It’s a new year for coach Isaac Wooten and his North Adams Green Devils boys soccer team and for Wooten and his boys, hopefully a year that sees a record above the .500 mark. In 2013, the Green Devils finished at 5-11-1 and lost in the first round of the tournament to fellow Southern Hills Athletic conference member Fairfield.
“We lost five seniors last year,” said Coach Wooten. “They will be a challenge to replace, however, I think we might be stronger in some areas than previously.”
Wooten feels that the strength of his 2014 squad will be on the defensive end while their biggest weakness is going to be finishing their goal-scoring chances. That has proven to be true in the early part of the 2014 season as the Devils have been shut out in three of their four games. Their only scores came in their only win thus far in 2014, a 2-1 win over Fairfield and then a recent 1-1 tie with West Union.
The Devils will be anchored by a core group of five seniors, Noah Anderson, Noah Bunn, Alex Pence, Zack Reid, and Braxton McFarland. Returning are last year’s leading scorer Aaron Pertuset (jr.) and standout goalkeeper Drew Coppock (jr.).
“Our team will be led through the middle with Coppock in goal, Lee Hesler at sweeper, and Anderson and Pertuset at center mid,” says Wooten. “Our team is working well together and sharing leadership roles.”
As far as the SHAC is concerned, Wooten feels the same as most in thinking that Lynchburg is a heavy favorite, but feels his squad can battle Eastern and Fayetteville for second place. That will be an undertaking now as the Devils have begun their league schedule at 1-2-1, with Eastern and Lynchburg remaning on the schedule, already having dropped an Aug.25 game at Fayetteville.
The remainder of the North Adams roster is made up of juniors Kenny Horsley, Kaleb Kendall, and Cole Roades, sophomores Ben Figgins, Randall Hayslip, J. D. Crawford, George Hesler, and Kain Turner, plus freshmen Trey Brand, Tyler Horsley, and Taylor Hall.
“We have set the bar at reaching a district final game this season,” says Wooten. “It’s a Chinese New Year and it’s the year of the devil.”