For Lazarus Chavez and the Rye High School Garnets, the path to the Section 1 (N.Y.) final starts within their league.
The senior Syracuse University-bound defenseman sees games against Fox Lane, Horace Greeley, Byram Hills, Pleasantville and Harrison as critical to the Garnets’ success in 2014.
So too, undoubtedly, will be the play of Chavez, an outstanding on-ball defender who excels in transition.
Rye went 14-4 in 2013, losing to John Jay 6-5 in overtime in the Section 1 Class B semifinals. Chavez expects plenty more defensive battles like that one in 2014.
Now, here are Lazarus’ perspectives on the upcoming season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
I don’t play a sport in the winter because I take it as an offseason to get ready for the spring. I have been working out on a strict schedule along with maintaining sprinting/agility drills.
Also, I will be participating in the Dick’s National Championship tournament down in Florida with my club team SweetLax at the end of December. As a team, we will be holding winter practices shortly.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
The schedule every season is tough due to us being apart of Class B in Section 1, which consists of the best overall teams in Section 1 in my opinion.
A few teams I look forward to playing the most this year are John Jay, Somers, Iona Prep and Lakeland/Panas.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
Elliot Meister will step in net as goalie for the first time as a starter this season and not one person is nervous or worried because Elliot is a great goalie. I have played with him my entire lacrosse career and I know he’s ready for the job. He has fast reflexes, his footwork in net is outstanding, he communicates effectively, and wrapping all his qualities up is his perseverance.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
No question about it, our defense. We return every single long pole from last season with additions I’m excited about. All of our long poles hold a great amount of experience and are very athletic. There will be a lot of fastbreaks and hard-fought defensive games this season, I can guarantee it.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
Every year, if you want to make it far, you have to win your league games. Our league games are Fox Lane, Horace Greeley, Byram Hills, Pleasantville and Harrison.
Fox Lane and Pleasantville are both teams in my mind that could be contenders. However, being a part of Rye lacrosse, I’m putting us up at No. 1 for the preseason league title race.
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