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March 26, 2013

 

Debuting Trojans hoping the magic continues

By TOM VARTANIAN
Staff Writer

The 2012 lacrosse season was magical for Homer Central boys.
The Trojans had a nine-game-winning streak snapped in their last regular season game, but rebounded with a post-season run of five straight wins. The run gave Homer its first Section 3 Class C title with a 10-6 title game win over Cazenovia and avenged a pair of regular season losses to those same Lakers — including that season-ending setback. The final game of that run was a 12-8 New York State Class C tournament quarterfinal win over Salmon River, another first for the Trojans.
The dream ended four days later with a two-goal loss in the state semifinals to Section 5 power Penn Yan, but not before the Trojans finished with a single-season record of 273 goals scored while winning 18 of 22 outings.
Fast forward to 2013 and head coach Tom Cottrell enters his 13th season wondering when his team can even get to practice on Butts Field.
The Trojans are slated to open the season this evening when New Hartford comes to Butts Field for a 7 p.m. clash. Homer is then slated to host Jamesville-DeWitt Thursday at Butts Field.
“It’s just been so cold,” Cottrell said. “We have shoveled the field a couple of times, but the snow returns and it’s covered again. The turf is frozen underneath the snow and needs sun to help thaw it out. It’s certainly a tough spring to get started.”
Despite an uncooperative Mother Nature, there is certainly a buzz as Cottrell has 15 returning players — including the top three scorers — on his 26-man roster.
“The guys are excited and they are expecting to win games,” Cottrell reported. “We had a great fall. The guys played in some tournaments and we are hoping all the off-season work will help. The (J.M.) McDonald Complex has worked to fit us in and that is greatly appreciated, but those are certainly not ideal conditions.
“We still need that outdoor time to get the seven sophomores and two juniors up from the JV team up to speed,” he continued. “The good thing is that those guys have played together on attack, defense or midfield. So that is a plus.”
Heading the list of returning players are senior captains Jonathan Cottrell, Alec Sovocool and Beau Riley.
Cottrell is a third-year starter in goal and is the vocal anchor of the defensive unit. Sovocool is the most experienced long-stick midfielder and Riley was the leading scorer on attack a year ago with 46 goals and 32 assists. Sovocool netted nine goals with two assists.
Joining Riley on attack are returning seniors Brandon Maxson (40 goals-25 assists) and Sean Ferrito (40-16), the second and third leading scorers, along with senior Josh Maxson (4-1). New to the attack are sophomores Brad Sovocool and Anthony Basile who move up from the JV ranks along with junior Kyle Hirschfield who moved away last year, but it back in the district this year.
The three returning midfielders with the most experience are senior Casey Cleary (24-19), junior Jake Gray (9-6) and junior Chris Brown (11-2). Also back are sophomore Chris Birchenough (1 goal) and senior Jimmy Durkee (3-1) while senior Nate McLyman also returns after taking the 2012 season off.
New faces at midfield include junior Bryan Cavellier, sophomore Danny Turck and sophomore Dean Riley who all move up from the JV team. Cavellier is making a position change after playing attack with the JVs.
Helping defend the defensive third of the field are senior returnees Codee Grant, Brad Sciera, Nathan Hawks and Paul Suits. They will be joined by junior Shawn McGrath, sophomore Paddy McSherry and sophomore Drew Cottrell, who all played with the JVs in 2012.
Even Jonathan Cottrell will have a back-up ready to step in when needed in junior Jack Connery who played well between the pipes as a JV in 2012.
Another positive is a veteran coaching staff to help out with Mark Ferrito assisting with the varsity, along with volunteer assistant Dave Basile. Nick Patriarco is back as JV coach with Dan Bradshaw returning to assist along with volunteer assistant Michael Carboine. Sean Mack is the junior high coach with Rich Barnes assisting.
The unknown for Homer in 2013 will be the return to the OHSL Freedom American Division after a season in the Liberty Division. The Trojans were 11-3 in Freedom Division foes in 2011 after going 10-1 last year in the Liberty Division. Homer will face home-to-home series with Cortland, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fulton, Jamesville-DeWitt, New Hartford and Whitesboro.
“Obviously it’s not fun shuffling back and forth in leagues, but our goal will still be to win the division title,” Cottrell said. “J-D is loaded again and they certainly will be the team to beat. We will have to be ready to battle with Cortland, ES-M, Fulton and Whitesboro along with New Hartford.”
In addition to a tough league schedule, Homer has non-league games scheduled with Cazenovia, Skaneateles, Carthage and LaFayette.

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