SHRUB OAK, N.Y.— Last year was a dream season for the Lakeland/Panas boys lacrosse squad as it finished 19-3, won its second Section 1 Class A championship in three years before losing in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association semifinals to perennial Long Island power Ward Melville, 16-6.
Looking to lead the Rebels to another sectional title this spring are senior captains Sean Makar, who will play in college at Binghamton University, Kevin Dyckman and Griffin Shiland (Salisbury University).
“Approaching our third year on varsity we are hoping to get the whole team to buy into the system in order to reach our goal of winning the section and to make everyone around us better,” Makar said.
Makar, senior Tim Fallo (SUNY Geneseo) and junior JoJo Janavey will spark the Rebels’ attack.
“Tim and JoJo do a very good job of finding open gaps in the field but will also help with dodging from behind,” Makar said.
Shiland, senior Drew Thompson and newcomers, junior Matt Hodges and sophomore T.J. Bryan, will anchor the midfield for the Rebels, who are coached by Jim Lindsay, with Joe Macchi as his assistant.
“Griffin is our long-stick middie and will control the defense, T.J. will be our new faceoff man, and Drew and Matt will lead our offensive attack at the midfield position,” Makar said.
Senior Matt Kness (Dickinson College), junior Tommy Briscoe and senior Mike Coletti (College of Brockport) will be the Rebels’ key defensive players. Each have their own defensive strengths but are very strong at both on-ball defense and off-ball defense, according to Makar.
Backing up the Rebels in goal is Dyckman, who knows how to orchestrate Lakeland/Panas’ defense, as he is able to instruct everyone on the fly to get where they have to be.
“He sees the ball very well and is very vocal on the defensive end of the field,” Makar said. “He is the leader of our defense and clears the ball well.”
The Rebels are confident that they can once again enjoy a successful campaign in large part because of the work they put in during the off-season.
“Coming off our season last year, we worked very well as a team,” Makar said. “To continue our success from last year we have been working since November in the weight room and out on the field to get back into the groove for the beginning of the season. Competing every game and playing unselfish lacrosse will help us be as successful as we were last year.”
Lakeland/Panas will look to get the season off to a great start when it hits the road for its opener, a 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, contest at Suffern.
Makar feels that if his squad follows the game plan Lindsay gives it, it should be in good shape in Rockland County.
“Coach always has us ready for opening day, so if we stick to the game plan and play our game we will be successful,” Makar said. “A win opening day always builds confidence for the rest of the season.”