Few players in the Hudson Valley/Long Island/Connecticut region enjoyed the rapid rise Somers senior John Bello did last season.

After coming off an injury-riddled sophomore season, Bello emerged as one of the area’s top defensemen and a Division I recruit. Over the summer, he accepted a scholarship offer from St. John’s of the newly formed Big East Conference.

* Player’s perspective archive

For background on John, click here.

What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
I’ve been lifting and running several days a week at (senior midfielder) Matt Deiana’s house. He has a full gym in his basement and he’s basically my own personal trainer. As a team we lift once a week together and then play a short scrimmage at the Sports Complex in Brewster on Wednesdays.

Do you have more of a sense of urgency since you’re a senior?
Yes, I am very excited for this season. After football ended all I’ve been thinking about was March 1st. I’m trying to get myself both physically and mentally prepared for this season but, I’m really anxious for practice to start. I’m anxious but at the same time its hard to think that this lacrosse season will really be my last athletic season at Somers. Time really flew by. I’m just hoping to end on a positive note.

How does your scrimmage schedule look and which ones are you looking forward to most?
I’m really looking forward to the second annual Red and Grey Classic on March 20. We are playing some of the best competition in the tri-state area. Last year’s tournament was a great success and with a great list of schools such as:  Fox Lane, Auburn, Don Bosco, Guilderland and St. Anthony’s. This year’s tournament should be even better.

What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
There are going to be a lot of surprises this season. One player that it seems no one really talks about is Christian Smith. Christian played with me this summer on WestRock. We developed a great chemistry with each other. It seemed like every time I made a mistake he was there to make me look good. I’ve actually told him that he is the Ying to my Yang because it seems that all of my flaws he makes up for. We have almost a sixth sense of when the other is going to slide or double. I expect him to have a breakout season and surprise a lot of people.

Can you talk a little bit about how your defense and goaltending look?
Excellent. Christian Smith is going to fill Erik Zmuidins’ shoes very well as the third close defenseman alongside Eddie Schurr and I. Since they both wear about a size 18 shoe, it’s not really a surprise. Eddie is and has always been a solid on and off-the-ball defenseman. He has only been able to play with us a few times because of conflicts with basketball but I have really seen tremendous growth in him and he is going to be a huge asset to our defense. It is no wonder he was recruited by one of the best-known names in college lacrosse, Johns Hopkins. As far as our goaltender, Chris “The Wall” Longo, he looks to pick up right where he left off last season, making huge saves and winning games for us.

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16 Responses to “Player’s perspective: Somers’ John Bello, senior defenseman”

  1. slacrosse says:

    Good interview. Dont see how these guys cannot be ranked #1 based upon the quality and quantity of returning players on both O, D, and goalie!!

  2. Just Sayin says:

    Who will guard Daniello when JJ plays Somers? Bello or Eddie Shurr???

  3. nuts says:

    you dont need to cover daniello just face gaurd him and deny him the ball

  4. sperstar says:

    Joe- why does bello and other lacrosse players call Longo “the wall” ?

  5. ROBERT BELLO says:

    I love watching John play with so much desire,no matter what part of the game or what the score is,while John Bello is on the field the game is never over…

  6. Laximus says:

    Somers defense should be pretty strong with just Zmuidins lost and Christian Smith now sliding in to start at close along with Bello and Schurr. As for the reader who asked what “The Wall” means… Think about. I think you can figure it out.

  7. Slice says:

    Don’t sleep on them , Somers zone is also pretty effective.

  8. Just Sayin says:

    What will be the JJ starting D?

  9. Haba Nero says:

    I’d guess Pickel bounces around between close and LSM because he’s the only established guy with any speed. Caviola, Winters, and Lanza all have tremendous stick skills. It’ll be interesting to see how they’ve developed as cover guys from sophomore to junior year. Waldman is a another guy who can fill in anywhere, and actually has some speed too. Mertens can run as well, but is unproven after last years shoulder injury set him back. He’s another LSM candidate. I don’t know exactly how Schurr operates, but I remember he used to have his athletes playing all over the place at Somers, so that’s why I see Pickel playing multiple roles. Remember he was a quality short stick midfielder before he made the switch over to D as a sophomore

  10. nuts says:

    Its strange that a top defensive coach like schurr would run a zone. Why would this be?

  11. Man to Man says:

    The only problem with the zone is that an exceptional offensive team can tear it apart. I don’t know of any State Champion teams who have run it in recent memory. Yes, it can neutralize your standard teams and beat them more thoroughly. This is because standard teams do not have great lacrosse players at all six offensive positions. You have to have a strong player available at any sudden weak side to capitalize and beat it. This is why with the best teams, a zone defense only works in the first half. Then you are vulnerable because you are giving unlimited possession to a team that can either rifle it from twenty yards or thread the needle.

    Man to Man is what works best with an explosive offense such as John Jay’s. Take chances, create turnovers and move the ball back up field.

    Look at what Jay did to Somer’s zone when Schurr was there.

    15-4 and 14-5 in the same season (07) and not much different in 08. Jay was awesome then but that is level you play in the state tournament.

    In 04′ Yorktown for the first and only time in its history came out in a backer zone against John Jay and it worked. It worked because it was the perfect defense to run against that JJ team-and they had never run it before.

    I support anything coach Schurr does for JJ and I know whatever he does is what will work best because he’s the coach. I guess I would just sleep better if they had some sort of Man to Man package ready to go just in case. Something to switch quickly to in order to prevent being out scouted/coached.

    Can’t wait for the season. Go JJ.

  12. Bigeasy says:

    Ward Melville won all those state championships running the same backer zone Schurr uses. Id say Cuozzo thinks zones can win just fine.

  13. Man to Man says:

    Is that really a zone ? Or is it really the same one Schurr runs? If it is, I feel better- they do go man to man in parts of that though. The Cuozzo/Melville zone is very deceptive. Its hard to tell where the slides are coming from. Town always had difficulty with it.

    Ok fine.

  14. Deee-Fence says:

    Coach Lou’s zone is very effective.It stopped a lot of good teams when they ran it at Lakeland/Panas. I know he put it together with the help of Petro.

  15. nuts says:

    is that the zone that jj shredded up. just think when jj shredded it he has novasel in goal. Novasel was all american

  16. Bigeasy says:

    You still need players when you run a zone. Schurr uses a backer zone, at least he did for years at Somers when he had too. When he had Rob Smith as the backer it was very effective. At other times, he has run a man to man. Cuozzo ran the backer implicitly for a long time. There are some LI guys here who can talk more to it. The slide is always coming from the same spot by the way, the crease. The problem is moving the ball quick enough to the back side. Very effective for it gives up outside shots and when you have a good goalie, you can hold a team to long frustrating possessions with outside shots as the end result. Timmy will install both as most coaches do. Town ran a backer in 02 and 05 at times. It can be effective.

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