Player’s perspective: Danny Caroussos, senior-laden Smithtown West eye shot at first-ever Suffolk (NY) title
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Smithtown West has emerged as one of the tristate region’s premier powers over the last decade. But despite being at or near the top of the weekly rankings, a Suffolk (NY) Class A title has eluded the Bulls.
Heading into last season, though, the Bulls were flying under the radar after losing the core of its 2014 team to graduation.
But a new-look West squad, with an almost completely brand-new starting lineup, emerged as a major surprise, jumping out to a 7-1 start and finishing 13-4 with the season ending against two-time Suffolk champ and archrival Smithtown East in the Section 11 semifinals.
This spring, most of those first-year starters are now seniors, including Danny Caroussos.
The athletic senior midfielder, who is bound for Cortland State, is eagerly awaiting the start of his final varsity season. He was also a two-year starting at quarterback for the West football squad.
Now, here are Danny’s perspectives on the upcoming season.
What have you been doing to get ready for the season?
This offseason our team has been having indoor practices every week. These indoor practices are great because it allows our team to keep a stick in our hand and work on our overall skills.
Along with indoor practices, players have been hitting the gym and working out to increase strength and speed.
How does your schedule look, what games are you looking forward to most, and who are some of your scrimmages against?
Our schedule this year just like every other has a bunch of competitive teams. Playing in the division that we play in, there are no easy wins. That’s what’s great about this division because every win you get, you have to go out an earn it and it’s a much better feeling that way than a blowout.
Like every year, we look forward to go up against our crosstown rivals Smithtown East. It’s always competitive when we square up to play. They are the team who knocked us out of the playoffs in the semifinal game last season, so that’s just another reason why we can’t wait to get back on the field against them.
Another game that we look forward to playing is our regular-season finale showdown with West Islip. The rivalry between our schools dates back for as long as I can remember and it’s always a great and competitive game when we play.
What players on your team do you think will surprise some people this season?
A player who is going to surprise some people this season is senior defenseman Matt Kolasinski. Matt is a tough, physical player who is going to help contribute on our already solid defense.
Another player who is going to surprise some people is senior midfielder Brett DiSalvo. With two of our starting three midfielders from last season graduating Brett has stepped in and has been doing a great job during summer and fall tournaments and is going to be a great player to have on the field.
Another player who is going to surprise some people is sophomore Matt Miller. Matt saw some time last year as a freshman and is going to provide depth at midfield for us.
What do you think the strength of your team will be this year?
Our strength this season is not just at one position but our entire team getting better. This season we are going to have close to the whole starting lineup returning from last season. This experience is going to help us tremendously.
Being a young team last year who still made it to the semi final game, I am looking forward to competing with this team for a championship.
How do you view the race in your league and who do you think some of the contending teams will be?
The race in our league this year is going to be very tight. On any given day anyone can beat anyone and there are many good teams this year who can all compete for a championship.
I’m looking forward to the start of the season and competing for something no Smithtown West team has done.
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Posted In: Player's perspective, Recruiting Rundown, Section 11