Tourtellotte boys' soccer team tries to shake inexperience

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Thompson - posted Mon., Sep. 30, 2013
Andrew Valentine. Photos by D. Coffey.
Andrew Valentine. Photos by D. Coffey.

The Tourtellotte Memorial High School boys' soccer team has its work cut out for it this year. Coach Craig Barrett lost seven seniors to graduation last spring. When only two freshmen turned out at the beginning of the season, he tried to recruit. Two seniors who are first-year players made the grade. But the Tigers are a fairly young, inexperienced team and they are learning as they go.

The ECC Small team consists of five seniors, juniors and sophomores each, and two freshmen. “Some of the new guys are some of the more athletic guys on the team,” Barrett said, “but we’re undersized for our age.”

Injuries have taken their tolls. With only 15 players on the team, some of the games have revolved around the same 11 players. Almost all of the sophomores are being asked to play 80 minutes. But while they are young and inexperienced, they are definitely showing improvement, Barrett said.

Liam O’Brien and Mattheus Bastos are still battling for goalkeeper position. Bastos lost his starting position to an early injury, and is now back in the lineup. Barrett called Eric Magoffin an anchor for the defense. “He controls everything from the back,” Barrett said. “He’s definitely a vocal and physical leader, and our defensive rock.”

Twins Matthew and Andrew Valentine are program builders for Tourtellotte. “In terms of raw talent and soccer IQ, they are two of my smartest players,” Barrett said. “But they are also two of my quietest players.”

Another set of twins, Alexander and Hunter Angelo, give TMHS crucial but inexperienced coverage. Alex is a center midfielder and he’s often asked to play a full 80 minutes. “They are learning quickly,” Barrett said.

Nathan Jewell is a first-year senior defender who Barrett calls technically and fundamentally sound. “He impressed me out of the gate,” he said.

Senior Carlos Garcia-LaBonte and junior Eric Magoffin captain the Tourtellotte team.

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