The Hounds in August wrapped up a 5-9 inaugural season in Major League Lacrosse, drawing an average of 5,712 fans per game at American Legion Memorial Stadium. With 2012 successfully behind us, the organization takes an opportunity to check in with the players and learn what stood out to them about this year, as well as find out what they are expecting for the 2013 season. In Part 2 of "Looking Back, Thinking Ahead" the players -- in their own words -- share what they are most looking forward to about the franchise's upcoming second year in Charlotte. After reading what they had to say, be sure to log in to the comments section and tell us what you can't wait to see in 2013!
Justin Turri, #12 (M): Really looking forward to establishing our identity as a team, beginning with training camp. Not having to deal with a lot of moving parts and shuffling in and out of the lineup will really help us gel and figure out who we are as a team. I believe that is going to lead to us competing for the 2013 MLL Championship.
Ryan Flanagan, #24 (D): Winning! I can't wait to see the fans back at Memorial Stadium again, but there is no arguing that we did not play as well on the field as we would have liked this past season. I think we owe it to ourselves and our fans to correct the win-loss column. We ended the season on a positive note, but we still have a long way to go on the field and it is going to take a complete team effort to make that happen.
Kyle Wimer, #20 (M): For our home opener so we can start things off right!
Gerry Reilly, #21 (M): I'm most excited about continuing the momentum we built at the end of the season last year, and winning more games for the city of Charlotte and our great fan base. I can't wait to get back to Charlotte.
Joe Vitale, #1 (M): What I am looking forward to is getting back with the guys and playing again. As a rookie, I just had a tiny taste of what the league and the Hounds are about, but with what I was a part of in just a short time has me very excited for the coming year.
Ricky Pages, #11 (D): This is going to be a huge season for me. Last season I had a career high in goals and want to focus on making myself an all-around defender -- goals and playing solid defense every time I step on the field. I am looking forward to having the best endurance I have ever had, so that I can take a lot more runs on the field and have more opportunities to be a huge playmaker and contributor to a Hounds winning season.
Adam Ghitelman, #8 (G): I'm excited to see the continued progression of our chemistry as a team. Our front office continues to make decisions that put us in a better position to be playing late in August. We just need to build on what made us successful at the end of the year.
Brett Schmidt, #44 (D): Everything!!! I miss being with the team, so am very much looking forward to getting everyone back to Charlotte. Being a local guy now, I am excited to be a part of the preseason festivities and active in the Charlotte lacrosse community to build momentum going in to the season. Oh yeah, and also looking forward to winning the MLL Championship!
Eric Lusby, #3 (A): I am looking forward to playing an entire season, and being a playoff caliber team.
Joe Cinosky, #84 (D): I’m looking forward to getting a chance to play in front of the best crowd in the MLL. #houndshelpinghounds.
Matt Danowski, #40 (A): I'm most looking forward to improving our record, especially at home, and making a run at the playoffs. We added some depth to our defensive midfield and a real threat in (Peet) Poillon. We have all the tools, now it’s up to us to create some chemistry and make a run at the playoffs.
Stephen Berger, #13 (M): Obviously I'm looking forward to seeing how big our FAN base will be, but more importantly getting back out there with the guys and getting to be a TEAM again. We want to have fun all summer and work toward winning the MLL Championship and bringing home the Steinfeld Cup!
Jerry Ragonese, #37 (M/FO): Running through the Hounds collar for the first home game of the season, and bringing home the Steinfeld Cup to Charlotte.
Mark Manos, #54 (G): I am most looking forward to making a run for the MLL Championship. I feel like we have the right group of guys to make it happen, and I am really excited for us to get back out on the field and make a run for the title.
Kevin Kaminski, #15 (M): I am most looking forward to the first face-off and getting this season started. I am doing everything I can this off-season to help our team win games, and I know everyone else is taking those same steps. With our talent, focus and leadership we will be a team to fear in 2013.
Josh Amidon, #9 (M): What I am most excited for would have to be seeing my teammates again and winning the Championship.
Brian Carroll, #36 (M): Developing team chemistry was a challenge at times for us last season as a new franchise. I am looking forward to beginning 2013 with an identity already in place, and getting the chance to build upon the chemistry that we developed throughout last year.
Jovan Miller, #7 (M): I'm looking forward to winning. PERIOD.
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Part 1 to read what the Hounds players said their most memorable moments were of the inaugural 2012 season.