Up for Grabs: Parity Could Reign Supreme in Section 1 Lax

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Defending Champs Yorktown, P’Ville Brace for Challenges;  Greeley, Briarcliff, Haldane Loaded for Bear

By Ray Gallagher, Examiner Sports Editor @Directrays
Mahopac M Danny Koch will unleash a barrage of top-notch missiles and hope to carry the
Wolf Pac to a Final 4 before heading off to St. John’s next fall while Yorktown’s Lehigh-bound All-American senior Chris Constantine (13) headlines one of the top defensive units in the state.

There’s a lot of buzz out there surrounding the 2024 Section 1 boys’ lax campaign, and much of it centers around the usual suspects, including reigning Class B champion Yorktown and runnerup Mahopac, not to mention this Horace Greeley club that snuck up on some folks last year before being eliminated by Mahopac in the semis. There are certain pockets of lax bros. suggesting that the Quakers return enough to take aim at the big dogs, though both Yorktown and Mahopac return some legit firepower in the forms of  Huskers Andrew Weismann, Dylan Delvecchio, Gianluca Marchini and Ryan Vogel along with the rebuilding Wolf Pac’s John Kearney and St. John’s-bound Danny Koch.

The fact that Mahopac lost so much to graduation across the field certainly opens the door for Greeley to take aim at seven-time NYS Yorktown, which, after securing its 41st Section 1 crown – while ending an unheard of four-year title drought – last spring, remains the team to beat until proven otherwise. But, dang, Greeley is loaded at the top end – Matthew Byrne, Jameson Blakeslee, Jack Holub and Connor Lummel, and the Quakers have an anchor to boot in G Toby Moskow.

That said, Yorktown’s anchor, All-Section sophomore G Hunter Mezzatesta, ain’t just another brick in #TheWall.‘Big-Game’ Hunter is the baddest man in all the land, and he’s got company back there in Lehigh-bound All-American Chris Constantine, plus All-Section poles Conor Duncan, Ryan Cane and Brady McEnroe, forming an insane amount of long stick talent. Goals will be scarce and at a premium against this ultra-cohesive unit and we all know #DefenseWinsChampionships.

If pre-season predictions were being made today, the prohibitive chalk would have Greeley and Yorktown meeting up for the sectional title should they procure the essential No.1 and No.2 seeds to remain on opposite sides of the bracket.

Somers junior M Miguel Iglesias will head to Notre Dame next fall but not before he hopes to turn around the fortunes of the new-look Tuskers.

Oh, and lest we forget to mention 2023 semifinalist Lakeland/Panas. That’s because nobody talks about the sleeper until it’s time to do so. Sleep if you may, but the Rebels are a Final 4 or bust club, perhaps more, with all they return. Somers is in that same realm of possibilities after a disappointing quarterfinal ouster a year ago, with studs like Notre Dame-bound junior M Miguel Iglesias returning, and a brand new coach, Jordan Hirsch, along the sideline.

The Class D circuit is just as crazy on paper, so expect some wild outcomes on the field where something has to level up between the likes of reigning champion and state semifinalists Pleasantville, runnerup Briacliff and semifinalist Haldane; all of which return a ton of talent, including All-American productivity from Panther senior M Daniel Picart.

Pleasantville, which faced a daunting schedule last year and survived some close scares, is so stacked it could make yet another run for the state title if it can survive the rigors of Section 1 before taking on the Long Island survivor in the state semis. The new-look Bears – minus longtime, affable Coach Al Meola – are anxious to get back on top under first-year boss Ryan Tirelli after their three-year title reign ended in 2023, and Haldane, which has never won it all, is serious about riding a dark horse to the sectional finals #SaddleUpBoys.

Class C semifinalist Hendrick Hudson returns a solid cast of characters who hope to challenge perennial powerhouse Rye, which outlasted John Jay CR in last year’s finale. Byram Hills is hoping to do the same after the Bobcats gave reigning four-time sectional champion Rye one of its toughest challenges last year, a 6-5 OT quarterfinal loss, and they should push for more in 2024. Westlake, which met up with P’Ville in the quarters last year, are hoping for a better playoff showing this season.

The stars will be out in force, the unheralded LSM grunts and FOGO’s will command the midfield, poles will whip on the back end, and the last line of defense – the lonesome goalie #AlwaysGetYourGoalie – will likely determine who represents at the NYSPHSAA tournament in early June and the potential state semis (June 5th) at the University of Albany (home of the the East state semis) and Hofstra University (state finals, June 8).



Yorktown sophomore G Hunter Mezzatesta will be one of the most sought after high school recruits in the country after helping the Huskers win their 41st Section 1 title as a fresh-faced frosh last year.


