Columnist Jack Scott previews the fall sports teams.
Girls soccer team looks ahead
The girls soccer team looks to have a rebuilding year, with half of the eligible girls at the start of the season being freshmen. First-year Coach Elissa Haskell helped out last year as an assistant coach. Without all the players eligible, we are starting without many subs, making it hard in this hot weather.
The seniors will need to step up and provide good leadership for the younger players. They are Ashley Haskell, midfielder; Allyson Eaton, midfielder/goalie; Natalie Knowlton, forward; and Veronica Pezaris, fullback.
The juniors are Jessica Gove, fullback and Jessica Trainor, midfielder. The sophomores are Orly Vaughan, midfielder; Amy Friedell, forward/goalie; and Ava Coombs, midfielder. The freshmen are Lily Gray, midfielder/forward; Addie McDonald, midfielder; Abby Stinson, fullback; Kristin Thompson, fullback/goalie; Haley Hardy, fullback; and Mercedes Rice, fullback.
But with the small numbers, players will be moved around continually. Both teams have had to play the first two or three games with smaller numbers with significant players ineligible until this week.
The two major areas Coach Haskell feels we will need to work on early in the season are conditioning and the offense. Conditioning will be critical with the smaller numbers since many of the players will be on the field for long periods.
This will be a rebuilding year for the girls and how quickly they pull together will depend on their effort in practice and the ability of the seniors to pass their knowledge along. The first half of the season will be frustrating as we learn to work together, but we should be a different team by the end.
Boys look to make improvement
The boys soccer team has a good blend of experience and youth, with decent numbers once all the players are eligible, which should happen by now. The new coach is Joe Stinson, who played soccer for the Mariners 23 years ago. He has coached for several years in Kentucky and Indiana before moving back to the area.
Coach Stinson says that team play is the direction he wants to have the players go in. He doesn’t label the players as to a position since he feels they will be playing all over the field depending on his strategy. He emphasizes communication and passing, and says that this is the key to gaining success.
The seniors are Krisford Melanio, Paul Zoephal, Marvin Merritt, Noah Davis, Cameron Wendell, Devon Carlisle, and a transfer student from South Korea, Kim Dong Yeong, who has good soccer skills.
The juniors include Ethan Shepard, Liam Griffith, and Isaac Vaughan. The sophomores are Steven Cochrane, Trey Plummer, Nathan Winchester, and Kinsey Bartlett. The freshmen are Andy Atherton, Colby Haskell, and Dakotah Gillen.
Soccer is the ultimate team sport with everyone helping each other. Coach Stinson is preaching that the team is more important than the individuals. Control of the ball is critical to developing the offense and that falls on the defense as well as the midfielders.
No one is making any predictions, but this team has nowhere to go but up. We started the season with a tough win and that is good for our confidence. If we can get to the point of working together, we should have a productive year.
Cross country is small but enthusiastic
Cross country running is alive and well, though we will have club status again this year as we don’t have the number of runners we need to compete as a team. Coach Mary Penfold is enthusiastic about the runners we have. Brendan Penfold, a sophomore, has been training all summer after running in the individual state meet last year; he is the only member running at the varsity level.
At the Ellsworth Inviational on September 5, Penfold finished a very respectable 20 out of 85 runners. His time of 19:15 was very close to the times he was able to post at the end of last season, so he is starting off at a good pace. At the Bucksport Invitational on September 12, he placed 11th out of 41 runners.