The Trojans have quite a few holes in their lineup to fill. Not only did several key players graduated, the team also had a few move out of the area since last year.
In terms of numbers the Trojans will be smaller. With only 29 players coming out for the programs they will not be able to field a JV team.
“It’s frustrating,” said fourth-year head coach John Mathews, whose team started practice two weeks ago. “We’re really depleted as far as depth goes.”
High on the list of priorities will be to get younger players to step up and help fill the void. A few pre-season scrimmages will provide them with the opportunity but the real test will come when the season starts today (Wednesday) as the Trojans visit Bethel.
Weston will be a different team from last season when it finished with a 17-5 overall record. Along the way it upset Joel Barlow for its first-ever South-West Conference championship.
It made it to the state Class S quarterfinals where it lost to the same opponent.
The Trojans have a lot of talent to replace, starting with former captains Lyle Mitchell and Jack Scheufele. Both were All-SWC selections and were a big part of Weston’s attack, scoring quite a few goals. Midfielder Matt Brooks (All-SWC Division I) is gone as is Jesse Laico.
“We’re going to miss those guys,” said Mathews. “But every team goes through it.”
It does have a few experienced starters back and will count on them even more this season. Three are senior captains Grant Limone, Sean Fumai and Grey Bradshaw- Mack.
Limone (All-SWC Division I) will start in goal again, which will keep Weston in a lot of games according to Mathews. Fumai (All-SWC) will be part of Weston’s attack. Mack (All-SWC) injured his knee in a pre-season scrimmage but will hopefully be back next month.
Classmate Richie Miller (All-SWC Division 1) will be on attack. On defense Weston has Nick Smith and James Brasco. In the midfield are Eli Page, Oliver Smith and Matt Sargent.
Sophomores include Micah Zirn and Spencer Turkel. Weston also has a few sophomores who will see varsity time, including J.T. DeLara, who will most likely be on defense, and Austin Drimal on attack
“We know who are horses are,” said Mathews. “We have to ask younger guys to step in and make things happen.”
In particular, the Trojans are in need of players who can help complement Fumai on attack.
Weston will face a lot of competition in the SWC. Besides the usual teams like Joel Barlow and Newtown it can expect others such as Brookfield to be improved. It has also added a difficult non-league schedule to make it better prepared for the post-season.
“The key to the season is the other guys have to step up,” said Mathews. “It has to be a collective effort.”