This & That: Area teams open the season

Friday night lights

Friday Night Lights debuted as a TV show back near the turn of the century. The proclaimed show centered around Texas high school football. Friday Night Lights were not common in this area in the 1900s. Now though, Bellows Falls, Fall Mountain, and Springfield all play games at home under the lights. My how things have changed!

 

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The Fall Mountain girls’ soccer team opened the season with a 4-3 victory over Laconia in Langdon last Friday. Chloe Vogel looks around to make a play. She had two goals and an assist on the day. Photo by Doug MacPhee.

Both the Terriers and the Cosmos open their 2018 seasons at home this Friday night. Both communities should turn out in good numbers to welcome this year’s editions of the Purple and White and Green and White to the field. I expect Bellows Falls to strongly contend for a Vermont Division II play-off spot. Springfield could contend for a Vermont Division III play-off position if breaks go their way, and most importantly, they stay healthy. Time will tell.

Fall Mountain is competing in the new Division IV in New Hampshire. Their chances to play meaningful games at the end of the season are not as strong as Springfield’s, but they do exist. The rationale surrounding the Wildcats opportunity is the same as the Cosmos criteria. Get some breaks and stay healthy. The new Division IV in the Granite State only offers its teams a seven-game schedule, begins later, and has everyone idle the weekend of Oct. 5. The Wildcats open at a strong Raymond team Sept. 8, and have their first home game Sept. 15 versus Winnisquam – under the lights, of course.

Fall Mountain soccer teams

Both Fall Mountain soccer teams opened play last Friday in possibly the earliest regular season athletic events ever played around these parts. Bruce Ferland’s girls’ soccer team won their contest with Laconia 4-3. Meanwhile, a few hours later in Claremont, the boys’ soccer team was blanked under the lights 2-0.

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Avery Stewart, who had a Lady Wildcat goal and two assists in her team’s opening day win, is fighting to make a play on the ball with coach Bruce Ferland showing he is really into the game on the sideline. Photo by Doug MacPhee.

A little bit of a step backwards has been expected from the Lady Wildcats simply because “How long can you be that good?” questions float around their back-to-back trips to the New Hampshire Division III State Title Game.

Ferland’s team won their opener in a game that saw Chloe Vogel tally two goals and an assist and Avery Stewart had a goal and two assists. Kyla Eigabroadt put the other goal into the Laconia net, and Erin Brady had one assist.

Tim St. Pierre has handed over the reins coaching the boys’ program to one of his former players, Josh Beer. St. Pierre guided the Wildcats to ten final four appearances in his 21 years in charge from 1992 to 2005 and 2011 to 2017. The Wildcats did not capture a title in that time, but they were known for being in the thick of things most seasons and had three title game appearances.

In two of those appearances, Beer was on the field in back-to-back seasons and his blood flows deep maroon. He told me, “I’ve been the junior varsity coach for four years, and it is a great honor to take over his program.”

Beer noted the program lost eight seniors to graduation and “We have a lot of inexperienced players at the varsity level, but we have a lot of potential and kids who want to work hard and get better.”

On the opening loss to Stevens, Beer mentioned, “They came out more aggressive than us,” to being a major difference. He gave a nod to four defenders – Hunter Oberst, Brandon Wilbur, Jack Wildes, and Noah Guteirrez – who played strong soccer in the contest.

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