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Gerry Stone doesn’t need to sit his team down and show them a tape of last year’s NYSAISAA title game loss to Dalton.
That’s because nearly all of them lived it.
There are 18 seniors back from that squad, including several starters. Stone doesn’t have to worry about experience and he isn’t concerned about depth. His 30-man roster can rival that of Poly Prep’s hugely successful football team.
“We have a monstrous team and everybody knows their role,” Stone said. “They know if they give me a hard time, they’re going to be gone because we have so many guys. They’re kind of kept in check that way.”
What Stone doesn’t have is a goalkeeper of the caliber of Richie Carbone, The Post’s Brooklyn Player of the Year who is playing football and baseball at Johns Hopkins University now. Carbone, who was also named to The Post’s All-City first team, tied his own school-record with 12 shutouts a year ago.
“Losing Richie and when the games get tough, I don’t know how we’re going to hold up,” Stone said. “It’s going to be interesting to see. I think we’ll try hard. And if somebody is not trying hard, we have somebody else who’s going to be willing to try hard.”
Three players are vying for the starting goalkeeper’s job, with senior Dan Conde a slight favorite over Jack Slattery and Alex Wainger, who are up from the junior varsity.
“He’s the older kid, he’s a little quicker,” Stone said of Conde. “But he doesn’t necessarily have the goalkeeping experience the other two have because they have been the JV goalkeepers the last couple of years.”
Whoever wins the job will have an experienced defense in front of him, led by sweeper Mike Doar. Also back are Jack Zaykowski, Devin Keskinkaya and Curran Dhar, while Greg Peitroforte, who scored the lone goal against UNIS in the NYSAISAA semifinals, will provide defensive cover from the midfield.
“We have some guys out there who have had success in previous years,” Stone said. “That’s not always been the case.”
Last year, the Blue Devils struggled to find the back of the net — Max Watson led the team with 11 goals. Stone, though, has been encouraged by what he’s seen in the preseason. Several players, including Watson, a Post All-Brooklyn midfielder, Andrew Doar, Hugo Francis, a transfer from St. Andrew’s School in Delaware, Matthew Safian and Peter DeSantis, are all capable of getting it done in the attacking third.
Stone also likes the squad’s work ethic in the preseason, which includes a 3-1 win against Xaverian from the CHSAA last Friday.
“Our strength is our depth and it’s hard-working group,” Stone said.
Poly Prep’s first true test comes Friday night at home against Packer. The Blue Devils open the league campaign Tuesday against Trinity.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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