Boys' soccer coach says team has rare mix of athleticism, fitness and skill
By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Thu., Sep. 15, 2011
The South Windsor High School boys’ soccer team is looking forward to a strong season. According to coach Dave St. Jean, the nucleus of the team has returned, with only five seniors lost last year to graduation.
Last year, the team began struggling half-way through the season, ending with a record of 7-6-4, with a loss in the first round of the state tournament. St. Jean noted that last year’s was a young team, both in size and experience. “In our conference, with the really physical teams, it takes its toll,” he explained about the 15- and 16-year-olds playing against 18-year-old seniors. Injuries also plagued the team, at times pulling five starters off the field. All of these factors made it difficult for the Bobcats to close out games, said St. Jean.
“We’ve returned a pretty deep team and a strong team,” the coach said. The team of 20 has eight seniors, 10 juniors and two sophomores, including returning starting goalie Eric Hintz, who injured his knee mid-season last year. Many of the juniors and even sophomores have played multiple years on the varsity team. “We’re pretty athletic and fit,” noted St. Jean, “and at the same time, we’re skilled.” He said it was rare to have all three attributes in his team.
The team easily won its first game of the season, against Bulkeley, 9-0. “It was nice to get off to a really good start,” said senior co-captain Matt Torff. It also allowed the players to move into different positions to get a different perspective of the field.
Wearing number 7, this is Torff’s third year on the varsity team. Although he said the team lost one really good defender to graduation, others have stepped up. On the offensive side, Torff noted that the team has gained new talent. “I think we can contend with all the teams in our conference,” said Torff.
Senior co-captain Zac Fromson agreed with Torff that good team chemistry is a major factor for the Bobcats. Knowing that the teammates are there for each other, both on and off the field, the athletes trust each other during the games. Fromson, the team’s right back, wearing number 8, noted that most players are in the same positions as last year, again raising the comfort level. The team’s biggest strength, though, said Fromson is “we like to work hard.”
“The team has high expectations for this year,” said St. Jean. “If we can get a little lucky, and stay healthy, we’ll have some success.”