SUMMIT, NJ - After a 2015 season marked by more than its share of triumphs and one devastating tragedy, the Summit High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team is set to begin its regular season, with a host of new faces in prominent roles both on the playing field and on the sideline.
Led by Hall of Fame Coach Jim Davidson, who notched his 300th career victory during the 2015 campaign, the Hilltoppers -- as noted by most neutral observers -- overachieved last season, winning Group and Section titles and reaching the Tournament of Champions semifinals before falling to Bergen Catholic.
Achieving and, often times, going beyond that bellwether mark, are hallmarks of Davidson-coached squads.
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The 2016 edition of the Maroon & White will again see a re-tooled line-up, with players -- who, in the past, played more of an understudy role -- stepping in and being asked to step up in order for the team to properly pursue and attain its aspirations.
The entire starting defense -- Msrs. Helmer, Raniero, Andrews, and McKinlay -- along with goalie Jay Winchell have graduated. As have key cogs in the midfield and attack such as Chris Zanelli and John Cordrey.
In their place, are a host of players who have logged minutes, waited their turns, and now will assume the mantle of a team whose calling cards are a stingy defense, efficient offensive execution, and a total commitment to team play.
In goal, senior captain Teddy Cranley steps in, anchoring a defense that will feature a pair of senior Alex's -- Dadourian and Schluter, along with fellow senior Liam Lawlor and junior Finn McTernan. A senior, junior and sophomore -- in the form of Casey Andrews, Christian Fusco, and Jameson Waldron -- all add to the solid nucleus.
The top midfield line is a key strength, featuring elements of speed and skill, and will be manned by captains Andrew Chase -- shifted back from attack -- Evan Kulpan, and Xavier McCormick. Look for Brian Hagan, Tucker Hall -- also shifted from attack -- Reilly Newsham, Jack Cranley, Sam Zanelli, Christian Greer, and freshman Greg Moller to contribute as Davidson looks for the chemistry and combinations that can drive results.
In attack, Corey McManus, Jack Johnson and Chris Fowler form a group that should benefit from the pass-first, pass-second, and pass-again unselfish offense that aims to create solid looks for its shooters.
Senior Malcolm Feeney, coming off a solid year at "the X' will be the Hilltoppers FOGO and see time at defensive midfield as well.
Davidson, who monitors short-term progress while keeping an eye on the long-term, says. "We have some inexperienced kids who have to get experienced quickly. We have challenged the group in pre-season and they continue to get better. The attitude is good, they are working hard and making progress.."
According to the Head Coach, a key will be "getting deeper" and notes that the staff is focused on "coaching kids up, so that we can get more guys contributing."
So far, the Hall of Fame Coach and his staff like what they see. "I am really pleased with the effort and willingness to do well, but It is time to go play, to get to work. There is good camaraderie, they work well together and it means a lot to them."
2016 Summit High School Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team
1 - Alex Schluter, senior - defense
2 - Evan Vecchia , senior - attack
3 - Eamon McTernan, sophomore - midfield
4 - Tucker Hall, senior - midfield
5 - Pat Moriarty, junior - goal
6 - Tom Fischetti, sophomore - midfield
8 - Chris Fowler, junior - attack
9 - Terrell Boccia, senior - midfield
10 - Jack Cranley, senior - midfield
11 - Evan Kulpan, senior - midfield (c)
12 - Andrew Chase, senior - midfield (c)
13 - Sean Crotty, junior - attack
14 - Corey McManus, junior - attack
15 - Harry Kilkowski, sophomore - attack
16 - Greg Moller, freshman - midfield
17 - Jack Johnson, junior - attack
18 - Griffin Breen, junior - midfield
19 - Malcolm Feeney, senior - midfield / FOGO
21 - Travis McKee, senior - midfield
22 - Casey Andrews, senior - defense
23 - Sam Zanelli, junior- midfield
24 - Max Limmer, senior - defense
25 - Reilly Newsham, senior - midfield
26 - Brian Hagan, senior - midfield
27 - Christian Greer, junior - midfield
28 - Jack Williams, senior - midfield
29 - Sam Kaplan, junior - goal
31 - Liam Dougherty, junior - defense
32 - Ted Cranley, senior - goal (c)
33 - Liam Lawlor, senior - defense
34 - Finn McTernan, junior - defense
35 - Alex Dadourian, senior - defense
36 - Jack Bonomo, junior - attack
37 - Christian Fusco, junior - defense
38 - Stephen Sajer, sophomore - defense
39 - Xavier McCormick, senior - midfield (c)
40 - Chris McKee, junior - defense
44 - Brendan McGinn, junior - midfield
45 - Jameson Waldron, sophomore - defense
(c) - denotes team captain
March 30 v. Delbarton, 4 p.m
April 1 v. Cherry Creek (CO), 4 p.m.
April 5 at West Essex, 4:30 p.m.
April 7 v. Mahwah, 4:30 p.m.
April 9 at West Morris Central, 2:30 p.m.
April 12 v. West Morris Mendham, 4:30 p.m.
April 16 v. Princeton, 11 a.m.
April 20 v. Manasquan, 4:15 p.m.
April 23 v. Chatham, 12 p.m.
April 27 v. Seton Hall Prep, 4:30 p.m.
April 29 - Union County Tournament - First Round, TBA
April 30 v. Lincoln-Sudbury (MA), 10 a.m.
May 2 at Old Bridge, 4 p.m.
May 3 - Union County Tournament - Second Round, TBA
May 5 - Union County Tournament - Semifinals, TBA
May 7 - Union County Tournament - Final, TBA
May 11 v. Riidgewood, 4:30 p.m.
May 18 - NJSIAA Tournament, TBA
May 21 - NJSIAA Tournament, TBA
May 24 - NJSIAA Tournament, TBA
May 26 - NJSIAA Tournament - Sectional Semifinals, TBA
May 28 - NJSIAA Tournament - Sectional Final, TBA
June 1 - NJSIAA Tournament - Group Final, TBA
June 4 - Tournament of Champions - Semifinals, TBA
June 8 - Tournament of Champions - Final, TBA