Marble Valley League soccer coaches applaud Mack Walton today for a couple of reasons. First, he gives both the MVL and Green Mountain Union High School a good name with his strong soccer play at Clarkson University. Secondly, the coaches applaud just for the fact that the former Chieftain standout doesn’t face them any longer. All that extra game planning to keep Walton in check is no longer necessary.
Believe me, there are still coaches game planning for Walton. He now competes at Clarkson in the Liberty League. The Essex, Vt. native – and former University of Vermont Catamount soccer player – Carter Lincoln became Walton’s coach this fall.
Lincoln spotted Walton when he was in high school, playing off-season soccer with the Upper Valley Lightning. Lincoln was on the recruiting trail at the time as a Clarkson assistant coach. “I always thought he was a hidden gem,” the coach tells me.
Lincoln left Clarkson to become an assistant at his alma mater, a jump to Division I. When the Clarkson head coaching position came open following the 2017 season, Lincoln applied and was hired.
Clarkson is in a rebuild. They were 8-8-2 Walton’s freshman season and were 10-6-1 in Lincoln’s first campaign this fall. Their conference record surprisingly went a little backwards though 4-3-2 to 3-5-1 this fall.
Lincoln says, “I believe the program is moving forward. The record came out that way because our last three losses were all in overtime.” Take out those tough-to-take defeats, and they were 3-2-1 in league play, above .500 just like last year. Obviously all three of those overtime encounters could have gone either way.
“Our program has a mantra,” Lincoln says. “We expect our players to make a commitment, to show selflessness, and to show accountability. Those words –commitment, selflessness, and accountability – are what we strive for. In Mack’s case, those are not just words. He is consistent with his approach, and he is always making those around him better, all while staying extremely humble.”
Walton led his team in minutes played as a freshman and was fifth this season in the same category. Lincoln says, “Less minutes this year just means we have more depth at his position. The rest is a help. He is stronger for the time he is on the field. He had another strong season. Last year, he was Honorable Mention All-League. This year, he was named to the All-League Second Team.”
The former Chieftain has accumulated 15 points in his Clarkson career. Those totals come from 5 goals and 5 assists. He is a midfielder who Lincoln says “has an excellent finishing ability. If he ends up with the ball in front of the net, his chances are very high that he will score.”
The coach gives him the ultimate compliment when he mentions, “Probably his greatest attribute is that he is everywhere. If he loses the ball, he recovers and gets back quicker than anyone. He is all over the place.”
Walton will be all over the place for two more seasons. Odds are, he will get better with age and experience. The odds are also that Clarkson will get better with age and experience. Stay tuned for the next episode next fall of the Waltons.
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