Thursday, March 14, 2013
The Fort Dorchester boys’ soccer team was hit hard by graduation but Patriots’ coach Chris Jones is optimistic about the 2013 season.
The Fort lost 10 players to graduation, including two all-state athletes. But the team does return several varsity lettermen and has added some promising young players.
“We have aspirations to repeat as region champion and I’m putting no limits on this group,” Jones said. “The kids we lost were phenomenal soccer players and good kids. Any time you lose kids that mature and disciplined it hurts your team. I enjoyed last year, but I’m also enjoying working with a group this year that maybe I can mold a little bit more. It’s fun working with a new group and looking at maybe playing a different way.”
The players voted for junior midfielder Spencer Wilder and senior goalkeeper Tiago Dos Santos to be captains. Christian Baker is another key returner who will see a lot of time between the posts.
“We’ve been fortunate to have two solid keepers for the last few seasons so basically they split time in goal,” Jones said. “They have both earned playing time and that has worked well for us so we are going to stick with it.”
Other returning lettermen include defenders Michael Spellman and Batoua Wonlet, midfielders Trevour Johnson and Troy Hardin, and forward Alihan Ozsoylu. Also on the team are Matt Hardin, Reid Couch, Trent De Leon Bourque, Mariano Bustos, Zikeem Smith, Caleb Sandoval, Gonzalo Millan, Jack Stasek, Clay Mahlie, Ashton Reilly, Pablo Valenzuela, Andrew Kephart, Koh Matsumoto, Brandon Bozeman and Jake Fladd.
“Our seniors are all such good kids so we have a good group of leaders,” Jones said. “Those seniors are all good student-athletes so I expect them to lead the team and most of the other kids have been in our program with a couple of exceptions.”
The Patriots are off to a 3-3 start this season, including tournament play. The Fort placed third in the first annual Azalea Soccer Shootout held the first weekend of March at the Summerville Soccer Club.
The Patriots fell 3-0 to Wando, the No. 2 ranked Class AAAA team in the state, in their third game of the regular season Tuesday. It was a tighter game than the score indicates.
“I’m extremely proud of the way we stuck to the game plan tonight,” Jones said. “That plan worked for the most part and we made them nervous there for a while. I have to take the blame for the loss because we haven’t gone over how to react if a player on the other team gets a red card. When they were a player down they worked that much harder and we didn’t take advantage of it.”
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