Thursday March 27, 2014 | By:Michael J. Petro | Sports
LOOSE BALL — Luke Sueleski (right), who returns as a senior, tries to find the handle on the loose ball in a game last year. After weather-related cancellations, Lake Shore is slated to begin its 2014 season Saturday, hosting Grand Island. Photo courtesy of Ron Larson.
New rule changes should enhance the speed of the game, but coaches like Lake Shore’s Joe Migliaccio are simply looking forward to first getting their teams feet on the ground outside.
A few weeks into practices and Migliaccio’s Eagles have yet to be outside and both of the regular season games this week have already been canceled, due to the cold temperatures, snow left on the ground and sloppy conditions.
Once his team does get out there, Migliaccio is confident this group will adjust well to some of the rule changes that have been implemented. Among them are the extension of the substitution box and subbing on the fly, expanding penalty times with no release and more calls for hits up high and to defenseless players. He said it all adds up to a faster game.
“There’s going to be a lot more speed in the game,” said Migliaccio, who noted that he has a nice mix of field players and those used to box lacrosse. “Other than the weather, things are going well — it’s a nice young group, without too many seniors. Some of the young guys are sophomores who played with us last year. We’re ready, but we just can’t get rolling yet.”
Two of those sophomores that should have big seasons are midfielders Ron John and Darian Jimerson, who makes the move from attack. The midfield will be further solidified by senior returning starter Jovanni Klimowicz.
Lake Shore’s most experienced unit, though, will be its defense, which features the senior trio of Wade Begum, Josh Schindler and Josh Mullett, who came back to the team after a year away. Bergum can also play long pole middie. The team does lose to graduation three-year starting defender Dennis Rammacher.
Migliaccio said it will help to have a veteran savvy defense with first-year sophomore starter Frank Gelster stepping into net. “I lucked out with this defensive group,” Migliaccio said. “Wade we didn’t have all of last year because he split time with travel soccer.”
Senior Bryce Norton-Parker will direct the attack, with the help of fellow upperclassman Jesse Colts and junior Matt Webber. Although, Migliaccio indicated the third attack spot may be shared by a number of players.
“This is the first season in which I can say we’re totally solid across the board; usually, in the past, there is an area of concern,” Migliaccio said.
Lake Shore is back in Class B after a one-year hiatus in C, where it finished as a semifinalist in 2013, falling to eventual champion Silver Creek. With the mix of athletes with varying styles of play, Migliaccio likes his team’s chances at making a smooth transition.
“It’s a totally different game — with Class C, it’s more quick passing, cutting and shooting and in B, it’s more like field lacrosse, with playing more in half-field sets and running plays,” he said. “I think we’ll transition better than some might think. We should be a pretty good threat.”