MCKAIE NORMAND boots the ball into the zone during Prospect's 2-1 win over Laconia last Friday. (Photo by Kathy Sutherland) (click for larger version)
September 24, 2020ALTON — The Prospect Mountain boys' soccer team is ready to roll on a new and unusual season.
"We are ready, we'll see what happens," said coach Cory Halvorsen. "The kids are ready but also realizing there's a lot on the line.
"In order to accomplish what we want to accomplish and still have sports, they know there's things they need to do," the Timber Wolf coach added. "They want to stay out there, so they have to be smart."
Halvorsen has been happy with what he's seen in the summer conditioning and in the preseason. The Timber Wolves graduated a ton of talent from last year's team, so the coach knows he will have some holes to fill in.
"Some guys know they need to step up," Halvorsen said. "We're a little lighter in numbers, but I'm happy with what we have."
The Timber Wolves will be led by three senior captains in Mike Perry, Michael Mahoney and Perrin McLeod. Perry and Mahoney have been anchors of the defense in the past and they are expected to be solid defenders again, while likely moving up a bit higher in the defense as needed. McLeod will be in the center midfield for the Timber Wolves.
"We have the right leadership on the field," Halvorsen said.
The Timber Wolves are lucky to return Cam Dore for his sophomore season. He had 16 goals in his first season on the varsity and will be counted on to be a key player on the offensive side of things.
"He's going to be a target (of other teams), so he has to find ways to get out of their sights," Halvorsen said. "He's going to be a big player for us."
Hunter Arsenault will be Dore's running mate up front, with Halvorsen noting that this needs to be his year to come out of the box and put the ball in the back of the net more.
McKaie Normand, who was part of the Timber Wolves in his freshman year, but moved last year, is back for his junior year and brings some solid talent to fill some of the empty spots in the lineup.
Cole Stockman is also back and will provide solid work on the outside of the right side while sophomore Joey DeJager will be in center midfield with McLeod.
The Timber Wolves also are returning their keeper, Nick Clark, for his senior year.
"Going into his last season, he's excited to get going," Halvorsen said. Additionally, Clark has taken freshman Ethan Capsalis under his wing to get him ready for the full time gig next season.
"Nick has shown good instincts in training and getting him ready," Halvorsen said.
The Timber Wolves will have a pair of games each with local teams in Gilford, Pittsfield and Kingswood as well as single games against Laconia, Belmont and Farmington. There will be an open tournament at the end of the season.
"Be safe and be smart, that's what we have to do all year," Halvorsen said. "If we can get to the end with everyone safe and healthy and we can be in the tournament, we can build to that."
Halvorsen is also welcoming PMHS girls' varsity basketball coach and former varsity softball coach Rick Burley to the sidelines to help him this season.
"He knows how to coach, I'm excited about it," the Timber Wolf coach said.
Prospect started off the season with a 2-1 win over Laconia on Friday afternoon. Dore scored the first goal of the game but Laconia tied things up with 30 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. In the extra session, Perry scored on a penalty kick to give the Timber Wolves the win.
Prospect will be back in action today, Sept. 24, at 4 p.m. at home against Gilford. They will be at Pittsfield on Monday, Sept. 28, at 4 p.m. and at Belmont on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 4 p.m.
Sports Editor Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 279-4516, ext. 155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.