Few players in the area have had as important an offseason as Case Matheis.

The Darien senior attackman’s 2011 season was cut short by a knee injury.

After igniting the Blue Wave’s FCIAC title run, Matheis suffered a torn meniscus in the state quarterfinals.

Darien’s quest for “Seven in 11” – a seventh straight state title – then ended with a loss to eventual Class M state champ Wilton in the semifinals.

Since then, the Duke-bound Matheis has been  working hard to rehabilitate his knee.

The amount of progress he has made will have huge ramifications on the FCIAC and CIAC races – not to mention the national rankings.

As far as individual rankings go, Matheis is the consensus No. 1 high school player in the nation.

So who better to start our “Player perspective” feature for the 2012 season?

On a sidenote, this is the third year for the perspectives and the third year Case has contributed one. The first freshman to start on varsity in coach Jeff Brameier’s tenure at Darien (which started in 1984), Case enters the season with 120 goals and 94 assists.

Now, here are Case’s thoughts on his injury rehabilitation and his perspective on the 2012 season:

How has your injury recovery been going and what have you been doing to get ready for the season?
My recovery has gone very smoothly and I am expecting to play after the holidays. I am lifting, cutting and beginning to run full speed again. My goal is to have much better endurance and stamina this season.

How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
The game that I look forward to the most this year is without a doubt Wilton. It will be a very emotional game for me. This year we are scrimmaging John Jay and Salisbury. Also, we will be hosting our (preseason) jamborees.

What player or players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
I’m very excited to see what Corey Eppley does this year. He is a senior LSM that is headed to Lehigh next year. He has been somewhat overshadowed the past four years because of all the excellent defenseman we had in the 2011 class. Corey’s coming off of a big football season where he was a senior captain and we are expecting big things from him.

What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
This year we will have an extremely dangerous offense. I think that a lot of defenses will game plan to stop me but they will learn that they can’t focus on one player because we have the top two middies in the state in Henry West (Cornell) and Bobby Weaver (Princeton).

Other than those two we also have Jon Magnusson (Richmond), Tim Murphy (Gettysburg), and Sean Foley (Lehigh).

The one question mark right now is our third attack spot. Some of the contenders are Kevin Seiler, John Reed, Jamie Kerr, George Gregory and Peter Lindley.

How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
I am really excited to defend our FCIAC title. All of our games will be battles. The usual teams of New Canaan, Wilton, Greenwich and Ridgefield will be our toughest opponents. Like I said before, I can’t wait to play against Wilton

* For more info on Case, check out his player profile by clicking here.

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Player’s perspective archive

* If you’re a player from the region and would like to share your perspectives on the 2012 season, send an email to info@laxlessons.com. You can check out the more than 90 stories by clicking here.

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* For a look at how schedules for teams from throughout the region for the 2012 season are shaping up, be sure to check out the “Schedules galore” thread.

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13 Responses to “Player’s perspective: Darien’s Matheis prepares for varsity finale”

  1. BlueWaveFan says:

    Sounds like the Blue Wave has re-loaded again! Welcome back Case.

  2. Blue White says:

    Totally, expectations should be for a great season with the superstars they return.

    Can understand his wanting to get after Wilton, but I’m really intrigued by the regular season Darien/NC tilt that follows soon thereafter.

    Best of luck, except for on 4.12 of course

  3. Young Warrior says:

    I couldnt wait to play Wilton either…after all their AAs and solid senior class has left…

    • Lax Novice says:

      Considering that Case has never played in a game vs. Wilton where he lost, I don’t think he’s too worried. One thing you should never, ever want to do is give #4 any extra motivation to beat you.

      Trivia: Who was the President of the United States the last time that Wilton beat Darien prior to last year’s Class M State semifinals?

      • Young Warrior says:

        Look – I’m not starting a Holy War here – just merely saying it is a different group against which Darien will get it’s revenge – one that he wont need extra motivation (or many of his very good supporting cast members) to beat this year. Wilton had a great run at the end of last year – doesnt change the fact they, and the rest of the FCIAC, has more or less been owned by Darien for a long time – nor was I arguing against that. As they said in “A Few Good Men”…”these are the facts and they are undisputed”.

      • Blue White says:

        That would be ol’ Billy Boy which is just about the time the last of the Whitten-era players graduated in ’99. Ouch

        Consensus is that NC seems the likely pre-season fav to challenge your boys. So of course that means Ridgefield will come out of the blue 🙂

        Enjoy the Holidays

  4. Wave says:

    Yes, a senior class and AA group that Matheis never lost to.

  5. Young Warrior says:

    Not disagreeing with your facts, just saying that the “revenge” will be against a vastly different group. Wilton’s best players were VERY good last year – but the TEAM wasnt deep – that will most likely be evident this year especially against Darien.

    • bwlaxr says:

      You could argue Darien was the same way last year. When West went down against Haverford, the offense stalled and never recovered. When Matheis and Gregory went down in the playoffs, the team collapsed. Obviously those are huge losses, but last year was probably the Blue Wave’s least deep team (the offense did not go down in flames in 09 when Dysenchuk went down) in a while and unfortunately they got burned.

      • ACC10 says:

        While any team would be hurt by losing West, the main reason Haverford beat Darien was that Darien lost about 28 of 29 face-offs. The score was tied at half and Darien’s defense eventually tired in the 3rd and 4th quarters. Dysenchuk went down before the season started a few years ago, giving Darien a whole season to gel. They also had some freshman named Matheis filling in for him at X. Darien lost Matheis at the beginning of its state quarterfinal game in 2011, giving the team very little time to adjust from such a loss. Gregory then went down at the end of the first half of its state semi-final to Wilton. Darien was also missing its top FOGO, Clay Barker in the state play-offs. The timing of these losses was unfortunate. Darien had plenty of depth in 2011. When you beat St Anthony’s, Niskayuna, Yorktown, beat Wilton and Ridgfield twice, and win the FCIAC’s, your team has depth.

        • bwlaxr says:

          They had top-level talent, but IMO they did not have nearly as much depth as in season’s past (at least on offense). Losing faceoffs hurt, but losing West’s presence on offense, defense, and everywhere between the restraining lines hurt just as much. Ultimately, they just did not have as many proven initiators as in past years to step in(for example, in 09, even without Dysenchuk they had Foley, Bolton, Brickman, Matheis, Annechino…). The offense also got stagnant at times, with players settling for shots from 15 yards out on good goalies, and as a result everyone else began to stand still off ball. Having said that, Darien were also very unlucky at the end of the year, and I believe they probably would have won a seventh straight title if Matheis and Gregory did not go down.

  6. Jersey Shore Lax says:

    Nice overview of the season. Best of luck this year Case. Looking forward to welcoming you to the Duke family.

  7. Patrick says:

    Looking forward to another year of watching Bobby Duvniak shut you completely down. After all, it’s still just Connecticut ball.

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