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Bishop Timon-St. Jude's Connor Fields named 2013 Ilio DiPaolo Player of the Year for lacrosse

BUFFALO - There’s a reason Connor Fields doesn’t miss on many opportunities. When the Bishop Timon-St. Jude junior is not firing the ball on the net during games and practices, he is doing so in a cage at his home.

Tigers’ head coach Mike Burke explained to the South Buffalo Source after the team’s Monsignor Martin championship and state title win how Fields works relentlessly away from the field to improve his shot and finish.

Fields has a regulation size net with several smaller ones inside it at home that he uses to help perfect his shot, according to Burke.

It seems to have worked this season as the sharpshooter fired into the net an incredible 129 goals to break both the Section VI and New York State single-season record.

He eclipsed Zed Williams’ mark of 101 in 2010, and then the NYS record was 108, formerly set by Billy Kurisko of Nanuet in 1986. Eleven of those goals came in a 20-4 win over St. John the Baptist as Timon won a second straight state Catholic title.

Timon finished one of its best seasons in program history with a 17-4 record, including multiple wins over nationally-ranked teams. And on a team with so many talented players, Fields did more than enough to stand out.

Fields was named Ilio DiPaolo Player of the Year at the Fourth Annual All-Metro Lacrosse Banquet on June 18 at Ilio DiPaolo’s in Blasdell. The event, also sponsored by Mt Mercy Academy, brought together some of the best boys and girls lacrosse players across Western New York to be recognized for their accomplishments during the 2013 season.

“He has a very high finishing percentage,” Burke said a few weeks ago. “He capitalizes on almost all of his opportunities and is very opportunistic. He’s not shy about puling the trigger.”

Also among first team selections was Max Maxwell, a senior named last year’s Metro Most Valuable Player, who was an All-American selection this season after leading Hamburg with 49 goals and finishing second with 79 points despite missing four weeks due to injury. He’s off to play for Division I UMBC next year after leading Hamburg to a second straight Class B title.

In addition, being honored from a Hamburg team that won a sixth sectional title in seven years were Nick Wilcox, a reliable face-off man and First Team All-WNY selection who won draws at a 62.5 percent clip, led the team with 72 ground balls and also scored 38 goals; and Christian Hollfelder, a senior First Team All-WNY long stick middie who guarded opponents’ top offensive players, picking up 53 ground balls and 39 caused turnovers while being the anchor of a defense that led the Bulldogs to the state semifinals.

Timon is the only other team with more first team selections (four) as seniors JD Recor and Jackson Brown and junior repeat selection Adam DiMillo were also honored.

An All-American selection, Maryland commit and the main playmaker in this powerful offense, DiMillo scored 49 goals while garnering a great deal of attention from oppositions. Recor was a huge offensive threat during a First Team All-WNY season in which he scored 59 times and had 76 assists. Brown, who will play at Hobart, anchored the defense returning in goal.

St. Joe’s was also well represented on the first team with three selections — seniors Michael Hubert and James Deakin and junior James Bassett — during a Monsignor Martin finalist season in which the Marauders pulled an enormous upset of Timon in a regular season overtime game.

Hubert was a First Team All-Catholic selection and led St. Joe’s on the offensive end with 46 goals, while Deakin, who is verbal commit to Canisius College, was named All-WNY this past season as a steady defender. Bassett, a long stick middie, led St. Joe’s with 94 ground balls and was a force on a strong defensive unit.

Also on the first team are West Seneca East senior Jon Haun, Niagara-Wheatfield senior Zach Dubuc, Frontier senior Jimmy Smith, St. Francis senior Alex Misterman, Clarence senior Matt Colicchia and Iroquois junior Derek Andrews.

Haun finished with 68 points, including 51 goals to lead the team, and added 47 ground balls. Dubuc led Niagara-Wheatfield in scoring on its way to a third straight appearance in Class B final. Smith was Frontier’s top scorer this season with 33 goals and earned a Second Team All-WNY selection.

Misterman, a Second Team All-WNY honoree, led St. Francis in scoring this season and played a critical role with his midfield play and on face-offs. Colicchia stepped up to lead sectional finalist Clarence with 80 points, which included 36 goals. Andrews, a Second Team All-WNY selection, led Iroquois with 58 goals and 39 assists and picked more than 100 ground balls.

Among other award winners were Lancaster’s Matt Malecki for Newcomer of the Year after the sophomore shattered the school’s scoring record with 53 goals in a single-season and Clarence’s Josh Slowinski for Unsung Hero as the sophomore finished second on team with 33 goals, stepping up with senior captain Alec Dietsch missing much of the season.

Coach of the Year went to Hamburg’s Jerry Severino, who has put together an impeccable record while heading the program the past eight seasons, winning six sectional championships and taking a solid program to the next level by building it into one of Western New York’s most powerful. His team’s latest feat this season was making it to the semifinal for the second time in program history.


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