Jack Lambert and John Jay will be tested from right the start.
The Indians’ annual showdown against rival Yorktown, regarded as the unofficial game of the year in Section 1 (NY) boys lax, is scheduled for Week 1 of the regular season, on Saturday, March 30 at 7 p.m. at JJHS.
In the teams’ last meeting, Yorktown pulled out a dramatic 9-8 overtime win in the Section 1 Class B title game.
Now a senior, Lambert, a highly skilled defenseman one of the nation’s leading players, hopes to help the Indians win their first sectional title since 2010 when John Jay beat Somers 9-6 in the title game. In that game, Lambert, then a freshman, memorably cleanly won a faceoff and went in for a score, just days after another longstick standout, Duke’s C.J. Costabile, scored a similar goal against Notre Dame.
There’s no question Lambert, who is headed to the University of North Carolina, has many more highlights in store before starting his college career.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
I’ve been working out three times a week and spending as much time as I can on the turf working on agility and stick skills. We have also got together informally as a team once a week before we started indoor conditioning in February.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
We have a good, tough schedule this year starting with three scrimmages against Darien, Delbarton and Fairfield Prep, all top schools that will help show us what kind of team we will be.
Of course, we always look forward to the Yorktown game. They got the best of us in the finals last year and that will be another great test for us early in the season. And we look forward to getting another shot at Manhasset after the OT loss last year.
What player or players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
A lot of guys will surprise you this year. We are a cohesive group and playing unselfish lacrosse will bring out the best in a lot of guys.
Bowen Clymer, a midfielder, came back to John Jay (from Hotchkiss School) this year and should find himself on the field a lot. He is a strong two-way middie, can keep the offense moving and is a strong defender.
And Ryan Lee, a sophomore attackman, made the team as a freshman and has been working hard in the offseason. He should have a breakout season. He will be fun to watch.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
Our defense will be strong as people suspect and our offense will surprise people. (Senior midfielder) Tommy (Beck) will get guys to step up and the unselfish play of our offense will make great things happen.
We have a few guys too that are having an awesome season in hockey and are going to make sure that the momentum carries into this season. They are going to come in fired up.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
Yorktown is just a great program and has a rich history. We respect and have played with these guys since grade school. They are the team to beat right now and they will get everything we’ve got. Somers seems to be contenders for the section finals every year and I don’t see why that wouldn’t be the case this year as well.
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