CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. >> Last season was a historic year in many ways for the Cambridge Central School boys lacrosse team.
The Indians won a school-record 15 games in 2015 and made to the semifinals of the Section II, Class C tournament.
Add up that success and only losing two players from last season, Cambridge looks to continue to grow into one of the best teams in Class C.
"We had a great season last year and we have a lot of experience with most of our team coming back last year, so we expect to continue to being a top team in Class C this season," said Cambridge coach Tom Pillsworth. "We are solid from top to bottom in all phases of the game, so we expect to be a good team this season."
Cambridge will be led by their defense, including seniors Matt Hoffer, Nathaniel Gates and Matt Reedy, while junior Max Ratelle will be a key player on both sides of the ball in midfield.
"Everybody on defense is back this year, so it's great to have the same guys in our system on the field and continuing to improve on their success last year," said Cambridge assistant coach Geoff Hoffer. "Last year, everything was new to a lot of guys playing our defensive system, so all of them will be more comfortable in their spots and that's why will believe we can take our play to the next level on defense."
The Indians offense will be the big question, since Cambridge lost their two top goal scorers in Chris Warnke and Jarred Sausville to graduation.
To replace the pair, Pillsworth said the offense will be a group effort.
"We're looking for a six-man offense," Pillsworth said. "We're not looking to have one or two main scorers, we're just looking for a group of guys who will score their fair share of goals for us this season. We are going to be a team offense."
Because of their great success last season, Cambridge has challenged themselves with a tougher schedule of opponents that include the opener against Queensbury, South Glens Falls and LaSalle Institute, each from higher classifications.
Both coaches believe the tougher schedule will help Cambridge improve and help prepare themselves better for the playoffs.
"We saw last year that the success we had against most teams in class C didn't help prepare enough us to face the top teams in league and in Section II, so we decided we needed to toughen up our schedule to reach the next level," Hoffer said. "I think playing these big Class B schools will really help our team get more into playing team lacrosse, which is what need more to get to the next level."
A positive for Cambridge going into their opener is they been able to practice a lot outside the past two weeks because of the good weather.
"With how nice the weather has been, we been able to be out on the field since we began the season which we have never been able to the past few years, so we're further along then what were used to at the start of the season," Pillsworth said. "This will help us not only be more ready to play Queensbury, but also help us as we go along during the season."
As their season opener approaches and expectations now at an all time high, Cambridge looks to continue the success they have had the past few season and continue to grow into one of the top-tier programs in Class C.
"To be a good team you need work together as a collective unit, so teamwork is a huge thing for us to work on throughout the season," Pillsworth said. "If we all work together well in all phases of the game, we're going to have good chance to win any game we play this season."