JADEN BURT is one of a trio of returning juniors for the Prospect soccer girls this fall. (Photo by Joshua Spaulding) (click for larger version)
September 16, 2020ALTON — New coach Bill Nardino comes to the Prospect Mountain High School girls' soccer program with a ton of experience and his first few weeks on the job have left him excited about the potential.
"This year has gotten off to a great start despite the COVID-19 situation," Nardino said. "We started training this summer, the players have been great.
"(They have a) very positive understanding of the situation and are doing their part to make sure we have a season and everyone stays healthy," he added.
Nardino, who brings experience coaching at the varsity level at Concord, John Stark and Derryfield, notes that this year's team is pretty young but also has plenty of potential.
"We are working hard and getting better every day," he stated.
The team returns a trio of seniors in Payton Everett, Kassidy Kelley and Autumn Sheets, as well as three juniors in Jaden Burt, Piper Flood and Makenzy Holden. Additionally, sophomore Thera Woods, who found herself sliding into the goalie position late last season as a freshman, is back in the fold for the Timber Wolves.
Key newcomers to the varsity roster include five sophomores and four freshmen, all of whom will have to have an impact on the team out of the gate. The sophomores are Abigail Breuer, Abigail Wittenberg, Maren Rayno, Madilyn Neathery and Olivia Casale and the freshmen are Ella Smith, Eve Roberge, Charlie Forsythe and Sarah White.
"In any season, our goals are to have fun, get better individually, get better as a team and win games," Nardino stated. "If we dot the first three, we'll win games as a byproduct.
"We want to continue to grow every day and be at our best come playoffs," he added.
The Timber Wolves, like most teams around the state, will be playing a revamped schedule that focuses on games against nearby teams. Because of that, the NHIAA has announced that there will be an open tournament at the end of the season, meaning all teams will be able to play in the playoffs.
The Timber Wolf schedule, as of now, includes two games each with traditional Division III rival Gilford and one each with fellow Division III schools Laconia and Belmont. Also on the schedule is a game with Division IV Farmington and two with neighboring Pittsfield, also in Division IV, and two against neighboring Kingswood, a Division II school.
With soccer deemed a "moderate risk" sport by the NHIAA, games are permitted to start on Friday, Sept. 18, and the Timber Wolves will get right to work, with their first game coming on that day at 4 p.m. in Laconia. Prospect's first home game will be Monday, Sept. 21, at 4 p.m. against Gilford and on Thursday, Sept. 24, they will be in Gilford for a 4 p.m. game.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.