Faulkner returns to guide Cougar boys soccer

9 years ago

STACYVILLE, Maine — A new, yet familiar face is guiding the Katahdin boys soccer team this season as Phil Faulkner has agreed to take over the reins.

Faulkner, who most recently served as athletic director at Katahdin Area High School, has a long history of coaching a variety of sports at the school. Faulkner said he was approached by the administration and asked if he would consider coaching the team about a week before the season began.

“I have been out of soccer for a long while,” he laughed. “I coached the girls team way back, but we went to the playoffs three years in a row.”

With exactly 11 members on the team, the Cougars will need to be in exceptional condition as there are no subs waiting on the bench to come in to games.

Members of the Cougar squad include seniors Dakota Reinhardt (midfielder), Daniel Moody-Kay (striker) Riley Somers (midfielder), Nik Ryan (midfielder) and Tyson Porter (sweeper); junior Devin McGraw (defender); sophomores Will Schilkowsi (defender), Nik Drew, Rig Otero, Chase Tapley and Tanner Lane (goalie).

Last year, the Cougars finished 3-11 in the regular season. Faulkner hopes to improve upon that record this season.

“We are going to do things a little bit different this year,” Faulkner said. “I am working on developing the short passing game because we can’t boom it and run and then turn around and run back to the other end. We just don’t have enough kids to do that.”

Faulkner added he has been impressed with the heart and determination that his team has played with in just the short amount of time he has been with the squad. In particular, he noted the play of newcomer Tanner Lane in goal.

“We have five kids who never played soccer in junior high,” Faulkner said. “They do pretty well. They make mistakes. We don’t trap and we don’t pass very well, but I told them I liked their attitudes, effort and sportsmanship.”

Faulkner said he expects his squad to play aggressively and use its speed to create scoring opportunities.