A talented and experienced senior class should bolster the Cavaliers’ hopes


by Nelson Coffin

ARCHBISHOP SPALDING HIGH SCHOOL

COACH: Brian Phipps, 4th year, 18-40

TOP RETURNERS: Kian Olexo (Sr., D, Virginia), Niklas McFarland (Sr., M, Boston U), Will Sherwood (Jr., M, Loyola), Dan Shay (Sr., A, Marquette), Ryan McDaniel (Jr., D, Marist).

KEY LOSSES: Phil Turner (Holy Cross), Max Sherwood (UMBC), Luke Legnard (Bellarmine), Brett Baucia (UMBC), Corey Gaines (UMBC).

TOP NEWCOMERS: Russell Melendez (So., A), Andrew Calvert (Fr., D), Josh Tang (Fr., D), Colby Raber (So., D).

OUTLOOK: The Cavaliers, who have started the season with three wins in four tries, are looking to depend on a talented and experienced senior class to mix with a group of newcomers looking to make an impact, Phipps said.

“Early season games will help gain experience for the team to help them make a run during the MIAA season,” the coach added. “We will rely on veteran leadership on the offensive side of the ball, and after graduating the whole starting defense, short stick midfielders, and goalie from last year, will need players to step up and fill those roles.

“Returning two seniors who missed last year because of ACL injuries will be a nice addition, but missing JQ Stramanak again will be a tough loss to replace,” Phipps continued. “We are excited about the opportunity for new guys to step up and accept the challenge of playing a very tough schedule and growing as the season progresses.”

The loss of Stramanak is particularly hurtful, considering that the senior Cornell commit would have been a seasoned anchor on an inexperienced backline that gave up 16 goals in a recent loss to DeMatha.

The Cavs have two more non-league games against Georgetown Prep and Florida’s St. Thomas Aquinas before meet Severn on March 24, in the PNC Invitational at Loyola University’s Ridley Athletic Complex, to open the MIAA A Conference campaign.