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Boys’ notebook: Garnet Valley aims to compare to the Central League

Monday, 7th April 2008

Categories Boy's/Men's, High School  

Chris Goldberg, Posted 4/7/08

Just how good is Garnet Valley? Are the Jaguars ready to compete for a Central League championship? We will find out soon enough.

Even though Garnet Valley is not officially a member of the Central League until next year, the Jags are playing all 10 members of the league this season.

That’s good for boys’ lacrosse fans who want to know if the perennial Del-Val League champion is ready to take its spot among the Central League elite.

So far this year, Garnet Valley, ranked fourth by, has dominated its Del-Val foes, Sun Valley, 14-2, Kennett, 11-1, and Interboro, 20-1. The Jaguars also have thumped Avon Grove, 15-3, and the Central League’s Haverford, 12-5.

Today Garnet Valley plays at Lower Merion and Thursday the Jaguars host Springfield-Delco. They host Hempfield on Friday. Clearly, we’ll know a lot more about Garnet Valley after this week.

“For the past couple years we’ve played five to seven of the Central League teams,” said Garnet Valley coach Jim Harvey. And we have fared well; last year was better than the past couple.”

Last year the Jags lost to Ridley and Lower Merion in tight games and defeated Springfield, Strath Haven, Penncrest and Upper Darby.

This year’s Garnet Valley team is experienced on defense, in goal and at midfield and has talented youth along the front line. The team’s depth is in question. The defense features senior longpoles Ryan Bracalenti and Alex Portale and junior Charlie Bytheway. Senior Steve Seiler is a four-year starter in goal.

The middies include seniors Evan Babiak, Steve Hatland and Nick Coan, who is just returning from a broken arm. Junior Paul Dunn is also key. The attack is led by sophomores Mike Montella and Eric Warden and senior Kyle Jandrasitz.

“I think that with the quality of ballplayer we have, I think we could compete with the Ridleys and Conestogas of the world,” Harvey said. “The Central League is where you want to play.

“I think defensively, we’re there. The goaltending is good and offensively we have been strong. We are young at attack with two sophomores and we’re a little thin at midfield. We’ve been missing two middies due to injury that we should be getting back soon.”

Radnor shocks Ridley

Zack Donnelly tallied four goals and Matt Cherry added two while Joe Donnelly turned aside 13 shots as host Radnor stunned previously-unbeaten and sixth-ranked Ridley, 8-7, in a Central League opener Friday night.

Tyler Johnson notched three goals for the Green Raiders, who have been missing several regulars due to injuries. Ridley (6-1) was coming off big wins over Great Valley, 13-6, and Downingtown East, 9-6, and now faces a must-win situation when it hosts unbeaten and fifth-ranked Conestoga tonight.

La Salle stays on a roll
Second-ranked La Salle (12-1) won its 11th straight game Saturday, dumping New Jersey prep power Lawrenceville, 5-4. as Pete Schwartz scored two goals and Niko Amato registered 10 saves. The Explorers play at struggling Downingtown East (2-4, ranked eighth) today.



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