Are you ready?

We sure are. We’ve been talking quite a bit about who the best teams in the region are. But talk is cheap.

We decided to do something about it.

So we are debuting our Top 25 regional high school rankings and our Top 5 rankings for each of these regions: Westchester/Rockland/Putnam/Dutchess, Nassau, Suffolk and Fairfield.

As always, rankings are not exactly scientific. So we urge you to weigh in with your thoughts on what we’ve come up with.

1. West Islip: The Lions have arguably the nation’s top player in junior Nicky Galasso.

2. St. Anthony’s: Friars have depth and desire to unseat Chaminade as CHSAA champs.

3. Darien: Can the Blue Wave make it five state titles in a row?

4. Yorktown: The ‘Huskers have two Hopkins-bound short sticks, but their defense will be the difference.

5. Syosset: Class A state finalist in 2008 could be even better than last year despite key graduation losses.

6. Manhasset: Connor English hopes for a special sendoff in senior season.

7. Cold Spring Harbor: Impressive 6-2 season-opening win over South Side.

8. Garden City: Season-opening loss to Syosset notwithstanding, Trojans are Class B title contender.

9. Ward Melville: Standard-bearer, offensively challenged, great defensively.

10. Ridgefield: Virginia-bound Matt White could be the region’s best player.

11. Fairfield Prep: If Prep played in the FCIAC it would meet Darien more often than not in the finals.

12. Rocky Point: One Palasek is gone, but one remains.

13. Chaminade: Down? Not quite at St. Anthony’s level anymore? We shall see.

14. Greenwich: This program has taken a quantum leap in the last decade.

15. Massapequa: Should challenge Syosset, but squeaked by Carey 6-5 in its opener.

16. John Jay: Midfield will be strength, but hit hard by graduation and will be embarking on a possibly overly ambitious schedule.

17. Mount Sinai: Two words — Joe Cuozzo.

18. Iona Prep: Four D-I players, including nation’s leading returning scorer.

19. Somers: Syracuse-bound Joe Marasco ends a stellar five-year varsity career.

20. Lynbrook: Always right there.

21. Mahopac: Potent attack of Perrelle, Brandofino, Bernabo will keep the ‘Pac in hot pursuit of Yorktown in Section 1 Class A.

22. New Canaan: Always in the mix.

23. Rye: All defense, all the time.

24. Wilton: Warriors usher in a new coach as they look to restore their proud tradition.

25. Lakeland/Panas: Rebels return all-America attackman Jack Doherty.





1. Yorktown

2. John Jay

3. Iona Prep

4.  Somers

5. Mahopac




1. Syosset

2. Manhasset

3. Garden City

4. Chaminade

5. Massapequa




1. West Islip

2. St. Anthony’s

3. Ward Melville

4. Rocky Point

5. Mount Sinai




1. Darien

2. Ridgefield

3. Fairfield Prep

4. Greenwich

5. New Canaan

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Be sure to weigh in with your comments.

You can also reach Joe Lombardi at

Posted In: Fairfield lacrosse, Long Island lacrosse

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51 Responses to “ Top 25”

  1. LI Lax says:

    These look real good Joe. However I dp feel Darien is ranked too high. Syosset is much better. Otherwise your on the money.

  2. RahRahWarriors says:

    Wilton is back. New coach, new energy.Mark my words.

  3. RebelYell says:

    Until Yorktown can get past state semis they shouldn’t be ranked this high.

  4. nurse ratchet says:

    Gallaso is a very good player— best in the nation ? NOT

  5. casual observer says:

    i dont think theres anyway that both somers and mahopac should be above rye. i like your one two three in section 1. but 4 and 5 are questionable. you could end up being right but i think the top four will be the same as last year just in a diffrent order.

  6. Joe Lombardi says:

    CO –

    Fair enough. Keep in mind though, Somers has the No. 8 senior in the country in JoJo Marasco. That fact definitely pushed the Tuskers up a few spots. But your points are well-taken. It will be interesting.

  7. Lax 44 says:

    Pac and Jay are closer than you have them. Pac attack is very good as you say but Corace will mesh the D to show much better than in the scrimmage.Jay is good but O is questionable on attack. Should be interesting . Thanks Joe

  8. Joe Lombardi says:

    Good points, Lax44.

