Berkshire County high school boys soccer preview capsules, 2019

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The Lenox boys soccer team won a second-straight Western Massachusetts Division IV title last year, but will have a new coach on the sidelines this year as the team looks to three-peat in the division. Elsewhere around Berkshire County, there are transitions happening at some major programs, the Mount Greylock team returns a stacked roster, and the Berkshire South is truly up for grabs as the teams within the conference look to secure potential playoff spots.

Berkshire North

Lenox

Coach: Camilo Bermudez (1st year, 2nd stint)

Last year: 10-10-2

Key returnees: Andre Collins, Jr., FWD; Zach Suffish, Sr., FWD; JT Novitsky, Sr., MF

Outlook: The Millionaires have a new, but familiar coach on the sideline this fall. Bermudez is back after serving as an interim coach the year before Matt Cote, who Bermudez is replacing, took over. Bermudez was greeted by news that senior star Keveen Delgado would miss the year with an ACL injury, and then injuries to Zach Suffish and Matteo Phillips have left the Millionaires shorthanded. Collins is a returning striker that can do a lot of things for Lenox, with Spencer Villinski and Cam Abdalla, along with Suffish, rounding out the forwards crew. JT Novitsky and Isaac Tabakin bring experience back in the midfield, and freshman Gabe Merino will also get plenty of play in midfield. Daniel Munch takes over in goal for brother Jacob Munch, who graduated. Cooper Shepardson and Max Keator are the upperclassmen back on defense, and freshman Emmitt Shove will also get a chance on the back line.

Monument Mountain

Coach: Matt Naventi (7th year)

Last year: 12-6-1

Key returnees: Jackson Blanchard, Jr., FWD; Nicky Huertas, Jr., MF; Benj Ryel, Jr., MF

Outlook: The Spartans were hit hard by graduation and losses to prep schools, but a strong junior class will give fans something to get excited about. Jackson Blanchard is back and can play just about anywhere on the field for Naventi. Huertas also brings back experience in the midfield, as does Ryel. Avery Manzolini will get his chance to lead the line in attack, and Kieran Santos will also get time up top. Eddie Boyko can be deployed in goal or on the defensive line, and Max Kohlkins will play in goal when Boyko doesn't. Nick Lussier and Kade Groeber are the two seniors, and both play on defense. Sam Schroeder is another option in defense for Monument.

Mount Greylock

Coach: Blair Dils (21st year)

Last year: 9-7-2

Key returnees: Emi Soza-Foias, Sr., MF; Finn Welch, Sr., FWD; Mitch Jezouit, Sr., D; Toby Foehl, Sr., FWD

Outlook: The Mounties are the most veteran unit in the county, and the team is hoping it pays off with a deep Western Mass. run. Finn Welch scored and assisted in bunches last season and will look to do so again. Emi Soza-Foias, Julius Munemo, Toby Foehl, Leo Rossiter and John Skavlem all return experience and will fit in the midfield, attack or on the wings. Mitch Jezouit, Owen Crowell and Col McDermott are three veterans along the backline, while Oscar Low will be the man in goal for the Mounties.

Pittsfield

Coach: Andrew Antil (11th year)

Last year: 11-4-3

Key returnees: Avi Snowise, Sr, GK; Ben Brooks, Sr., D; Cole Masiero, Sr., D

Outlook: The Generals were hit hard by graduation and then lost two more potential returners to prep school. Antil, though, isn't throwing a pity party at Kirvin Park. Instead, the Generals will rely on a veteran trio at the back to build on. Avi Snowise returns for his senior season in goal and is as battle-tested as they come, and in front of him are the returning duo of Ben Brooks and Cole Masiero. The triumvirate will help to ease the rest of the team into its roles. Luke Peplowski is back in the midfield and will help dictate play, while David Kankam returns in attack and has the speed to stretch defenses. Players like Matt Miller, Mark Amenlemah, Freddy Lopez and Lorenzo Gomez Vasquez will fill out the attack and wing positions, and Petie Breitmaier will get plenty of chances to partner with Peplowski in midfield.

