YORKTOWN, N.Y. — Last season as the No. 9 seed, Lakeland/Panas lost to No. 8 Mahopac 9-5 in the opening round of the Section 1 Class A tournament after defeating the Indians approximately a week before, leaving the youthful Rebels with an atypical 6-11 season.
After winning a sectional crown the previous campaign, the Rebels will look to return to their customary winning ways this spring.
If their early preseason practices are any indications, they seem to be intent on doing just that.
“Our team will have to go out and compete every game, play smart, play fast and listen to our coaches,” Lakeland/Panas senior captain Kevin Prunty said. “Practice the past two weeks has been going well.”
Fellow seniors Joe Cortese and Nick Vazquez are also captains for the Rebels, who are coached by Jim Lindsay, with Joe Macchi being Lindsay’s assistant coach.
Prunty will join his brother Brian at Siena College next year with Cortese playing at Mercy College and Nick Vazquez at the University of Hartford.
“I hope to lead by example,” Prunty said, “and motivate the guys to go out and give everything each game.”
Prunty will lead Lakeland/Panas’ attack, giving the Rebels someone that can see the field like an eagle and finish shots with efficiency.
Two other key Rebels playing attack will be Tim Fallo and JoJo Janavey.
“Tim Fallo is a junior and brings great lacrosse IQ, and JoJo Janavey is a sophomore who brings great finishing skills,” Prunty said.
Cortese will lead the midfield.
“Joe Cortese has a great first step and great shot,” Prunty said. “Junior Sean Makar is a very athletic kid who knows the game of lacrosse very well. Drew Thompson, a junior, is a big kid who can get up and down the field.”
Vazquez will provide leadership to the defensive unit.
“Senior Thomas Ferrari is a big, physical kid that brings a great energy to the field every day,” Prunty said. “Nick Vazquez is a very athletic kid who has a great stick and commands the defense. Mike Coletti, a junior, loves to compete and understands team defense.”
Providing solid play behind them in goal will be junior Kevin Dyckman.
“He sees the ball well and knows what’s going on at all times,” Prunty said.
Two other key Rebels are Kyle Castner, who exploded for six goals against Scarsdale last year and will play at Morrisville, and Griffin Shiland, who’s headed to Salisbury.
“Kyle is a senior who shoots the ball well and Griffin is a junior who’s a great on ball defender and plays in transition well,” Prunty said.
Lakeland/Panas will start its season by hosting Rye at 5 p.m. on March 29.
Prunty said “being well prepared and playing smart” will be the key in starting the season off on the right track against the Garnets.