Unlike many varsity lacrosse standouts in the tristate region, there isn’t much time for Shawn Smith to prepare for the upcoming season in the winter.
That’s because the senior is not only a lacrosse standout, but one of the leading varsity hockey players in New York’s Section 1 (Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Dutchess counties),
In fact, last season, one day after leading John Jay’s hockey team to its first state title-game appearance, Smith pivoted back to lacrosse for the March 11, 2013 first date of official varsity lacrosse practices and tryouts.
He’ll have to make a similar quick turnaround once again this year as he sets to embark on his final varsity season before the 6-foot-4 midfielder heads off to play lacrosse at the University of Michigan.
John Jay (12-7) advanced to the sectional title game for the 10th straight year last season, falling to Yorktown in the title game for the third season in a row.
John Jay welcomes a new assistant coach under fifth-year head coach Tim Schurr, former Mahopac High School and University of Massachusetts midfielder Jeremy Guski.
Now, here are Shawn’s perspectives on the upcoming season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
I play hockey in the winter which helps me stay in shape for lacrosse, but I still try to keep my lacrosse stick in my hand as often as possible. For those who aren’t playing winter sports, there are workouts after school on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as optional practice on Wednesday nights in the gym. We also are playing in a indoor league at SoNo Field House with games every Sunday.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule is tough every year, which definitely helps us grow as a team throughout the season. I am most excited for the Yorktown game as we have a lot to prove after the way last season ended. We also have other great games to look forward to in Wilton, Ridgefield, Manhasset, New Canaan and Bronxville. I also believe we are trying to get a game against Greenwich would be a great test as well.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
I think junior Ryan Lee is ready for a breakout season with the confidence he’s gained from an outstanding football season. He is going to be the quarterback of our attack.
Also, senior Jack Wertz, who’s committed to Scranton, will be getting a lot of minutes at midfield and is ready to make a huge impact this season.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
Having (John Jay Head Coach Tim) Schurr as a coach, defense is always our strength. We’re returning guys who’ve been around for a while in Matt Lanza, Bob Giordano and Graham Bocklet as well as many newcomers.
It always helps to have Rob Looney in net too, he’s been working hard all offseason to get ready for another great season as he gained valuable experience last year.
I’m also looking forward to working with our new coach Jeremy Guski. He has so much knowledge of the game and will help our offense get on the right track.
How do you view the race in your league?
Class B is competitive every year, it will be interesting to see how it turns out. Teams like Yorktown, Somers, and Rye are always there at the end.
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