Coach: Tim Schurr (3rd year at Yorktown, two+decades in Section 1)

Last year’s record & playoff result (12-7, won Section 1 title, lost in regional final against Nisky)

Top Returning Players: Drew Weissman (Marist); Ryan Vogel (Sienna); Gianluca Marchini;

Chris Constantine (Lehigh); Brady McEnroe (Hobart); Ryan Cane (Loyola); Conor Duncan (Monmouth); Hunter Mezzatesta

Key Newcomers: JT Carney (A) and Evan Kurth (DM)

Coach’s Comment: All gas, no breaks! (via O.C. Guski)



Coach: Ben Potash 2nd Year

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 15-3 Lost to Mahopac in Class B Semis

Top Returning Players: Matthew Byrne, Jr, A (24G 51A All-League), Jameson Blakeslee, Jr, MF (46G 25A All-League), Jack Holub, Sr, A (57G 10 A All-League), Connor Lummel Sr, MF (33G 22A All-League), Toby Moskow Sr, G, (145 Saves)

Key Newcomers: Dillion Gulotta, Fr, D; Thomas Pollard, Fr, A/M;

Top Scoring Threats: All six guys on offense

Top Pole: Ryan Slomsky

League Favorite: Greeley

Section Favorite: Greeley

Horace Greeley M Jameson Blakeslee will command a ton of attention as his Quakers seek to challenge Yorktown for the Section 1 Class B title in 2024.

Goals: Compete at a high level with everyone on the schedule. Prove we belong as one of the

best teams in Section 1.

Coaches Comments: I am super-excited for our team this year. With an increased strength of

schedule, I am excited for my players to show what they can do and make lifetime memories

doing it.



Coach: Jon Bota (4th year)

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 11-5 (lost in class B finals)

Top Returning Players: Danny Koch (All-Section, 66 points); John Keaney (All-Section HM, 40 points)

Top Scoring Threats:  Koch, Keanrey, Brayden Torrey, Liam Scanlon

Top Pole: Brady Donaghy, Danny Bosio

League Favorite: Mahopac

Section Favorite: Yorkown

Goals: Section chip always

Coaches Comments: Some youth mixed in with a couple seriously experienced vets.



Team: Somers

Coach: Jordan Hirsch (1st Year)

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 8-9 (lost to Lakeland/Panas in sectional quarterfinal)

Top Returning Players: Landon Pepe, Sr. G (All-Section); Mac Sullivan, Sr. A (All-League); Miguel Iglesias, Jr. M (All-Section); Nick Newman, Sr. M; Mason Kelly, Jr. M; Luca Ploger, Sr. LSM; Ryan Brush, Jr. A; Logan Ruby, Jr. D; Grayden Carr, Sr. A; Matt Mayfield, Jr. M;
Will Marcus, Jr. D; Jackson Forsburg, Sr. M; Dean Palazzolo, So. M; Tristan Wachtel, Jr. D; James Balancia, Sr. M; Jacob Solimine, Sr. D; Zach Zampaglione, Sr. M; Matthew Connelly, Sr. A

Key Newcomers: Bret Kennedy, So. D; Brendan Lyle, Jr. D; Tristan Iglesias, Fr. M; Cam Violante, Fr. M; JJ Penzo, Jr. M; Holden Brelesky, So. LSM; Russell Girolomo, Jr. A; Luke Duffy, Jr. A; Andrew Marzella, Jr. G; Ryder Pelkey, Jr. G; Matt Battaglia, Jr. M; Dylan Jiminez, So. M; Kieran Picco, Fr. D; Jayden Newman, So. M

Top Scoring Threats: Sullivan, Iglesias, Kelly, Brush, Newman, Carr

Top Poles: Ruby, Ploger

League Favorite: John Jay

Section Favorite: Yorktown

Goals: To compete in everything we do, to give our school community and families something to be proud of and to be playing our best lacrosse at the most important time of the season.

Coaches Comments: We have a great mix of veterans and newcomers, which includes our coaching staff. Our team has shown engagement in the new systems that we’ve been putting in place and they have done it with enthusiasm. The buzz around the program has been strong and the competitive energy amongst our team has been consistent. We are looking forward to the challenge of chasing high internal expectations and having a lot of fun while we do it.



Lakeland-Panas G KC Bryan, among the best in Section 1, will lead the Rebels on the back end in 2024.