  9. S1wss says:

    people are going to see this and be like what is he thinking… but i’m going to say it anyway. Somers will get a big boost from Dienna and Lombardo once they settle in, but i think they could play a bigger role on a team that didnt have the beast that is JoJo Marasco…. Joe L do you think that because Marasco is as good as he is it might take away from working these other athletes in more?? I mean Rob probably isnt out there for offense much this year but Matt at the scrimmage just seemed to be a guy looking to iso off his athleticism and was spiking bounce shots about 10 yards in front of the crease…. will Somers just ride Marasco or take the time to develop Dienna……

    I’m not saying Dienna is the only other option, there is help for Marasco but Dienna has the most upside with the explosiveness he has

  10. Joe Lombardi says:

    S1wss –

    I think you’re 100 percent right about Deiana and Lombardo. Lacrosse, more and more, is becoming a game of athletes. Many college coaches tell me they recruit athletes first, lacrosse players second.

    The funny thing is Deiana’s stick skills are pretty impressive for not having played the game in almost two years. He had some well-placed shots on goals he scored Saturday. Lombardo also had a nice goal off a blast on a fastbreak vs. Don Bosco. They will definitely have major impacts. Having them on the team this year will make a world of difference for the Tuskers.

    And to answer your question, I think because JoJo is so good, it will allow these guys — and others on the team — more offensive opportunities because so much defensive attention will be on JoJo.

  11. syracuse says:


    Good points from everyone. I am 100 percent behind casual observer in that, in retrospect, I think we short-changed Rye a bit here. Maybe they should be a little higher and certainly right on par with wherever we slotted Mahopac and Somers. I really think they belong in the Westchester regional Top 5 as well, but, again, this is just a first poll. Often it is best to pay homage to those who have been consistently doing it for years (not that Rye hasn’t) and go on “hype” and recruited players. That said, though, this poll will morph into a more accurate depiction of the true Top 25 once a few games are under everyone’s belt.

    I was very interested to hear the thoughts on Wilton. McNulty was there for a long time and did some wonderful things, but for the last few years the Warriors had been a shell of what they were for whatever reason. I watched Yorktown utterly manhandle them and was quite shocked to be honest, mostly because I couldn’t remember a Wilton team that was that porous defensively.

    Keep in mind, unlike a true state poll or national poll, teams in our poll will lose games and sometimes not be as penalized as they would be in the aforementioned polls that take a much bigger area into account. So, by the end of the season there could be 6-, 7-, or 8-loss teams still hanging around in the Top 25 because even though their records may be nothing to write home about, we will know that they are still better than the alternative.

    As for Yorktown not deserving to be ranked so high, I argue against RebelYell’s reasoning because what Town did in ’08 or their consistent nature of being eliminated in the state semis should have no bearing on where they start out in a given year. Remember, the teams Yorktown has lost to in previous years have either won state titles or been knocked out by West Genny. It is my belief that the N.Y. state Class A championship is the single hardest state crown to win in the nation and likely right there with surviving the MIAA-A tournament in Maryland.

    Yorktown is precisely where they should be for a regional poll of this nature.

  12. Old Timer says:


    For Westchester, thought Rye might be as high as 2 and Jay as low as 4.

    Pac is getting an awful lot of respect here.

    Guess we will see soon when the games start.

  13. laxin it up says:

    Joe, looks like a good list- goes to show how good the lax is around the region. these teams would be able to compete with anyone in the country

  14. Lax 44 says:

    Old Timer
    Pac is up to par with Jay and Somers.Rye is very good but lost a lot of offense last year. Lot of parity in the middle of the pack in Westchester Putnam. Will be very interesting couple of months. Anybody hear anything about the Empires?

  15. Joe Lombardi says:

    I guess the main disagreement in Section 1 is over Rye’s status. Based on the consistency the program has demonstrated the last 4-5 years, you have to figure they will at least be in a position to emerge as one of the top 2-3 teams in the section. It shouldn’t take too long to find out because all the teams ranked in the Westchester region have major tests right off the bat.

  16. Admiral says:

    Kinda surprised that Iona would be ranked that high….I know we don’t want to base future performance on past, but who have they beaten of note…ever? they have some players with impressive stats, but one could argue that a lot of those stats are gotten when other coaches would have their starters on the bench.
    Yorktown has a lot to prove this year…’Cuse, when you say they manhandled Wilton, I’m sure you saw the tables turned when they played Darien.
    That said, parity is occurring rapidly at the D1 level and that is the result of the vast talent at the high school level. I believe parity is happening at the high school level as well and the end result is great lax for us all to enjoy!!!!!

