Many high school lacrosse teams ease into a new season, scheduling foes it know it can beat with relative ease to build up confidence.
But that wasn't the case with Jamesville-DeWitt, who immediately plunged into deep water last Saturday at Homer and saw its defense undergo a mighty struggle during a 15-10 loss to the Trojans.
J-D is coming off a 2008 campaign where it went 17-3, yet fell in the Section III Class B final to Carthage, something that was a bit of a letdown after the Red Rams' run to the 2007 state Class B championship.
From that group, five starters graduate, including standouts like Alex Jorgensen, Mike Edwards, Nick Marshall, Jeff Vetter and Jared Nies. Even with a solid group of returning players, it made for some mending.
Homer, meanwhile, wanted to build upon its '08 Class C semifinal run. And in senior Paul Armideo, it had a force that all of J-D's defenders could not contain on a warm Saturday afternoon.
With Armideo constantly finding the net in the first half, the Trojans set a blinding pace, steadily working its way to a 9-4 halftime advantage.
Using a more balanced approach, J-D cut into that deficit in an active third quarter and was within three, 12-9, with plenty of time to catch up. Yet Homer won the face-offs in the final period and slowed the pace down, getting timely goals to put the Rams away.
By the time his rampage was complete, Armideo had earned seven goals and three assists, with Carl Zimmerman (three goals, two assists) offering help.
As for the Rams, Ed Kiesa had a three-goal hat trick, with Jeff Sciera and Jake Bratek each getting two goals and one assist. Joe Shepard and Mac Keehfus both finished with a goal and two assists. Eric DeJohn also scored.
J-D will take the measure of nationally ranked LaFayette on Wednesday in its home opener.