September 20, 2006
Bonackers are Deep in Talent and Experience
"Every week we see the best," said East Hampton boys' volleyball coach Dan Weaver. "We play in a very tough league, but I expect this to be a playoff team."
Weaver, who has been coaching for five years in the Bonackers' volleyball program was a member of the 1996 boys' team, the last East Hampton boys volleyball team to qualify for the playoffs. "It's been quite some time since we've been back there, but I think this team is definitely capable," he noted,
With a host of returning players including All-County senior Mike Rodriguez, a senior outside hitter, All-Conference middle blocker Vince Tuths, Suffolk Rookie of the Year Andrew MacNiven, a junior middle blocker, along with seniors Matt McDonough (outside hitter), Pierce Kelly (right side hitter) and Mike Hatgistavrou (outside hitter), the Bonackers have arguably one of their best teams in ten years.
Add senior defensive specialists Alex Lilja and Ben Latham into the mix and East Hampton immediately has as well-rounded team as any in the division.
"Our biggest strength this season is going to be the experience of this team," Weaver said. "We struggled the last few seasons, but the key to our team is going to be our senior leadership. Most of the guys who will be starting this season played significantly last year and we should be a much stronger team at the net this season. We're also a much taller team."
Kevin Foran, a junior outside hitter, senior Ian Jackson, a right side hitter, junior setter Jon Jamet, junior middle hitter Dustin Lightcap and senior defensive specialist Darren Lucas will also see action on the court this season.
Last year, the Bonackers fell just short of the playoffs due to a slow start and Weaver believes that with a few early season wins, the playoffs are a definite possibility. "If we get off to a good start, we can better ourselves right away," he said. "We've got an amazing group of kids that really give a great effort and their work ethic is fantastic."