It’s never a good idea to ever read too much into scrimmages.

Or even worry about the final scores of them.

If there is such a thing.

After all, they are scrimmages.

But yesterday’s much-awaited annual preseason encounter between two of the region’s premier programs, John Jay and Darien, did provide plenty of valuable takeways.

First, as is always the case in any sport, in the preseason, the defense (or in baseball, the pitching) is ahead of the offense.

That was the case with both teams.

And in Darien’s team, when you talk about the offense, that very word “Case” is front and center.

As in Duke-bound senior attackman Case Matheis, the first four-year starter in DHS’s proud and title-laden history.

Though held in check by John Jay stat-wise, guarded primarily by UNC-bound junior star Jack Lambert, Mathias, returning from a torn miniscus injury that sidelined him prior to Darien’s loss to Wilton in last year’s state semifinals, showed the cutting ability, quickness and agility that has made him arguably the No. 1 offensive varsity player in the nation. Definitely, good news for the Blue Wave.

So too was the play of first-year starting goaltender Phil Huffard.

Though only a sophomore, Huffard already has a full year of varsity experience under his belt, as well as the benefit of Cornell-bound senior Tony Britton returning on a defense  that will include senior Tommy Lyons as well as sophomores Sam Meyjes and Drew Barnard.

For John Jay, Lambert, with a combination of exceptional athleticism, stick skills and his previously noted defensive skills, showed that he very well could be considered as the best overall player in Section 1 in 2012.

Now, to today’s regular-season action.

Hicksville, with its “Mac Attack” of UNC sophomore commit Pat McCormick, senior Conor McAuley and three-year starter Mike McIlwee, takes on host Cold Spring Harbor in a 7 p.m. game.

Two of the top teams in Nassau, Long Beach and defending Class A state champ Farmingdale, square off at 4:30 p.m. at Long Beach.

In Connecticut, Westhill hosts Hopkins in a 4 p.m. scrimmage.

Headlining today’s scrimmages in the Hudson Valley is a 4:30 p.m. matchup between host Mahopac, the defending Section 1 Class A champions, and Scarsdale.

Don’t forget to check in with updates from the field with your mobile devices. You can post them directly as comments on this thread or, if it’s easier, email them to us at

Today’s schedule

* Section 8 (Nassau County) boys, girls (click on “Game schedule” tab and use the pull-down menu)

* Section 11 (Suffolk County) boys, girls (click on “Schedule” tab and use the pull-down menu)

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Schedules galore

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Posted In: Gameday, Section 1, Section 11, Section 8

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