It's the time of the school year when multi-sport standouts can go from varsity stars to alums of their programs in the blink of an eye. That adds to the intensity and importance of each playoff game.
With NYSPHSAA under way, there has been a flurry of games this past week that illustrates that very dynamic.Mamaroneck beats familiar foeMamaroneck
has now won three Section 1 Class A titles the last four years after never having ever won a title.
Each time the Tigers took the title, they had to beat Mahopac
in the postseason, twice in the final, including last week, as Mamaroneck pulled out a 12-11 overtime win when Eric Greenberg
scored his sixth goal of the game off the opening faceoff in overtime.
"I was fortunate to be able to get the groundball off the faceoff and I saw Eric was open, and he had a good shot at the cage and put it in," said Bucknell University-bound senior attackman Reed Malas
. "He came through for us the whole game and had the best game I've ever seen him have."
Greenberg, who had six goals, was the offensive MVP. Mahopac long pole Max Littleton
, whose second goal of the game tied it with 1:06 left in regulation, was defensive MVP.
Mamaroneck has a bye into the state quarterfinals on Saturday, May 30 at Lakeland High School, where it will play either Section 2's Niskayuna
or Section 9's Warwick
"We have never won a game in the state tournament," Malas said. "That's the goal for us. That's our focus right now."Like father, like son at Smithtown East
Gerard Arceri, a Penn State University-bound junior faceoff specialist for Smithtown East
, will be one of the keys in Wednesday's Suffolk County Class A final against Ward Melville (East Setauket)
. But a Gerard Arceri playing a key role in such a scenario has happened before.
Arceri's father, who bears the same name but played for Ward Melville, starred on faceoffs in the 1982 Section 11 title game between the teams – an 11-1 win over Smithtown (before it split into Smithtown East and Smithtown West high schools).
It may take a similar effort from his son if Smithtown East, the defending champ, is to prevail. Both teams have won 10 straight games and both of Ward Melville's losses have come by one goal.
"My father encouraged me to play the (faceoff) position," the younger Arceri said.Milestones upstate, downstate
A pair of senior stars bound for Division I college powers in the Midwest reached milestones on Friday.
Ohio State University-bound Brandon Barker of Mendon (Pittsford)
scored his 100th and 101st goals in a 12-4 win over Rush Henrietta in the Section 5 Class A semifinals.
Notre Dame University-bound Brian Willetts
of Smithtown East broke the program record for career points in a 17-11 win over Smithtown West in the Section 11 semifinals. Willetts had four goals and an assist, giving him 311 points, one more than 2007 graduate Matt Hull, who went on to play at Harvard.
"I am humbled to break the record and thankful for the amazing teammates and coaches I've had to help me along the way," Willetts said.Don't let the baseball name fool you
Warwick coach Graig McElroy led the Wildcats to their second-straight Section 9 Class A boys lacrosse title.
Warwick upped its record to 18-0 with a 13-7 win against Valley Central – its third over the Vikings this season.
The fact that McElroy has emerged as one of the best lacrosse coaches in the Hudson Valley is especially interesting considering his upbringing. He played football at nearby Monroe-Woodbury High School, which did not then offer lacrosse.
The spelling of his first name was a tip of the cap to a baseball great, former MLB all-star third baseman Graig Nettles.
"My parents were very big Yankee fans and that's where the name comes from," McElroy said.Looking ahead
The state semifinals will be Wednesday, June 3. The upstate semis will be played at St. John Fisher College in Rochester. The downstate semis will be held at Middletown High School. Title games will be played Saturday, June 6 at Vestal High School.
news and sports editor and producer Joe Lombardi is director of media
initiatives and managing editor of the DailyVoice.com, as well as the primary author
of the most recent edition of "Lacrosse for Dummies." Follow Joe on
Twitter @Joe_Lombardi or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.