BOYS' LACROSSE PREVIEW — If you ask senior midfielder and Yorktown captain Ty Schuldt how he thinks his team looks this year, the answer is intense. He will be playing lacrosse at Hartford next year while his counterpart, midfielder Justin Mabus, will play for Towson.
But for now, Schuldt is focusing on putting together a good season and envisions another winning campaign for Yorktown.
"The intensity level is up and I think we are going to be good," he said. "As long as we play to our potential, it will be a good year."
Last season, however, the Huskers ended on a sour note, dropping the Section 1 Class A final 8-7 in overtime to rival Lakeland/Panas. They also lost the Murphy Cup game last year to the Rebels for only the third time in 21 years.
Dave Marr, entering his ninth year as head coach of the Huskers, knows his team would like nothing more than to win the Murphy Cup game this season, as the Huskers will face Lakeland/Panas on May 7.
"Anytime you play for the Murphy Cup, it's a huge game," the coach said. "Obviously, when you play without the possession of it, it makes it even more important, plus it's the only time we face them (Lakeland/Panas)."
The Huskers moved down this season from Class A and will now be competing in Class B with powerhouses like defending champion John Jay, Somers and newcomer Rye.
"There are a lot of good teams up and down the section and in Class B," Marr said. "The whole league is very good and we're going to have some tough games from the beginning of the season all the way through."
Along with the Tuskers, Indians and Garnets, the Huskers also have Lakeland/Panas, Mahopac, Brewster, Putnam Valley and Hendrick Hudson in their grueling league.
In addition to Schuldt and Mabus, the Huskers will have a stockpile of experienced veterans on the field. Senior captains Tyler Fahey (defenseman) and Dan Donetelli (midfielder) are expected to lead the Huskers on each side of the field. Marr feels each of his players bring something different to the table.
"All of my seniors are big, strong athletes," the coach said. "Obviously, it's a team effort from start to finish, but they are the guys we look up to and they are our leaders."
Other seniors on the team include Matt Williams (attacker), Jake Thorpe (midfielder), Alex Terry (midfielder), Alex Poritzky (midfielder) and Andrew Cohen (defenseman).
Along with the upperclassmen, the Huskers boast some talented underclassmen. The notable juniors to look out for this year include Conor Gately (attacker), Frank Fusco (attacker) and Eric Cooley (defenseman). Sophomores Nick Mariano (attacker) and Trevor Koelsch (defenseman) are expected to help pace the Huskers as well.
Marr would like to see each of them put forth a solid effort.
"Conor and Nick played last year as a freshman and a sophomore, so they are a year older, a year bigger," the coach said. "Defensively we have a good player in Trevor. Eric played defensive guard for the football team and is very athletic. He should also contribute."
At the goalie position, Marr is not yet sure who will start the season between the pipes. The Huskers have two goaltenders in senior Matt Sialiano and sophomore Zack Reilly. The coach feels it is anyone's position to win.
"I don't know who it'll be yet," Marr said. "It's still up in the air, but we'll see how they do during the scrimmages and then decide."
Marr feels the Huskers are a different team than last year and is anticipating the new challenges this season will bring.
"Every year is different," he said. "The way they approach things is different, the leaders and youngsters are different. We'll see what works."
Schuldt agrees there is a difference in the team and is planning on playing with the utmost passion this season.
"There is definitely a difference in the team because after losing last year, we really want to win this year," he said. "The whole team is taking a step up and we are going to leave everything on the field."
The Huskers will open their 2011 season on April 2 at John Jay, in what could potentially be a preview of the Section 1 Class B final.