The 2009 Tony’s Tavern
lacrosse team season begins the season going in a new
direction as part of the GCLA Independent Teams along
with long time opponent Houston Metro. They will look
to face fierce opposition as they play old rivals and
new teams in the ever expanding base of teams in the
Texas landscape. Veterans and first year guys will have
to come together as one of the most talented teams
Tony's Tavern has seen to continue the winning
Tony’s opens the 2009 with an away game against Bayou
City (1/24) in the first of 11 regular-season games.
Other non-area match-ups include a March 7th game down
in Corpus Christi as well as contests against Beaumont
and Lumberton The team is still looking to add one more
trip to play some other non-conference opponents in the
DFW area. Tony’s Tavern looks to have a great season as
the team builds on their experience from last years as
well as the support from their fans.
Tony’s Tavern 2009
men's lacrosse, position by position ...
Middies Returning –Matt Shearer (21-3-24), Reid
Singleton (15-4-19), Ben Powell (12-0-12), Dexter
Spriggs (8-3-11), Tim Glass (7-2-9), Matt Ippolito
(7-1-8), Brandon Stowe (6-2-8), Kyle Nelms (3-0-3),
Brian Dufour (2-0-2), Jacque Passino (2-0-2), Blake
Stoker (0-1-1). Middies lost – Justin Hill, John
Mitchell. Injured – Jimmy Constable. Newcomers
–Brendan Reed, Brad Hickenlooper.
Outlook - The main core of the midfield unit returns
adding some veterans returning to the team and a new
face to add extra depth, Tony’s Tavern will have
arguably its best midfield unit ever. It starts with
face-offs through Singleton, Reed, and Stowe. This trio
will look to get Tony’s off and running every face-off
this year and improve on their face-off wins from 2008.
Matt Shearer will look to
continue his leadership on the field as well as his big
game scoring ability as he finished 1st among middies in
points with 24. Reid Singleton joined the team with a
bang tallying 19 points and immediately making an impact
with great cuts and finding open spaces for easy shots.
Along with his great face offs he earned Newcomer of the
year in 2008 and will look to take a bigger role on the
team with his all around game in 2009. Ben Powell
joined the team in 2008 after playing at Arizona. He
made a big impact in the team’s midfield with 3 goals
against Dallas and will continue to score on tough shots
in 2009. Dexter Spriggs returns to the team
contributing to the midfield at both ends of the field.
His knowledge of the game and offensive skills will once
again be an asset to the team. Tim Glass continued his
great all around play especially in transition and wing
play. Glass was an unsung hero with his great defense
and clearing ability due to his great speed. Glass
received the 2008 Heart Award for this team first
attitude and sacrifices for the good of the team. Matt
Ippolito joined the team later in the season after
playing at Yale. Ippolito brings his great defense and
clearing ability back to the team in 2009. He will look
to be a lock down defender as well as put some goals in
the back of the net during the 2009 campaign. Brandon
Stowe stepped up big all year long with his face-offs
and at times was the only face-off guy. Stowe also,
found the cage and picked up a few assists along the
way. He continues to be a team die hard and dedication
is shown in being at every game. Kyle Nelms is another
great team player that hardly misses a game and brings
his lock down defense back to Tony’s in 2009. Nelms has
been a great defender for the team and stepped up big on
the offensive end scoring big goals vs. Dallas to secure
the victory. Brian Dufour was a great asset to the team
playing middie and filling in at attack a few times.
Brian’s understanding of the offense should net him more
assists and goals in 2009. Jacque Passino returned to
the team in 2008 after finishing up his degree at Ole
Miss, he will bring his athleticism and all around game
back to the team in 2009. Blake Stoker continued his
team first play and helped on offense and defense.
Newcomers and Returning Veterans: Jimmy Constable
looks to return from injury and become a cornerstone of
the midfield again in 2009. Also, returning after
finishing up at SFA is Mikey Issacson who will give the
team a great face-off guy and all-around middie.
Issacson will help get all the ground balls to start
fast breaks. Joining the team in 2009 is Brendan Reed
from UNLV. He will give the team another weapon at the
midfield and through his hustle and knowledge of the
game will be another asset to a talented midfield unit.
Brad Hickenlooper comes to Tony’s from Utah State where
he played his college ball. He looks to add another
good defensive middie to the mix to help improve the
team’s midfield defense. Tony’s Tavern has a great
midfield unit with lots of talent and depth which they
will need to take full advantage of as they face an 11
game schedule in 2009.
Returning – none. Lost – none. Newcomers – Bryan Just.
Outlook – Bryan Just comes to Tony’s Tavern at the long
stick midfield position. He has the ability to create
transition along with the ability to neutralize a team’s
top scoring midfielder. Just comes with a wealth of
knowledge and experience that he gained while playing at
Texas A&M. His speed will help Tony’s on the wings
Returning – Issacson, Singleton, Stowe. Lost – none.
Newcomers – Brendan Reed.
