New York has among the most heated and competitive high school leagues in the country.
None more so than Suffolk County Class A.
Though West Islip has dominated the last decade, that is not indicative of the fact that there are annually four to five teams within the league that could easily be state title contenders if aligned elsewhere.
Case in point, Ward Melville.
When it comes to tradition, no program in Suffolk ranks with the Patriots.
But WM is eager to move from the backseat back to the driver’s seat in Section 11 Class A.
Is this year that happens?
To find out more, we turn to Christian Mazzone.
An effective dodger with good quickness and field awareness, the senior midfielder is bound for Rutgers University.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
Individually, I’ve been working on my stick skills, working out, and working on my speed and conditioning. As a team we have been having practices mostly twice a week where we work on our stick work and our offense and defense. Also as a team we have been working on improving our conditioning and our speed to get ready for the season.
What player or players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
Tenth-graders Dan Bucaro and Tom Reilly should surprise a lot of people this season. Bucaro is a lefty attackman with excellent moves to the cage and has a great shot. Reilly is a big strong defenseman who is very good at on ball defense and could take one of the other team’s main players out of the game.
Also, Pat Roarty, Brendan Simpson and Jake Kepes should see good amount of minutes this year.
Roarty has a great shot and can shoot from about anywhere and Kepes has probably the best vision on the team and can find guys open who don’t even know they’re open. Both of them will help our attack a lot. Simpson is an extremely athletic longpole who will cause problems for many offenses.
Also, Brendan Dooley, AJ Lapitino, Andrew Tirelli and Connor McAvoy will help tremendously on our midfield units and will cause problem for teams both offensively and defensively.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
I think the strength of our team this year will be our offense because we have too many weapons. If a team focuses on stopping one or two of our guys the other guys will step up and take over the game and then the other team won’t know what to do.
That’s not to take anything from our defense either because our defense will be strong like every year. We’re going to be very hard to beat this year.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
Obviously we are pretty confident going into this year, but as of right now West Islip is king until we can dethrone them. Also, Smithtown West can be very dangerous, as they are most years.
I see the league as mostly a three-team race between us, West Islip and Smithtown West, but they are teams like Bay Shore, Sachem North, Smithtown East, etc. who could compete in the league and feel they are real contenders.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule looks pretty good this year I like our home games and I don’t think we are going on the road anywhere where we don’t think we can’t get the victory.
To get ready for the season we are scrimmaging ESM, SWR, and Sayville.
For me personally, I’m looking forward to playing against Garden City, Smithtown West, and, of course, West Islip. All should be classic games and hopefully we will come out on top in all three.
If you’re a player from the NY/NJ/CT tristate region and would like to share your perspectives on the 2012 season, send an email to email@example.com.
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