Men’s Lacrosse: Waterman Division Player of the Year and other playoff accolades, 2021
Player of the Year: Tyler Nolan, Caldwell, Sr.
Last fall, Nolan stood out as a durable and diligent linebacker who prepared well to thwart his opponent’s strengths and was able to read and react to all unexpected variables.
During the lacrosse season, the same qualities applied to 6-1, 195 pounds. Nolan was a tough and inflexible one-on-one defender, but also someone who generally understood what an opponent wanted to accomplish and knew how to motivate and educate his teammates.
Nolan, who will continue his lacrosse career with NJIT, anchored a defense that allowed six goals per game to lead the Chiefs to a 13-5 record and a final appearance North, Group 1 against Mountain Lakes, third. Nolan worked hand in hand with fellow defenders Chris Fermo, Jack Kenyon and Jake Gruzas and goalkeeper Pasquale Capozzoli.
Last season, Nolan made 105 tackles to help Caldwell finish 6-3. This spring, he recorded 26 balls on the ground and also had a goal and an assist.
Coach of the Year: Justin Schwindel, West Essex
The quality of their training is often reflected in the behavior and balance of a team in the later stages of a close match.
West Essex have won three games by one goal and three more by two en route to a 12-6 record under Schwindel. He’s become a guy you didn’t want to see on the other side of the substitution box in a home and away game.
Schwindel relied on the leadership of elders like forward Hunter Krause and defenders Shane Gann and Chris Bell at the start of the season, while developing technique and knowledge of the game across all of the subclasses of the team, such as juniors Rocco Garcia, Noah Decker, Matthew Russo, Connor Coughlin and Michael Drago, sophomores Jack Massotto and Justin Bergman, and freshman Riley Ruane.
West Essex reached the quarter-finals of Group 2 North where they fell to Sparta, 11-6.
Team of the Year: Caldwell
The Chiefs finished 13-5 and won the Waterman Division at 6-1 with a roster that included a good balance of senior veterans who helped stabilize things at the start of the year and a group of newcomers who did surprising progress along the way. Among the latter group were first-year forward Jack Goldbach, first-year defenseman Jake Gruzas, second-year middie Harry Boland and second-year forward Luke Kurzum.
Caldwell set the tone right away, winning five of his first six games and eight of 10, and struggling occasionally against only the best in the state. Four of the Chiefs’ five losses came to Top 20 Mountain Lakes, Seton Hall Prep and Montclair, a team Caldwell lost twice. The Chiefs’ other setback came early in the season against West Morris, 8-6.
Junior Peter Murray, seniors Dan Amores, Brendan O’Donnell and Kevin Boland, and rookie Goldbach set the pace for Caldwell, with the help of junior face-off man Spencer Day. The defense was led by seniors Tyler Nolan, Chris Fermo and Logan Flaherty, junior Jack Kenyon and rookie Gruzas, as well as junior goalie Pasquale Capozzoli.
ALL-NJILL / WATERMAN DIVISION
Teams selected by NJILL, no NJ.com
Kevin Easter, Glen Ridge, Sr.
Peter Murray, Caldwell, Jr.
Justin Beimfohr, Mendham, Sr.
Lance Davis, Morristown, Sr.
Dan Amores, Caldwell, Sr.
Drew Hiner, Glen Ridge, Sr.
Tim LaRosa, Mendham, So.
James Byme, Morristown, Sr.
Jack Massotto, West Essex, So.
Trevor Hillier, West Morris, Jr.
Colby Morales, Mendham, Sr.
Hunter Babinec, West Morris, Sr.
Tyler Nolan, Caldwell, Sr.
Brady Morin, Glen Ridge, Sr.
Sean Day, Mendham, Sr.
Pasquale Capozzoli, Caldwell, Jr.
Michael Drago, West Essex, Jr.
Ethan Lyons, Glen Ridge, So.
Luke Kurzum, Caldwell, So.
Rocco Garcia, West Essex, Jr.
Ian Plott, Morristown, Jr.
Paul Dizon, West Morris, Sr.
Brendan O’Donnell, Caldwell, Sr.
Jeffrey LaQuaglia, Caldwell, Sr.
Colin Williams, St. Peter’s Prep, Sr.
Matt Russo, West Essex, Jr.
JD Farkas, St. Peter’s Prep, Jr.
Ty Rank, Glen Ridge, Sr.
Cortland Hall, Mendham, Sr.
Jack Kenyon, Caldwell, Jr.
Josh Hussey, Morristown, Sr.
Reece Molinaro, West Essex, Jr.
Nick Esposito, Madison, Sr.
Lucas Chu, Morristown, Sr.
Logan Hart, West Morris, Sr.
Chris Fermo, Caldwell, Sr.
Jacob Michalski, Morristown, Jr.
Ryan Marquadt, Madison, Sr.
Connor Coughlin, West Essex, Jr.
Colin Brancatella, St. Peter’s Prep, Sr.
Kevin Boland, Caldwell, Sr.
Patrick Robertson, Mendham, Sr.
Charlie Vigna, Glen Ridge, Sr.
Zach Byank, West Morris, Jr.
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