The Hall High School Warriors are among the best in conference and state.
By David Heuschkel, West Hartford Press Sports Editor
The Hall High boys soccer team won 18 matches last season, the most since Zeke Seguro took over as head coach of the Warriors in 1995.
There are seven returning starters from the team that went 18-2-1 and lost to Glastonbury by a goal in the Class LL state championship. The four starters who graduated were all-conference, but Seguro acknowledged he has very good team again this season.
“I just remind them you have to go into every game and believe,”said Seguro, who believes his team has enough talent to make another strong run in the state tournament.
“Soccer’s a cruel sport. The best team doesn’t always win, but I want them to be confident. You do have to believe. There’s nothing wrong with being overconfident. … I’ve always asked them to believe in themselves and respect your opponent.”
Seguro said he has an “experienced technical team” that has a great work ethic and enjoys playing together. There’s good leadership with senior captains Liam Wilson, Evan Lombardo, Max Kershan, and Ted Monnes.
The midfield is strong with Lombaro, Jamie Cowan, and Drew Seguro. All were starters last season.
Evan Jones, a junior, is a dynamic playmaker at forward who is a threat to score whenever he has possession in the attacking zone.
The Warriors are strong in net with Kershan, but the Warriors will need to solidify the defense because three of the four starting backs graduated. Monnes is the only returning starting defender.
“I got to take some guys from different positions and put them there to give us the best opportunity,” Zeke Seguro said.
Zeke Seguro said he might convert Wilson, an all-conference midfielder, to a central back. Senior Max Bunker, who spent last season recovering from an ankle injury, will probably fill another spot in the back.
“There’s a lot coming back and they seem like they’re really locked in,” Zeke Seguro said. “We have to stay injury free. You have to stay healthy, that’s the key, but they all worked very hard in the offseason. We’re just hoping we can build off of last year. We have players. I like the squad a lot.”
The contest to highlight is Oct. 1 against Glastonbury in a rematch between the Class LL finalists. That game will be played under the lights at Hall, which had new turf installed over the summer.
Hall will play at Avon Sept. 27 on the grass field at Fisher Meadow, as opposed to the new artificial turf field at Avon High. In an apparent act of gamesmanship, Avon coach David Zlatin prefers to play Hall on grass because the Warriors are used to playing on turf. No Avon teams are playing on their home turf field that day.
Zeke Seguro believes the CCC West once again will be competitive with Simsbury, Farmington, Glastonbury, and Conard all in the hunt for the division title.
“I think the favorite is Glastonbury. I think they would probably have a target on their back,” Zeke Seguro said. “We haven’t accomplished anything. We got to the final, which is great, but they’ve owned five of the last six [LL state championships].”
The Chieftains have several returning starters. The three most impactful are junior back Jude Sargent, senior forward Sam Musto, and junior forward/midfielder Justin Rivas.
Among the others with experience are Haroun Dridi and Chris Allen. Both are backs.
But coach Adam Linker was using the preseason scrimmages and practices to figure out the goalkeeper situation. Juniors Baden Krisst and Garret Brown were both JV players last fall.
“I definitely have some defenders that are going to be very, very solid,” Linker said.
Sargent, who is in his third year as a starting back, is a team captain and will be the quarterback of the four defenders.
Rivas had about eighth goals last season. He and Musto are proven scorers, Linker said.
Conard opens Sept. 13 at home against Bristol Eastern. The Chieftains (13-6 last year) play crosstown rivals Hall and Northwest Catholic twice each.
Northwest Catholic had trouble scoring last season and as a result won just two matches. The Lions scored a total of seven games and were shut out 11 times, including the last six matches, to finish 2-11-3
The Lions are a Class S school. As a member of the CCC West, their schedule is unforgiving with most matches against larger schools. It is a factor in Northwest Catholic failing to qualify for the state tournament five of the last six years.
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