Ogdensburg Free Acadcemy will host the official opening of the fall high school sports season at the Gerard Cring Memorial Boys Soccer Tournament on Friday-Saturday at the Alton W. Elliott Athletic Complex.
OFA and Lisbon will be looking to follow up on championship seasons chasing title game berths. Lisbon meets Gouverneur at 6 p.m. Friday while OFA hosts Norwood-Norfolk at 8 p.m.
OFA (8-6-4) won the Section 10 Class B title last fall while Lisbon (13-4-2) shared the NAC West title with Harrisville.
The consolation and championship games will be played at 6 and 8 p.m. on Saturday night. JV action will be staged with games at 4 p.m. at Kennedy School and Father Martin Field on both days.
First round matchups are OFA vs Canton and Potsdam against Madrid-Waddington.
Coach Matt Morley returns seven starters including a First Team All-NAC Central stopper in junior David Prudhomme.
But the new Devil cast must regenerate the leadership provided by first-team all-star forward Gian Rufa and second team selections in sweeper Alec Manke and halfback Pat Cosmo.
We will have to find a new defensive combination as we lost our sweeper and our two outside fullbacks. But we have a very versatile team, we have a lot of guys who really know and love soccer, says Morley of his team which features several players who saw summer action with the FC Freeze program at different age group levels.
We will be mixing and matching a lot of players in the early season and we have a lot of players who have a lot of experience.
The cast of returning starters features three three-year varsity players in Prudhomme, fellow junior Nate Peo (F-MF) and senior co-captain Matt Piercey (MF). The veteran cast also features senior forward and co-captain Conor Hannan, junior goaltender Jacob Sias, senior midfielder Dillon Binion and sophomore forward Peyton Lalone coming off a very promising freshman season.
Other returning seniors are: Pat LaComb (D), Mike Mallott (D), Jed McRoberts (D) and Andrew Roddy (D). Rounding out a talented junior class are: Seth Pinkerton (MF-D) who moved to the varsity in the later stages of last years NAC campaign, Tristan Moore (MF), DaKota Brady (M-D), Jordan Miller (M-F), Zach Ashley (F), Hayden Woods (D), Andrew Putman (MF-D), Austin Putman (MF-D) and Martin Arquitt (MF).
Coach Bill Reed opened his 15th season at Lisbon by making a major personnel move. He shifted three-year goaltender Jimmy Robinson, a First-Team All-NAC West performer, to sweeper in a restructured defense which must replace three all-stars in NAC West Defensive MVP Adam Felt in the midfield and fullbacks Jim Darcy and Matt Snyder.
Jimmy Robinson is an outstanding athlete and is looking forward to playing in the field, said Reed who opens the season with a roster which includes 14 underclassmen but with a group players who played with the FC Freeze in the summer.
We are a young and we dont have a great deal of team speed. But this team works extremely hard and we have two of our leading scorers back from last year in Adam Kelley and Cody James. All but one member of the team attended our preseason summer camp and they have all responded well to some double sessions since practice began.
Leading the Knights into a new season are five co-captains in Jimmy Robinson, senior stopper Ryan Buckley, senior midfielder Jake Putney, sophomore midfielder Adam Kelley and senior forward Cody James.
Other returning players are: senior John Hunter (D), a starting defender in junior Tristan Vine and sophomores Reilly Alberto (MF), Coleman Smith (MF), Jake Pellerin (MF), Connor Hammond (MF), Kody Allen (F), Logan Matthews (F-MF) and Jordan Carr (D).
A freshman class showing excellent potential includes Issac Sovie, a transfer from OFA, who will take over in goal; midfielders Koby and Kane Jordan and Jake Kiah and forward Ryan Mason.
Midfielder Josh Lampett is the lone eighth grader on the squad and two other first year players are sophomore Donnie Duprey (D) and Brazilian exchange student Pedro Netto (Jr-F).
This team will improve a great deal and I am very excited about the season. The key is to get our freshmen to play like sophomores and our sophomores and juniors to play like seniors at the end of the season, said Coach Reed who will be assisted by Kelley Geary and John McBath.
We should know where we stand by the time the division season opens. We will scrimmage Canton today and play Gouverneur and either OFA or Norwood-Norfolk in the OFA Tournament.