"A challenge only becomes an obstacle when you bow to it"
All season, the doubt was visible for Yorktown. It never came from within.
The general consensus was the Huskers' lack the size and the departure of All-Americans Nick Mariano (Section 1's leading scorer in 2013), Brian Prestreau and Trevor Koelsch, would hurt them.
Both of those factors, as the detractors and self-anointed experts/prognosticators claimed, would hamper their navigation of pressure-cooking June.
Yet the collective heart and multiple options of the senior class eclipsed expectations, staying true to the high standard held by the coaching staff.
A unique combination of speed and power maximized the Huskers' depth package. Section 1 has harnessed many small but hard-to-guard LaXers who mask lack of size with innate and blazing speed and deceit.
Robby Caffrey, the high-engined attack and Lakeland/Panas product now at Providence College, is one who comes to mind. Former Husker Ty Schuldt (Hartford) will probably never be confused for a 6-foot-5 gunslinger, yet his blur-quick gear changes and dodging helped propel Yorktown to championships.
A gaggle of small but rugged kids, many of whom doubled as halfbacks under coach Mike "HOUSE" Rescingo, provided the speed necessary for the run-and-rip game.
Cortland-bound senior Nicky Bonitatibus, whose blur-quick mobility and on-the-fly shooting paralleled his role as a facilitator, cemented his dual threat status.
Bonitatibus' first step made life difficult for those looking to keep him at bay, trying to minimize his dodges and combat his shifty and elusive style.
Trying to stay in front of him is a task about as easy as trying to sneak a keg and an assortment of red cups inside the hallways of security-laced Yorktown High School.
Thus, it's not a good decision to try it.
A product of a lacrosse bloodline, Bonitatbus' developed a habit of manufacturing offense from behind the cage. Employing a bird's eye view that enabled him to feed cutters and allow scorers to get free in the half-field set, the offensive pieces created a whirlwind attack.
It was the identical ingredient for production Bonitatibus employed last season, when he had Mariano (UMass) and Prestreau (Penn State) as featured options.
With the cleats moving, the picks set, and shooters spotting up and sharing the rock, Yorktown's focus never faltered. Following back-to-back losses to Darien and St. Anthony's, strength in numbers were imperative. A wealth of scoring options were required to up their productivity.
Against Byram in the Section 1 championship win, the club's 37th, it was Bonitatibus who threaded through coverage, found an open seam in front of the cage and deposited a 7-0 ball into an uncontested zone.
Kris Alvarado, who like Bonitatibus is shifty and elusive, was crucial during the championship game’s early scoring barrage. Their ability to carve up the Bobcats and create space and feed bullet-sprayer Connor Vercruysse, helped dig Byram’s insurmountable ditch.
Alvarado, selected for the exceptional seniors all-star game in both football and lacrosse, had a spring that was without a dull moment. Alvarado's future program, LIU-Post, made a Cindarella-esque surge in the Division-II NCAA tournament. They were on the brink of playoff extinction but piled up back-to-back upsets and made a spirited push all the two the national championship.
Alvarado popped two goals and dealt out two assists in the sectional championship.
You can look at a tiny body and invite scrutiny all you want....the truth of the matter is, speed is a deadly force.
Yorktown's fleet of foot with threats such as Ryan Baker, Alvarado, and Bonitatibus proved those words prophetic during Yorktown's state championship season of 2014.
Drive safely, be cognizant of the limitations and beware of your surroundings.