Hamburg lacrosse coach Jerry Severino talked in extremes all season about what a good team he had. It did not disappoint.
The Bulldogs produced their fourth straight Section VI title, two high school All-Americans, four Division I scholarship players and enough All-Western New York first-teamers to start a basketball game.
Hamburg landed five of the 14 first-team picks on this year's All-Western New York squad, chosen by area coaches. Their efforts yielded 17 wins in 20 starts and enhanced their status as one of the state's top programs in Class B.
"Despite the Irondequoit loss, a lot of good things happened," said Severino. "Our trip down south to Maryland and Virginia, playing Georgetown Prep, losing, 7-3, was a real good test. In a lot of ways we passed it. Playing the Highland School, last year's Virginia private school champion, and beating them, 14-4, that was a big win."
Eric Chadderdon, Ryan Feuerstein, Chris Feuerstein, James Maxwell and Shawn Needham represent Hamburg on All-WNY. Chadderdon and Ryan are repeat picks, along with Gary Davies of Orchard Park and Brian Sullivan of Timon-St. Jude.
The Silver Creek offense revolved around a freshman and the team was rewarded with the Section VI Class C title.
Zeddy Williams finished with 101 goals and 73 assists in a 17-2 season. He was coming off a 74-goal season as an eighth grader. Williams earned a spot on the first team along with his brother Zach, who put up some big numbers of his own with 74 goals and 104 assists. They helped the Black Knights average 20 goals per game.
"They played a little two-man game," said coach William Brennan. "Zeddy likes to go one-on-one a lot. He works a lot of pick and rolls with Zach. He wants the ball, he gets himself open. Zach is more of a playmaker. He'll draw a defender and dump it off to Zeddy or anybody on the team."
>College careers await
Some of this year's first-teamers are graduating to the top college lacrosse powers.
Chris Kane's scholarship will cover 75 percent of his expenses to Syracuse. The Orangemen finished No. 5 in the final NCAA Division I poll. "There's a lot of great tradition up there, and it's a great program, and I'm glad that I'm playing for them," said Kane.
Kane holds the Timon-St. Jude school record for most goals by a midfielder with 192. His 64 goals and 38 assists helped the Tigers finish as Catholic state runners-up.
Junior Brian Sullivan of Timon has given his verbal commitment to North Carolina, No. 6 in the NCAA. The Tar Heels first saw Sullivan at last year's Under Armour tryouts in Cortland.
Chadderdon, the junior from Hamburg, has given his verbal commitment to Ohio State and will sign in the fall. The Buckeyes were No. 28 in the NCAA. He's the fifth-ranked defenseman nationally by US Lacrosse. In the classroom he carries a 4.0 average.
Maxwell is taking his goaltending skills to West Point Prep. "Lacrosse really attracted me to the school, and then when I visited it seemed like it was somewhere I could fit in," said Maxwell. He holds Hamburg records for most career saves and wins.
Ryan Feuerstein has signed with University at Albany, where he's being looked at as a two-way midfielder.
Needham has signed with Binghamton. "He was an amazing leader this year," said Severino. "He finally received his props after playing under the radar for three years."
Kevin Collins of Orchard Park and Andrew Wagner of Iroquois are going to Mercyhurst.
Kyle Henry of Niagara-Wheatfield is going to Syracuse, where he hopes to make the lacrosse team as a walk-on.
*Six players from Western New York earned US Lacrosse All-America: Wagner of Iroquois, Henry (Niagara-Wheatfield), Ryan Feuerstein (Hamburg), Chadderdon (Hamburg), Collins (Orchard Park), and Sullivan (Timon-St. Jude).
*William Brennan was named the Section VI Coach of Year after leading Silver Creek to its second Section VI title in his three seasons as head coach. Silver Creek's 17-2 record included a crazy 17-16 win over Eden in the Section VI Class C title game. Repeated lightning strikes forced the game to be played over two days.
*This year's Academic All-Americans were: Jake Stark (Nichols), Michael Schreck (St. Joe's) and Joshua Ernisse (Wilson). Schreck is headed to Ohio State in the fall.
*Chadderdon (Hamburg), Brendan Kane (Amherst), Cullen Mangino (Orchard Park) and Brian Sullivan (Timon-St. Jude) were named to the Upstate Under Armour Underclassman team.
>Around the cages
*Orchard Park won its 16th straight Section VI Class A title. The Quakers finished No. 7 in Class A in the New York State Sportswriters Association final poll.
*There are two brother combinations on the All-WNY team: twins Ryan and Chris Feuerstein of Hamburg and Zeddy and Zach Williams of Silver Creek.
*For just the second time in the last 12 years, Section VI was swept in the Far West Regional round of the state playoff against Rochester.
*Timon-St. Jude won the Monsignor Martin title for the third time in five years and finished unbeaten in the league for the third straight year.
*Six Western New York players have survived the cutdown to 28 to make this summer's Empire State Games team. Hoping to make the final 20-man roster are: Chadderdon (Hamburg), Tom Lipomi (Hamburg), Alex Govennettio (Lake Shore), David Scarcello (Timon-St. Jude), Mangino (Orchard Park) and Brian Sullivan (Timon-St. Jude).