After already re-writing much of the Johnson City boys lacrosse record book this season, Wildcats senior Nick Neferis has made program history in another regard.
Neferis, along with Vestal’s Pat Carlin and Owego’s Tyler Ford, has earned All-American honors this season. He is the first Johnson City boys lacrosse player to earn such accolades according to head coach Bo Flynn.
He certainly deserved it. Neferis led Section 4 this season in goals (75), points (118), and points per game (7.38).
Neferis also established himself as Johnson City’s all-time leader in goals (239), points (341) as well as a number of other statistical categories.
Neferis will play collegiately at Division II program Seton Hill University near Pittsburgh next year. Both Carlin and Ford will play at Syracuse University.
“Nick has always been that kid who works the hardest,” Flynn said. “I’d tell him to practice something, and literally a minute later he’s on the field working on it.
“He took it to a whole new level this year. I mean, we can go to any tournament, and if it was all JV kids and Nick, I’d feel comfortable.”
Despite losing several key contributors from last year’s Section 4 Class C title team, Johnson City compiled a 14-3 record this season, one which ended with a 15-11 loss to Chenango Forks on Tuesday in a Section 4 semifinal game.
While certainly not the lone reason for the Wildcats’ success, Neferis has been a significant part. Aside from his scoring numbers, he also ranks first on the team in groundballs (158), and face-off percentage (69 percent), also opening up opportunities for his teammates by drawing double- and triple-teams from opponents.
Neferis has also been a standout off the field, carrying a 98.6 average that ranks 10th in the school’s senior class.
“He’s one of the greatest kids you can ask for as a coach,” Flynn said. “He’s the most complete player I’ve witnessed.”
Neferis, Carlin and Ford were among several Section 4 boys lacrosse award winners.
Earning Section 4 Coach of the Year honors was first-year Vestal coach Chris Dutkowsky. The Vestal High and Cortland State graduate led the Golden Bears to a 14-2 record and a share of the Section 4 Division I title with Corning. Last season, Vestal went 9-6.
“We met all my expectations,” Dutkowsky said. “The last couple of games (both losses) we just didn’t play to our potential, but as for the season, I couldn’t have asked for more from these guys.
“I didn’t really feel pressure, maybe a little anticipation because this was my first year dealing with all the off the field things as a coach. It was pretty smooth sailing, though.”
Dutkowsky’s assistant, Scott Faulkner, earned Assistant Coach of the Year honors, and Vestal senior Rob Potenzino achieved Academic All-American Honor. Dryden’s Lisa Zehr was Person of the Year, and Owego earned the Sportsmanship Award.