The Massapequa Chiefs of Nassau Class A enter our boys top 20 preseason rankings at No. 15. They are perennial contenders in their conference and this season will be no different as they look to rebound after last season’s defeat in the semifinals against Syosset. Head Coach Michael Draper enters his second season at the helm, and described the senior class that’s returning as one that can be special. “The senior class has the potential to be special if they take pride in the process, accept individual and team accountability, have continuity in their competitive spirit and build vulnerability-based trust. Athletically and skill-wise, this is one of the most gifted groups I have been around in the nearly three decades I have been involved in lacrosse.”
Highlighting the many returning players, starting at attack it’s senior Michael Durnin the Adelphi commit who will be the go-to attackman. Durnin came through with 34 points in 2022, with 22 goals and 12 assists. Expect him to be in for an even bigger campaign with absence of 2022 graduate Anthony Mollica.
The Chiefs return their core midfielders, providing consistency and continuity that they showed last season. Seniors Will Birney, (Stony Brook), Aidan Christie, Brayden Fitzpatrick, and Patrick Radomski (Siena) will provide a balance that will be difficult for opposing defenses to handle with the possibility for a multitude of players to have breakout games. As a quartet they came together to combine for 119 points. The one difference this year is that they will be minus current Hofstra freshman Vince McDermott who was an All-American Honorable Mention. Between the attack and midfield Massapequa formulated the highest average goals per game in Nassau County at 15.
Defensively, expect them to pick up right where they left off, as a unit that isn’t going to allow much on most nights. Returning this year is All-County defenseman Ryan Fountain (LIU) and All-County Honorable Mention defenseman Ryan Wieczorek. Wieczorek brings multiple assets to the field with his ability to be a lockdown on-ball defender as well as play LSM. Spending the majority of time at LSM will be senior All-County Honorable Mention Jack Schiffl. The last line of defense will be held down by the Wingate bound senior Matthew Jannotte who stepped up big his junior year with 112 saves. Two 2022 graduates on this end that they will be without are Michael D’Alessandro and Michael Valentine. Statistically the defense would surely like to replicate the six goals per game they allowed last season.
Coach Draper believes that last year’s playoff defeat in the semis was a result of their lack of experience and trouble with the face-offs. This year their path towards the playoffs is through a number of talented opponents. To open the season Massapequa will play host to St. Thomas Aquinas of Florida on March24th. Other non league opponents include Bayport (3/25), Chaminade (3/29), Staples CT (4/13), Scarsdale (4/15), Mt. Sinai (4/22), South Side (4/28), and Northport (4/29). In Class A the notable matchups against teams they’ll be fighting with for the playoffs are Syosset (4/18), Port Washington (5/2), and Farmingdale (5/13).