Saratoga Blue Streaks
Head coach: Jeff Geller
Key veterans: Aaron Costello (G), Will Johns, Morgan Smith, Eli Sterngass, Chris Jayko
Key newcomers: Steven Celeste, Bret Celeste, Ercan Killic
Outlook: The Blue Streaks made school history in 2009 by reaching the Section II, Class AA finals against county rival Shenendehowa. Now, they want to make more history by claiming the school's first Sectional championship.
"I know the guys who were on the team last year want to continue the success this year, now that they've had a taste of it," said Geller. "The guys who are up from JV, some of them were up with us during last year's playoffs, so they know what it's like."
Geller said the key to Saratoga's continued success is having a balanced offense.
"Any one of eight players on our team can contribute," said Geller. "We will get contributions from several players, not just one or two."
Shaker Blue Bison
Head coach: Bill Blesi
Key players: Austin Britt (M), Bobby Daley (M), Luke Scarchilli (D), Brian Gallagher (D), Nick Shamlian (D), Tim Preston (F), Conor Cahalan (F)
Outlook: The Blue Bison had their sights set high last year, but injuries and a wave of the H1N1 flu sidetracked them.
"We barely had a winning season last year, but we had a winning season," said Blesi, whose Shaker team finished with a 9-8-1 record. "I had a different vision for my team, but injuries and illnesses hurt us."
With several North Division teams returning a large core of veterans, Blesi said he's tempering his outlook this season.
"Our division is hard," he said. "We have Shen, which is always tough. We have Ballston Spa, which returns most of their guys. And we have Saratoga, which added three players that didn't play for them last year but are accomplished players."