2023 Upper Valley high school fall sports guide: boys soccer

Hanover High’s Jojo Drent, left, and Lebanon’s Reed Ferland watch a bouncing ball during their NHIAA teams’ Aug. 15, 2023, scrimmage in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Hanover High’s Jojo Drent, left, and Lebanon’s Reed Ferland watch a bouncing ball during their NHIAA teams’ Aug. 15, 2023, scrimmage in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — Tris Wykes

Lebanon High’s Tyler Kelly, a transfer from Sunapee, breaks away from the Hanover defense during the NHIAA teams’ Aug. 15, 2023, scrimmage in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Lebanon High’s Tyler Kelly, a transfer from Sunapee, breaks away from the Hanover defense during the NHIAA teams’ Aug. 15, 2023, scrimmage in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —

Woodstock High’s Finn Costello, left, and Luke Hecker clash over the ball during an Aug. 23, 2023, practice in Woodstock, Vt. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Woodstock High’s Finn Costello, left, and Luke Hecker clash over the ball during an Aug. 23, 2023, practice in Woodstock, Vt. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Stevens High’s Connor Premo dribbles during an Aug. 14, 2023, practice at Monadnock Park in Claremont, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Stevens High’s Connor Premo dribbles during an Aug. 14, 2023, practice at Monadnock Park in Claremont, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Finley MacMartin

Finley MacMartin —Tris Wykes

Jeremiah Fifield

Jeremiah Fifield —Tris Wykes

Toren King

Toren King —Tris Wykes

Cavan O'Brien

Cavan O'Brien —Tris Wykes

Published: 09-11-2023 1:14 PM

HANOVER

Coach: Rob Grabill (18)

Last year: 15-5

League: NHIAA Division I

Returnees: Seniors — Ryder Hayes (M), Zach Tracy (M), Carter Guerin (M), Will Guerin (M), Sean Smith (M), Wyatt Seelig (G), Sam Calderwood (D/F), Ben Woods (M), Joseph Rudd (D), Ian Press (M), Veer Patel (M); Juniors — Noah Winchester (D), Sam Ames (D), Andrew McGuire (F), Charlie Forbush (D), Gavin Munson (M). Sophomore — Roan Palm (M).

Newcomers: Senior — Henry Werner (F); Juniors — Henry Cotter (G), Joseph Glass (D/M), Andrew Russ (M), Alejandro Esparza Soto (M), Schuyler Clapp; Sophomore — Sam Bagatell (D).

Analysis: The Bears return 17 lettermen from a team that lost to Nashua North in the state finals. Hanover has been to the semifinals for five consecutive years and has the talent and experience to make another deep run. Grabill is 260-40-16 and has won seven state crowns.

HARTFORD

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Coach: Connor Brooks (1)

Last year: 11-2-1

League: Vermont Division II

Returnees: Seniors — Payton Bessette (D/F), Mason Chase (G), Gabe Guillette (F), Lochlan Park (D), Owen Parker (D), Bryce Sobeleski (F); Juniors — Cavan Benjamin (D), Sebastian Fraser (D/M), Tighe Hrabchak (F), Ben Lang (G), Nolan Morlock (M), Cavan O’Brien (D), Sam Peckinpaugh (M).

Newcomers: Juniors — Hayden Hewitt (G), Caden Marcotte (D), Sam Morris (M), Hayden Pascarelli (M); Sophomores — Nick Hayes (D), Morgan Jensen (D), Jason Kelly (D/M), Alden Weld (M/F).

Analysis: “We have a strong core returning from last year,” said Brooks, a former player in the program. “We should be sound defensively but it will be a collective team effort to find scoring production. If we can, we’ll be dangerous come the end of the season.”

LEBANON

Coach: Rob Johnstone (30)

Last year: 12-5

League: NHIAA Division II

Returnees: Seniors — Nick Brill (F), Bennett Hewett (D), Conner Chinn (M), Chase Adams (F), Zach Aldrich (G), Andrew Belk (M/F), Will Katz (D/M), Riley Sullivan (M), Ben Twarog (D/M), Lucas Zaki (D/M); Juniors — Otto Bourne (M), Nico Pentella (F), Dominic Calandrella (D); Sophomore — Benji Madory (D).

Newcomers: Seniors — Ben Achmoody (M), Finley MacMartin (D/G); Juniors — Tyler Kelly (M), Titus Billings (M/F), Theo Vallisiou (M), Myles Nolan (F), George Tafe (D), Bode Price (D), Reed Ferland (D), Luiz Menezes (M), Nicholas Caver (F); Sophomores — Abe Pearson (F), Miles Saunders (D/M), Nehemiah Billings (D), V.J. Sites (D), Kieran Lord (D).

