Typically, when the soccer season is about to begin coach Andrew Arki is worried about making sure to take enough water breaks and managing the heat that the Canalmen have to deal with every August. This year, not so much.
Layers have been a key for the Bourne High School boys’ soccer team through training camp this time around, as the team preps for a Fall 2 season that will start at the end of March. With several days around, and below, 30 degrees so far, the preseason for the Canalmen has been different than most.
With a lot of turnover from the past few years the Canalmen hope to take advantage of all of the practice they can get over the next week or so before their March 25 opener at home against Apponequet. The Canalmen return just six players from a year ago, and three seniors in total.
Coach Arki said he believes his team is “rebuilding,” but the pieces being put into place are of a high quality and should result in some strong teams down the road. Being the only Division 4 team in the Southcoast Conference, and playing only league games this season, the BHS boys will have their hands full this season, but will gain from the hard work when things return—hopefully—to normal in September.
“They’re working really hard, and I see a lot of potential,” the coach said. “Just that we’re playing now is a good thing. I’m looking at this as a stepping stone into August (training). This is probably the first time in 10 years where I just don’t know what to expect. In a lot of ways, it is really exciting.”
While the senior class may not be large, it has the type of cornerstones that will allow for a solid foundation for BHS. Senior Matt Viehl is back as one of the captains, and brings with him a speed and finesse game that paced the offense a year ago. In his first season with the team, after transferring from Mashpee, Viehl scored about 80 percent of the Canalmen’s goals and was instrumental in setting the offensive tone.
Another senior captain will be central midfielder Michael Doyle. After a breakout season a year ago, the intelligent playmaker looks to build on an excellent junior year and take another step forward.
Center back Austin Winchester is another of the team’s four captains. The last senior in the group, Winchester is a physical and tough presence on the field that excels in man defense. Whoever the other team’s top offensive threat is will be the man that Winchester marks.
Thomas Sullivan is one of the squad’s three returning varsity juniors, and the fourth captain for BHS. Sullivan plays the center back spot, a bit of a sweeper-type position, and is the team’s most vocal leader. “He leads by example, and his effort is unmatched,” Arki said.
Shane Murray is a returning junior who will get the start in goal for BHS. Murray made a couple of varsity starts between the pipes a year ago and is ready to step into the No. 1 keeper position this year for the purple and white. “He has come a long way,” Arki said.
Colby Lindner earned a starter’s role by the end of last season and will resume as one of the lead wing backs for BHS this year. Lindner is defensive-minded and a cerebral player who gives a solid effort.
Three more juniors are on the roster. Xavier Enokian, Grady Gobeil and Alexis Gambini will all see time in the midfield for BHS.
Leading the sophomores for the Canalmen is Shay Ullo, a forward who, Arki said, has the ability to be a top-scoring threat for the squad. Ullo should team with Viehl to give the team a potent 1-2 punch up top.
The other sophomores in the mix are: midfielder Stephan Lumsden, defender Quinn Schwelfer, midfielder Ben Hopwood, midfielder Alex Fasoli, wing Zack Dodger and middie Ethan Grobeleski.