By TJ Millman
As summer comes to an end, Milford Boys’ Soccer is gearing up for what they hope will be another successful season. The Bucs have made the state tournament in their last two seasons, but they were eliminated in the first round each time. This year they have set their sights a little higher. Rather than just making the tournament, this year’s team is planning on getting out of the first round and seeing how far they can go.
Milford lost 8 seniors from last year, and this year’s team will feature a host of young players that will make the team fun to watch. Regardless of their age, Milford Head Coach Todd French believes that his players’ talent will show through.
“Our team is very young and has the potential to be very exciting and dangerous in the Henlopen Conference. I am excited to see what these talented young players can do against some very good competition. I’m also excited to make a run at our third consecutive state tournament berth. Our program continues to grow and consistently making the tournament is a big step,” French said.
A concern whenever a team loses a large group of seniors is leadership. However, French noted two players who have already stepped up to lead their team.
“A couple of players have stepped up from day one this year. Senior Khi Hovington is a returning defensive starter that will help lead our team both on and off the field. Junior keeper Jaxson Turner is a natural leader, and the younger players on our team will follow his hard working example at practice and in games,” French said.
Even though we are only a week into fall sports practice, French was also able to name some players to keep an eye out for this year.
“Returning starters Jaxson Turner, Erens Mondelus, Josh Strassle, Lensky Legros and Khi Hovington have all shown that they put in some work this off-season. It is obvious that they are all motivated and hungry to take this program to the next level. Both Stone Davis and Kyle Strassle took some time off away from the game, but have now returned and are going to be very impactful players this season. Freshman Manny Caranza, Luke Bogan and Aaron Sollie will be pushing the upperclassman for playing time all season,” French said.
While the goal of any sport is to win, the Milford coaching staff sees its players as more than just athletes.
“As a coaching staff, we see these young men as assets to our community. We want to develop these players on the field, but more importantly we want to help them develop and reach their highest potential off the field,” French said.
Milford has a chance to start their season off with a bang, playing three straight home games against teams they went 1-2 against last year. The third game against Sussex Central will be a chance for the Bucs to avenge a 3-2 loss that came on their Senior Night last season.
The Bucs first game is set for Tuesday, September 12 against Caesar Rodney. The game will be played at Milford High School and is set to start at 6 PM.
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