Soccer teams convene at BCC for jamboree as regular season looms

Lenox's Matt Tibbetts discusses the BCC jamboree, and the start of a new season.
Makailey Cookis of the Pittsfield girls soccer team discusses the Berkshire Kickoff Classic.
The Pittsfield and Monument Mountain boys soccer teams play in a scrimmage at Berkshire Community College on Friday night.
The Pittsfield and Monument Mountain boys soccer teams play in a scrimmage at Berkshire Community College on Friday night.
PITTSFIELD — By the time the sun set over Berkshire Community College, the chill in the air made it feel more like early October than the start of Labor Day weekend.

Which means that soccer isn't far away.

Five high schools sent their boys and girls varsity teams to BCC Friday for the annual Berkshire Kick-Off Classic High School Jamboree. And when the teams take to the pitch, players say they sense that the season is near.

"Definitely," Lenox goalkeeper Matt Tibbetts said before the Millionaires took the field in a 25-minute scrimmage against Wahconah. "It definitely feels like the season is right around the corner.

"It's a little different because it's only 25-minute games, but it's good to see the players and see what style they play."

Lenox, Wahconah, Monument Mountain, Pittsfield and Taconic all sent their boys and girls here for the varsity jamboree. The schools' junior varsity teams are back at BCC Saturday as the Kick-Off Classic rolls into high gear.

For some of the players, it feels like the previous season just ended.

"It definitely feels like I packed up my shin guards for one week, and I'm back here on the field," Pittsfield's Makailey Cookis


The Taconic boys came here with a new coach in Shaun Stannard, and the players said they were excited to get going.

"It's like the atmosphere with everyone playing, you just kind of get hyped," said Taconic captain Colin Connors, who was unable to play Friday because of an ankle injury suffered in a scrimmage. Connors could be ready for the season opener next week against Mount Greylock.

"I get hungry for the game, if you know what I'm saying," Connors said. "I'm ready to compete against other good teams on the field and just show what I could do."

The day started when the Wahconah and Lenox girls played at 4:30 p.m. Four-and-a-half hours later, the Taconic and Pittsfield boys went out under the lights to wrap up the day's activities.

There are six games on Tuesday, the first day of the high school season. So a lot of what transpired on the BCC was a prelude to what will happen then.

"In practice, we scrimmage 11 on 11, but it's not the same as scrimmaging another team," Lenox's Nicole Gamberoni said.

Gamberoni's Lenox teammate Kristin Parkinson said she's been looking forward to the season, and being at BCC gets her more ready to start.

"I definitely think so," she said. "It's been soccer season for the past few months for me, warming up, trying out, it's just all soccer.

"This is the actual feeling of soccer."

Reach sports writer Howard Herman at 413-496-6253 or @howardherman.


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