Thursday April 4, 2013 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
Senior defender Dennis Rammacher is a key returning player for a Lake Shore team trying to make some noise moving down in Class C this season. (Photo courtesy of Ron Larson)
Lake Shore will need to get used to a classification new to the eighth-year program but not for long.
The adjustment down from Class B to C will only be for the 2013 season, before Western New York adjust its classifications again and puts the Eagles back in B in 2014.
However, while they are a Class C team, the Eagles will attempt to take advantage of what could be an opportunity.
With the switch comes its advantages in that Lake Shore will play against the area’s smaller schools and no longer will be competing in the same classification as the likes of larger schools and WNY powers Hamburg and Niagara-Wheatfield.
But then there is still Silver Creek to contend with in Class C, where it’s been a power for several seasons now. Class C also presents a competitive 11-team field of improving and growing programs much like Lake Shore. The move also puts the Eagles into unfamiliar territory.
“We will dip into a whole new style of lacrosse,” Lake Shore head coach Joe Migliaccio said. “We’re looking to make a statement in our new class.”
Despite the change in classification, Migliaccio said the Eagles remain focused on getting better and continue building on successes. Lake Shore had one of its best seasons yet last year, finishing 11-7 and winning a playoff opener to reach the Class B quarterfinals.
“Beating last year’s record, as well as making a run in the playoffs, are the goals,” Migliaccio said. “It will be great to get some of the younger players that type of experience and exposure to keep building and strengthening the team.”
Although it will be without top graduated attackman Pat Gilman and Rory Jimerson, Lake Shore brings back some quality talent from last season’s team.
Among them is senior Dennis Rammacher, who will lead the defense. Migliaccio likes Rammacher’s ability to not only read and intercept passes, but also his knack for driving up the field to become an offensive threat.
The midfield will be led by seniors as Oshae Rodgers, Cody Pudlewski and Ryan Bentley, who return as starters. All three bring experience and help the communication in the center of the field, Migliaccio said.
Lake Shore will look to junior attackmen Tommy Scanlan Jr. and Bryce Norton-Parker to provide much of the offense up front. The two have an uncanny sense of where the other one is on the field, Migliaccio said.
Another pair of juniors that will help fill out the starting lineup are Josh Schindler and Luke Catalano on defense.
Migliaccio is also excited that he has a group of youngsters who can learn from the starters and also challenge for playing time. Lake Shore will carry three freshmen in Devon Curry, Ron John and Darian Jimerson, who extend family legacies of top boys or girls lacrosse players in the program.
“It’s nice to have athletes that span all grade levels, this way they can learn from seasoned players on and off the field,” Migliaccio said. “We’ll have the pleasure of having some eager young players joining our attack line and cycling in and out to give a fresh feel to the offense.”
Lake Shore, which was unable to get in a scheduled game before spring break, is slated to start the season April 11 hosting Gowanda.
Senior Brady Bermingham (middle) returns for Eden after leading the team in scoring last season. (Photo courtesy of David Eckhardt)
Also in Class C, Eden
looks to take a step forward with a senior-laden group, two years removed from a sectional championship game appearance.
Among the many returning players are Brady Bermingham, the team’s leading scorer last season who’s committed to Division II Robert Wesleyan, and senior three-year starter Connor Nowak, a first team all-league selection last year.
The Raiders will also look to sophomore Nick Wilder and senior George Plarr to lead the offense and returning starters Alex Pustulka, John Harrington and John Arnold to anchor the defense. Arnold, a long pole middie, has committed to Division II Walsh.
The midfield will be anchored by seniors Jessie Dranger, Charlie Lauria and Jamie Miller, while junior Joe Cuddihy and big sophomore Anthony Cummings will bolster the defense.
“We’re very senior-heavy, so I’m hoping that translates to us playing a smarter, more patient game,” said head coach Chris Archabald, who’s team finished 5-11, falling 11-10 to East Aurora in overtime in the Class C quarterfinals as a fifth seed.
After fielding one of his youngest teams since the program began almost a decade ago, this season, Archabald’s squad will feature 13 seniors to help attempt to run down top teams like Silver Creek and Class C finalist Akron.
The Raiders fell to Canisius 14-9 in its season opener. They’ll host Silver Creek in an early-season showdown on April 9.