Fall Sports Preview 2019: Boys’ Soccer
|9/12||Oak Hills HS|
|9/14||Pickerington North HS|
|9/17||Lakota West HS|
|9/19||Lakota East HS|
|9/21||St. Xavier HS|
Archie Barton | Staff Writer
The Mason Boys Soccer team are determined to retain the Greater Miami Conference title this season.
After recapturing the championship last year for the first time in 4 years, the Comets are eager to go back to back in the conference and hopefully make a deeper run into the state tournament.
Already beginning the season with a 3-2 victory over Springboro and maintaining a 0-0 tie against Moeller, the 17th ranked team in the country, the Mason Varsity team has high expectations for the year. Junior Gabe Marlow, a team captain and third-year varsity player, said that the season outlook is positive and the team is stronger than ever.
“Two games into the season and I am very excited for what this team can bring to the table,” Marlow said. “I feel like the cohesion is really good this year, which is what I think is going to take us to the next level.”
The Comets suffered a monumental loss of 15 players on Varsity but the team has rebuilt. Senior Ben Damge, who is a University of Kentucky commit and 4 year varsity forward, said the focus is on the new generation of players and the leadership of those returning.
“The younger guys played really well in the win over Springboro and they showed that they deserved to be in the team,” Damge said. “The older guys showed great leadership and the way we all play, we should have a successful season ahead.”
Marlow said that strong leadership from the seniors and the embracing of younger and older players has resulted in the powerful team chemistry and backline the team possess early in the year.
“There is a good amount of seniors and juniors but some younger guys as well,” Marlow said. “I have a good bond with senior Colby Kramer that was developed last year and the addition of senior Evan Hancock and junior Micah McReynolds has made the defense secure.”
Although unable to start in the first game due to injury, Damge said that he still felt it was his duty to lead his team both on and off the field.
“I tried to be a leader with my voice and make sure I was heard encouraging players to take people on and get back on defense,” Damge said. “I am focused on acting as a leader even though I couldn’t be on the field with them.”
With coaching being an integral part to any successful program, Marlow said that he has confidence in Coach Mike Combs’ leadership and decisions.
“I have full confidence in Coach Combs,” Marlow said. “I think that each drill during practices and communication helps us improve. Coach has a game plan that he talks us through for each and every game, he is always prepared which means we are always prepared.”
Another tight GMC race inevitably lies ahead, and Senior Colby Kramer said the Comets goal of winning the title will drive them this year.
“Something that is important to the team each and every year is obtaining the GMC title,” Kramer said. “That goes in the record books and permanently lives on the Mason Soccer Program.”
Photo by Mia Sweitzer.