Young team, close games define start to Boys Soccer

The boys soccer season begins

Sophomore+Luke+Snavely+and+a+Beaver+opponent+race+towards+the+ball+in+the+Bulldogs%27%0Ascrimmage+against+the+Bobcats+on+Sept.+9.

Megan Evans

Sophomore Luke Snavely and a Beaver opponent race towards the ball in the Bulldogs’ scrimmage against the Bobcats on Sept. 9.

Megan Evans, Staff Writer

 As the summer wraps up, the Freedom boys soccer team looks forward to a new season and new opportunities. The team started preparing in late July, hoping for the season to continue despite the notorious virus. This year’s team consists of 21 players. There are four seniors, six juniors, eight sophomores and three freshmen. 

This year’s team is looking a little different than the team did last year. The boys had to say goodbye to some valuable seniors. The team lost Tyler Mohrbacher, Casey Collins, Brandon Majors, Hunter Black, Steven Burkle, Tony Clinkscales, Alex Kerr, EJ Dwyer and Thomas Young. This year, the team is on the younger side with only four seniors. The boys’ soccer coach, Collin Williams, feels the team is in good shape.  

“We have a good blend of players this year and some of them are going to step up, be better and be stars in the next few years. So I think we’ll be okay with that,” Williams said. 

On Aug. 4, fall sports were announced to be delayed, causing confusion and worry to be abundant. Many were concerned sport seasons would be canceled or moved to January. On Aug. 21, the PIAA voted 25-5 to continue with fall sports even with the escalation of the coronavirus. This is good news for the team, although the season is still on rocky shores. If the virus continues to spread, especially to players, the season could be canceled, moved or cut short. To avoid this, the players need to take extra precautions and stay healthy. 

The team has been maintaining good health while practicing and playing. Before every practice, the players must fill out a COVID form and get their temperatures taken. Wearing masks before practice is a new necessity that helps stop the spread of the virus if members of the team were to have it. Some of the practices were also cut to avoid more chances of spreading the virus. 

“We didn’t get our full week of camp due to the virus and that could be an issue, but we all are working hard at practice to recover the skill we didn’t get at that time,” senior Garrett Paxton said.

The boys kicked off their season with a scrimmage at Beaver Highschool on Sept. 10. The team played well and battled it out on the field. Senior Garrett Paxton led the team with his goal he scored during the first half. The boys played hard, but they ended the game with a final score of 1-6. 

“The first game was a time we could see how everyone would work together. The one major challenge is most of the team is really young, so they haven’t really felt what it is like to play in a high school game. And we are going to be playing against other teams who are older than most of us,” Paxton said. 

On Sept. 16 the boys faced Ambridge. They gave it their all and really connected out on the field. Junior Jay Hessler led the team with two goals. Other goals were scored by Paxton and freshman Dylan Scheel. The final score was 4-6. 

On Sept. 19 the team played North Catholic at the North Catholic field. They ended the game with a final score of 5-2. The goals were scored by senior Colton Heasley and Dylan Scheel.

The boys played Hopewell at the Hopewell field on Sept. 22. Paxton and Scheel both led the team with a goal. The game ended with a score of 2-0. It was a great win for the bulldogs.

“I feel really good about the season and can’t wait to get out on the field again,” Paxton said.