Peace Report: Perry Hall Boys’ Lacrosse Preseason Preview
Phil Rossetti returns for his third season as the Perry Hall varsity head coach. Phil, a 1998 graduate of Perry Hall, is flanked by fellow alums Eamon and Ethan Muller. Associate Head Coach Eamon Muller (class of 2010) is going into his 4th season on the staff while brother Ethan (class of 2012) enters his second year. These proud alumni are looking to continue the success that has been building since Rossetti took the helm in January 2016.
The 2018 Perry Hall Gators will look significantly different than they did a year ago. The Gators graduated six impact players, all part of the starting line-up. Head coach Rossetti stated that “We have a number of returning players that have worked very hard this off season to get bigger, stronger and faster. We also have a solid core of incoming freshmen that could make an immediate impact”.
At the X, they return junior Cameron Bildstein. Bildstein saw great success last season after being pulled up from JV midyear. Bildstein will have some strong competition for the starting spot from sophomore Ryan Larossa. Larossa is returning after injury derailed most of his freshman season. Larossa is a two way midfielder who could also see some time at attack this season.
Sophomore Colin Kurcoba returns to the cage to build on his freshman success. The 2nd Team All-County goaltender in 2017 had a great fall and was named a “Player to Watch” by Inside Lacrosse. He will be challenged by sophomore transfer Logan Ryan. Ryan is a new resident to Perry Hall, but not new to the local lacrosse scene. Between Kurcoba and Ryan, Perry Hall will do just fine between the pipes.
The Gators have a number of poles returning this spring. “It’s an open competition for every position, but especially at close defense” said Rossetti. “We have a couple of upperclassmen returning (Jeremy Vandervort / Nick Dembeck), that we expect to step up”. Look for the emergence of junior Wes Pecora and sophomore Luke Pennington who have been doing all the extras this offseason.
The Gator midfield is looking strong on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Sophomore Chris Peacock returns and looks to build on his experience while sophomore Jake Schnepf looks to compete for a spot as well. Senior Brady Sakowski and Junior Noah Wineholt are expected to help with speed and strong ball handling skills. The 2018 rope unit may not be the biggest guys on the field, but they are fast, strong, and fierce. Sophomore LSM Justin Headley returns with a solid year of experience under his belt. Returning SSDM Leo Pecora and Cam Yoder will round out the unit with their strong strategic play.
A new look for the Gator attack will be anchored by junior Miles Crouse. Crouse a 2nd Team All County player in 2017, will be playing his 3rd season on varsity. His experience and IQ will lead a powerful scoring unit. Junior Nicholas Braithwait should help add to the point tally. Sophomore John Bryant Dolan should compete for a spot along with a few other sophomores and we are likely to see a freshman or two jumping into the rotation for the Gators as well.
The incoming freshmen class certainly has the opportunity to make an immediate impact on this team. Head coach Phil Rossetti is no stranger to these boys as he has watched them come up through the community rec programs. Liam Crouse and Logan Connolly have the opportunity to be on the opening day midfield line. Crouse is a big, strong two way midfielder with a great lacrosse IQ. He could also see some time at the faceoff X. Connolly is a solid dodger as well as feeder. Freshman LSM Cole Bergan is a relentless defender with a knack for grabbing ground balls. Ben Litchfield and Noah Heitner will have an opportunity to be a part of the Gator attack line. Heitner is a big bodied attackman who plays the front of the crease like a power forward, while Litchfield prefers to play from behind the goal.
The Gators jump right into it with three scrimmages before starting the season on March 21st at home. They then go on to play a very tough schedule, both in and out of conference.