BRATTLEBORO -- The Terriers have stepped up their game this year. That’s what coach Robert Brooks had to say Tuesday afternoon about his Division 2 Bellows Falls boys soccer team.
"It was all about crawling out of the depths," said Brooks about his team-building strategy. "We are in the second year of our three-year plan."
The Brooks bunch will have a chance to test out the team’s new found enthusiasm when they host Arlington on Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 4:30 p.m.
A group of Terriers have been working out in the off-season at Indoor Action Sports in Greenfield, Ma. to prepare for a promising season. "We won our first (preseason) game ever down there," said Brooks.
Brooks couldn’t be happier with the roster this year either, since eight of his 11 players are coming back to the team. And he is really hoping his son, Zachary Brooks, will also return. The younger Brooks is recovering from back surgery so his role on the team is uncertain as of now.
So while the goalie position is still up for grabs, Brooks has plans for some of the other Terriers.
Avery Perry will take center stage as fullback, "a beast this year," according to Brooks. Luke Clark will join Perry in the middle to help carry the defense. Up front will be Liam Shaw, a striker galore who will be joined by fellow team captains Clark, Brooks, and Connor Neathawk.
"This year we picked up a handful of new juniors," said Brooks. "The roster is growing. I see a much stronger team this year."
Roster. Coach -- Robert Brooks. Players -- Lucas Clark, Connor Neathawk, Avery Perry, Liam Shaw, Chris Doucet, Cedar Williams, Zachary Brooks, Gus Slater-Dixon, Dylan Elliot, Terran Williams, Ricky Clayton, Simon Bupp-Chickering, Timmy Guyon, Kenny Cantour, Andrew Hollar.
WESTMINSTER -- A good offense is a good defense. John Broadley thinks so.
The Terrier ladies are usually on the defensive when they compete, and Broadley, the team’s coach, said it’s all part of their strategy.
"We’ve always played that approach," said Broadley. "We have struggled with strikers in the past, so we’re looking to win the ball back and counter-attack on the flanks. With a lot of support from midfield, you can hopefully get a striker inside."
Enny Mustapha has left her post after graduating and heading off to college, but there is one candidate Broadley has in mind to replace the team’s star goalie.
"Alyssa DeJesus," said Broadley. "She is small in stature, but is strong and has a good attitude. She’ll probably start given what I’ve witnessed this preseason."
Big shoes to fill, maybe, but the rookie should have plenty of help and experience in front of her, thanks to sweepers Lydia Pedigo and Chapin Reis.
At midfield will be returning stopper Addy Dailey, who will be joined on defense by Emily Perry. On the right flank, look for attacker Chelsea Wilder to create a lot issue for opposing defenses. Wilder is quick on the tackle, and can score some goals. The team’s captains are Dailey, Pedigo, and Stephanie Parsons.
"The kids are working hard," said Broadley. "Right now, we are just working on stamina, fitness, and ball control."
Broadley then touted the team’s new exercise routine that has reduced injuries at the school since its implementation last year. Broadley is also assistant principal at BFUHS.
The team’s opener takes place at home versus Long Trail on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 4:30 p.m.
"When you talk Bellows Falls soccer you talk passion," said the BF coach. "The girls have been working hard and we will be ready for this year. This group is one of the best I have coached."
Coach -- John Broadley. Players -- Chloe Boyce, MacKenzie Crawford, Addy Dailey, Antonia Dufort, Elise Doucet, Rachel Dyson, Tia Hindes, Hollie Jackson, Remy Kurkul, Tasha Long, Stephanie Parsons, Lydia Pedigo, Casada Pencek, Emily Perry, Holly Prue, Chapin Reis, Nieva Schemm, Taylor Westfall, Chelsea Wilder, Delaney Mager, Nora Bright, Keri Ticino, Chloe Benson, Karly Martin, Arianna Morton, Alyssa DeJesus, Carrie Holland, Danae Doty.
David Aquino can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.
Spaghetti for uniforms
TOWNSHEND -- There will be a Spaghetti Supper fundraiser on Sunday, Sept. 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. to help purchase new uniforms for the Leland & Gray boys junior varsity soccer team.
Dinner will be held in the Leland & Gray Activity Room and tickets are $8 per person with a $30 maximum per family. The menu will include salad, garlic bread, spaghetti with meatballs or marinara sauce and desserts.
To purchase tickets, contact Susan Daigneault at 802-365-9259 or Patty Brissette in the Leland & Gray office at 802-365-7355.