Chemistry will be key to Bulldogs

By: Matt Long
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After a slow start to the season a year ago, Folsom High’s varsity soccer team came on strong and made the playoffs. This year with only one of four all-league players returning, what’s in store for the Bulldogs? Head coach Mike McBride is excited as his ever been for the season, as he loves the players on his team. “My guys seem to get along so I think we will have good team chemistry,” McBride said. “It’s a great group. I’m looking forward to the season and the kids are too. It should be a lot of fun.” How well the team does early on will depend on how the team picks up a new system. The Bulldogs are still playing a 4-4-2 formation, but are playing flat in the back, without a stopper and a sweeper. “It’s not really a new system, but it’s a system that a lot of the players aren’t used to playing,” McBride said. “We will make mistakes early on and that’s OK. We’re building to be ready for the league season.” Bryan Lepage, a senior captain, is in his third year on the varsity team and is the squad’s lone all-Delta River League returning player. A lot is expected of him. “When he came up as a sophomore he played in the back, so he’s just a very versatile player,” McBride said. “His job will be to be a leader on the field, especially to the five sophomores on this year’s team.” McBride said that Lepage and senior Zach Williams will lead the way for the team in the center midfield. Other midfielders include seniors RJ James and Alan Yu, juniors Joshua Sonnier and Kian Faroughi and a trio of sophomores in Calvin Millet, Aaron Iniquez and Drew Whitney. Up front, senior Scott Hayes returns and is joined by fellow senior Matthew Martino and sophomore Evan Woodruff, a group that will be responsible for putting the ball in the back of the net. On defense, senior Alex Reginato and junior Conner Vickers will be leaders in the middle of the defense. Other players in the back include juniors Sean Raffetto and Johnny Manuel and sophomore Tanner Chadwell. Senior David Zezoff will play in goal. Folsom faced Granite Bay on Thursday and was on the wrong end of a 3-0 score, but winning the first game of the season wasn’t a priority to McBride. “We had two different approaches to that game,” McBride said. “They were looking at that as a game and I was looking at it as a scrimmage. In the second half when we got more comfortable with our system, we had the ball in their end most of the time.” Folsom plays at Ponderosa on Tuesday before hosting Rio Linda at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at Kemp Field. League play doesn’t begin until Sept. 29.