Wahconah

Coach: John Kovacs (32nd year)

Last year: 9-9-1

Key returnees: Kevin Huban, Sr., FWD; Jack Pudlo, Sr., D; Easton Eberwein, Sr., MF

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Outlook: The Warriors got back to the Western Mass. tournament last year, and want to take it a step further this year. Kevin Huban is the dangerman in attack for the Warriors, while Easton Eberwein and Colby Lennon round out the attacking captains for Wahconah this year. Jack Pudlo is the fourth captain and will anchor the defensive line in front of goalie Jack Perenick. Donovan Keegan is a returning midfielder, along with Mike Acevedo and Fred Sears. Wahconah has seven seniors and six juniors on the roster, making this an upperclassmen-heavy side that's ready to compete in the Berkshire North.

Berkshire South

Drury

Coach: John Jacobbe (6th year)

Last year: 6-11-1

Key returnees: Caleb Besaw, Jr., MF; Jackson Sullivan-Bol, Sr., FWD; Natal Paredes, Sr., D; Hunter Sarkis, Sr., FWD

Outlook: The Blue Devils have some holes to fill through graduation, but return some talented players capable of picking up the slack. Besaw is as talented a midfielder as they come in the division and will help dictate play for Drury. Jackson Sullivan-Bol is back in attack and senior captains Scott McGuire and Sarkis will also see time in the attack. Kevin Chen takes over in goal, but has Paredes in front of him to help anchor things. Nate Haley is also back on the defense. Jack Demayo is another senior with experience on the team.

Hoosac Valley

Coach: Patrick Mahoney (2nd year)

Last year: 5-11

Key returnees: Jaydin Cooper, Jr., GK; Evan Norcorss, Sr., FWD; Dan Pompi, Sr, FWD; Aiden Maturski, Sr., MF

Outlook: Mahoney is back for his second year in charge, and he has some experienced players to turn to this year. Six seniors will help lead the side, including forwards Dan Pompi and Evan Norcross, midfielder Aiden Maturski, and defenders Derick Jimenez, Anthony Tassone and Jackson Keplinger. Jaydin Cooper is back in goal and has Lucas Waterman as his backup. Mahoney said his team entered the year more fit than they were in 2018, and he's hoping the additional gas in the tank will let his team impose itself more on opponents.

Mount Everett

Coach: Joe McSpiritt (1st year)

Last year: 10-5-1

Key returnees: Jack Carpenter, Jr., MF; David Bautista-Cruz, Sr., MF; Alek Zdziarski, Jr., D

Outlook: McSpiritt, a tennis coach in the spring, takes over for the boys this year as Josh King took over the girls program. McSpiritt said he'll lean on midfielders Carpenter and Bautista-Cruz to help dictate play for the team. Zdziarski and Armando Bautista-Cruz will help anchor the defense as Michael Devoti and Ivan Rodriguez battle for the starting goalkeeper position. McSpiritt has an interesting mix on his roster, with a handful of eighth graders and freshmen who will get chances to impress and lock down starting positions.

Taconic

Coach: Shaun Stannard (3rd year)

Last year: 1-13

Key returnees: Abraham Portillo-Gomez, Jr., FWD; Sam Sherman, Soph., MF; Ben Vangalil, Jr., MF

Outlook: The Braves had more learning pains in 2018, but the hope is that some real growth is seen this season. Stannard's crew still skews young, but does have some experience coming back. Vangalil and Neudis Orellana will captain the team, while Portillo-Gomez brings back experience in the midfield. Sherman is just a sophomore, but will have a big role to play for the Braves. Ian McGrath has returned to the team and will be the goalkeeper.

McCann Tech

Coach: John Bresett (2nd year)

Last year: 3-14-1

Key returnees: Andrew Levesque, Sr., GK; Matt Bailey, Sr., MF; Nick LaForest, Sr., FWD; Omar Uqdah, Jr., FWD

Outlook: The Hornets didn't rack up a ton of wins last season, but coach Bresett said the goal this year is the Western Mass. tournament. Andrew Levesque is back in goal and will provide a veteran presence as the backstop. Omar Uqdah returns as a forward, with midfielders Matt Bailey and Nick LaForest also returning experience. Sophomore Carter Foucher has already made an impact for McCann this year. Justin Denette is a returning defender in front of Levesque.


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