The Lax Guys' National Boys' Lacrosse Rankings: April 26

Suffolk Class A

The favorite: West Islip - The Lions appeared vulnerable after giving up 13 goals to Sachem North in a season opening loss but have been just like their old selves for the rest of the year, especially in a 13-3 victory at Smithtown West last Wednesday. Itís hard to pick against them as long as Nicky Galasso is still wearing that #5 jersey.

The contenders: Ward Melville and Connetquot - Both of these teams have enough to challenge the Lions both now and in the playoffs. WMís Matt Kunkel may be the defender with the best chance to contain Galasso, while Connetquotís high scoring attackman Kieran McArdle and top goalie Zach Oliveri will try to help the Thunderbirds to their first county final appearance.

Darkhorse: Smithtown West - The Bulls, despite recent losses, have enough talent to make a deep run into the playoffs. The attack unit of Kyle Keenan, James Pannell, and Matt Schultz will prove tough to contain for an entire gameÖit will be hard for another defense to duplicate West Islipís performance.

Nassau Class B

The favorite: Garden City - Despite the loss, the Trojans and their great defense led by Stephen Jahelka and Brian Fischer are still the favorites to win Nassau B. A young but talented offense led by Tom Gordon and Devin Dwyer has the potential to break out as the season goes on, and Garden Cityís difficult schedule will continue to challenge them and prepare them for the playoffs.

The contender: Wantagh - The Warriors just proved they are a serious contender by beating Garden City on their home field, and they arenít going anywhere as they try to secure the #1 seed in the playoffs. Brandon Mangan and Ryan Walsh lead an explosive attack that scored more goals than anyone all year against the Trojans. Goalie Jake Gambitsky is also among the best in Nassau.

Darkhorse: South Side - The Cyclones started 1-5 against an insanely difficult schedule but proved that they could compete with the top teams with close losses against CSH and Garden City and a respectable loss against Manhasset. Gavin Ahern leads this young team, which lost a lot of firepower from last year but could find itself challenging the top two teams come late May.

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THEGilmanFan: My thoughts were really put into the introduction to our rankings. On a side note, THE CAPITALS NEED TO WIN. On Monday night, the Capitals and the Canadiens played, and Montrealís goalie was out-of-this-world incredible. He stopped 53 of 54 shots to lead his team to a victory. I think the Capitals need to crowd around the net a little more and get into this young netminderís head as we did in game two in the third period and in game three.

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Cloverdale: Ty Xanders attended St. Paul's School for Boys and played volleyball for the Crusaders. After playing lacrosse for five years, Ty decided to give up the sport after his freshman year and instead avidly follow it. In March of his senior year, he began covering high school lacrosse for Inside Lacrosse as an intern. He is a freshman at Lynchburg College but is currently taking the semester off and living in Towson, Md. He plans on pursuing a degree in journalism and hopes to cover high school lacrosse and recruiting upon graduation. His hobbies include video games, going out with his friends, and following SEC football.

THEGilmanFan: Ryan Summers attended the Gilman School and played football and track and field for the Greyhounds. Ryan was a part of Gilman's 2002 nationally ranked football team, for which he played on the offensive line. Upon graduation from Gilman, Ryan attended the University of Dayton, where he would later receive a B.A. in psychology. Ryan currently resides in Odenton, Maryland and works for Keypoint Organization as a community outreach specialist. His job allows him to help mentally ill people become more independent and learn vital life skills. In his free time, Ryan enjoys playing video games, reading, and spending time with friends.

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