2013 Rip-Net District by District Preview Part 5

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Dashboard Jake LevineThis article is part of a six part series.  Be sure to check out part 1part 2, part 3 and part 4.
This is the third year of our district by district previews.  Over the next couple of week’s we’ll be  breaking down each district and taking a look at the guys to watch, who the new coaches are, and which teams look ready to break out and make some noise this season.
This year, the district-by-district preview is brought to you by RipNet.
RipNet is a new goal scoring app and social network for players that is available for free on iPhoneAndroid and online at www.rip.net.  The apps help you become a better player, follow your friends’ game, and stay connected with all things lacrosse.
This video will show you how RipNet Performance Technology works and what you can do with the app. watch video.
You studs will be the first to let it rip, which makes RipNet even more fired up to help you put more balls in the back of the net and share your success on the field with players across the state and country.  Good luck this season. Now get out there and start scoring!
District 21
Jensen Beach
Jensen Beach Falcons Lacrosse Coach Matt Sofarelli hopes his squad can improve on last year’s 8-9 record. He feels that his team is young, but experienced and that they are ready to take the next step forward.  He lists his impact players as:
Logan Bach – So. – Defense
Mason Harris – Jr. – Middie
Beau Ladwig – Jr. – Middie
Jared Welsh So. – M/A
James McKinney – Sr. – M/A
Austin Brodie – So. – Goalie
Coach Sofarelli’s goals for the year are to make the district finals, and possibly advance to Regionals.  In order to do that his team will have to find a way to overcome district powerhouse Jupiter, which easily handled Jensen in last year’s districts final.  A few freshmen to watch are Jack Staab – Defense and Landon Sallie – Goalie.
Expectations are high, as the Warriors try to build on last year’s 20-3 record and Final Four appearance.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us. Florida lacrosse is getting better and better each year and every team we play will bring their best game; it should be a very competitive season” according to Head Coach Danny Loftus.
Jupiter has a tough schedule for 2013 with some great home matchups against top ten teams from 2012 including Pine Crest, St. Thomas Aquinas and 2012 State Champions St. Andrew’s as well as a road trip to state runner-up Lake Highland Prep.
Jupiter’s impact players include senior attackman Daniel Soviero (96 points), James Holdt (Vassar, 55 points), Ben Yetman (Furman), Connor Alexander (Duke) and Shane Bogue (95 GBs).
Martin County (8-8 in 2012) , Pine School (5-6 in 2012), and South Fork (2-9 in 2012) round out this district.
District 22

Benjamin's Josh Stauffer (Michigan)
Benjamin’s Josh Stauffer (Michigan)

Coach Riordan Cheatham returns the largest senior class he has ever had in a season (10) and all have big play capability. Some impact players that come right to mind:
Sr. Midfielders Colby Kempe (Tufts) and Charlie Nicklaus (Rutgers), Sr. LSM Phil Benz (Denison), Sr. Attackman Robert Jacobs (Kenyon), Jr. goalie Anthony Cicio, Jr. Midfielder McKenna Johnston and Jr. pole Jerry O’Connor (Yale).
The team’s goal is to win a State Championship. Benjamin will probably carry the most freshmen in years (four or five), but one of those could start at attack and he is Andrew Packer.  Coach Cheatham is hoping for big things from him potentially playing the left side.  Coach Cheatham is hoping he has the talent to win districts.  Benjamin faces one of the strongest schedules in the state, including out of state games with the MIAA’s St. Mary’s Annapolis and Langtry of Virginia and that the team will be battle tested for the games that matter the most.
Suncoast is a smaller sized predominantly academic magnet school, so the hurdles are pretty big starting out according to Coach Wayne Sanders.
Coach Sanders indicated the team made up of a lot of very talented individuals, so the goal going into this season is to be “David going up against Goliath.  We are working hard to improve our skills and learn to work as one unit, play as a team, and hopefully find a way to pull an upset against one of our district opponents.”
