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Boys lacrosse: Time to take next step for BH-BL

Spartans want to be more competitive within Suburban Council

— The Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake boys lacrosse team has put its historic 2011 season behind it.

The Spartans are looking ahead to a 2012 season in which they are hoping to become more competitive in the Suburban Council North Division.

“We don’t talk too much about last year, to be honest,” said BH-BL coach Tom Schwan. “We’re off to a good start thus far putting things in place.”

BH-BL won its first Sectional title last year by beating Queensbury in the Class B final – a significant accomplishment for a varsity program that is less than a decade old. But the Spartans had their problems within the Suburban Council as they finished fourth in the five-team North Division, which included three teams – Shenendehowa, Niskayuna and Ballston Spa – that reached the Class A semifinals.

“It’s a goal of ours to be more competitive,” said Schwan. “Last year, the first time we played Shen and the first time we played Niskayuna, the outcome wasn’t in doubt at halftime. So, it’s a goal of ours to be in more games longer. Hopefully, we can be in games in the fourth quarter and have a chance to do something to win those games.”

Schwan lost several players to graduation last summer including attackers Evan Nusbaum and Alex Lewek, as well as faceoff specialist Nucci Lauria. But the group of players Schwan has this year have all had the benefit of playing under his system for the past two years, which has allowed him to add some new wrinkles to his system.

“The positive is there were only six (graduating seniors),” said Schwan. “We have a number of guys who have been on varsity for two or three years, so we’re able to put more things in place.”

The offense will be solid once again with the return of attackmen Trevor Hiss, Tom Kenneally and Austin Clark. The midfield features seniors Nick Vincent, Tom Ruppell, Austin Fragale and Chris Buono, as well as juniors Bill Chapman and Eric Dillon.

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