| March 27, 2012 - |
March, 2012 - Overall in Finger Lakes, 44 players return who had end of year honors last season. In total, 7 received 1st Team, 14 received 2nd Team and 23 received HM honors. By grade level, 4 are now sophomores, 13 are juniors and 27 are seniors.
The biggest stand-outs include attackman Ben Reeves (Pal-Mac), midfielder Sean Cunningham (Geneva) and goalie Dominic Camblin (Newark), who were all named to the 1st Team. Units including Marcus Whitman's attack (Jeffrey Bero, Matt Hall and Karl Gray), Newark's defense (Josh Williams, David Milliman, PJ Petty and Ben Gardner) and Geneva's defense (Kevin Reed, Dan Hickey, Nick Andrews and Andrew Ritter) also look to make a difference.
The top offenses in the Finger Lakes look to be from Pal-Mac and Geneva. Last season Pal-Mac finished with the highest offense in Section Five (15.0 goals per game) and Geneva finished with the second highest (13.9 goals per game). This is not surprising based on the skill of Reeves and Cunningham. Placed 2nd and 3rd in total points in all of Section Five, these two power houses will lead their teams this season.
Reeves, who is a skilled feeder, finished with the top assist statistics in Section Five with 60 (106 total points). Although he is only a sophomore this season, he has demonstrated that he is skilled under pressure and can score against all of his opponents. Last season during the four losses Pal-Mac faced, holding Reeves scoreless was paramount (held to 0-2, 0-1, 2-1 and 2-3 in their four losses). That will continue to be the case this season. Cunningham, on the other hand, is a goal producer. He finished 2nd in goals with 61 (one shy of Grant Ferguson's 62 goals) with 97 total points. This season as a junior he looks to improve on his numbers. Cunningham was only held to less than three points during three games last season (6-4 win over Pal-Mac, 9-5 win over Livonia and 7-10 loss to Bath in the Semi Finals).
Although they do not have a single stand-out player, Marcus Whitman's attack of Bero (2nd), Hall (2nd) and Gray (HM) should not be discounted. Along with midfielder Matt Hey (1st Team), the Wildcats probably have the most offensive threats of any Finger Lakes team. This combination of multiple players able to put the ball into the net should give them an advantage against teams that rely on a single player.
The top defense in the Finger Lakes looks to be from Geneva and Pal-Mac, with Newark and Waterloo close behind. Last season a high number of underclassmen stepped up the defense. Of 19 defensive awards given, 12 return this season. Last season Geneva finished with the second lowest goals against average in Section Five with 3.9 goals against. Pal-Mac finished 3rd with 4.5 goals against and should not be counted out this season.
Geneva gets a slight nod since their entire defensive unit is returning. Geneva has Reed (2nd), Hickey (2nd), Andrews (HM) and defensive midfielder Ritter (HM) returning for them this season. Pal-Mac will look to the return of Luke Price (1st) and LSM Josh Lennon (HM). Newark will look to Williams (1st), Milliman (HM), Petty and Gardner to step up in front of the goal this season. Waterloo returns three defensemen with Mike Freier (1st), Trevor Black (2nd) and Jason Bishop (HM) returning.
All the goalies from Finger Lakes received honors last season with only Pal-Mac's Matt Carkner graduating. 1st Team honors went to Dominic Camblin of Newark. 2nd Team honors went to Carkner and returning junior Derek Grillone of Geneva. The Finger Lakes Coaches left no goalie unrewarded as the remaining five goalies all received HM: Josh Bailey (Waterloo), Merritt Bailey (Marcus Whitman), Matt Brennessel (Midlakes), Aaron Stevens (Bloomfield-Honeoye) and Tim Trickler (Mynderse).