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2006 Boys Season Preview

February 27, 2006




CREDENTIALS: Luke Baldwin's postseason performance showed that he should be ready to be a leader for the Friars in 2006. Junior Tom Parolin has had a brilliant first two seasons and could carry the offensive load for Fenwick. Chris Jones ranks as the top returning goalie in the state and provides the Friars with solid leadership in the net. John Barrett is a talented player on both ends of the pool and should see an increased role in the offense this year. Fenwick also should see solid contributions from players like Matt Meyer, Dan Wolak, and Patrick Lloyd, among others.


CONCERNS: Mark Melnyk and Oscar Calderon are tough to replace, so the Friars will need to get contributions from a few new starters in order to remain on top in 2006.




CREDENTIALS: Jordan Himmel led the Romans in scoring in 2005, and he should continue to be dominant on the offensive end this season. Senior Stephen Wickes also assumes a leadership role and seems to make big plays whenever his team needs them. Grant Wilkie should emerge in his second season as a starter, while fellow sophomores Tim Wickes, Connor Allen, and Tim Barry could play much larger roles this year. Sam Kettlewell gives the Romans experience and can fill many roles on both sides of the ball. Goalie Henry Fyfe continues to come up big for the Romans and has to be considered one of the top returning goalies in the state.


CONCERNS: The Romans could miss the underrated Jamie Friedland, who was versatile and gave them a great deal of experience in getting to state the last two years. Otherwise, the Romans should be in the mix for one of the top spots in 2006.




CREDENTIALS: Joe Przekota will be tough to stop for any team on the offensive end and he can easily be considered one of the best players in the state. Pat Szyska should successfully make the jump to starting goalietender without a problem, as he ranked as one of the top sophomore goalies in 2005. James Ridgeway could be ready for his best season as a junior, as he has the talent to score when teams focus on shutting down Przekota.


CONCERNS: Regardless of how well the Shamrocks play this season, they will still likely have to go through #1 Fenwick in order to qualify for state.




CREDENTIALS: Senior Kevin Bell leads Naperville Central on both ends of the pool and will be in the running for POTY honors. Goalie Corey Stein continued to impress in the Redhawks' postseason run, and he should be even better in 2006. Pat Leclair had a breakout season last year, as he will need to build off that and be a major factor on the offensive end. Ryan Alberts gives Central the speed to outswim many teams.


CONCERNS: The Redhawks lost size and experience when Don Lambka and Brian Luth graduated, so they will need a handful of emerging players like Jadd Shamas, Tyler Olsen, and Drew Smith to play much larger roles in 2006.




CREDENTIALS: Andrew Peterson steps into the spotlight in his senior season and can play with the best in goal or in the field. Brandon Schawel looks to be the number one offensive weapon for the Mustangs, while senior Sean Larsen should have his best offensive season as well. Both Geoff Schott and Mark Selle continue to get better with experience, and both can hold their own on both ends of the pool. Either Grant Gates or Ricky Lucaks can fill the final starting spot, with the other providing the Mustangs with depth off the bench. Tyler Rayome has continued to improve in goal over the past two seasons and allows Peterson to play in the field in almost any game.


CONCERNS: Greg Peck was the go-to-guy for the Mustangs, so they will need to find someone to consistently score on the offensive end and make plays if they plan to get back to state this year.




CREDENTIALS: Joe Frantz had a big season for Brother Rice in the net last season, and his performance could be the key to the Crusaders staying in the mix after losing a handful of key seniors. Sean Coghlan has an abundance of talent and will have a chance to showcase that this season. Terry Moran was a key role player in his first year with the Crusaders, and he should play a much bigger role in the starting lineup this season. Drew Velasquez could emerge as well in his first year as a starter.


CONCERNS: The Crusaders lost a ton of experience at the key skill positions, as Nick Velasquez, Mark DiCola, Fernando Chavez-Cedeno, Omar Vasquez, and Kevin McShane are gone to graduation.




CREDENTIALS: Scott Nemecek should be the featured player for the Lions this season, as he proved he can score from anywhere in the pool at most times. Peter Cosentino is another talented returning starter for Lyons Township, and along with Pat Wilkins and Mike Castro, should help a physical team continue to improve off last year's strong campaign.


CONCERNS: Mark Lakis was a talented and physical player that the Lions will likely miss. They will also need to find a replacement in goal for standout netminder Derrick Brace.




CREDENTIALS: Jon Christensen has been a vastly underrated player for the past two seasons, but he should step into a featured role in 2006 for the Eagles. Matt Niemeier and Frank Kuchta should also help Sandburg fight for a Top 10 position all season. Juniors Kevin Dommer and Bob Grandchamp will likely fill two of the starter positions and fill important roles. Senior goalie Brandon Petrie should see the most time in goal, replacing George Deckinga in the net.


CONCERNS: John Kryzminski was a valuable player for the Eagles for the past several years, so finding a player to fill his many roles is important to Sandburg's future success.




CREDENTIALS: Nate LeRoy is ready for a breakout season in 2006 and could lead the Ramblers back to state. Bobby Navarre has a great deal of speed and should also have a big year. Goalie Adam Weissert emerged in his sophomore season and hopes to come up big for Loyola in 2006.


CONCERNS: The Ramblers still have to contend with rivals Evanston and New Trier in order to get back to state.




CREDENTIALS: Kevin Alland is a tough defensive player and should also continue to lead the Patriots on offense as well. Brian Mitchell has size and strength and should be much improved after his first full season in the field. Goalie Dmitry Simonoff emerged towards the end of last season and ranks among the better goalies in the state.


CONCERNS: Alan Lagunov was a versatile player who will be missed on both ends of the pool for the Patriots.




WHY THEY'LL MOVE UP: Alex Buck has talent and speed and is a difficult player to stop on the offensive end.  Connor Handley had a strong freshman season, and his increased development should get the Huskies near the Top 10 immediately in 2006. The key for North will be finding a goaltender that can keep them in most games with rivals Naperville Central, Waubonsie Valley, and Neuqua Valley.




WHY THEY'LL MOVE UP: The duo of Tim Fodor and Tommy Doyle can cause matchup problems for opponents, as both are highly versatile players. Tim Silkaitis provides speed to help on both sides of the pool. The Wildkits will look to talented goalie Jack Kilheffer will replace Kevin Paulson, while Tommy Grossinger and Ben Terry could also see increased roles for Evanston.




WHY THEY'LL MOVE UP: Will Bartels has quietly become one of the better goalies in the state. Rick Farmer and Charlie Gentles should see an increase in scoring to make up for the loss of Chris Soper. Mark Saleh and Chandler Harris will help on the defensive end, while the Trevians will look for contributions from new faces Brendan Nyhan, Sam Lopez, and Steven Hong.




WHY THEY'LL MOVE UP: Grant Gucinski should have his best offensive year , while goalie Matt Crittenden showed a great deal of improvement at the tail end of last season. Mike Kozak, Kyle Drake, and Mark McCoy should play more prominent roles for the Warriors in 2006.




WHY THEY'LL MOVE UP: Jason Ament...Stephen King...Even though the Griffins lost a majority of their starting lineup from last year's state qualifying team, the returning players should see the benefits of winning sectionals and gaining valuable postseason experience.





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