The high school lacrosse landscape is about to change in the northern tier of Section 1.

Add Don Connolly’’s name to the ever-growing list of past Yorktown players taking the reins of a program in dire need of a fresh face and some new ideas.

Arlington is a massive school, one of the biggest in all of New York state. For years, it has been best known for its boys soccer prowess. But now, with Connolly taking over a lacrosse program that has taken baby steps in recent years, there’’s a buzz that is both undeniable and unavoidable.

““I think coming to Arlington this season is just a huge opportunity,”” said Connolly, a 1987 graduate of Yorktown who’’s seen his fair share of success as both a player and as an assistant coach. ““It’’s the right time to come into a program that’s ready to do something special.

“We have enough kids playing since the fifth grade. We have enough kids with talent, a huge enrollment and a lot of athletes. The recipe for success is pretty strong.

““I like to compare what we can be to Somers. When they started, they had mostly athletes and were able to grow the program quickly. This is a similar situation. We have big, strong athletes who want to do well and are like sponges. We can teach them that lacrosse IQ.”

Former Syracuse star and Fox Lane varsity coach Paul Carcaterra, now one of the leading lacrosse analysts in America, said the sky’s the limit for both Connolly the coach and Arlington the program. He likened it to the right jockey mounting a raw racehorse.

“Arlington is a sleeping giant in high school lacrosse,” Carcaterra said. “Don is the right guy to tap into the athleticism and up-and-coming youth program. He will put his stamp on that program.

“His offensive mind is cutting edge. He has the ability to change games by adjusting to what the opposition’s tendencies are. He has had championship experience at every level. Couple that with his valuable coaching experience and he will bring excitement to the Arlington program.”

Maybe Connolly’s presence will mark the dawning of a new era, the first real chance Dutchess County has had to show it can put a blueprint in place to one day be in a position to rival its neighbors to the south. Or maybe it will be the culmination of one man’s quest to find his true calling. Regardless, it should be an interesting ride.

“”It’’s an exciting time. We can’t wait to get started,”” Connolly said. “”The excitement level is high. The future is bright for Arlington.””

• Joe’s North County News column: Revamped leagues force Section 1 coaches to scramble to schedule crossover games

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15 Responses to “Arlington goes Yorktown route, turns program over to Connolly”

  1. Sec1 says:

    Donny will take this program to the next level, good luck Don and Steve..

  2. Sec8 says:

    Congratulations to Don. Great choice by Arlington – Ridgefield’s loss is Arlington’s gain.

  3. OnlytheGold says:

    Best of Luck to Arlington! The best thing about Coach C. is that he has a passion for the game and teaching it to young athletes. He will be able to open doors and opportunities that these kids. With a solid 3-5 year plan this team will be playing late into the playoffs.

    Good Luck

  4. Syracuse says:

    No question the right man is in place. Anyone who knows Don will tell you his lax IQ is up in the clouds. It will translate over to his players at every level. Just be patient.

    If you don’t really know much about Don, just re-read the comments from Timmy Schurr and Paul Carc in the piece. They speak volumes.

    That’s the guy Arlington is getting.

  5. pk says:

    Congrats and good luck to Ice, ya hump!

  6. jackie says:

    congrats to arlington on a great choice and a bright future!

  7. Admiral Lax says:

    Very excited about the future of Arlington lax. Good luck Coach Connolly!

  8. HVLax says:

    With the largest enrollment of any school in Section One there’s no reason Arlington shouldn’t be a major powerhouse if the coaching and commitment are in place.

  9. GreenWhite says:

    Wonder how long before Donny tries to get Town on the schedule.

  10. Observer says:

    Don’t think Arlington is ready for Yorktown yet, but maybe someday soon no doubt.

  11. ilax says:

    town is on the schedule…along with mahopac, lakeland, and brewster and a couple other solid teams from out of the area.

  12. melanie says:

    We are all looking forwad to Don bringing Arlington to the next level. Good Luck Coach

  13. Kelly C. says:

    I went to college with Ice, and I know personally that he can push all the right buttons. He really knows when to ride his players, and when to just lay off.

  14. Fan says:

    With a connection to Yorktown, this is a big step. Something in the water in Yorktown…

  15. rlaxfamily says:

    WE don’t breed them big but we do breed them to play like they are.

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