  17. Old Timer says:

    Lax 44

    Pac can not be considered on a par with Jay (or Rye) without proving something on the field. Losing a scrimmage doesn’t qualify. Nor does “keeping it close while the starters were in”.

    Over the past 5 years Jay has outscored Pac 66-34. I saw Pac several times last year including against Byram in a game which had it lasted 5 minutes longer, Byram would have won. The same Byram team that then got torched by Jay in a game Jay could have easily scored 40 if they were so inclined.

    If one is going to take anything out of this years Jay/Pac scrimmage it would be the lack of success Pac’s vaunted “best in county” offense had against Jay’s defense. Because, if the title is true, Jay’s dee must be damn good. As for the other side of the equation, while Pac’s dee may be a work in progress, as I understand it Jay was running a ton bodies through the “first team” offense as it tries to find out who will actually be in the rotation come the real season.

  18. Joe Lombardi says:

    Admiral –

    That perception of Iona pretty not playing upper echelon teams was shattered in a big way last year when the Gaels beat Lakeland/Panas and Somers and lost to Rye by just a goal. Iona also advanced to the CHSAA Metro B Division final where it lost a close game to Holy Trinity.

    This will certainly be a big year for the Gaels to show last year was not a one-year phenomenon. Iona has the kind of challenging schedule that will allow it to do it.

  19. man-o-man says:

    I would no way put Pac on par with Jay. Judging from the scrimmage, Jay ran 3 middie lines and 2 D lines against Pac’s starters and still won. Jay is a young team and trying to figure out who goes where, and how long each will play. Pac’s so called great attack didn’t impress me much. Perrelle and Bernabo are good with the ball but didn’t do much. Brandofino does have a rip but one-on-one with Stearns he didn’t do all that well. As a result, Pac is not up to level with Jay, Somers, or maybe Rye, but I have not seen them or heard much about them, so i’ll leave that up for debate.

  20. LAX says:

    Yeah JJ definitely outplayed pac in the first half 5-2, but then again I didn’t see the third quarter which was apparently the other way around, and then JJs reserves crushed pacs reserves. It’ll be a close game in the regular season, I’m expecting JJ to win but I wouldn’t be surprised if there is an upset. JJ’s D did a nice job and you’re right many JJ subs got minutes against pacs starters. Sophomores Daniello, Chen, and J Morris all scored early against pac. I saw Silver (senior), Merlino (junior), and Walter (sophomore) all facing off and doing well. Juniors O’donnell and Merlino scored and Stewart may have been the only starter besides Daniello to score as well as the only senior, forgive me if I’m wrong. This is all in the first 3 quarters with regular lines.

  21. Just Noticed says:

    Greeley seems to be extremely under rated. They haven’t had an all star team for a while, but this year they have a very strong defense, a great offense, and a great new coach. Greeley will definitely pull through this season. I think they are competitors this season and are going to put up one hell of a fight with the top teams. Keep an eye out for sure.

  22. scooter says:

    Why are people saying scrimmages don’t mean anything and then basing their opinions on them?
    Old Timer- Name one player on either Pac or JJ’s roster that played varsity 5 years ago. Answer is none, its a new season and that “66-34” means nothing in 2009.

  23. Admiral says:

    DiGregorio was a great player and may well be a good coach, but didn’t Greeley have one of those recently in Colsey? DiGregorio coached with the CT Chargers and having spoken to some of their staff and players, he gets high marks. I wish him well at Greeley. Colsey now at Ridgefield, what will become of that program? Ridgefield has a lot of talent for him to work with. Will they flourish or flounder under Colsey?

    Sorry for the semi – hijack, Joe.

  24. Admiral says:

    nurse ratchet, Galasso NOT the best player in the nation? sounds like you must know of someone else who is. Please, don’t keep a secret, tell us who it is.

  25. Syracuse says:

    Ridgefield is going to be nasty.

  26. OldTimer says:



    Close to 40 players combined from both teams are back from last year when Jay won 15 – 8. Stewart had 3 in that game, Daniello 1 and most of Jay’s defense is back. Also, three players from Jay were part of the 15-7 game in 2007. Stewart had three GB in that one , Silver had 9. For those two games the combined score was 30-15. Do you like that comp better?

