Ridgefield edges Yorktown today at the Daniel Hand preseason tournament.

West Islip downs Darien in a round-robin scrimmage.

Somers enjoys a strong showing at the New Fairfield Shootout.

What does it all mean? Now, we’ll know.

Because in a matter of days, teams from Westchester, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess will be joining Nassau by playing actual games. (Fairfield will follow next week.) These games will give us a clear indication if many of these preseason scores proved to be any accurate measure at all.

This much is certain. It’s not the scores that matter in the preseason, it’s the level of intensity and  the signs that emerge for the potential for success down the road.

Those are things a couple of first-year coaches — Somers’ Lew Janavey and Horace Greeley’s Vin DeGregorio — were especially mindful of today at the New Fairfield Shootout.

Janavey is the longtime former assistant coach at Lakeland/Panas who also had stops at Fox Lane and Edgemont. DiGregorio, a former Yorktown High standout, was assistant at Put Valley. Now, both are getting their first shots as varsity head coaches.

And that means establishing their systems — and realizing that the players won’t pick everything up overnight.

It’s a process.

And so far, at least, the results have been encouraging.

Janavey’s Tuskers showed marked improvement at yesterday’s New Fairfield Shootout from their performance at last weekend’s Red/Gray Shootout.

During that event, Janavey was imploring his players to make the hustle plays and get to ground balls.

Yesterday, the Tuskers not only did that but played with passion and purpose — and plenty of spirit. There was an array of hard hits dished out by Somers players throughout the day — especially by the team’s core of football players, including Matt Deiana, Rob Lombardo, Erik Pfiffner, Greg Petre, Dylan Haas, John Bello, Colin Tullgren, Joe Marasco and Christian Smith.

Somers’ offense, which at time relies too heavily on the talents of the Syracuse-bound Marasco (the eighth-ranked senior in the nation), was more balanced too.

It was also an encouraging day for DeGregorio and his Quakers.

Already the Quakers appear to have mixed good chemistry and cohesion — a process that often takes weeks or months. And that’s if it ever happens at all.

In Greeley’s case, the process may have been expedited by the fact that the team’s identity on the field is pretty clear. The Quakers, you see, are a defensive-oriented team.

In 6-foot-3, 160-pound junior Hunter Bastian (a promising Division I prospect) and seniors Ben Litwak and Derek Katchis, the Quakers have one of the best close units in the section.

The offense needs to make some strides, but Hofstra-bound senior Jordan Fried and classmate and fellow attackman Burke Anderson and senior midfielder Jason Kerstein are a good group to build upon.

And building is exactly what DeGregorio — and Janavey — are looking to do.

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29 Responses to “Now it's time to play for real”

  1. LAX says:

    Didn’t Yorktown play Garden City in the Tournament as well?

  2. ?? says:

    Who was somers other face off man other then deiana?

  3. Joe Lombardi says:

    Erik Pfiffner and Anthony Lombardo. Lombardo, the younger brother of Rob Lombardo, is only a sophomore and should have a big impact on the team this year. He has good size and skills and the potential to play at the college level.

  4. LaxFan says:

    What happened at the end of the New Fairfield Tourney with Somers. Heard their scrimmage was stopped early by the refs.

  5. Dee-up says:

    Somers Looked very good At Fairfield. They were fast and aggressive. Jojo had his share of looks but the ball was shared well. As with all Lew J teams the transition is go go go , and this team has the wheels to do just that. Hats off to Somers they did well here and played with a lot of confidence.. I may be wrong but there seem to be some extra effort into the New Milford , Somers game. In this very physical game New Milford met its match. and then some. As they play there should be more noise out of Somers to come .

  6. Joe Lombardi says:

    I didn’t attend Somers’ last scrimmage of the day or the one vs. New Milford (I was watching Greeley vs. Simsbury on the other field at that time), but I know the Tuskers won 10-3, Dee-up, and your observations certainly apply to the the two scrimmages of theirs I did see (vs. Put Valley and Simsbury).

    As for Put Valley, Brian Kuczma has a nice nucleus to build around in
    Kyle Calabro and Dylan Chestnut and Jimmy van de Veerdonk. This team will get better as the season goes on. It was interesting to see a Kuczma Cup-esque reunion of sorts when Put Valley scrimmages New Fairfield, where Kuczma’s brother, former Greeley assistant Kevin, is now an assistant. New Fairfield, the defending state champs, won 6-3.

    Somers did play with a lot of confidence, and I saw some marked improvement in some of their key offensive players.

    Erik Pfiffner, who has always had a nice cannon with his right hand, has come a long way with his left hand. Matt Deiana continues to make things happen on offense and place his shots on goal very nicely. Colin Tullgren’s stick skills have improved a great deal. He had a real nice one-on-one dodge on a goal vs. Put Valley. Greg Petre’s release has gotten quicker than ever.

    I found Syracuse’s observations after covering Hen Hud-Mamaroneck and Jim Stout’s thoughts after watching Fox Lane-Ballston Spa very interesting.

    In case you missed them, be sure to check out this link:


    That link also has info on the Daniel Hand tournament (where Ridgefield, coached by Roy Colsey, beat Yorktown) as well as the Manhasset-South Side, Smithtown West-Farmingdale games and Darien Round-Robin that included West Islip, Fairfield Prep and Shoreham-Wading River.

  7. laptop says:

    Yorktowns starters dominated, were beating ridgefield 6-4 at half time against ridgefield before coming out, 9-3 against Duxbury when they came out, 7-1 against Garden City before they came out.

  8. syracuse says:


    Want a job? We’ll send you to this tournament every year because yesterday was very frustrating. I guess a lot of people didn’t go (though the weather was about as good as anyone could have asked for) and, due to factors beyond their control, the people who were supposed to contact me with updates didn’t as often as I would have liked.

