By Mike Dougherty
The surge of adrenaline that came with a dramatic overtime win against Shoreham-Wading River made for a sleepless night. And when Bronxville showed up for practice Thursday after school, Broncos coach Tim Horgan gave everyone five minutes to relive the memory.
And then it was back to work.
“I didn’t get much rest,” Broncos goalie Eric Pass said. “The excitement definitely carried over into practice, for better or worse. Everyone was still hyped up. We let ourselves gloat for about five minutes, and then we made a concerted effort to refocus.”
Bronxville is attempting to become the first Section 1 program to win a NYSPHSAA championship since Yorktown came home with a title a decade ago. The Broncos are facing Cazenovia in the Class C final at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at St. John Fisher College.
The bus leaves at 9 a.m. on Friday.
“We’ll get up there, hopefully, between 3 and 4 in the afternoon,” Horgan said. “We have the field to practice on between 6 and 7 so we’ll do a walk through and go have some dinner. We’ll meet to go over the scouting report, and then it’s lights out.”
Sleep isn’t likely to come easy then, either.
Most of the focus this season has been on the stars up front – Jack Grass, Matt Behrens, Henry Grass, Brewster Warble, Reilly Walsh and Will Duncan. They have the ability to light up scoreboards. At the other end of the field are two players who have quietly locked down on the opposition – long pole defenseman Charlie Tarry and Pass.
They were huge in Wednesday’s semifinal win over the defending state champs.
“Eric’s record as a starting goalie is 65-5 over the last three years,” Horgan said. “That’ a record that’s certainly not going to be broken anytime soon at Bronxville. He’s giving up a little more than five goals a game. Charlie has pretty much neutralized the top player on every team with the exception of (Yorktown’s) Nick Mariano. He’s a very good athlete with great feet. And he’s a smart player.”
The rest of the defense is just plain stubborn.
“We have some talented guys on defense,” Pass said. “We sort of pride ourselves on giving it our all. We really do not like to lose.”
There is no reason to invent any motivation because nobody is looking forward to an eight-hour ride on the bus following a loss.
“Everybody’s talking about how awful that would be,” Pass said.
Finding the same hunger the Broncos carried into Wednesday’s contest would be a good first step. More than anything, Bronxville was determined not to lose that game.
“They’re pretty excited,” Horgan said. “But we can’t be happy with the last win. We have to win one more.”