Temperatures are expected to rise this weekend, which is good news for a duo of local lacrosse programs set to begin play in the coming days.
The Amsterdam Rams will look to overcome the loss of senior leadership in an effort to earn a Section II Class B title.
"The whole senior class is a key departure," second-year Amsterdam head coach Paul Furman said. "They were a group that decided they wanted to lay the foundation to build a championship program, and they did that with a 9-8 record and a defense that only allowed 6.28 goals per game."
Amsterdam’s Kevin Ottati (14) looks to pass as Johnstown’s David Fahr defends during a non-league boys lacrosse game at Knox Field in Johnstown on April 20, 2013. (The Leader-Herald/Paul Wager)
The successful season under Furman ended in the first round of the playoffs with a one-goal loss to Troy.
If Amsterdam is to continue getting stronger, senior Dillon Smith will be a big reason why. Smith will be in goal for the Rams this season after garnering second-team all Big Ten honors last year.
Fellow second-teamer Jon Magaletti is also back, along with Big Ten honorable mention senior Dal Orengo.
Boys Lacrosse Schedule
Saturday, March 29
Amsterdam at Columbia, 3 p.m.
Monday, March 31
Hoosick Falls at Johnstown, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, April 1
Johnstown at Lansingburgh, 5 p.m.
Thursday, April 3
Maple Hill at Johnstown, 5 p.m.
Amsterdam at Utica Notre Dame (SUNY IT), 5 p.m.
Monday, April 7
Queensbury at Amsterdam, 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday, April 8
Johnstown at Schuylerville, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 9
Glens Falls at Amsterdam, 5 p.m.
Thursday, April 10
Greenwich at Johnstown, 5 p.m.
Saturday, April 12
Utica Notre Dame at Johnstown, 2 p.m.
Monday, April 14
Amsterdam at Utica Proctor, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, April 22
Johnstown at Cambridge, 5 p.m.
Amsterdam at Schenectady, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 24
CBA at Amsterdam, 4:30 p.m.
Voorheesville at Johnstown, 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 26
Utica Notre Dame at Amsterdam, noon
Tuesday, April 29
Johnstown at Hoosick Falls, 5 p.m.
Amsterdam at Troy, 5:15 p.m.
Thursday, May 1
Lansingburgh at Johnstown, 7 p.m.
Scotia-Glenville at Amsterdam, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 3
Schuylerville at Amsterdam, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, May 6
Johnstown at Maple Hill, 5 p.m.
LaSalle at Amsterdam, 5 p.m.
Thursday, May 8
Troy at Amsterdam, 5 p.m.
Johnstown at Schuylerville, 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 10
Johnstown at Amsterdam, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, May 13
Johnstown at Greenwich, 5 p.m.
Utica Proctor at Amsterdam, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 15
Cambridge at Johnstown, 6 p.m.
Amsterdam at Troy, 6 p.m.
Sophomore Tyler Nordby joins the squad as an attacker, while newcomers Gabe Mendez and Troy Wizmirski will bolster the defense.
The Rams are scheduled to open up their season in East Greenbush against the Columbia Blue Devils on Saturday at 3 p.m.
The Johnstown Sir Bills, led by fourth-year head coach Scott Petrie, are looking to improve on a 4-13 campaign in 2013 that saw them finish fifth in both league play and the sectional tournament.
"We are looking to build on the progress we made last year," Petrie said. "This team is focused on improving each and every time we take the field."
Johnstown will be without the services of graduated seniors Jeremy Mowrey, Colin Dalmata, Jeremy Meher, and Joel Levin.
A core group of eight starters are back, including David Fahr, Ethan Hale and Zack Simone. Nate King and Austin Smith return after playing roles off the bench in 2013.
Six newcomers will look to make an impact, including Noah Western and Damian Holman.
"We have some nice players that work extremely hard," said Petrie. "This group of student athletes is very passionate and driven."
Johnstown's first action is set for Monday at 5 p.m., when the Sir Bills are scheduled to host Hoosick Falls at Knox Field.