Both the Johnstown and Amsterdam boys lacrosse team had their struggles last season.
The Sir Bills went 0-8 in Foothills Council play and 2-15 overall, while Amsterdam posted a 6-10 record last season.
Johnstown lost three players - Tyler Dick, Gus Hilts and Troy Palmer - to graduation from last year's team. Palmer, a defensive midfielder, was the Sir Bills' lone selection to the Foothills Council all-star team last year, earning second-team honors.
Johnstown’s Troy Palmer (4) gets around Amsterdam’s Corey Dybas (33) during the first quarter of a non-league game at Lynch Literacy Academy on April 13, 2012. (The Leader-Herald)
Johnstown returns six players from last year's team, including Jeremy Mowery, Jeremiah Robinson, David Fahr, Colin Dalmata, Joel Levin and Chris Hutchinson.
"We are a young team with only six seniors on the roster," Johnstown coach Scott Petrie said.
Rounding out the Sir Bills' roster will be Zack Simone, Marshell Manchester, Austin Brand, Anthony Mowery, Dan Page, Ethan Hale, Mark Fox, Brandon Akey, Jeremy Meher, Austin Smith, Nate King, Stephen Leduc, Andy Camarra, Noah Western and Damian Holman.
Boys Lacrosse Schedule
Thursday, March 28
Johnstown at Amsterdam, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 2
Voorheesville at Johnstown, 5 p.m.
Utica Notre Dame at Amsterdam, 5 p.m.
Thursday, April 4
Queensbury at Johnstown, 5 p.m.
Utica Proctor at Amsterdam, 5 p.m.
Saturday, April 6
Utica Notre Dame at Johnstown, 5 p.m.
Monday, April 8
Amsterdam at Maple Hill, 5 p.m.
Thursday, April 11
South Glens Falls at Johnstown, 5 p.m.
Saturday, April 13
Amsterdam at Utica Notre Dame, noon
Maple Hill at Johnstown, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, April 16
LaSalle at Amsterdam, 4:30 p.m.
Johnstown at Glens Falls, 5 p.m.
Thursday, April 18
Scotia-Glenville at Johnstown, 5 p.m.
Amsterdam at Troy, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, April 20
Amsterdam at Johnstown, 7 p.m.
Monday, April 22
Lansingburgh at Johnstown, 7 p.m.
Tuesday, April 23
CBA at Amsterdam, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, April 25
Amsterdam at Schenectady, 5:30 p.m.
Monday, April 29
Amsterdam at Scotia-Glenville, 5 p.m.
Wednesday, May 1
Johnstown at Queensbury, 4:15 p.m.
Thursday, May 2
Amsterdam at LaSalle, 7 p.m.
Friday, May 3
Johnstown at Queensbury, 5 p.m.
Tuesday, May 7
Troy at Amsterdam, 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 9
Johnstown at South Glens Falls, 5 p.m.
Amsterdam at CBA, 5:15 p.m.
Saturday, May 11
Amsterdam at South Glens Falls, 1 p.m.
Johnstown at Maple Hill, 1 p.m.
Tuesday, May 14
Schenectady at Amsterdam, 5:30 p.m.
Glens Falls at Johnstown, 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 16
Johnstown at Scotia-Glenville, 5 p.m.
"Even with a bit of experience under their belt and an infusion of youth and speed, our expectations remain the same for this team: Get better as the season goes on to make a big push in the sectionals," Petrie said.
Johnstown lost 15-5 in the Section II Class C quarterfinal to Scotia-Glenville last season.
Johnstown will open the season today, facing area rival Amsterdam at Lynch Literacy Academy at 7 p.m.
Like the Sir Bills, the Rams return several players from last year's team.
Junior midfielder Hector Diaz, junior goalie Dillon Smith, senior defender Nick Lomanto, junior attacker Anthony Yevoli and junior attacker John Magaletti all return for Amsterdam after starting last season.
Following a six-win campaign last season, Amsterdam is hoping to improve upon that mark this season.
"The team's goal is to win 10 games this season," Amsterdam coach Paul Furman said. "In order to accomplish such a goal they need to work more as a team."
Several newcomers are expected to contribute for the Rams this season. That group includes junior defender Dal Orengo, senior midfielder Isaiah Martin, sophomore midfielder Kevin Ottati and freshman midfielder Matt Fedullo.
Rounding out the team will be seniors Dan Banewicz, Kevin Black, Mason Calhoun, Ryan Mahoney, Robert Santiago and Trey Campbell, as well as juniors Daniel Lis, Corey Dybas, Ryan Mihalek and Dennis Bier, and sophomore Teddy Piccioccia.
"They will need to play team offense, defense, transitional play. It will be a complete team effort. They will need to do the little things correctly. They can never sacrifice the little things to try and create a big moment," Furman said. "The coaches heard the goal and are ready to hold them to it every day in practice. They are very capable of accomplishing this goal if they put the hard work in, and work through adversity."
After tonight's opener, both the Rams and Sir Bills are scheduled to host games Tuesday. Johnstown will host Voorheesville while Amsterdam will host Utica-Notre Dame. Both games are slated to begin at 5 p.m.