Suncoast's Dominic Kotocavage
Suncoast’s Dominic Kotocavage

There are two seniors returning this year, Daniel Pincus (middie) and Dominic Kotocavage (goalie).  Dominic is one of the key impact players.  Last year Dom was voted on the 2nd team All-District team and North County All-Conference team as Goalie. Coach Sanders believes is he is one of the best goalies in the county.
There is also a very solid junior class led be Jack Warman (middie), Chase Sanders (faceoff/middie), Ian Wiley (middie) and Chandler Kaye (defense).  “We also feel Chase Sanders has the potential to be one of the best faceoff middies in the county.  Our sophomore class is led by Van Spina (attack) Jake Perkins (attack) and Hunter Wharton (defense).  And we have had the good fortune of having a very good freshman class this year led by Zino Kuhn (middie), Tyler Jerd (attack), Mason Kirchfeld (defense) and Harry Warman (goalie).
We know going in the season that we have an uphill battle in our district, but we have 11 non-conference games against Cardinal Newman, Oxbridge, Southfork, Jensen Beach, Park Vista and others.  We plan on bringing our A-game to each of our opponents, leaving everything on the field and seeing what might happen.  And if we play as a team, we think we might see a lot of good things happen.”
Dwyer (5-9), and Palm Beach Gardens (7-11) are also looking to make a move in this district.
District 23
ripnet_scoringCardinal Newman
Coach Jason Carlstrom heads into the season looking to improve on last year’s 6-11 record.  He notes that “We are very young and a lot of young guys are going to step in and play right away.   Last year we had 4 losses decided by 2 goals or less.  Hopefully we can turn that around and lean on our senior leadership to improve.  Our goals are to get better every time we step onto the practice field.  learn from our mistakes and improve as team.  Success will not be determined with the number of our wins–that is a bi-product of what we do each day in practice”.
Newman will count heavily on Junior Ryan Milano (42 goals and 8 assists) who is getting strong interest from University of Tampa and Springfield College.  Other returnees include Peyton Dowd, Ray Donnelly, George Mastics and Fritz Cusmore.
Among the newcomers that Newman will rely on are Cam Walsh, Jack Bourbeau and Tommy Coppini.
John I. Leonard
This is the fourth year for this program and they are looking for their first victory.  We hare hoping it happens for them this season.
The King’s Academy
Look no further than Coach Brett VanAlstyne’s upstate New York background and coaching success with the Park Vista girls team (multiple coach of the year awards and play-off wins) to see The King’s Academy is one the rising programs in Palm Beach County.  This is a second year team which is young but talented.  Player to watch included senior midfielder Austin Masi and freshman attackman Jonathan Neal.  The King’s Academy’s is looking forward to competing in District 23 while improving each day.  Coach VanAlstyne is impressed with how hard his team is working and looks forward to every practice and game.
Palm Beach Central
Coach Billy Allen leads PBC into the season fresh off a 9-9 record last year that ended prematurely in the district finals, losing by one goal to Wellington, a team they defeated twice in the regular season.  They hope to take the next step and will rely on a number of key returnees:
A.J.Blouin at midfield; the leading returning scorer at midfield
Sammy Peede face off/midfielder
Nick Fero leading scorer at attack
Nick Griffin at the left side on attack
Defense anchored by Ryan Lierman and Shawn Chanutin in the goal
In addition transfers Sean Lemay and Danny Demarco on defense will be valuable starters. Steven Aquaceva at LSM will be coming back from injury.  Kevin Haggerty will see significant time as a freshman at defense.  Coach Allen is looking forward to a new season and renewing the rivalry with Wellington. 
Park Vista
Park Vista lost a lot of key seniors from last season.  Notably Goalie Austin Gant.  Gregg Ochs and Stephen Fenner are battling it out to fill his shoes.  On attack Senior Max Rautenkranz looks to direct the offense that includes Senior Midfielders Ian Carque and Sebastian Opdam.
A key addition to the starting Midfield is Jack Deloach, who is competing to be one of the best Face Off players in the the county.
