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Sports Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, March 25, 2010

Dutchmen lacrosse high on expectations for this season

By Jordan J. Michael

GUILDERLAND –– After getting pummeled by Yorktown in the Class A regional final last season, the Dutchmen lacrosse team is determined to get back to that point in 2010 to prove it belongs.

Besides losing to Yorktown, the Dutch had an excellent 2009 season. It was the first Class A title for Guilderland since 1998 and it was the team’s first ever appearance in a regional final game.

The team earned much respect for its efforts a year ago, and rightfully so. The team is preparing for another championship run this season.

“Expectations are definitely raised,” said senior defenseman Cody Futia on Tuesday. “We’re not only looking forward to winning sectionals, but we’re determined to get a rematch with Yorktown.”

Futia seemed pretty serious about giving Yorktown another challenge. “I doubt we’ll roll over this time,” he said.

“We know how to win now and we know what all the hardware looks like,” Head Coach Sean McConaghy said at practice on Friday. “But, I think we want to exceed all of that by beating Yorktown.”

A chance at beating Yorktown is a long way away, but it’s giving the Dutch confidence that it needs right now. “These guys have played a lot in the off season and they’re really psyched,” said McConaghy. “They all get it.”

On Saturday, the Dutchmen traveled south to Sommers High School to scrimmage six different teams. Each game was 35 minutes long and Guilderland finished the day 3-3 after facing some tough competition.

“I had no idea of how we would look,” said Futia. “But, it seems like we’re OK.”

Futia said that all the teams there were evenly matched. Each game was determined by only a few goals. “We have a lot of new kids trying to learn the system, but we excelled for the most part,” Futia said.

“A lot of talent”

Guilderland has 16 returning players after losing 11 from last year. The frequent scoring of Rory Nunamacher and Travis Moore is gone. The strong defense of Kip Stillman and Alex Trolenberg will have to be replaced.

McConaghy told The Enterprise that the team must do two important things. “We need to gel as a group, for one, and get those new guys up to varsity speed,” he said. The Dutch are welcoming 10 sophomores and one freshman.

Stephen Polsinelli, the freshman, was getting praise from Futia already. Polsinelli is the smallest player on the team at 5 feet, 3 inches and 145 pounds. “Don’t let his size fool you,” said Futia. “He’s quick and he never quits. He’ll be going places.”

Seniors Paul Jones and Bryan Dyer will be leading the attack and Futia said that sophomore Taylor Dubose is looking good for the third starting position. “He stepped it up on Saturday,” Futia said.

Seniors Marc Apicella, Eugene Sellie, and Taylor Muztafago are each entering their third year on varsity at the midfield position. “They’re ready to go,” said McConaghy.

Futia is the only returning starter for the defense and he wasn’t sure who the other starting two would be. There are nine other defensemen listed on the roster. “The defense looks like a toss-up right now,” said Futia. “The hardest workers will get the job.”

McConaghy said that Futia is already signed to play lacrosse for the University of Albany, but that “shouldn’t be a distraction.”

“He’s really good,” McConaghy said. “He’s strong, fast, loud, and handles the ball well.”

Senior Christian DePersis will be back in goal after getting 20 wins last year. “I never have to tell him to do anything,” said McConaghy. “He might be having the most fun of anybody.”

Depersis introduced Futia to lacrosse in fourth grade and the two have been playing together ever since. “We’ll be able to protect Depersis if we communicate all the time,” said Futia.

New schedule

The Suburban Council schedule has changed for the Dutchmen in 2010. Instead of playing Shenendehowa, Niskayuna, Saratoga, and Shaker each twice, the team will play two games a piece against Columbia, Colonie, Bethlehem, and Shaker.

“I’ll really miss the games against Nisky,” said McConaghy, noting how good the Silver Warriors are. “They switched the schedule because of transportation issues.”

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“I think other teams will be underestimating us because we lost a lot of talent,” Futia said. “But, a lot of that talent is still here or just arrived.”