Last season was one for the books as Coach Negus and a gritty group of seniors led the Patriots to the Suffolk County Championship. After winning the county championship last season, the focus turns to 2020 for coach Negus and his players. Despite losing a group of talented seniors from the 2019 team, the next class of players are ready to continue the winning culture that the Patriots have. Coach Negus is prepared to have the Patriots ready for the 2020 season as they begin their quest to repeat as Suffolk County Champions.
Q. How gratifying was last season going 14-3 and being the Suffolk County Champions?
A. Last season was one I will never forget. I am so proud of the players and coaches and how we as a group overcame a tremendous amount of adversity against a very talented Smithtown West team in the County Championship game. It really showed how our players have developed chemistry over the years and how they never gave up and relied on their bond to pull them through that challenging game and environment. Unfortunately we lost in the Long Island Championship, but you have to tip your hat to Massapequa as they were the better team that day and their win was well earned.
Q. With the amount of players that graduated last year, how difficult will it be having to adjust without them?
A. We graduated a very talented group of seniors who will be truly missed. Each year we always graduate a large group but the underclassman know it is now their time and turn to write their Ward Melville Lacrosse Journey. Each year the high expectations and culture is passed down to the next class to leave their jersey better than the way they found it, which an extremely big and important task and a part of our culture. Many of our players really impressed me this summer on how they all played so hard for one another and how they all play the game the right way. I am really looking forward to seeing them in action this spring.
Q. What are your expectations for team heading into the 2020 season?
A. My expectations for this year are for our team to never relax, be all in, to be above the line on all phases of our life.
Q. As a coach, how important will it be to make sure that last seasons success doesn’t have a hangover affect going into this season?
A. Last season is last season. We are focused on the task at hand which is to become the best version of ourselves each and every day, in life, in the classroom, and on the field.
Q. Do you believe last seasons experience will help the players who are returning this season?
A. Last year’s season is always fuel for the future players and coaches. You can always get better and you have to reflect, learn, and grow.
Q. What are the most important keys for the Patriots to repeat as champions this year?
A. The keys to this year will be Never Relax Be All In Above the Line Responses to all situations we are faced with!