Mustangs need to replace D1 POY Andrew Vogler's production
DANSVILLE — Yes, we're all asking "where did summer go?" There are others, like Dansville soccer coach Steve French, ("heading" into his 8th year ... no pun intended), who's moreso excited about the advent of the 2019 fall sports season which is about to unfold.
Practices started on Aug. 19 leading up to the Mustangs opener on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at Greece Odyssey at 4:30 p.m.
French's team finished a very deceptive 6-10-1 last year as they won their play-in game in sectionals, but fell in another tight contest in the next round to route 36 rival Hornell in a 1-0 heartbreaker. Last season's horses were stingy on defense, allowing very few goals. Dansville is hoping to "open up" offensively this year despite the departure of Section V Division I Player of the Year Andrew Vogler. Yes, that will create a huge void, which might also come with on uncharted advantage ... visiting defenses now will have several players to try to "key on" instead of one big threat.
Many teams are in the "rebuilding stages" much like the Mustangs. Coach French commented, "After losing Andrew to graduation, we're looking to find out who's going to step up and fill that role for us. We have a great mix of newcomers and experience backed up by one of the best goalies (Nick Camuto) in the area. I'm greatly looking forward to the start of our season!"
French also commented on many of the players on the 2019 roster. Key returners include senior Jordan Camacho who French called "lean and mean" after working hard in the offseason. Senior Jacob Avery earned a spot near the end of last season and was starting to find the net, and Dansville is hoping he'll continue that trend this fall. Senior goalie Nick Camuto not only stopped "mucho" shots last year, but also brings a great "leadership quality" to the team. Senior Landon Potter has also worked hard and is looking for that to pay off this year. Senior Matt Puffer is a defender wants to allow "even less goals this season."
In the newcomer category are Geneseo transfer Caleb Pruden, who Frenchie notes "will be a big gain for us for sure." Junior Gage Sherer is a physical competitor, while 11th graders Aiden O'Connor and Sawyer Barron will continue to work hard this season. Hockey player Jon Kaszuba executes a "line change" from the ice to the turf, while Caeleb Kendall will use his understanding of the game along with his physical skills on the "D." Junior Collin Prack returns with a physical style of play, and a few freshmen may surprise some folks and bust into the lineup including Abram Barron, Ty Harris, and Jeff Birmingham.
French added, "Those young kids are all salivating to show they can play with the big dogs."
Probably two of the biggest keys for the red & black will be chemistry and avoiding injuries. But Dansville seeks to continue to clamp down on opponents defensively, and will seek to climb in the standings as the 2019 offense looks to find the back of the net more often in this new campaign.
Dansville's initial home game will come up on Thursday, Sept. 5 at Babcock Park when the Bath-Haverling Rams drop in for a 4:30 p.m. clash.