Defensively they have three of the best long poles in the district. Sr. Vincent Greco, Jr. Alex Netzley, and So. Connor Lloyd-Jones.
“”We are very young this year with several freshman and sophomores starting or seeing significant playing time, specifically LSM Joey Augello and attackman Max Bennett,” head coach, Travis Klabon.
Coach Joe Calby’s Wellington team looks to improve on last year’s 11-7 record and seeks to find a way to become more competitive with the top teams in their region, which was a tough hill to climb for them last year.  According to Coach Calby “our goals this season are to clean out the district and advance past St. Andrews. We are a rapidly fast growing team, and our players have the expectation and hunger to win.”
Wellington advanced out of its district last year before running into St. Andrew’s in regionals on SA’s path to the state championship.
Most of his team is returning from last year, led by:
Attack – Senior Tyler Kuhlman (Florida Southern) in addition Jason D’Aoust (Junior) and Patrick Oporto (Soph)
Midfield – Thomas Oporto (2012 Brine All American) and Hunter Dietz (Senior un-committed)
Defense – Logan Masta (stand out goalie, and anchor to a strong defense), Ryan Smolchek and Adam Blum (Both Seniors).  Chris Englert (Defense) who is a transfer from Palm Beach Central should do big things for this defense.
District 24
American Heritage
The Stallions are excited for the start of the season.  As you might expect, the perennial football power is loaded with great athletes.  Coach Jack Hennessey loves his senior leaders and the team as a whole.
Key players include junior midfielder Ryan Meyer, sophomore Chase Skorupa who plays attack and midfield and junior goalie Michael Olortegui.
Keep an eye on sophomore defenseman/LSM Michael Hall, a talented multi-sport athlete.
ripnet_womans_vidBoca Raton
Fresh off a terrific 16-3 season that saw Boca bounced from the postseason by state champions St. Andrew’s, new coach Chris Holly hopes to continue the recent success of the school.  Boca High scored upset wins over Pine Crest (on the road) and Benjamin and a win over Tampa Jesuit on a neutral site.
Key returning players from last season include:
Nick Martin (Delaware)                                 Goalie                   67.5% Saves
Nick Shultz (Rollins)                                         Attack                   40 G, 30 A
Calder Alfano                                                     Defense               35 CT, 71 GBs
Parker Giarratana                                            Attack                   37 G, 13 A
Harrison Rodormer                                         Defense               26 CT, 58 GBs
Jordan Aman                                                     Defense               20 CT, 59 GBs
Coach Holly believes his team features excellent on ball defenders, one of the best goalies in the state in Nick Martin and a strong attack led by Nick Schultz.
The question going forward will be can they step up when they play their cross-town district rivals in St. Andrew’s?  It has long been the roadblock for the program when it comes to advancing further in states.  Part of the question might be answered in Boca’s first game when they travel to Jacksonville to take on Creekside, one of the favorites to come out of the northern Florida districts.
Pope John Paul II
Pope Cup 2013 Champions
Pope Cup 2013 Champions

Pope John Paul II HS will have a very young team this year. It’s more of a rebuilding year for the Eagles with just one senior and 6 juniors on the roster. The defense should be the team’s strength with Joey Giuffrida, Tommy Dunne (St John’s University) and Ricky Reyes all back from last year’s team. Sophomore goalie Niko Morfogen has looked very impressive in early season workouts. Mikey Urso (Mount St Mary’s) will be the leader on an offense that will have a tough time scoring with all the inexperience and youth on the field this spring.
Pope looks to get a district win this year after going 0-4 in district play last season.  Pope plays in possibly the toughest district in the state top to bottom. There are no easy nights when playing a team from District 24. Boca High, Spanish River and defending state champion St Andrews are all very talented and well coached, it is not easy to get a “W”.
Spanish River
Spanish River looks to improve on last year’s 10-8 record highlighted by season-long inconsistencies.  Both wins and losses were lopsided at times and River seeks to change that.  Head Coach Brian Johnson made arguably the most intriguing move in the pre-season, bringing highly successful coaching legend Jeff Goldberg into the fold as an assistant coach.
