By Will Sammon of Newsday
If James Sullivan is even half as good at racking up points as he is at taking faceoffs, Garden City might be in for another special season.
Actually, considering Sullivan’s mark of nearly 75 percent at the faceoff “X” last season, a shooting percentage of less than half of that would be fine, he said.
The junior, who has served as the team’s faceoff specialist since eighth grade, is expected to play in an expanded role this season, as a two-way midfielder, boys lacrosse coach Steve Finnell said.
“We expect James to be a two-way middie,” Finnell said. “He is in great shape and will be one of the top all-around middies this year on the Island.”
Last season, the Trojans, a perennial powerhouse in Nassau, captured their second straight Class B state title. Sullivan, who had 10 goals and three assists last season, and senior attack Cody George (36 goals, 13 assists) are expected to produce offensively for the team that returns a strong defensive unit.
When asked at what point Sullivan thinks he would get tired this season, he laughed and exuded confidence.
“I might get a little tired, but we have some depth and I think we’ll have a good year,” he said. “I love faceoffs and the past years I’ve been strictly taking them, but I’m excited about this year. No one thought of us winning at all last year, but we pulled it off. This year people have some doubts, so I’m hoping that’s what happens again.”
For Garden City, which was seeded No. 1 in Conference B in a preseason coaches poll, its best offense still might be its defense. Especially since Sullivan will still be doing what few high school players on Long Island do better.
“If you have the ball all the time," Sullivan said, "that makes it hard for the other team to score, so we’ll be all right.”