    Another way of looking at it is that no one on the Jay roster has ever lost to Pac and no one on the Pac roster has ever beaten Jay. That’s not a basis for claiming to be “on a par with” and as to repeat, losing a scrimmage doesn’t change things for the better.

  27. Zinzi says:

    It’s good to see that Joe is back in action. He’s not only one of the most highly regarded lacrosse experts in the area, but in the entire nation as well. The only thing, we need him to write much more.

  28. oh hello there says:

    Anyone know the status of Nikki Dysenchuk from Darien- I heard he got hurt and may be out for a while, possibly the whole season? I don’t know the specifics but an injury to him could put a huge damper on Darien’s success- not saying they don’t have the depth and talent to still win another state title.

  29. LoveTownLax says:

    “just say no” to writing for The Times, Joe……yuk . they’ll be chapter 11 soon anyway!….

  30. Lax 44 says:

    Good points everybody. i do believe however that Pac will be a much better team as time goes on.The attack line will score and the middies who are young will also produce. The D led by Synan will be well coached by Coach Corace .Should be a good season

  31. Old Timer says:

    Lax 44

    All the top teams should get better as time goes on. … and each of the 6 or so teams juggling for “poll position” after Town in the rankings should be optimistic and looking forward to a good season – else they wouldn’t be in the discussion 🙂

    Part of the fun will be seeing how it all plays out on the field after looking at it on paper for so long. Pac has something to prove against Jay, Jay has something to prove against Rye, everyone has something to prove against Town, etc.

  32. scooter says:

    Old Timer- No Granelli, Bocklet, Stockel, Drew, Crossett, Latino, Laperch, Douglass, Harrison Jones, and James Whalen. Unless they come back and play history means nothing.

  33. RED-White says:

    Saw Somers in action this weekend. Although they were a bit inconsistent, you can see a dramatic difference in x’s and o’s. Offense, defense,clearing , riding were structured better then in the past few. Still a work in progress, I believe they will compete for the Title.

  34. Lax 44 says:

    Blue an Gold vs Red and White 4/2/09 2 works in progress should be a good one.

  35. syracuse says:

    I don’t think you can put a price tag on the fact that Mahopac has Corace running the D. The man knows his stuff and should take a highly questionable unit and make it much better than it probably is. I believe, ultimately, Pac’s defense will take them as far as they’re destined to go because as good as Perrelle, Brando, etc. are I don’t know if Mahopac can consistently win shootouts. The defense has to hold up its end, especially against the better teams on the sked. I think we’re looking at a Yorktown-Mahopac sectional final. And a decent showing from Pac in that game will put a stamp on a season of promise and open the door to an even brighter future.

  36. dee-up says:

    SCOOTER – after all the reading i think you hit the nail on the head –very valid piont. Jay deserves props ….for the past but now it’s a new season. Enough talking let the games begin .. Good luck to all the teams

  37. syracuse says:

    Meanwhile, Yorktown played in a scrimmage in N.J. this past weekend and nobody has said a word about it. I know they tend to guard state secrets over there like Hillary Clinton’s camp, but somebody must know something about how it went?????

    I called coach Marr Sunday night but have not heard back from him.

    Anyone know anything???

  38. LAX says:

    Joe I hear Iona beat JJ 10-9 in the scrimmage today, dominating the 1st half before JJ outscored them 7-1 in the 2nd. I only saw the 1st half, and Iona came out firing. In contrast JJ had trouble converting their offensive opportunities into goals and were killed on faceoffs, at least in the 1st half. I guess they only started to wake up late in the 1st half when they scored their first goals, two straight by Weil and Morris, overall 6 of their 9 goals being by sophomores. Also no Trizano, very impressive game for Iona, I predicted them as the favorites against JJ coming into the season, it could probably go either way in a game.

  39. scooter says:

    So it was 9-2 with the starters in? Thats real impressive but doesnt surprise me. IP has firepower.

  40. Syracuse says:

    I’m sure John Jay will only get better from here. I think if you’re an Iona Prep basher, you’re out of a job ….

  41. Joe Lombardi says:

    Well-said, ‘Cuse. Man, you’ve come up with some pretty good one-liners tonight I must say.

    Just got some more info and comments from JJ coach Nick Savastano on today’s scrimmage.

