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Cometti leads Wildcats past F-M, 8-5

No matter the season, and no matter the sport, West Genesee senior Luke Cometti has demonstrated an uncanny ability to produce in the most pressure-packed situations.

Back in the fall, Cometti three times connected on field goals in the final seconds or in overtime that helped the football Wildcats win games. His successful kick as time ran out in the Section III Class AA final against Cicero-North Syracuse produced a championship and began WG's unlikely run toward a state title.

Now it's the spring, and it's lacrosse season, but some things never change.

Cometti assumed the leadership role in the fourth quarter of last Friday's game against archrival Fayetteville-Manlius, as his big plays helped the Wildcats beat the Hornets 8-5.

So ended an eventful first seven days of the 2008 season, one where WG took on three quality opponents and beat them all by three-goal margins -- proving early that it could withstand a serious crisis.

Back in the March 29 opener against Downingtown East, senior Ryan Barber, the team's top returning scorer from 2007, injured his foot while making a cut near the net.

Days later, Barber had surgery on that foot, and he will likely miss the regular season. Barber said he hopes to be back in late May, just in time for the playoffs.

From a lineup perspective, this meant that junior Ike Hopper would take over Barber's place in the starting lineup. It also meant that Cometti would assume much more responsibility as the team's offensive captain.

The F-M game would prove an accurate gauge on where the team stood. As usual, the Hornets are brimming with talented athletes and are committed to gaining a sectional title, something it hasn't been able to pull off since 1993.

As a big crowd looked on in Camillus, the two rivals had a 2-2 exchange in the first quarter before F-M made its biggest move of the night.

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