Youthful Baldwin has lots to prove


Welcoming back only a few starters from a team that reached the Nassau Class A boys’ lacrosse semifinals a year ago, Baldwin isn’t projected to get back to the playoffs based on its preseason ranking. However, coach Rich Garguilo believes the Bruins can find their way into the top eight in Conference I and pose a danger in the postseason.

“We lost a lot from last year, but I can’t remember any year we weren’t ranked at or near what we asked for,” Garguilo said. “I thought we fit well in the six, seven or eight spot, but we ended up 10. Nobody sees us as a playoff team, so we’ll try to prove them wrong.”

At any given time, Garguilo could have as many as seven or eight of the team’s 10 sophomores on the field. Two of them, Jesse Nolan and Jared Warner, each recorded a hat trick, along with juniors Tyler Warner and Gerard Lyle, in a 15-8 non-league victory over visiting Roslyn on March 21. Tyler Warner, a midfielder coming off an Honorable Mention All-County campaign, added five assists for a career-high eight points.

“Each team has to develop its own personality,” Garguilo said. “We’re very young, so it’s going to take some time. We’ve developed an awful lot in the first 30 days and I’m real excited to see how much more we’ll progress.”

The void of four-year starting goaltender Brett Dadiego is being filled by sophomore Tom York and senior Eric Wool. One of the team’s captains, Wool was the varsity backup a year ago and has a good grasp of how the defense operates in front of him, Garguilo said. York, the starting goalie on JV in 2012, brings a strong skill set to the table including a great outlet pass.

The defense is loaded with youth, starting with sophomore Nick DeLuca, a returning starter coming off an All-Conference campaign. “Nick’s a textbook defender and our workhorse,” Garguilo said. Sophomore Noel Smith has good size, and junior Aasin Pritchard is a tough on-the-ball marker with varsity experience. Junior Myles Wilson is an energetic and fast long-pole midfielder who’ll be asked to cover the opponents’ top middie, while sophomore Jared Myles contributes at long pole and in the back row. The unit will be stronger once senior Joe Gilfoyle returns from injury.

“I like where we’re at defensively,” Garguilo said.

Tyler Warner, who has all the tools and is an unselfish playmaker, is a captain and leads the midfield. “He’ll play at the next level,” Garguilo said. Younger brother Jared is a carbon copy and handling faceoffs, while sophomore Christian Cummings is a tireless worker with a knack for scooping groundballs. The shifty Lyle is a constant offensive threat, and senior captain Mike Abrahams is an extension of the coaching staff.

On attack, senior captain Pat Hannon found the net consistently last year and is expected to do so again. Nolan’s off to a fine start and sophomore Sam Ferguson’s quick release makes him a strong finisher.