Outlook – The combination of Singleton and Stowe last
year helped Tony’s Tavern continue fast starts and
season long domination at the face-off X. They will
both return to bring a combination of power and
technique. Face-offs will be a key this year as Tony’s
Tavern looks to add some non-league games. Joining the
group will be 1 new and 1 old face. Brendan Reed will
bring his skills from UNLV to the face-off X for the
team in 2009. Also, rejoining the team will be Issacson
for his 3rd tour of duty with the team. Both should be
able to add speed on the face-offs and start fast breaks
to help Tony’s get out to big leads early on.
Returning – Nathan Daniels (1-2-3), Brad Cook (0-1-1).
Lost – Mike Dufour, Colin Gittings. Newcomers – Andy
Krebs & Josh Long.
Outlook – Tony’s Tavern returns the bulk of their
defense led by Nathan Daniels, and Brad Cook. Daniels
will lead the way with great position defense, checks
and the ability to clear the ball with his legs. Cook
will continue to throw precise take away checks, get
loose balls and keep the crease clear in front of
Kozarsky and Markeloff. Joining this highly talented
defensive unit are 2 standouts, Andrew Krebs and Josh
Long. This looks to be the best and most talented
defensive unit that Tony’s has had.
Daniels continues as a
great position defender who also has stealth take away
checks and great clearing ability. Daniels has been a
stand out defender for the team and will continue to
take on the on all challengers from the offense.
Daniels will continue to be a leader on the defensive
end of the field in 2009. Cook had another great year
due to his great defense and shutdown ability that he
exhibits every game. Cook continues to show the skills
that made him a good player at Georgetown with his
clearing ability and great field vision. Andy Krebs
joins the team from Colorado College. He has proven his
ability immediately during indoor lacrosse and fall
tourneys. Krebs brings solid position defense and
clearing ability to a talented defensive unit. His
drive to fight for ground balls will contribute to
Tony’s Tavern return to get out and fast break style.
Josh Long will bring to Tony’s Tavern his skilled
position defense and take away checks that he used while
at Goucher. Long will give the defense another weapon
against all opposing offenses. Cook, Daniels, Krebs and
Long are expected to all start and make a major impact
for the defensive unit this spring. This looks to be the
most talented unit the team has had.
Returning – Rene Kozarsky (69 saves, 7 GAA, .56 save %),
Eric Markeloff (10 saves, 1 GAA, .75 save %). Lost –
none. Injured – Mike Shearer (44 saves, 23 GAA, 66 save
Outlook – Rene Kozarsky
will return in cage in 2009 as the starting goalie and
quarterback of the defense. His clearing ability will
help Tony’s Tavern continue to dominate between the
pipes along with a great transition game. He will look
to anchor the defense that posted 3 shutouts in 2008 and
killed 70% of the man-down opportunities. Eric
Markeloff will have return to the team as the 2nd goalie
spot starter. Markeloff saved 75% of the shots he faced
in 2008 and will look maintain that in 2009. Markeloff
had another stellar season as the team’s indoor goalie.
Starters returning – Bobby Jee (22-22-44), Tim Loveless
(13-15-28), Jeff Mazzolini (12-15-27), Colin Linggo
(7-2-9). Lost – None. Newcomers – John Dolny, Jay
Outlook – The attack comes back for another year. In
2008 they were very well balanced as a unit with Bobby
Jee leading the way in scoring with 22 goals, Mazzolini
and Loveless both tallying 15 assists, along with
contributions from goalie/ Kozarsky and Linggo. Loveless
and Mazzolini combined to become a powerful feeding duo
with 30 combined assists. Mazzolini continued to
contribute his balanced attack tallying 27 pts while
missing games due to injury in 2008. Loveless moved
from midfield to his more natural attack position during
the year and earned Offensive MVP in 2008 for his 26 pts
most coming in big games. Kozarsky will look to play
goalie full-time in 2009, but did reach the 200 career
pt. mark in 2008. Linggo will return as a dodger from
the attack unit as he tallied 9 pts in ’08. Jee will
look to come back with another strong offensive year as
he led Tony’s Tavern in goals, assists and total points
in 2008. Jee looks to help the unit mesh with the
Veterans and newcomers. Jee reached at milestone as he
too reached the 200 pt mark for his career.
Tony’s Tavern is adding 2
standout attackmen to their talented squad in John Dolny
and Jay Spatafora. Dolny comes from Stevens Institute
where he was a 2008 Academic All Conference and scored
over 200 career points in college. Dolny will bring
great field vision and accurate shooting to a talented
offense. He will probably split time at attack and
midfield due to his versatility, Jay Spatafora comes to
the team in 2009 after a stops along the way on U-19
Team USA, Nassau CC and Arizona. Spatafora is an
extremely talented player that plays great team ball
with excellent passes and accurate shots.
The 2009 season looks to
be one where the unit learns from past experiences and
adds some new blood to make the attack unit stronger and
among the best in the league.