Vol. LXIV, No. 13
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)caption:
SWEET MOVE: Hun School boys lacrosse player Will Sweetland looks for an opening in action last spring. Junior star Sweetland is moving to attack from midfield this spring and figures to emerge as a key scoring threat for Hun and new head coach Tom Kelso. The Raiders begin regular season play on April 1 when they host WW/P-N.
Tom Kelso is coming full circle in terms of his involvement with the Hun School boys lacrosse program.
Kelso, a 2001 Hun graduate, played goalie for the Raiders as a high schooler and then came back to his alma mater and served as the JV boys lax coach in 2006 and 2007 and as an assistant for the varsity squad the last two springs.
Now, Kelso is stepping up to the head coaching post as he takes over for athletic director Bill Quirk, who guided the Raiders to a 14-1 mark last spring in his one season at the helm.
As a result of Kelsos long background with the program, he plans to perpetuate its culture.
I will be maintaining the core traditions and core values of the program, asserted Kelso, whose team starts regular season play on April 1 when it hosts WW/P-N.
Kelso has been well grounded in the hallmarks of the Hun culture through several mentors at the school.
Bill Quirk is a role model for me; he wasnt my coach in high school but he had an influence on me, said Kelso, a Penn State alum like Quirk.
I have also been working with Dave Dudeck and the football team the last two years and I have learned a lot from him. Jon Stone also helped me out; he was the assistant boys lax coach when I started coaching. I look up to them a lot; they have helped me in knowing what to expect as a coach.
Kelso is expecting good production from his group of attackers. We have a couple of guys in Will Sweetland and Steffen Gratch who were midfielders last year but their natural positions are attack, said Kelso.
They are both athletic; they are the two guys with the most offensive experience. Iain Alexandridis is a transfer from Princeton Day School; he had a good game against us last year. He was holding back in the beginning but now he is much more comfortable playing with the group. James Nawn is a guy who will go back and forth from attack to midfield.
The Hun midfield will be led by a new face, post-graduate Matt Verducci, who previously starred at Bishop Ireton in Northern Virginia.
Matt is a good ball mover and he carries the ball well, said Kelso. He has a decent shot; he is a good all around player. He provides stability with his experience.
The other options in the midfield will include Scott Munley, Ian Gill, Sawyer Dietz, and Jarred Cotton.
They all pass the ball well, said Kelso. We are looking for the attack to be shooters and the middies to handle the passing and ballhandling.
Hun will be relying on senior Dylan Zucosky together with juniors Brennan Foley, Connor Stevenson, and Brain Patriarca to handle things on the back line.
Kelso looks to Patriarca to provide some grit to his defensive unit. Patriarca is nice and controlled off the field but he plays the game with an edge, said Kelso, who will be using junior Adam Mantell at longstick midfielder to help shore up the defense. He has a chip on his shoulder and I like that.
At goalie, Hun will putting a lot on the shoulders of junior Michael Buckbinder as he takes up the position with last years netminder, Peter Blackburn, having transferred to PDS.
Mike has gone from attack to defense to goalie, said Kelso. He is doing a good job for someone who has never played the position. I think having been an offensive player has helped him; he understands how people cut and how offenses work.
In Kelsos view, his large group of juniors understand that it is their time to shine.
Its like the team two years ago when we had a lot of junior contributors, said Kelso, whose squad features 11 juniors.
I feel the juniors are playing better because they know they have to step up. These kids want to be their own team.
The team got the chance to fine-tune its game on a recent spring training jaunt to Florida.
We had a nice trip to Florida; the older players are not set in their ways and that helped with the transition, said Kelso.
I think the offense has to pass better; the guys have to play more together to get on same page. Our defense has to play good sound positional defense.
The key to Huns success this spring, though, will come down to its mental game.
Most importantly, they need to believe in themselves, asserted Kelso. There will be some rocky times; it is a young team and well see how they respond. I think the kids are tough and will do well.
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