Niagara Gazette — After losing eight starters from last year’s Class B finalist team, the Niagara-Wheatfield lacrosse team is restocking the lineup — but not without the leadership of some established faces.
The new-look squad will be headed by a triad of captains who are set to play NCAA Division I college lacrosse after their playing days with the Falcons. Senior attackmen Robert McMicking and Zachary Dubuc are committed to the University of Tampa, while junior midfielder/attack Brennen Ferguson will play collegiately at Syracuse University.
“Very exciting players,” Falcons head coach Vince Schiffert said of the trio, who finished as the three top scorers on the team last year. “They’re one of the better attacks in Western New York.”
Led by its captains, scoring shouldn’t be a problem for Niagara-Wheatfield. However, it did graduate five of six starters at midfield, two starting defensemen and its starting goalie from a team that finished 16-3 (13-2 Class B) in 2012.
Some young players will now be looked upon to fill the voids left by the departed seniors. After reaching and playing Hamburg in the Section VI Class B finals the last two years — they won the final in 2011 — Schiffert’s prospects for this season have not been deterred.
“We have high expectations every year,” Schiffert said. “Sometimes we have a year like this, where the guys are young, you graduate a lot. So we take our lumps early on. The idea is it matters at the end of the year. You take some lumps early, it pays off later.”
One young player that is expected to step up is sophomore defender James Stenzel. Schiffert described him as a dynamite player, who is fast and a great athlete.
Several other freshmen and sophomores are expected receive significant playing time, but there will be an adjustment period with them. Once they are adept with the level of play, Schiffert noted there is no reason the team can’t replicate what has been accomplished the last two years.