Bucknell Men's Lacrosse Announces 2013 Team Captains
Jan. 31, 2013
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell head men's lacrosse coach Frank Fedorjaka has announced the election of four seniors as team captains for the 2013 season. Defenseman Dylan Burke (Maplewood, N.J./Seton Hall Prep), goalie Kyle Feeney (Greenwich, Conn./Greenwich), defenseman Mike Huffner (Elmira, N.Y./Notre Dame) and long-stick defensive midfielder Wills Miller (Chester Springs, Pa./Haverford School) will take on the role of co-captains this spring for a Bison squad that is ranked 18th in both major preseason polls.
Bucknell has a 10-man senior class this season, part of a group of 29 returning lettermen who will look to get the Bison back to the top of the Patriot League in 2013. Bucknell won the conference title two seasons ago, and this year the Bison have been picked fourth in the Patriot League preseason poll.
"I am very excited about this year's captains, and the senior class as a whole," said Fedorjaka. "This class has exuded terrific leadership, and you need that from your seniors if you want to be successful. Wills and Dylan have really become vocal leaders. Kyle and Mike are two of the best players in the league, if not the country, and they are great examples of where hard work will take you."
Burke and Huffner are part of a close defense unit that is annually one of the Patriot League's best. Burke has been a reserve for the past three years, but he has returned for his senior year in terrific shape and begins the season as the team's fourth defenseman.
"Dylan has developed a much leaner physique, which has made him a lot quicker," said Fedorjaka. "He has a great stick, works extremely hard and plays the game with a lot of heart. He really means a lot to our program."
Just last week Huffner was voted Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. A First Team All-Patriot League selection in each of the last two seasons, Huffner appears primed for a big senior season. He is typically Bucknell's No. 1 defenseman, meaning he marks the opponent's top attackman. Last season Huffner ranked 20th nationally in caused turnovers with 27, and he also picked up 31 ground balls while starting all 16 games.
"Mike has really expanded his role as a leader," said Fedorjaka. "He has gone outside his comfort zone and become more vocal and more proactive. He can cover every type of player and is really clearing the ball well."
Miller transitioned from the offensive half of the field to long-stick defensive midfielder last season, and the moved worked out very well. He played in five games last season and is in line for a much broader role this spring following the graduation of four-year starting pole John Scally.
"Wills has really committed himself physically," said Fedorjaka. "He lost some weight over the summer, which helped him get much quicker. He is terrific in transition, plays with a physical edge and is an outstanding leader. He is going to play a very important role this season."
Feeney is back for his fourth season as Bucknell's starting goalie. A two-time All-Patriot League selection, Feeney was recently drafted by the Charlotte Hounds of Major League Lacrosse. Feeney took over the starting role a few games into his freshman campaign, and as a rookie he ranked second nationally with a 7.45 goals-against average. As a sophomore, he started every game for Bucknell's Patriot League championship squad, and he made 17 saves while conceding only eight goals in the two PL Tournament games that season.Last season he had a .560 save percentage and 8.77 GAA, and his 169 total saves marked a career high.
"Kyle is playing his best lacrosse entering his senior year," praised Fedorjaka. "Last year he had a great year between the pipes, but even since the end of last year he is doing so much more. He is as good a goalie as I've coached at directing the defense. Kyle knows our system well, and he can get guys in the right spots. We are also asking him to be more aggressive in sparking our transition game, both with his legs and with his outlet passes."
Bucknell is ranked 18th in the preseason in both the USILA Coaches Poll and the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Media Poll. The Bison host Towson and Hobart in a pair of scrimmages on Saturday at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium, and they open the season on Feb. 9 at Delaware.