Memorable Mondays: Top 2012-13 teams to watch
Welcome to MSGVarsity.com's Memorable Mondays, a summer-long series that looks back on the top players, games and moments from the past season and gazes ahead to 2012-13. As the summer goes on, we'll compile all the lists and post them here: www.msgvarsity.com/mondays.
In the final of Memorable Mondays, we look at the top five teams to watch in the 2012-2013 school year.
Syosset boys lacrosse
The Braves came into the 2012 lacrosse season expected to compete in Nassau and make a decent postseason dent. But not many experts expected Syosset to make a run to the Long Island Championship game.
They were a team loaded with juniors and pulled off a major upset in the Nassau County Class A finals with a 14-13 defeat over top-ranked Massapequa in which the Braves outscored the Chiefs 5-1 in the final frame.
Now a year older and with crucial postseason experience under its belt, Syosset led by attack Andrew Keith and goaltender Ryan Feit will look to make a less surprising run this year to the Long Island championship.
Sachem East football
Since Sachem High School split in the 2004-05 school year, the Flaming Arrows of the East always took a back seat to those from the North on the gridiron. And although North topped East last season in both squad's first postseason meeting, East proved to its Sachem counterparts that they were for real.
Junior RB/LB Steven Casali had a breakout season after missing most of his sophomore season due to injury by running for 1,488 yards and 19 touchdowns, with 10 of those scores coming in his first four games.
Sachem East had put an end to an abysmal 15-game losing streak and battled its way to the Division I semifinals. With Casali returning and good feelings coming from last year's successful campaign, Sachem might have two teams to focus on in the 2012-13 year.
Holy Trinity football
2011 was a tough year for Holy Trinity as the Titans fell in the CHSFL Class 'AA' semifinals, 21-20 to Kellenberg after taking a 20-0 lead into the half.
However the 2012 Titans will look to have a rebound year led by standout quarterback Chris Laviano. The senior QB has just recently committed to play football at Rutgers University in 2013.
Look for the Titans to play closely with the traditional powers of the CHSFL, St. Anthony's and Iona Prep in the 2012 season.
Ward Melville field hockey
The Patriots have always been at the top of the class when it comes to field sports. However 2011 was the year when the Patriots saw its four-year stranglehold at the top of Long Island's Class A come to an end with a 5-0 defeat to Sachem East in the Suffolk County finals.
You can bet that Ward Melville will be looking to get back to the top of Long Island's upper echelon. It will be a tough go losing star scorer and Newsday All-Long Island first team selection Vanessa Pryor, but it will be interesting to see how the Patriots rebound.
Long Island Lutheran girls basketball
The Long Island Lutheran girls basketball Crusaders were already a force to be wreckoned with for the past few years. The Crusaders were Class A Federation title winners in 2011, and finalists last season.
Last year saw the emergence of Boogie Brozoski as one of the top playmakers on the Island. As a freshman, Brozoski averaged 14.8 points per game and eight assists. But it only will get better for the Crusaders.
Now Long Island boasts another standout freshamn, former Floral Park Knight Kaela Hilaire. Last year as just an eighth grader Hilaire averaged a Long Island public-school best 7.6 assists per game and averaged 14.9 points per contest.
Just imagine a backcourt featuring Brozoski and Hilaire. There's three more years of that to come.
Relive the summer as "Memorable Mondays" brought you the past top 5 lists:
June 25: Top five seniors from 2011-12
July 2: Top five individual performances from 2011-12
July 9: Top five Cinderella stories from 2011-12
July 16: Top five exciting endings from 2011-12
July 23: Top five heartwarming moments from 2011-12
July 30: Top five favorite venues from 2011-12
Aug. 6: Top five coaches from 2011-12
Aug. 13: Top five most memorable games from 2011-12
Aug. 20: Top five teams from 2011-12
Aug. 27: Top five teams to watch in 2012-13 (scroll up)
Find them all at www.msgvarsity.com/mondays.