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You’d have a hard time naming a team from the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut tristate that enjoyed a bigger turnaround than Ramapo (NJ) last year.
The Raiders, who went 4-14 in 2013, enjoyed a stunning about face last spring, finishing 12-8, starting the season with five straight wins and seven victories in its first eight games.
One of the catalysts of that breakthrough season was Josh Haubenstock.
Now a senior, the athletic dodger is one of the Garden State’s top midfielders. He will be headed off to Colgate University after originally committing to Denver.
Now, here are Josh’s perspectives on the upcoming season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
This fall and winter, I’ve been working towards getting bigger, faster, and stronger. I have been putting a lot of time in in the weight room, in addition to practicing on my own, to make sure I am in the best shape possible come March.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule is very similar to that of last year. We have kept the same group of teams, just shuffled up the order in which we play them.
Some of the more competitive games that we will play are clustered around the beginning and the end of our season.
I am particularly looking forward to our season-opener at Northern Highlands, as well as playing Kinnelon again after losing to both of them last year.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
I believe that Andrew Robbins, a sophomore attackman who started for us as a freshman, will have a big year working with one of our senior attackmen, Matt Del Duca.
I also think that seniors Wes Hartgers and David Bavagnoli will do a great job at the midfield for us.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
After losing only three starters from the class of 2014 last year, I think that we will have a very well-rounded team.
While we will have lots of experience at each position, I would have to say that our defense, which returns three-year starters in Nolan Robbins, Brandon Holwerda and Bard Van Calcar, will be the strength of our team.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
Like most years, there will always be the perennial powers in Ridgewood, Mountain Lakes, Bergen Catholic, Chatham and Summit.
However, I think that our senior-laden team will help us continue our success from last year.
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