Let’s not beat around the bush. Last season was a complete disaster for Brockport. Brian Dickinson took a leave of absence, and in his place, James Eccles was named interim head coach. For whatever reasons, the team and new coach never gelled. The team opened up 0-9, and after some brief winning moments against lower echelon teams, the season went downhill from there.
Dickinson is back, and the question is can they look past last year to the prior season when signs were in place of improvement. That was the year that Dickinson essentially recruited an entirely new team. Though they were young and struggled at times, they did play a lot better in the second semester, beating some good teams. Most importantly, they started playing with heart, something that disappeared last season.
“Let’s revert back two years ago when we had a strong end [of the season],” Dickinson explains what he is telling his team. “We had some excitement. We’re trying to get back to that feeling.”
There are a few key players from that large recruiting class that are no longer with the team, but there are still players the Golden Eagles can rely on such as Ricky Gates, Tony Marinello, Steve Seedhouse, AJ Maio, Chris Koras, Gordon Pritchard, and Jason Dolgy.
The strongest addition to the team is a senior transfer from Plattsburgh, Anthony Lecesse, who should go a long way in solidifying a defense that let up nearly five goals a game. New recruits include redshirted freshman Lucas Schott, Sean O’Malley, and goaltender Todd Sheridan.
Sheridan will be fighting with Derek Spence (who was in goal for all of Brockport’s wins last year) and Greg Van’t Hof.
“Nobody has emerged,” Dickinson said of the goaltending situation. “All three have had their moments in practice.”
Having moments is what Brockport needs. And a lot more than last year if they have any hope of crawling out of last place, never mind into a playoff spot.
“Need to get this team to understand the work ethic needed to be successful in this league,” Dickinson said.