The eyes of the lacrosse world will be focused on Baltimore on March 23 for the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic at M&T Bank Stadium.
Colgate faces Navy in Game 1 at 2 p.m., followed by a 4:30 p.m. clash between Virginia and Johns Hopkins.
The day begins with a premier high school matchup.
It will feature defending New York State Class B champion Garden City against Maryland power Loyola-Blakefield.
The GC schedule is among the topics junior attackman Kieran Byrnes focuses on as we continue our preseason coverage of the Trojans.
A righty who is a good feeder from X and shooter from the wing, Byrnes has committed to Villanova.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
The team has been working very hard in the offseason. Some guys have been training at PAPC (Professional Athletic Performance Center) three times a week, some have been training at Crossfit and my brothers and I have been going to Xceleration Sports Training three times a week.
As a group we get outside on the turf twice a week as long as the weather holds up and on Sundays we play in a winter league in Hicksville.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
This year we have a pretty exciting schedule. We start off the season by scrimmaging St. Anthony’s, Delbarton, and West Islip, which will give us some early challenges.
After that, we play in Baltimore against Loyola Blakefield. Then we play La Salle (Pa.) and Duxbury (Mass).
Of course, we will play Manhasset at the Woodstick Classic which is always a big game for us and will have Wantagh, Long Beach, and Shoreham Wading River to contend with.
(Head) Coach (Steve) Finnell always puts together a competitive schedule against the top teams in the country in order to challenge us and prepare us for the playoff run.
What player or players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
I think the biggest surprise this year will not be individual players but the success of the team. Because we graduated so many great players there are many people doubting us.
What people don’t realize is that we still have a lot of talent returning at every position who have experience in big games and many other quality players who will be asked to step up and contribute.
Coach Finnell and the whole staff do a great job of preparing us so that when we are called upon we are ready.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
I believe the strength of our team offensively will be our transition game and ability to play unselfish lacrosse.
The defense from the goalie position out will be very difficult to score on again and our midfielders will create a lot of offensive opportunities while limiting other team’s chances to get quality shots.
Our ability to win a large percentage of face-offs and win the turnover/ground-ball game will allow us to have more quality possessions.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
Manhassett and Wantagh are always contenders to win the league along with Long Beach and South Side.
I feel we have a good chance of winning the league and moving on to counties and the Long Island Championship.
Our dedication and hard work in the offseason and our preparation throughout the season will allow us to have another exciting, successful year.
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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