BAR HARBOR — The Mount Desert Island High School JV boys’ soccer team progressed from game to game and finished out the season with a commendable 8-8 record.
“We started out pretty slowly, but we won five out of the last seven games,” said Head Coach Brent Barker. “We finished 8-8 and beat teams who beat us at the beginning of the season.”
The coach said each player improved throughout the schedule.
“From start to finish, the progress came along,” he said.
Out of 20 players, 12 were new to high school soccer.
“Freshmen come from all different backgrounds and experience. It takes a little bit of time to blend them together and then blend with the sophomores and juniors,” Barker said.
Even if players had been on soccer teams before, players still need to learn to adapt to the MDI High School style of play.
“With kids on that level, the focus is on winning balls and getting first to the ball,” he said. “It takes them some time to learn how the other kids play and learn our formation.
“We play a 4-4-2 formation, which is similar to varsity, and a lot of players haven’t played that way.”
One thing that helped the JV boys to improve was working with the varsity coaches.
Barker said varsity soccer Coach Tyler Frank and Assistant Coach Steve Soper often offered additional guidance to the players.
“Coach Frank and I talk a lot about if kids can move up and play for him,” said Barker. “We put players in different spots and talk about who we think can play [varsity] next year or the following year.
“Coach Soper and Coach Frank are always there to help watch and talk about things we need to work on as a group.”
Barker said the Trojans improved in every aspect from short passes and possession type soccer.
“The shooting drills got better and better,” said Barker. “That’s the most fun for the players.”
Elijah Denning, Shane Bonilla, Ben Hulbert, Quincy Rozeff, Avery Churchill, Jack DaCorte, Oliver Blank, Nick Dmitrief, Nate Philbrook and Ben Freudig made up the freshmen on the team.
Max Reznick, Ryan Kelly, Alex Eason, DeAndre Reid, Jasper McLaughlin, Nick Harding, Tyler Bechtold, Thorin Smith and Evan White rounded out the sophomore class, and Taki Ishimura was the lone junior on the team.