After graduating four league all-stars including an All-New England player, most coaches might consider the following year as a rebuilding season.
Weymouth High School boys’ soccer coach Bill McEachern instead is looking how his team might be able to take the next step forward from last year’s even when the Wildcats won the BSC Carey Division title and advanced to the Div. 1 South Sectional finals..
The Wildcats had a number of underclassmen that return that were part of the team's success and they look to make their mark.
“We have a lot of talent,” said McEachern. “It is a pretty deep group of players.”
“They do have the confidence and they can back it up. It starts with the hard work that they put in.”
McEachern feels that of the 22 players that he could have on the roster that 16 of them are year round club players.
The Wildcats played in a tournament in western Massachusetts to get ready for the season that starts on Sept. 7 at home against Natick and they will go to Framingham the following Friday.
One change for Weymouth is that they are going to move Josh Berg to the midfield to possibly strengthen themselves. Berg is a two-year starter at sweeper and to compensate for the move they will put senior captain Pat O'Keefe at sweeper.
“Basically,” said McEachern, “with the move of Burg to midfield we have to replace our entire backline. Pat O'Keefe, Matt Bean, Anthony Matthews and Kyle Adams are all capable replacements.'
The Wildcats other captain is T.J. Butler, who was the team's leading scorer last year and was a second team BSC All-star. Butler has been injured, but will be ready for the season.
With Burg and Butler and Lucas Rocha in the midfield the Wildcats will have a talented core to move the ball.
They will be able to push the ball to returning forwards Mike Lynch and Akere Tambi. Both Lynch and Tambi had productive sophomore seasons.
“They (Lynch and Tambi) have a ton of experience,” said McEachern, “and they are both juniors. They both have good technical skills and are very dangerous with their speed.”
“It is tough to replace Robbie Lynch in the midfield. Josh burg is able to move the ball and create opportunities for himself.”
Scott Greenwood is back in goal for the Wildcats for his third year.
Greenwood allowed 11 goals in 24 games last year, which included 13 shutouts and Lucas Rezendes is his backup as a sophomore.
“Lucas Rezendes would be a starter on any other team in the league,” said McEachern, “but Scottie Greenwood is an unbelievable player.”
“This is the beginning of the season. We have a lot of climbing to do before we reach our goals.”
The Wildcats have a good start on that climb.