What the Weston High boys varsity soccer team lacks in terms of physical size it hopes to make up for in other areas as it starts the 2012 season.
The Trojans are not an overly tall group, which can be challenging when going up for headers against certain opponents.
“We’re a small team,” said fourth-year head coach Kevin Fitzsimmons, whose team starts the season this week. “We’re struggling in the air.”
At practice for more than two weeks now the Trojans have had plenty of time to match players with the right positions. A few scrimmages against Norwalk, Fairfield-Warde, Rye Country Day School and Brien McMahon have helped them get an idea of how they stack up against the competition.
As far as numbers are concerned the Trojans are in good shape. They have 41 players in the program, which includes varsity and JV teams.
They also have some talent to go along with it. Much comes from last year’s team, which finished with an 8-6-4 overall record.
Along the way Weston qualified for the South-West Conference playoffs for the first time since 2006. Seeded eighth, it lost 1-0 to defending champ Pomperaug.
Weston also qualified for the state Class M tournament but lost on penalty kicks to Bethel in the first round.
Finishing higher in both competitions is something the Trojans hope to accomplish However, it will have to do it without a few key players who have graduated since last year, including former captains Mike Certoma and Avi Meadow. An All-Patriot Division selection, Certoma played on defense and Meadow was a defensive midfielder.
Midfielder Jensen Frost (All-Patriot Division) is also gone, as is Charlie Demarco. The Trojans also graduated goalie Christian Ameden and forward Jack Lawless.
Also gone are the Lee-Tyson twins, Ethan (All-SWC) and Asher, who did not come out for the team.
Despite these losses Weston will be a mature team this season with 10 seniors. Among them are captains Ryan Major, Jared Weissman, Oliver Parker and Andrew Parks, all of whom saw varsity time last year.
Major will start in goal while Weissman will be on defense. Parker will play in the midfield and Parks will be up front at striker.
Another striker is Josh Karpen. Max Singer has experience in the midfielder and the Trojans have Daniel Prorokovic (All-Patriot Division) on defense.
Weston is awaiting for the return of senior midfielder Rein Diaz, who is out with a groin injury.
A number of juniors will also see varsity time this season, including midfielders Sam Rueben, Ryan Lonergan and Ian Finn. Also back is Alex McGrath.
A sophomore on the varsity team is Frank Lugossy. Jordan Ellis is a freshman who could also see playing time.
“My bench is good this year,” said Fitzsimmons, noting his team’s depth. “I have more boys who play all year round.”
Weston visits Pomperaug on Saturday at 7 p.m.