    You can check it out here:

  42. OldTimer says:

    Don’t think IP has much to worry about about getting respect this year unless they’re trying to knock Town of the mountain. Think its pretty well accepted they are in the mix with Rye, Jay, Somers, and LP. Figured Rye at 2, IP at 3, and Jay at 4 – at least going into the season. But you guys left Rye out entirely 🙂


    How do you rate their attack vs. Pac’s? or Town’s?

  43. LAX says:

    I hear it was all Jay in the 2nd half, they finally started to run their offense well and stop Iona. Now was this with reserves or with regular lines?

  44. Syracuse says:

    I would say, on paper, IP’s attack is probably right there with Yorktown and Pac’s, but it’s way too early to really know. I mean they do have Trizano.

    Yorktown’s attack I think is actually a bit underrated because so many people focus on how great Interlicchio is, when in reality Casey and Lieberman are perfect compliments to him.

    Pac has the shooter, the feeder and the crease guy. It’s probably the most well-rounded of the elite teams’ starting attack units.

    I swear to God I’m going to see Prep vs. St. Anthony’s or Chaminade this year, provided they actually play each other and the games are on a weekend.

    I have been drinking the IP Kool-Aid for a while. I think if they were a Section I team, they’d be No. 3, behind Yorktown and Rye. See, that’s where Joe and myself and a lot of you differ. I think Rye is No. 2 in Section I. I think Jay is No. 3, but barely, with Somers, Pac and L/P all right there.

    You throw IP into the mix, they are certainly challenging Rye for No. 2 — and what a game that would be: all offense vs. all defense. I’d take Rye in that game, but it would be very interesting to say the least.

  45. LAX says:

    Nvm just looked at the other blog. Anyway, I’m wondering where you guys think Iona would fit in with the best teams in section 1 this season. In the preseason I ranked them as #2 behind Yorktown, I admit I felt slightly uneasy ranking them that high afterwards but I still feel like this will be Iona’s year and this scrimmage reaffirms my beliefs. There really is too much Iona bashing around here, I mean really, last year they lost to Rye (by the same amount as JJ did!) and beat Somers and L/P, as a team led by juniors. Are they better than JJ this year? In my opinion, yes, but then again it’s only a scrimmage and both teams excelled at different points in the game. Are they better than Somers? That’s one game which I am very excited about in the regular season. JJ will be rebuilding this year, and as a JJ fan I’m glad to see that the underclassmen for JJ are contributing so much (sophomores scored most of the goals against Somers and against Mahopac???). Good job today by both teams.

  46. LAX says:

    Well I see you already answered by question, cuse. I agree, Iona would be either #2 or #3, If there is a team besides Yorktown better than them it doesn’t have to be Rye though imo. Btw in my above post I meant to say Iona Prep, not somers, in my second to last sentence. And just to correct myself sophomores scored half of the goals against Mahopac in the first 3 quarters (with regular lines). Against Iona Prep sophomores Weil and B Morris scored the two JJ goals in the 1st half, didn’t see the 2nd but I hear 6 of the 9 goals were by sophomores overall. I was initially surprised that Weil got the starting spot at middie over returning varsity players but he really impressed me especially with that goal of his to break Iona’s run.

  47. LoveTownLax says:

    Joe – you enjoy reading the far-left-leaning articles? or the far-far-left-leaning editorials????

    if they covered lax, it would only be the teams on the left side of section one…that might leave ‘Town out…. :o(

  48. Just Noticed says:

    About Colsey
    He really got up and walked out on the Quakers. Yes he had problems with their athletic director, but you can’t just ditch a talented group of kids like that, looking for a coach that know his stuff. The greeley kids were counting on him to lead the way and they had the talent to, and he knew it, but he seemed to feel he was just to good for the greeley program.

    thankfully Degregorio is very happy at greeley, and he really knows what hes doing, and he is looking forward to many strong season with greeley.

  49. joe smith says:

    Have you seen New Canaan play this year Joe? they are terrible, 10-0 beating to Corning East, the game wasn’t close. They are without any senior studs or leaders this season, it’s actually a shame they’ve dropped so far after advancing to the state finals last season

  50. Joe Lombardi says:

    Joe –

    I know Alex Whitten’s crew has lost a lot, but keep in mind Corning East is one of the top programs in New York state and has been practicing a full week longer than New Canaan. Let’s give the Rams a little time. They will get better as the season goes along.

  51. ROLAX says:

    I don’t think JJ will be in the top 25

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