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If it seems Joey Sessa has been a fixture on the Minisink Valley (NY) varsity lacrosse team forever, it’s because, well, he has.
Not literally, of course.
But the Yale-bound senior is looking to earn All-America honors for the — gulp — fourth straight season.
The dodging attackman is also looking to lead the Warriors back to the Section 9 Class A title game, where they fell 11-9 last season to Warwick Valley.
Now, here are Joey’s perspectives on the upcoming season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
Individually, I have been running, lifting, playing wallball and shooting several times a week.
I am fortunate enough to have a teammate like Luke Hanson who is always right there training with me and challenging me. I admire his work ethic and his will to do whatever it takes to get better.
We have pushed each other very hard in preparation for our last season as teammates.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule this year is tough as always. We start with a scrimmage against Vernon and open the season at Dietz Stadium against Rondout.
We also have two very challenging non-league games against CBA and Parkland High School, two great programs.
I’m looking forward to our division games against Warwick and Valley Central the most.
In particular, I am excited to play Warwick because of the match up with Connor Filipowski, who is an incredible defenseman, and because we lost to them in the Section Championship last year.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
We have many players that are going to have a big year for us. Defensively, Luke Hoffman and Justin Forde will lead the way and make things easier for our goalie, Zach Czuback.
On offense, Luke Hanson will continue being among the best midfielders in the area. Matt Carosella will have a breakout year while Carlos Forde and Brandon Ferrier will produce a ton of offense on attack. Also, Chris Truglio, a Section champion in wrestling, is returning to our team and will definitely be an impact player.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?The strength of our team this year will be our work ethic. It is no secret we lost some talent to graduation, but this year’s team is focused on doing the little things right.
In the offseason, (Minisink Valley Head) Coach (Chad) Lakeman stressed the importance of playing as one unit. He wants us to play “together.” Everyone on the team understands their role; I’ve never been part of a harder working team.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
The race in our section will be very close again. Section 9 lacrosse has been getting better each year and this year should be no exception.
Along with us, Warwick, Valley Central, Pine Bush and Monroe will all be competing closely for the title.
Of course, nobody in the section will be taken lightly. I am excited to see how it plays out.
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