OP starts at the top
The Orchard Park boys lacrosse team will play its first game of the season today. And its opponent couldn't be much tougher.
The Quakers will play at Georgetown Prep, which finished tied for No. 1 in last year's Laxpower.com poll, at 4 p.m. Georgetown Prep, a private school in North Bethesda, Md., went 22-0 last year to tie Boys' Latin of Maryland for the top spot. The Hoyas have started this season at 10-0.
"The biggest obstacle is that this will be their 11th game, and this is the first actual game, for us," OP coach Gene Tundo said. "I don't think we're going to be outmatched physically, but obviously they'll be in midseason form and how we handle that will determine the outcome of the game."
OP will also play Loyola-Blakefield (2-2) on Wednesday. The Dons finished 14th in last year's national poll after a 13-5 season.
"Both games are going to be battles," Tundo said. "Hopefully we can represent the area very well."
The last time Orchard Park played games in Maryland, it lost to Severn before beating Severna Park to start the 2000 season; OP went on that season to play in its first state championship after beating West Genesee in the state semifinals.
Tundo is hopeful this year's team will be as strong as previous squads -- OP has won 12 straight Section VI Class A championships -- despite returning just five players from its top 14 of last year.
"I think that we can get back where we were -- we just have to come together as a team," Tundo said. "There are a lot of unknowns. We're very, very young. Five sophomores are going to contribute. I think we'll learn a lot [this week] and this will help us. If you look at Niagara-Wheatfield and Frontier, those guys will battle us right down to the end."
Spring schedules wanted
The News needs league master schedules and school schedules and rosters for all spring sports. Athletics directors and coaches are asked to e-mail rosters and schedule to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or fax them to 849-4587.