Coach: Joe Macchi (2nd Year)

Last year’s record & playoff result: 8-10, lost to Yorktown in class B semis

Top Returners: Cayden Turner, Senior D (All-Section); KC BrG (All-Section); Jack Jimenez, Senior D (All-Section HM); Kyle Gallagher, Senior M (20 goals, 22 assists, All- League); Thomas Kuney, Senior A (20 goals, 7 assists); Riley Sand, Senior D (All-League); Will Moore, Senior M (27 goals, 7 assists); Anthony Farroni, Senior FOGO (over 60% from the X)

Key Newcomers: Dom Lemma, Soph. D; CC Savastano, Soph. M

Top Scoring Threats: Gallagher, Moore, Kuney

Top Pole: Cayden Turner

League Favorite: Lakeland/Panas

Section Favorite: Yorktown

Goals: To be the hardest working team on the field in every game we play.

Coaches Comments: With a senior class that has logged a ton of varsity minutes, the foundational leadership is in place. We have set our bar extremely high, and plan on working as hard as we can each and every day to meet the standard we have set for ourselves. This group is hungry, motivated and eager to put a product on the field that the L/P community can be proud of.



Coach: Charlie Rice (1st year) Assistants: Craig Henley, Bob Baker, Sean New

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 7-11 (Lost to Yorktown in Class B  quarterfinals)

Top Returning Players: Ryan Nathan, Sr, D (All Section Honorable Mention, All League); Will Oliverio, Jr, D (All League); Brian Bailey, Sr, D; Jack Fabry, Sr, A/M; James Minotti, Sr, A; Owen Baker, Jr, M; Declan Connors, Jr , M; Lukas Stelter, So, D;

Key Newcomers: Kevin New, Sr, M; John Mains, Jr , A; Will Broghammer, So, D/M; Luke Valenti, Fr, G

Top Scoring Threats: Baker, Mains, Fabry

Top Pole: Nathan (Lafayette), Oliverio (Albany)

Goals: Be the team who is better at doing the simple things every time we step on the field.

Coaches Comments: We will lean on an extremely athletic and experienced defense that returns five starters to make stops and be a catalyst to spark transition play. Offensively, we will look for production out of a number of experienced players who will step into larger roles this season.



Coach: Ryan Cleary (3rd year)

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 6-11 (lost first round of sectionals to Tappan Zee)

Top Returning Players: Chris DiBiccari, Senior, D; Ryan Brace, Junior, M/D; Jason Weller, Junior A; Luke Cunningham, Sophomore A; Jack McKenney, Sophomore D

Key Newcomers: Frankie Tumminello, Sophomore, M; Tre Ficcarro, Sophomore M; Nick Smith, Junior M

Top Scoring Threats: Cunningham; Harrison Schmitt

Top Pole: DiBiccari

League Favorite: Lakeland/Panas

Section Favorite: I feel Yorktown will be back on top, but there are some teams that will challenge them this year like Somers, Greeley, Lakeland/Panas

Goals: As a program we are going to continue to move the culture of the program in a positive direction.  This will be seen on the field in the reduction of unforced errors.  Specifically we will decrease the number of penalty minutes we serve on defense and increase our time of possessions through a reduction of unforced turnovers.

Coach’s Comments: We have a young team and we will need to develop our newcomers quickly.  We have an experienced attack group who will have to carry the weight and elevate our young midfielders up to the next level.  This group has been working well together and their team chemistry and effort will be the difference maker in critical situations.  




Coach: Matt Caione (8th year)

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 9-9 (lost to Scarsdale in section semis)

Top Returning Players: Matt Risley (All-Section); Thomas Connolly (All-Section); Ryan Aabel (All-League); Nolan Faudar (All-League); Jake Meissner, Jeremy Smith, Jake Lotz, Adam Boeheim, Conor Pile

Key Newcomers: Seth Ruiz, Tamba Kassoh, Chris Nickerson, Brendan McMahon, Gio Scuderi

Top Scoring Threats: Risley, Connolly, Aabel

Top Pole: Faudar, Smith

League Favorite: Yorktown, Mahopac

Section Favorite: Scarsdale, Mamaroneck

Goals: Play fast and clean

Coaches Comments: Great group of players that love the game.



Coach: Joe Variano (1st year head coach)

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 6-10 (lost to Wapingers in Class A quarters)

Top Returning Players: Ian Denzer, Sr. A; Greg Valentino, Sr. D; Tommy McCormack, Jr. M

Key Newcomers: Matthew Variano, So. M

Top Scoring Threats: Denzer

Top Pole: Valentino

League Favorite: Lakeland/Panas

Section Favorite: Scarsdale

Goals: Continue to build a competitive program and compete in Section 1 Class A.



