District 18 – Canterbury Moves Up and Bishop Verot Takes on the Carthage Crew

Well, at least Gainesville left this one alone . . .

Last year it was Canterbury pretty much circling the field until the District final when they barely slid by Bishop Verot, after winning the regular season game 11-1. A first round FHSAA loss to Cardinal Mooney completed what is likely the most successful season in school history, with the only losses to CM, MIAA power Loyola-Blakefield and Pine Crest and finished #23 in the final FLN poll.

One interesting aspect of the upcoming season is that Canterbury Head Coach Trent Carter will find himself once again in the middle of the ancient rivalry between Baltimore and Upstate NY as the legendary Ventiquattro coaching family comes to town.  Tony assumes the head coach position at BV and will be ably assisted by his father Kirk (for those readers not up on the backstory here Kirk trained a trio of brothers named Powell among others at Carthage High).  Coach Carter, on the other hand, has actually been on both sides of the coin, as a player at both Boys’ Latin and Hobart College . . . an Exacta that was not common back in the day . . .

School Name *W-L *Pct. W-L Pct. GF GA
Canterbury 6-0 1.000 16-3 0.842 226 109
Bishop Verot 5-1 0.833 8-8 0.500 125 129
Fort Myers 3-2 0.600 8-6 0.571 131 134
Estero 3-3 0.500 7-9 0.438 142 129
Riverdale 4-4 0.500 7-9 0.438 146 131
Port Charlotte 1-6 0.143 1-14 0.067 55 209
Cypress Lake 1-7 0.125 1-12 0.077 22 171
  • * Denotes district data.

Will the upcoming season be similar to how Coach Carter built the Barron Collier program in the day?  That program was built on a stifling defense and enough offense to win games, but just was not able to get to a Final Four.  109 goals against in 19 games seems to say Yes.

It’s up to the rest of the schools to raise their game and the probable first round rematch with Cardinal Mooney looks very attractive.

Canterbury School 16-3, lost in the FHSAA first round

Coach Carter gave us this insight:

What are your expectations this season for the team?

Our goal this is year is to continue to build from our second District Championship and go further in the playoffs. One game at a time.

Who are the returning players who will make a difference this season?

I am looking to all our returning players from last year to up step up and fill the gaps from the graduating seniors.  I will also look for our senior class to set the tone for the underclassmen and show them the ropes.

What players do you expect to step up this year that didn’t get much playing time last year?

We have some returning 10th graders and new 9th graders who should step up and be contributors this year.

What are the games you are really looking forward to this season?

We will be once again hosting Loyola Blakefield to campus to play us and St Thomas this year. For us this is a chance to see how we stack up against one of the best programs in the Country and on a personal note their new coach and I played together at BL. We also scheduled Barron Collier so that should be a great local test for us.

Bishop Verot 8-8, lost in the district final

New Head Coach Tony Ventiquattro takes over for Chip Dopman.  He wanted to note that the pictures provided are from my buddy Larry Palumbo.  Here’s his views on the upcoming season:

What are your expectations this season for the team?

The programs expectations are high.  We expect the team continue to build on the strong foundation we began to lay last season.  We plan to be fairly more competitive than our record showed last season (.500).  We expect to continue to build for the future, however we will compete for the district championship this season.

Who are the returning players who will make a difference this season?

Senior Captain Ryan Healy returns to lead the defense, he was a News-Press player of the year finalist.  He collected 71 groundballs, had 27 takeaways and 59 clears along with a goal and five assists.  The offense will be lead by News-Press All Area First Team Attackman Dylan Insolia who contributed 30 goals and 16 assists with 22 groundballs as a Sophomore.  Insolia will share responsibility with Senior Jake Stirns returns 27 points. The midfield will be lead by Junior Marc Taglieri who returns 27 points and 40 groundballs.

What players do you expect to step up this year that didn’t get much playing time last year?

Juniors Grant Barron and Carter Baxxman will see new starting roles at close defense with shared responsibilities at LSM.  Senior Goalie Carlos Pantoja-Malaga takes over between the pipes replaining two graduated seniors who left with  142 saves.

Between the 30’s Andres Seoane, Ronan Haggerty, AJ Sarlo, Sean Mahoney, Spencer Dopman and Austin Santoro look to compete for quality varsity minutes.

What are the games you are really looking forward to this season?

As a coach I look forward to every game this season, it may sound cliche but this season will be extra special.  I will be coaching alongside my father, US Lacrosse Hall of Fame member Kirk Ventiquattro for the first time on the high school sideline since I assisted him at Carthage back in 2014.  For the first time in 30 years he will take the role as assistant coach.  Don’t get me wrong we do have several asterisks on our schedule,  these games range from competing against long time friends in the Miami, Naples, Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale to our obvious crosstown rivalry games.

Fort Myers 8-6, lost in the district semifinals

We have not received their questionnaire yet, we’ll update when we receive it

Estero 7-9, lost in the district semifinals

We have not received their questionnaire yet, we’ll update when we receive it

Riverdale 7-9, missed district playoffs

We have not received their questionnaire yet, we’ll update when we receive it

Port Charlotte 1-14, missed district playoffs

We have not received their questionnaire yet, we’ll update when we receive it

Cypress Lake 1-12, missed district playoffs

We have not received their questionnaire yet, we’ll update when we receive it