OSSINING, N.Y. Ossining High Schools boys lacrosse team took the turf on Wednesday for an afternoon of practice in the sun.
Head Coach Mark Hallinan said doing so this early in the season is unprecedented.
Ive been a head coach for 13 years now and Ive never seen anything like this, Hallinan said. Years ago, we used to be inside for the first two months of the season with the snow.
The Pride made the most of the weather by running drills as they started to prepare for the upcoming season. Hallinan said the team has only been practicing for a few days, and added that the weather allowed him to schedule an extra scrimmage.
The team finished 6-11 last season, but many of the players who started as freshmen and sophomores last year have returned for this season.
One of them, junior close defender Andy Balcomb, said that having the experience under their belts should help the team this season.
We have a lot to expect from (last years) freshmen, Justin Davidov, Mike OConnor, Griffin (Gallagher), Chase Midgely, Balcomb said. Now that theyre more experienced and theyre just sophomores, theyre doing great. Its fantastic.
Balcomb praised the Prides physicality but said the stick skills are not quite there yet, though he added the latter will improve with practice. He also said the new faces on the team must gel.
Hallinan said the team has a nice mix and that he is excited about the future.
With the sophomores coming back with already a year of experience, Ill have them for three more years, Hallinan said. So Im looking forward to that.
The team returns many of the same players, particularly on defense. Midgely, the sophomore goaltender for the Pride, said that consistency will benefit the team when games begin.
Balcomb said that many of the players participated in lacrosse leagues during the summer, and Midgely said the summer months gave him a new level of confidence in his abilities.
Going into last year, I had never played summer ball, and then I came in last year and I think I did pretty well, Midgely said. I definitely think coming into this year, our whole defense is young and confident. We can move the ball and we know what were doing. Its much better, I think. Overall confidence is very high among the defense.
Follow Andrew Meola on Twitter @andrewmeola and be sure to check your MSC site for our upcoming previews of all your local spring high school sports.
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