Among the top returning players for River are:
Jake Diamond-Goalie Sophomore
Penn-bound long pole Michael Fogel
Junior long pole Austin Mangines
Junior midfielder Jonathan Spevacek
But River’s strength is most seen in the returning attack.  Led by senior Evan Deacon (92 points) and junior Adrian Franzone (84 points), they will be joined by freshmen prodigy Davis Diamond.  Should this threesome find early chemistry they should be able to keep River in most games this year.
River is young, but experienced as they head into the season and will only graduate 5 seniors this year so the future looks bright for both this year and next.
Jake Levine 2Saint Andrew’s
Coach R.J. Dawson’s defending Florida State Champions seek to win another championship while also playing a tough out of state slate of nationally-ranked Boy’s Latin and McDonogh of the MIAA, St. Anne’s – Belfield of Virginia as well as Bishop Timon of upstate N.Y.   Saint Andrew’s returns a number of high-powered seniors committed to Division 1 college programs:
Conor Whipple                  Attack                   100 goals, 56 assists         Georgetown
Corey Etcheverry             Goalie                   62% Save %                        Sacred Heart
Grant Mahler                     Midfield               29g, 11a, 66% Face           Cornell
Stephen Reall                    Midfield               21g, 17a                                Saint John’s
Andy Wheeler                   Midfield               25g, 9a                                  Rutgers
Nick Ranta                           Midfield               8g,4a                                     Furman
The Scots’ defense will have to replace graduated standouts Blake Mulligan (Holy Cross) and Zach Heard (VMI), but returning starter junior Thomas Lounsbury, seniors Reid McCool (Trinity) and Michael Armour will anchor another talented group.  Senior LSM Jason Weprin (24gb) is expected to excel.
Underclassmen to watch include midfielder/face-off juniors Ben Kennedy, Jake LeGates and Will Leas, junior goalie Connor Poetzinger and sophomores Jake Bargas (d, Michigan), attackman Addison Lutes and midfielders Brandt Guldin and Keith Mahler.
Finally, another big year is expected from junior Delaware commit, attackman Jake Levine (58g, 68a, 39gb).
The southeastern Florida region is loaded this year for regional playoff possibilities and the path back to States will have to run through some combination of Pine Crest, St. Thomas Aquinas, Columbus Catholic, Jupiter and Benjamin before even reaching the finals.
District 25
West Boca High School
Daniel Dickenson stepped down after 5 seasons at West Boca High, 2 district championships and a trip to the IA final four in 2009. Jason Robinson, who recently coached at Pine Crest with Doug Shanahan, has taken over the team which returns a number of seniors from a strong 2012 performance. The team lost in the District Championship game to Douglas in 2012, but is looking to bounce back and have another successful season.
West Boca is coming off a successful season where they went 15-4 and beat a number of the area’s more established programs.  Their impact players will be Jack O’Conner, Scott Cheadle, and Jake Rubenstein. Jack was a varsity attackman who his dangerous inside. Scott was last years starting goalie who is returning for his senior year in cage. Jake was an impact player last year on defense who with his experience will lead our core on the defensive side.
Other players who will make a splash are Josh Shoenbrun at midfield and Michael Herman on attack. New players to watch are sophomores Zach Rubenstein, midfielder, and Mike Dornetshuber on defense.
Coach Robinson pointed out that “our team goals are to avenge our loss in the district championship and move ahead deep in the playoffs. With our team this year, I believe we have the opportunity to rack up a lot of wins and run with the big boys. Our district has Douglas, who is our big target. They are expected to be strong again this year.  North Broward and Coral Springs Charter round out our district and Coral Springs Christian dropped out.  Douglas is the team to beat, but we do not expect any easy games this season.”
Douglas is the defending champ and Coral Springs Charter and North Broward Prep will all be challenging West Boca this season.