Wildcats look to repeat as state champions
By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Suffield - posted Thu., Sep. 20, 2012
The Suffield High School Wildcats finished the 2011 season as Class M state champions, compiling a 19-1 record along the way, while only surrendering two goals all season. The state champion squad graduated 11 seniors, eight of whom were starters, which would cause most teams to think rebuilding, but the 2012 squad features eight seniors and gifted underclassmen poised to make their own legacy.
“My expectations are the same every year; we want to teach the kids the value of hard work, dedication to the team, and to represent the school and community in a positive manner,” said head coach Mark Beigel. “We are young and inexperienced, but we have a lot of talent in our sophomore class. This group is coming up to speed quickly and should be able to support our upper classman. As a result, we have been able to gain some confidence in the early season.”
The Wildcats offense will be led by the team’s go-to striker, junior Sean Sullivan. He will be supported by senior forward Ryan Della Penna and senior midfielders Nikko Cervione and Chris Luongo. Biegel also believes that sophomores Colton Grob, Matt Guminiak and David Biederman will contribute to a potent Suffield offensive attack that will leave defenses baffled.
“We are definitely the favorites to repeat. We have a target on our backs,” said Cervione. “We want our offense to come out strong and jump on teams from the start, scoring early.”
Suffield’s defense will be bolstered down by the lone returning defender, junior Colin McFarlane. The Wildcats have received strong early impacts from seniors Ed Motherway, Stephen Wyse and Sean Flanagan and junior Tom Bartley. The team will need strong performances from their back four if they hope to repeat. Junior goalie Ben Woodhouse is returning and will help solidify the team’s backlines.
“A repeat is a tall task for any team, never mind this young team, but if the desire is there and enough guys step up and stay on board, I think we have the potential to at least give ourselves a chance to make a run in the tournament,” Beigel said.