Burlington soccer is in full reset mode | Sports activities
BURLINGTON – For Burlington head soccer coach Dan MacKay, he’ll begin this abridged six-game season with extra new than outdated.
MacKay, coming into his fourth yr as head coach of the Purple Devils, will work in a brand new quarterback, new protection and overhauled teaching workers. All of the whereas, it will likely be in a single season the place Middlesex League coaches cope with COVID-related restrictions.
“The most important change in how we have needed to put together to date is that we’re restricted in how we will meet,” MacKay stated. “To do a lot of this virtually isn’t the identical and it has actually been the largest problem to date.”
One other problem MacKay faces is the lack of three-year-old beginning quarterback Khyle Pena. Sophomore Nick Berglund will step into the void.
“Nick (Berglund) has regarded nice in our camp to date,” stated MacKay. “He undoubtedly provides one other athletic dimension to the place for us. It is type of an ideal state of affairs to have a sophomore like we did with Pena in order that we will spend three years with him and develop him. The way in which it labored this fashion is exclusive. “
The offense may have some acquainted reporting from final yr’s squad. Vast receiver final yr, lead receiver Shawn Pinkham returns for his senior season. Senior Matt Pinkham is the staff’s second receiver, whereas seniors Cole Freiden and Ryan Tigges can even be seeking to make an influence.
On the finish of the tight race, Burlington will depend on senior Griffin Carter who gained expertise final season earlier than getting injured and junior Tim Vadnais.
Within the backfield there shall be a full-back troika who all appear to be within the combine. This group contains senior Ryan McGillivary and juniors Sammy Doherty and Adam Eldeeb. All will search to switch the manufacturing left by John Hurley (commencement).
The offensive line may have new faces. It begins on the high with new coach Joe Knight, most lately coach of the identical place at Framingham State, and had hung out at Bryant College, Billerica Excessive and Woburn Excessive (2011-13).
Three returning gamers will lead the offensive line. Senior captains Ray Magliozzi and Sami Ahmed whereas junior Garrett Asher is a returning starter. The road will fill with a mix of gamers together with Justin Sacca, Anthony Elkins, Ahmad Kiswani and Tyler Duggan.
Defensively, the Devils shall be led by first-year coordinator Joe Cappozi, previously of Framingham State and Billerica Excessive, the place he established a relationship with MacKay throughout his time on the Indian workers.
The defensive position shall be led by Magliozzi and Carter, however MacKay is hoping new faces will add to the combination, together with junior Kerwin Pierre-Louis, sophomore Noah Berry and freshman Andy Jacinthe.
At linebacker, Burlington has expertise with Ahmed and Asher whereas Vadnais, Eldeeb and Charlie Grattan can even contribute.
With the Devils, the secondary is the place they are often strongest. Shawn Pinkham and McGillivary return to the nook whereas Matt Pinkham and Doherty return as beginning safeties. Joe Mitchell and Cole Frieden can even mingle.
In a season with unknown expectations, in Burlington, 62 children competed within the Grades 9-12 Trials, a excessive schedule throughout MacKay’s 4 years as head coach.
“It was undoubtedly greater than I anticipated and greater than I’ve ever had,” stated MacKay. “The most important factor we face with the numbers is discovering linemen. Many of those 62 kids are proficient gamers. We have to discover and develop linemen. “
An enormous loss on the road is senior Dalton MacKinnon who was injured final season and regarded set to return. Nevertheless, a shoulder harm through the hockey season compelled MacKinnon to skip the season and put together for his senior lacrosse season.
Different additions to the teaching workers embody Matt Clifford who would be the receivers coach. Clifford performed at Merrimack and Billerica Excessive. Former Burlington participant Chris Conte additionally joins the workers.
The shortened six-game schedule will characteristic 5 opponents from the Liberty Division and one cross-opponent from Liberty (seemingly Lexington or Woburn). MacKay is aware of the challenges he faces inside freedom.
“Melrose at all times appears to be rebuilding her squad they usually’ve simply received a state title and Stoneham has been powerful the previous couple of years,” MacKay stated. “Wakefield was very bodily final yr and Wilmington and Watertown are robust so we’ll have our palms full.
Scheduled video games shall be Saturday morning with the Devils opening March 20 at 10 a.m. at Varsity Discipline, dwelling to Wilmington.