Highlanders boy's lacrosse ready for season opener

| 29 Mar 2018 | 03:19

By Josh Lashley
Pre-season practices and scrimmages are so important in sports in no small part because they give the athletes on the roster a great and ample opportunity to familiarize themselves with one another, as well as their coaches.
Unfortunately, this opportunity is sometimes squandered and a team will enter the regular season ill prepared, in many cases, this become obvious for the fans attending those early games.
Fortunately, this isn’t the scenario for the West Milford High School boy’s lacrosse program. The Highlanders have prepared quite well in the pre-season and are now ready to take on the tough competition that awaits them on their regular season schedule.
“To be honest our main goal is to get better every day,’’ West Milford head coach Gary Stoll said. “I think our team could definitely play the role of spoiler this year. A lot of people have us ruled out after graduating a huge group last year.’’
Key returnees for West Milford include Ryan Pych (senior, senior, midfield), Anthony Derin (senior, defense) and Ray Gorny (junior, midfield).
“As always, will look to our captains and seniors to lead along with Ray Gorny, who got a significant amount of playing time last year,’’ Stoll said. “We are looking for them to be good role models both on and off the field.
“We have lots of promising newcomers this year led by our seniors who sat behind a very strong graduating class last year Aaron LeMay (midfield), Trace Carnuccio (midfield), Anthony Hopler (defense), Joey Sacks (attack),’’ Stoll said.
“Juniors [include] Ryan Pomeroy (attack), Shane Fava (attack), Justin Pinedo (long stick midfield), Mike Podmokly (defense). Sophomores [include] John Gaffney (goalie), Brandon Cerone (long stick midfield), Nick Hahn (defense), Joey Heisler (defense) and a solid freshman class Casey Fagan (attack), Matt Dellapi (midfield) and Ryan Kirwan (goalie).’’
The Highlanders had an overall record of 10-9 last year and advanced to the NJSIAA North Group 2 Sectional Tournament as the No. 12 seed and they were defeated by fifth seeded Jefferson.
They compete in the NJILL Curcio Division along with Wayne Hills, Lakeland, DePaul, Wayne Valley, Boonton, Pequannock and Clifton.
“Our Division is always tough and they are also County rivals so I think Lakeland, DePaul, Wayne Valley and Wayne Hills along with a new team to the Division Pequannock [will be top teams to beat],’’ Stoll said.
West Milford is scheduled to play Wayne Valley at home on April 3.