Red Hook Boys Lacrosse was in preseason form for the 10th annual Great Pumpkin Shootout at Miller Jr. High School in Kingston Oct. 28. The Great Pumpkin shootout is a shortfield lacrosse tournament, with teams playing with a roster of seven players — two defensemen, two attack, two midfielders, and a goalie.
Red Hook lost to Section IX Class C opponent Rondout, 9-6, in the opening match and beat Section IX Class C’s Pine Bush, 12-8. In the third game, Red dropped to the Hudson Valley Hurricanes, a Rockland County area club team, 17-7, and then lost to Section IX Class A Minisink Valley, 7-4.
Red was rusty, no question. The team had trouble connecting on some open field passes, was ineffective digging for ground balls out of the scrum, and was easily shaken, especially by the Hurricanes, by any kind of breakaway offense.
But there were positives. Keen senior attacker Tong Guerra was a goal-scoring machine; the half field defense, anchored by seniors Dan Gall and Mike Gemmel and junior Teddy Ross, forced their fair share of ground balls, and senior goalie Austin Loeffel handled long- and mid-ranged shots with aplomb.
Red Hook head coach Rich Saulino said that there were positives and negatives that he could see in preseason tournament. “We’re moving the ball, playing the game, and having fun. We’ve got some new guys that are new to the game and we’re getting them worked in,” he noted. ” This is a good introduction for them as far as what to expect, and we can head into offseason training with a couple of new goals in mind.”
He added, “The Great Pumpkin Shootout is always a great event. It’s a great event because it gives us, and all of these kids, a chance to play lacrosse in the fall – way off season.”
Red’s abundance of inexperienced players will have to catch up to the upperclassman, though, and they will have an opportunity when they open up their winter indoor season at the Hudson Valley Sports Dome in Milton on Nov. 19.
Red will have their hands full this season, playing in the 10-team deep Class C, which includes newly christened arch-rival Rhinebeck. “They’ve been approved,” said Saulino, whose team has captured the Class C lacrosse title five years running, “and they’re on our schedule.”