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Seton Hall Prep is back for more after a breakout season in 2014.
The Pirates went 16-4 with three of those losses by just one goal (to Chatham, Summit and Delbarton) and two of those games decided in overtime.
We continue our preseason look at SHP with Matt Farrell, a senior defender whose commitment to Holy Cross in the summer of 2013 was first reported on LaxLessons.com. Holy Cross is off to a surprising 2-0 start this season with wins over Loyola and Fairfield.
Now, here are Matt’s perspectives on the upcoming season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
I have been playing hockey for our high-school team. I have been doing pretty well individually and lead the team in points.
Our team has been working extremely hard in order to be prepared for the season.
We are playing in the indoor ISP League which is very competive and has some of the area’s best teams and talent.
We also have captains practices called “Skills and Drills,” which is run by Andrew Blasko (Seton Hall Prep ’08, Johns Hopkins 2012).
As a defenseman you must have a good stick, phenomenal lacrosse IQ, ability to throw solid and hard checks, pick up groundballs and push transition and I have been improving those aspects of my game this past offseason.
I have been going to the turf, working on my footwork, hitting the wall, lifting, doing one-on-ones with fellow classmates and I am doing anything I can to make sure I hit the ground running March 6 (when official practice starts).
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule is always one of the toughest in the state. We play in the highly competitive Fitch-Pitch and no game is easy.
We also look to continue our dominance in the Essex/SEC Conference.
We scrimmage Northern Highlands, Ridgewood, Morristown Beard, Pingry and Bernards.
The games we are looking forward to playing are Summit, Chatham, Westfield and of course our rival Delbarton.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
This year we are looking for many players to step up. We have tremendous depth on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Any one of the players on our team can surprise people because each and everyone of us are ready to make an impact play.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
The strength of our team this year will be our senior leadership, our coaching, depth and chemistry.
My fellow senior classmates and I have matured so much since the spring of freshman year and believe we determine our own destiny.
We are all captains in our own way and are willing to distribute our knowledge to the underclassman.
I believe we have one of the best coaching staffs in the state. (Seton Hall Prep Head) Coach (Dave) Giarusso and his staff prepare us extremely well so we can go into every game believing we will come out as the victors.
Lastly, we have a tremendous amount of depth. From the starters to the last man on deck we are confident in each and every one of them. We can say thanks to fellow alums like Jules Heninburg, Steve Sanckyz, Chris Donovan, Pino Bio and Spencer Butler who have taught us individual skills and how to be successful player, leaders and teammates.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
I believe the race in the Fitch-Pitch League will be just like any other year. Any team can win it.
The past few years we have come very close to wining the highly coveted Fitch-Pitch title. I believe this will be the year.
I am very confident in our team. In regards to the Non-Public A crown, I believe it is our year as well. We have been working tremendously hard in order to take the next the step and win that elusive title.
Just like any other year, I believe we have what it takes.
But it will not be easy.
We will have to compete with the other Top 10 programs such as: Delbarton, St. Augustine and Bergen Catholic.
Myself and the rest of the team are very optimistic about the upcoming year and are looking forward to a successful year.
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