Coach: Troy Lepore (8th year), Taylor Ekstrom (8th year), Bryce Caffrey (1st year)

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 10-6 (Sectionals: 2-1 lost in Class C Semi-Finals)

Top Returning Players: Conor Prokopiak  (Sr., D, All-League), Aidan Mazzoni (Jr., G, All-League), James McManus (Jr., O, All-League), Joey Abboud (Jr, D), Dean Pastalove (Jr, O)

Key Newcomers: Kevin Ryan (Freshman)

Top Scoring Threats: James McManus (54 pts, 27G/27A), Dean Pastalove (25 pts, 20G/5A)

Top Pole: Conor Prokopiak, Joey Abboud

League Favorite: Lakeland/Panas

Section Favorite: Rye

Goals: Same as always: coach ´em up, use film as a vital tool to improve as players and a team, continue to build our culture.

Coaches Comments: The only job you start at the top is digging a hole.This team realizes that and has exceeded our expectations during the pre-season in terms of the work they’re willing to do and their attitudes towards hard work. This is a totally new team from years past and it’s now their turn to continue the culture and leave it better than they found it.



Coach: Billy Locher (2nd year): assistants Brian Smith, Timmy Weir

Last year’s record: 9-9 (lost 6-5 (OT) to Rye in quarters)

Top Returning Players: Jack Quinn (G) SR; Zach Pero (M) SR; Leo Schechtman (D) SR

Key Newcomers: Ryan Pero Mid (Fresh); Adam Lefkowitz Jr FO

Top scoring threats: Pero, Reid Dutoit

Top pole: John Accurso

League favorite: John Jay

Section favorite: Rye

Goals: Take another step forward as a program, competing every game.

Coaches Comments: We have a nice roster that will see lower classmen get some valuable time

early in their career, long with an upper class that understand playing a team-concept game, and

believing in the system that they can play with anyone. Everyone has a role on this team, and if everyone can just do their job, it can be a very fun and exciting year.



Pleasantville M Daniel Picart will put his All-American tools on display, yet again, in 2024, before taking that skill set to Richmond University next fall.


Coach: Chris Kear 13th season

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 19-2 (lost to Cold Spring Harbor NYS Class D semifinals)

Top Returning Players: Daniel Picart, Sr. Midfield, 57g-24a (All-American); Erik Coleman, Sr. Midfield, 44g-25a (All-Section); Emmet McDermott, Sr. Midfield, 28g-26a (All-Section); Aidan Picart, Sr. Defense, (All-Section HM); Nick Reich, Jr. Attack, 43g-25a (All-Section HM); Michael Hundzynski, Sr. Midfield, 28g-18a (All-League); Hank McCourtney, Sr. Attack, 24g-38a (All-League); Ethan Berger, Sr. Defense; Tyler Challice, Jr. Defense; Davide Hundzynski, So. Midfield; Shane Mueller, Jr. Midfield; Brian McPhee, Jr. Defense (All-League); Joe Sokich, Jr. Defense (All-League); Andrew Nessel, Sr. Goalie, 159 saves-5.95 GAA (All-League)

Key Newcomers: Braden Feeney, So. Attack/Midfield

Top Scoring Threats:  Picart, Coleman, McDermott, Reich, M. Hundzynski, McCourtney

Top Pole: Aidan Picart, Brian McPhee

League Favorite:  Pleasantville

Section Favorite:  A- Scarsdale, B- Yorktown, C-Rye

Goals: Our goal is to build off of the accomplishments of 2023 and hopefully take that next step as a team.

Coaches Comments:  We return all ten starters and have a very hard-working, athletic group.  They are hungry and the loss in the state-semi’s last year left a bad taste in their mouths.  If we stay healthy and continue to improve individually and as a team we have an opportunity to do great things in 2024.  Our schedule is even tougher than it was last year so we are hoping that these regular season tests will pay off for us in the playoffs.



Coach: Eddie Crowe 10th Year

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 13-5 (Lost in Section 1 Class D Semifinal to Briarcliff)

Top Returning Players: Evan Giachinta, SR, A (52G, 41A, All-Section); PJ Ruggiero, SR, D (20 Takeaways, 23 Caused TO’s, All-Section); Liam Gaugler, SR, A (43G, 31A, All-Section Honorable Mention); Jordon Hankel, SR, G (60% Save Percentage, All-Section Honorable Mention); Frankie DiGiglio, SR, M; Ryan Van Tassel, SR, M; Dylan Rucker, SR, FO/M; Michael Murray, SR, M; Nate Stickle, JR, D; Brody Corless, SR, D; Fallou Faye, JR, A

Key Newcomers: Jack Hartman, SR, D; Luca DiLello, SR, M/A; Erik Stubblefield, SR, D; Diego DiGiglio, SO, D; Will O’Hara, SO, A/M

Top Scoring Threats: Giachinta, Gaugler, DiGiglio, Faye

Top Poles: Ruggiero, Stickle, Corless

League Favorite: Briarcliff

Section Favorite: Pleasantville

Goals: Compete for a league and sectional championship

Coaches Comments: We return a good amount of guys from our team last year, returning most of our starting defense, midfield, attack and goalie. We are hoping that with time and effort that we can make a run and try to advance and be in contention to be in the sectional final in a competitive class D.



