Bishop Timon by one goal.
This season we look to make our way back, and come back with a ring.
Teams like Holy Trinity and St. John’s will be our toughest competition in our league, on the way to the downstate championship.
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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