By Mike Miazga

Correspondent

 

While the York boys lacrosse team graduated 75 percent of its scoring from last year’s team that went 15-5 overall and finished 4-1 to win the West Suburban Conference title for a third year in a row, that doesn’t mean the Dukes will be hurting on the field this season.

York returns the likes of seniors David Leonoard (attack), Artie Renier (goalie), Mark Schneeloch (defense), Joe Chornij (midfield) and Sam Toreja (midfield-faceoff).

Leonard was an all-conference selection as an attack last year, while Renier made the all-conference team as a goalie and Schneeloch was recognized for his play at the defense position. Leonard was the team’s top points leader last season until he broke his hand halfway through, an injury that ended his season.

“Offense will be a big question mark for the team,” said York coach Don Canfield. “We graduated 75% of our goals. Replacing some of those guys will be difficult, but I am encouraged by the players who are filling in and replacing. I’m excited to watch the guys compete.”

However, Leonard and Chornij provide returning firepower. “David and Joe have the potential to be game-changing offensive threats,” said Canfield.

Where York will excel out of the gates is on the defensive end. “Defensively we are bringing back most of our guys and are looking forward to seeing some guys develop even more this year and establish dominance,” said Canfield. “If they can become a cohesive group, they can be dangerous.”

Another bright spot is the return of veteran goalie Renier. “Artie begins his fourth and final season on varsity and looks primed to end his high-school career on a high note,” said Canfield. “He looked great over the summer and is excellent at stopping the ball.”

Backing up Renier are junior Joey Cornell and senior Ryan Waltz. “They round out our goalie corps and both are excellent goalies in their own right and will push to keep things competitive,” said Canfield.

Looking at the roster, Canfield is a fan of the diversity of kids on it. “I like the mix of kids and how they seem to be all-in to be great this year,” he said. “Time will tell.”

York opens play at the Oak Park-River Forest Conference tournament March 17 and then plays Fenwick on March 20 and Stevenson on March 22.

 

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