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It’s been a historic run for Smithtown East, which has emerged not only as two-time Suffolk County (NY) Class A champion, but a national force.
Many of the players who have played a large role in the East-side Bulls’ rise to prominence have moved on to the next level.
But there’s plenty of returning talent that should ensure East will remain a force not only on Long Island but in the country.
For a look at the 2016 version of the Bulls, we turn to Bobby Burns.
The athletic, two-way midfielder, a junior who has committed to Penn State, is a lefty with tremendous shooting ability and stick skills.
Now, here are Bobby’s perspectives on the upcoming season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
During the winter I do a lot of lifting and running to keep in shape.
As the season creeps up and the weather is suitable to play in, I like to spend most of the daylight working on shooting, stickwork and footwork.
I also look at the schedule and prepare myself and my teammates for what’s coming.
With that in mind, how does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
This year’s schedule is very tough. Our first game is is against Massapequa and it isn’t going to be an easy season-opening win. I look forward to getting revenge on them from the 2014 LIC.
Midseason, we play Ward Melville and Smithtown West. Both teams are our rivals and each year both teams two of the top in the county. Those two teams I look forward to playing most because nothing is better than beating your rival and crosstown rival.
We’re scrimmaging Shoreham-Wading River, Miller Place and Chaminade this year. All three teams are great teams so those games should be fun to play.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
Sean Yorke on defense will definitely turn some heads this year. As a returning starter he’s our best defender and he’ll be running our defense at his end of the field.
Our offense will have some surprises with Trent Starr and Luke Eschbach at midfield playing big roles in our offense as well as Sean Barry at attack, who’s a sneaky shooter and feeds the ball really well.
We also have Dan Rooney and Connor Desimone in our offense, who won’t be any surprise to put the ball in the net.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
Faceoffs and offense definitely. Gerard Arceri at the faceoff X is a huge factor to our success. I don’t think he should lose many faceoffs this year.
Our offense is our major key this year. We have at least three lines of middies and at least five attackman that can all play and shoot just as well as the next guy. All of us have been playing with each other for forever so we’re very comfortable on the field. Slowing down our offense won’t be easy for most teams so our strength will be on that side of the field.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
The race for the top spot this year is going to be tough. I do expect Smithtown East to come out with the No. 1 seed at the end of the regular season because I think we have what it takes to beat whoever we have to in order to be No. 1.
West Islip, Smithtown West, Connetquot and Ward Melville are the top teams in our league and I strongly feel that one of these teams will at least be contending for the county title.
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