Coach: Ryan Tirelli (1st year)

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 9-11 (lost to Pleasantville in section final)

Top Returning Players: Shane Dean, Sr. (Endicott);  Harrison Winger, Sr.

Key Newcomers: John Solari

Top Scoring Threats: Dean, Winger, Solari

Top Pole: Henry Foy, Jack Weinstein

League Favorite: Haldane

Goals: Develop and grow as a team. Be better at the end of season than we are at the beginning.

Coaches Comments: Very excited for this upcoming season being the head coach of the Bears. The structures and values Coach (Al) Meola has built within the Briarcliff Lacrosse family is something I try to honor.  Day in and day out we want to continue to improve and become not only better lacrosse players, but better individuals. Through teamwork, sportsmanship and hard work the Bears are working hard to be excellent on and off the field.



Coach: Mark Castellano (6th year)

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 10-8 (lost in quarterfinals to Pleasantville)

Top Returning Players: Michael Pagan, Sr. Defense (All-League); Stephen DiNapoli, Sr. Midfield; Chris Kalle Sr. Midfield; Chase Sorby Sr. Attack; Dylan Pray Sr. Midfield; Nicholas DiNapoli So. Midfield;  Isaiah Rivera Sr. Attack; Collin Doria Jr. Goalie

Key Newcomers: Cole Barnett, Jr. A/M; Brayden Lingeza Jr. Midfield; Jake Zaino Jr. Defense; Dean Dable So. FOGO; Darron Nelson Sr. Defense

Top Scoring Threats: Cole Barnett, S. DiNapoli, N. DiNapoli, Sorby

Top Pole:Pagan

League Favorite: Haldane

Section Favorite: Pleasantville

Goals: As a group, our goal is to get better everyday, learn from our mistakes and play together as one.

Coaches Comments: This is a very talented group that has a lot of potential. They know how dangerous they can be when they play the correct way. We have really improved each and every day throughout the first couple of weeks. We are also looking for some new faces to fill some spots, so I’m very eager to see those players succeed in their roles. Looking forward to a great season ahead and best of luck to all the teams playing in Section 1 this year.



Coach: Dustin Schmidt (2nd year)

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 8-8 (lost to Westlake in Class D opening round)

Top Returning Players: John Clerkin, Sr. D (16 forced TOs, HM All-League); Sean Grimes, Sr. M/FO (17G, 18A, .683 FO Win%, 155 GBs, All-League); Bryce Laemmel, Sr. A (19G, 21A, All-League); Carter Schmidt, Sr. A (42G, 16A, All-League); Trevor Weisz, Sr. M (18G, 5A, 83 GBs, All-League).

Key Newcomers:  Teddy Neville, Fr. M/A; Liam Doherty, 8th grade M/A;

Top Scoring Threats: We are looking to spread the ball around more this year, and focusing on assists being as valuable as goals.

Top Pole: John Clerkin

League Favorite: Pleasantville

Section Favorite: Pleasantville

Goals: Play for each other, improve each day, and play more selfless lacrosse.

Coaches Comments: We are constantly looking to develop new, less experienced players quickly. Having guys come back who were out all last year due to injury and newcomers to the sport is challenging. We are looking to get better one day at a time.



Coach: Patrick Young (1st year Head Coach)

Last Year’s Record & Playoff Result: 6-11 (Lost to Blind Brook in class D opening round)

Top Returning Players: Chris Degiorgio, Sr. MF

Key Newcomers: Dakota Bourgie, Michael Frye

Top Scoring Threats: Chris Degiorgio, Andrew Grippo, Dakota Bourgie

Top Pole: Aiden South, Dylan Tucker

League Favorite: Lakeland/Panas

Section Favorite: Pleasantville

Goals: Higher playoff seeding and a very deep playoff run of course.

Coaches Comments: Overall, we are this awesome blend of both key returning veterans and new strong underclassmen talent. I am very fortunate to walk into my first year with this program inheriting this group of players.


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