    So, laptop, the job is yours next year. I’ll even go with you.

    I would like to hear more from you folks about how Yorktown looked.

  9. franklyscarlett says:

    Interesting take laptop. Except I taped the game and interestingly enough it showed Ranagan and pals in for the whole scrimmage. Perhaps I can send you the tape and it’ll jog your memory? Dominate? Don’t think so.

  10. GreenWhite says:

    No worries Cuse. You guys were all over the action yesterday. All your reports were great

  11. Laximus says:

    This is hilarious. People putting spin on a scrimmage like it was a presidential debate or something.

  12. laxheart says:

    How did the Somer’s goalies look? Do you happen to know anything about the starting goaltender for this year?

  13. Joseph says:

    How did Simsbury play at New Fairfield?

  14. Joe Lombardi says:

    Joseph –

    From what I saw, Simsbury did well, beating Somers 4-3 on a late goal and defeating Greeley 6-2. As the scores indicate, the Trojans are a strong defensive team that plays hard. Paul Gallagher, is midfielder bound for Tufts, is one of Simbury’s top players.

  15. laxheart says:

    Joe Lombardi-
    How do you think the Somers D-and Goalies look?
    Do you have any information on the goalies?

  16. laxheart says:

    i ask this b.c they seem to be the sleepers this year in goal.
    Everyone else is being mentioned is this a good thing or a bad thing in your eyes?

  17. Joe Lombardi says:

    Somers is an athletic team and that includes the close defense of Erik Zmuidins, John Bello and Eddie Schurr.

    Zmuidins, who is 6-foot-5 and was quarterback of the football team, is the lone senior in the group. He will be pursuing football in college, probably at Muhlenberg. With his size and footwork, I think he certainly can play lacrosse at the next level. Speaking of footwork, Schurr, a sophomore, has outstanding footwork and balance. He’s as fundamentally sound a defenseman as you’ll find. Bello, a junior, is an aggressive and tenacious player who is the hardest hitter of the group.

    As for the goalies, junior Chris Longo is a returning starter. He is a strong stopper with good technique. The year under his belt should help him enormously.

    Jordan DeVito, a sophomore, is agile and rangy with a strong upside.

    There are definitely quite a few goalies with the potential to emerge as impact players, many of them are first-year starters. If you go through the top programs, you will find that there are quite a few new starters out there this year. I think that will make things very interesting for sure, especially since poise is one of the best attributes for any goalie, and oftentimes, in order to have it, you have to have had a good amount of varsity experience.

  18. laxheart says:

    Do you think Starters Bello Schurr Zmuidins and Starter Longo will bring the Somer’s Team to a Section Title, possibly states?

  19. Joe Lombardi says:

    Laxheart –

    John Jay is the four-time sectional champ. So in my view the Indians are still the favorite. John Jay does not have an offensive star the caliber of Joe Marasco, of course, but not many teams do. John Jay, however, does have more depth than Somers. How much more remains to be seen. The addition of guys like Matt Deiana, Rob Lombardo and Anthony Lombardo certainly gives the Tuskers more depth at midfield. But they still can’t run three middie lines like JJ. So at this point I still rate JJ the favorite, as our LaxLessons.com Top 25 regional rankings indicate.

    Also, it should be noted, that while Somers has defeated Yorktown twice in the last three years, the Tuskers have not beaten John Jay since 2003.

  20. sec33 says:

    Joe how come you don’t have more on how Yorktown did!!??? I heard they dominated the whole day.

  21. yoky says:

    You think Somers people would learn from football after losing in the first round of the playoffs. Wow they are cocky. Remember you have not won nothing yet.

  22. Joe Lombardi says:

    sec33 –

    If you check the main body of this post and additional comments, I think you will find plenty of info. And we of course always encourage folks to add even more. The nature of any preseason event is we will never have every score and stat — or most times, even most. Keep in mind, actual scores are usually not even kept.

    Furthermore, yesterday we covered two regular-season games which obviously take priority.

  23. SGlax says:


    How can you say somers is cocky? no one has been talking it up for the Somers team…
    Personally i think that you are taking this to far because Somers did happen to loose in the playoffs but then again it was there 1st lose of the season…

  24. Observer says:

    Sec33 and some of these Town fans are really out there. Dude chill. It was a Scrimmage. WOW

  25. LAX says:

    Joe who do you think will win the Island in Class B this year? Rocky Point again? Garden City? And how do you think JJ or Somers fare up against them?

  26. Joe Lombardi says:

    Rocky Point has a good shot with one half of the Palasek brother combo back. I originally thought South Side could contend with Garden City, but the Cyclones’ early results haven’t supported that.

    Keep in mind one thing though, LAX. The chance of the Section 1 Class B champ advancing to the downstate semi may be 50-50 at best because Niskayuna is competing in Class B this season.

  27. Joseph says:

    thanks for the info. Just 1 correction. Paul Gallagher’s heading to Salisbury, I think it’s the other midfield captain Craig Smith who’s heading to Tufts.

  28. WM Father says:

    Let the games begin, Ward Melville takes on Sayville on Wed April 1st. Play hard boys, & have fun, good luck to all.

  29. NFLaxer says:

    “From what I saw, Simsbury did well, beating Somers 4-3 on a late goal and defeating Greeley 6-2. As the scores indicate, the Trojans are a strong defensive team that plays hard. Paul Gallagher, is midfielder bound for Tufts, is one of Simbury’s top players.”
    Paul Gallagher is headed to Salisbury, while Craig Smith another Simsbury midfielder is going to Tufts. FYI

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