Apparently, I’m not as technologically savvy as I thought. My big plan was to kickoff preseason coverage with videos and photos from some of the scrimmages going on across the state. And it started out well. I had taken the photos and I filmed different set pieces and stages of the game. And then I went back to the office and I sat down. Yeah, no luck. My hope is that once I get back to my laptop I’ll be able to figure it out. But for now, I’ve got no videos and photos. Blame my office computer. But believe me when I say there will be video and photos this year. I promise. Just a minor bump in the road. Anyhow, it was enjoyable few hours in Glastonbury for the Tomahawk/Ram scrimmage. Talked with both coaching staffs and the season is looking very promising for each. Here’s a few thoughts from a very hot day on the soccer fields…
- I know in this business some reporters like to wear their indifference like a badge of honor. But when you cover high school sports it’s a bit different. At least, that’s how I see. These are teenagers and for most of them it’s their big moment in athletics. These are the games and days they’ll remember most when they get older. With that being said, my heart breaks for Glastonbury senior goalie Nate Hobart. I showed up Monday hoping to see him in net but found out early on that wouldn’t be happening. The senior played back-up for three years to star goalie Adam LaPlaca then this season it appeared his time had come to help lead the Tomahawks. But just as he was ready to shine in his final and first year on the job, Hobart went down with an ACL injury. He will now miss the entire season and his chance of being the starting goalie for one of the best programs in the state. It is a cruel world and high school athletics is no different. From experience — I missed a large part of my senior year because of an injury that happened a week before the season — there is no easy way to overcome this. But I have a feeling his teammates will play an important role in helping him move past this extremely tough break.
- No real surprises from the Glastonbury side. Once again they have size, speed and skill in their corner. They also didn’t lose much to graduation. Just four seniors left. For a first scrimmage, the Tomahawks played with great pace and touch. The finishing wasn’t quite there but that will obviously come with time. The fact that impressed me the much was how fluid the flank players looked. Glastonbury moved the ball extremely well from the wings and that is bad news for its opponents. Glastonbury will once again be among the top 10 in the state and if they figure out its defensive issues watch out.
- Cheshire goalie Nick Velleca looked very sharp in net and impressed me with his positioning. Velleca, a junior, gives Cheshire a strong presence in their own 18 and did a great job of being vocal with his teammates. Seeing that in only the first scrimmage is a big plus. I like Cheshire’s defense but it still needs to get a little quicker. A couple of times, Glastonbury beat them on some straight runs from the top of the box. Of course, Glastonbury is one of the faster teams out there but you never want to look like your stuck in mud. What they may of lacked in size and speed, the defenders more than made up for in tackling. Some solid tackles and challenges. I think Cheshire will do a quality job of defending and keeping goals out this year. The issue will be the offense. Not that they were bad. The Rams did a decent job of moving the ball up the midfield but still lack something in the final third. That will come as well. After all, it was still August on the schedule.
- Final verdict: I thoroughly enjoyed what I saw. Both teams seemed to be putting the pieces together fine and for early practice it was a good display. First touch and bunching were issues. But let’s not be picky. For a hot day and for teammates still getting the feel of each of there was lots to like. Needless to say, keep an eye on both teams this year.
- And finally, I’m really glad to be back covering high school soccer this season. I always look forward to just watching the game and the coaches and players in this state make it easy to be a fan and reporter.
That’s it for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with more as we get closer to the start. Thanks guys.