Nashoba Boys Soccer 2015-16: A Season of Change

Varsity Captain Mark Allaire during pre-season scrimmage

Susan Shaye

Varsity Captain Mark Allaire during pre-season scrimmage

John Mantus, Contributor

After the slightly subpar season last year (winning only two games),  the boys’ soccer program here at Nashoba has high expectations for this season. The new head coach, Ryan Gates, is working hard to improve the program, and the players are responding overwhelmingly well to his style. Jasper Yang, who was on Varsity last year with the previous coach, believes Coach Gates is leading the team in the right direction. He says “I think he’s really brought some energy to the team…it’s a revolution, a new philosophy that is now the governing body of our athletic program.”

Gates also brought a new formation to the program. The foundation for this is high-pressure all the time, even bringing the defenders up on attacking plays. This means each player has to be in tremendous shape and able to run up and down the field for a full ninety minutes. In order to be able to do this, there had to be rigorous off-season training. Grant Edwards is a varsity outside-defender, so he is one of the players who must be in the best shape since he plays a crucial role in both offense and defense. When asked about the pressure involved in his position, he replied, “I feel pretty good, I mean I ran over the summer and I can run for a long time without getting tired.”

In addition to a new Varsity coach, there’s also a new setup for the program as a whole. In previous years there was a freshmen, junior varsity and varsity team. This year, however, there are two junior varsity teams, team 1 and team 2, and a varsity team. James McCaffrey, captain of the JV 1 team, explained to me why they implemented this new setup, saying “it helps improve the program because it gives people an option to play more. As people play more at the JV level, their experience and skill both improve.”

However, some players don’t need this extra experience. This season there are two freshmen on the varsity team and one sophomore. These young talents are certainly individuals to keep an eye on as they mature through their high school years. Shane Watkins, freshman, John Higgins, freshman, and Ryan Cudmore, sophomore, are already making their marks on the Varsity program and they can only get better from here. They are quite possibly the future faces of the program, so lookout for these young men. Overall it’s clear to see that this season will be very different from last season for the Nashoba Boys Soccer Program. The new coach has brought a vast amount of optimism and positive change with him and the new setup of teams allows for more people to play and improve their game. Undoubtedly, these are historic changes for Nashoba Athletics and the program will never be the same.