The Pagosa Springs High School boys soccer team may have lost a bevy of players to graduation in the off season but, if this year’s preseason work is any indication, the sophomore-heavy team still looks strong.
Last year’s squad fell to Basalt in top 32 action last fall, going 10-5 on the season and 9-3 in league play.
This year’s squad, led by sole senior Colton Polczynski, is looking to start the year with a bang.
“We lost a lot of good seniors last year, but these underclassmen are picking up a lot of slack,” coach Lindsey Kurt-Mason said, adding, “I think we’ve started at a much higher level this year.”
Juniors on the squad include returners Ben Bard, Spence Scott and Connor Burkesmith, as well as Austin Harker, who is new to the team.
The largest class on the team is sophomores, with 10 returning athletes — Daniel Clark, Briar Erskine, Sam Chronowski, James Berndt, Blake Irons, Giangelo Garbiso, Gavin Ross, Adolfo Valenzuela, Mathew Breman, Ethan Hunt and Tavin Hauger, who is new to the team.
The team’s eight freshman players include Pitcher Lindner, Devon Olivares-Garcia, Hunter Thompson, Niall Pastuszek, Maverick Miller, Jack Harker, Josh Keuning and Bryce Raymond.
Kurt-Mason said the younger members of the team have a lot of talent and have been able to keep up with the rest of the athletes during preseason work.
Too, the coach noted that the team is beginning the season playing the ball wide — something that usually doesn’t happen until part way through the season.
“We’re looking pretty good,” Kurt-Mason said.
The team will get a taste of action this weekend during a scrimmage day in Denver, where they will play Front Range teams in four, one-hour scrimmages.
“It’s going to be a big weekend for us, and they’re looking forward to that,” Kurt-Mason said, adding, “We’re just looking to keep this going for this weekend, what we’re doing now.”
The team kicks off regular season play on Aug. 29 in Salida.