WILMINGTON -- The Wildcat soccer teams began taking their first kicks on their home turf late last week in preparation for a few scrimmages that will occur later this week. The practicing all leads up to the regular season, which begins for Twin Valley on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
"We’re getting ready to go!" said the boys’ coach Buddy Hayford, after a team practice Wednesday night. "It’s all very exciting!"
And Hayford has something to look forward to, as he welcomes back a strong core of returning players who will help to maintain the team as a top contender.
Those players include seniors Colin Lozito, brothers Dal and Cade Nesbitt, Eli Park, Jeremy Hunt, Keegan Reed, Dylan Johnson, and juniors Sam Molner, Oscar Smith, Hank Sweeney, Jacob Hicks, Morrow Bernard, Connal Sullivan, and Nick Nelson.
On Halloween day in 2012, Hayford’s horde journeyed to South Royalton for a championship showdown against Proctor, after they claimed the second seed in the Division 4 tournament and started knocking out opponents left and right. The Wildcats lost in the final, but rounded out their season with an 11-3 record, one of the team’s most successful runs in years.
The girls will again be led by Chris Walling, who has coached the team for a over a decade. The team will host their first three games, which includes an Arlington opener which will be held during the first week of September.
Returning players to the Twin Valley lady’s squad are Maya Holschuh, Cassie Bratton, Savannah Nesbitt, Kirra Courchesne, Natalie Herrick, Sammy Cunningham, Kristen Halbur, Jessica Fox, Jordan Niles, and Hannah Sawnson.
The girls were the 11th seed heading into last year’s Division 3 bracket, and ended their run with five wins and seven losses. They were knocked out in the first round, last year. 2007 was the last time the Wildcat girls claimed a state title, after defeating Oxbow in double OT.
Friday, Sept. 6 -- Home vs. Green Mountain 6 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 9 -- Home vs. Otter Valley 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 11 -- At Windsor 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Spet. 19 -- Home vs. Fair Haven 4:30 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 30 -- At Fair Haven 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 3 -- Home vs. Bellows Falls 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 5 -- Home vs. Stratton 5 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 9 -- At Green Mountain 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 12 -- At Stratton 3 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 16 -- Home vs. Windsor 6 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 18 -- At Otter Valley 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 3 -- Home vs. Arlington 6 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 5 -- Home vs. Mill River 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 10 -- Home vs. Bellows Falls 6 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 17 -- At Black River 6 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 19 -- Home vs. Fair Haven 4:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 26 -- At Arlington 7 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 30 -- At Fair Haven 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 3 -- At Bellows Falls 4 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 5 -- Home vs. Stratton 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 8 -- Home vs. Leland & Gray 6 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 12 -- At Stratton 1 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 15 -- Home vs. Black River 6 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 18 -- At Leland & Gray 4 p.m.