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First-year coaches have Warriors poised for playoffs

DYER BROOK, Maine — A pair of first-year coaches has helped lead the Southern Aroostook boys and girls soccer teams 

Austin White, with assistance from his twin brother Alex, has the Warrior boys soccer team eyeing a playoff berth for the first time in three years, while Audrey Viollette is looking to continue the Warrior girls tradition of going deep in the Class D playoffs.

As of Monday morning, Oct. 7, the Warrior boys were ranked 11th in Class D North with a 4-5-1 record. The top 14 teams in Class D North qualify for the playoffs, with only the first and second seeds earning a bye. That means the Warrior boys will likely be on the road for a preliminary playoff Oct. 25.

“I see a lot of potential in the team,” White said. “One of the team’s strengths is that they are an overall quick team that can run the field well. The team has a lot of upperclassmen that have played the previous years and have some experience.”

Members of the SA boys squad are seniors Gavin Vining (forward) and Brett Williams (midfield); juniors Izayah Wenzloff (sweeper), Gage Rigby (midfield), Lucas Duff (midfield), Logan Swallow (forward), Xavier Morales (defense), Parker Skinner (midfield), Jacob Ritchie (defender), Collin Grant (midfield) and Jacob Brooks (goalie); sophomores Nathan Paquette (striker), Jeremy Barrows (forward), and Matthew Rackliff (midfield) and freshmen Chance Barrows (midfield), Peyton Lawlor (midfield), Graham Siltz (forward) and Camden Porter (midfield).

“I am hoping to improve on the team’s ability to work together,” coach White said. “I am hoping to improve their overall play on the field and the ability to move the ball and play together. I am also hoping to have a strong team overall with the midfield, defense, and strikers. All three areas of the field have some talented players and have some speed.”

White added he was hoping to develop his player’s ability to touch the ball, keeping it close to their body, and controlling it on their first touch to gain possession.

The Southern Aroostook girls are 5-4 on the season and ranked seventh as of Oct. 7.  For Violette, this season marks her first year of varsity coaching, and the talented Warrior squad hoping for an extended playoff run this year.

Last season, SA finished fourth in Class D North with a 9-5 regular season record, earning a first round bye. The Warriors were knocked out of the postseason with a 1-0 upset by Katahdin in the quarterfinals.

“The girls haven’t gotten past the quarterfinal stage in a couple of years and would love to

make more noise in the playoffs,” coach Violette said. “I have no doubt that they can. We have a balanced team as far as underclassmen and upperclassmen with athleticism all the way through. (They have) experience, speed, and an overall understanding of the game.”

Members of the SA roster are seniors Makaelyn Porter (striker/midfield), Aliyah Morales (midfield/backfield), Hannah Landry (midfield/backfield) and Sydney Brewer (goalie); juniors Paige Vose (midfield/striker), Hannah Brown (midfield/backfield) and Emma Nadeau (midfield); sophomores Delaney Greenlaw (backfield/midfield), Esther Greene (midfield/backfield), Gracie Brewer (midfield), Jordyn Legassey (midfield/striker) and Willow Brooks (backfield); and freshmen Jayniece Wenzloff (midfield), Jennah Brooks (goalie/backfield), Madison Russell (striker), Maggie Harthorne (backfield) and Mia Mahan (midfield).

“The girls have had good chemistry and I am able to put multiple players in multiple positions without any negative effect to further compliment the balance of the team,” coach Violette said. “Communication and opening the field have been our main focus. Along with being a bit more aggressive on the ball. And above all else they should have fun.”

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