Analysis: Eliminated in last year’s quarterfinals, Lebanon returns 10 players who started at least one game last season, led by first team All-State selections Brill and Bourne. Only three of the Raiders’ 45 goals from last year were scored by players no longer with the program. Billings, a Jordanian immigrant, immediately becomes one of the team’s best players, while Vallisiou, a Hartford transfer, should crack the starting lineup. Kelly is a speedy import from Sunapee. Aldrich, who split time in net as a junior, is the program’s only experienced goaltender.

MASCOMA

Coach: Ryan Limero (5)

Last year’s record: 16-3-1

League: NHIAA Division III

Returnees: Seniors — Cameron Jesperson-Pecor (D), James Thomas (M/F), Logan Isham (M/F), Aidan Smith (M); Juniors — Tanner Moulton (M), Reuben Densmore (M/F), Andrew Prince (M), Matt Favreau (G), Marshall Yourke, (D); Sophomores — Brayden Pierce (F), Bryce Ballou (M), Mason Ballard (M).

Newcomers: Juniors — Mason Drexler (D), Michael Stevens-Aranda (D); Sophomores — Dylan Cannon (F), Landon Ramirez (M).

Analysis: The Royals reached their first state final but graduated star midfielder Zach Thompson. Second team all-state midfielder Smith and attacking threat Pierce return.

OXBOW

Coach: Chuck Simmons (1)

Last year: 2-12

Vermont Division III

Returnees: Seniors — Dakota Goodrich (G), Mathew Corti (D), Reece Isley (F), Jeremiah Fifield (D); Juniors — Shane Morse (D), Oden Schlager (D), Ethan Emerson (F), Andrew Barrett (M), Liam O’Connell (D), John Drugach (D), Zadian Walton (F); Sophomores — Braxton Adams (M), Jayden Huntoon (M).

Newcomers: Freshman — Kobin Ellsworth (M), John Bohan (F), Josh Gray (D), Quinten Drugach (D).

Analysis: Simmons, who also coaches basketball and softball at the school, is optimistic he can help the futbol squad. “My job is to find what player combinations work on the pitch early this season to make a good push through the playoffs,” he said, noting the Olympians exited last season’s playoffs with a two-goal loss to the eventual state champions.

RIVENDELL

Coach: Soren Smith (1)

Last Year: 14-2

League: Vermont Division IV

Returnees: Seniors — Carter Bacon (G), Gabriel Wright Swaine (M), Jacoby Patterson (F); Juniors — Kaydin Gilman (M), Will Knowles (M), Sophomores; Toren King (D).

Newcomers: Sophomores — Logan Harris (M), Ryan Lent (D), Ragan Pelligrino (M); Freshmen — Cyrus King (D), Joshua Douglas (M), Julian Douglas (D), Nolan Bourn (M), Wyatt Parker (M).

Analysis: Graduation losses have lessened the Raptors’ numbers and could indicate a rebuilding season. However, Smith, who’s previously coached in the local club scene thinks a returning core has resulted in “a confident group that is eager to prove they can continue to be a very competitive team.”

SHARON

Coach: Grayson Levy (2)

Last year: 1-13

League: Vermont Division IV

Returnees: Seniors — Zabrien McGee (F), Jacob Jeffries (F); Juniors — Ellis Bogardus (F), Ira Ferro (D/M), Bryce Rikert (D), Luke Miller (M/F); Sophomores — Gabe Malloy (F), Cole Morancy (D).

Newcomers: Sophomores — Raiden Danford (D/M), Daniel Piasecki (D/M), Shiva Flanders (D), Owen Brackett (D); Freshmen: Colin Keep (G), Sully Staff (M), Orion Bee (F), Arkin Jose (D).

Analysis: Sharon was 12-3 two years ago, its first time winning more than 10 games during a season in seven years. Four players graduated earlier this year and another two didn’t return. Keep figures to face numerous shots during his first varsity season.

STEVENS

Coach: Jason Stone (12)

Last year: 3-13

League: NHIAA Division 3

Returnees: Seniors — Jason Demars (M), Luke Belisle (M), Matt Wilmont (D), Jackson Fellows (D), Landon Norton-Avery (D) Rowan Brothers (D), Mason Ferland (F); Juniors — Nevin Marsh (G), Davin Boehle (G), Matt Goss (D), Connor Miller (M); Sophomores- Pat Prive (D), Logan Minckler (D), Josh Howe (M).

Newcomers: Sophomore: Kieran Heath (M); Freshmen- Owen Chapman (F), Oliver Stone (M), Daven Vaine (D), Jaxon Churchill (M), Kasey Morin (M).

Analysis: Stevens had its worst season in a dozen years last autumn because of widespread injuries. The Cardinals’ best season in recent memory resulted in a state finals trip during 2016.

THETFORD

Coach: Jonathan Bicknell (1st year)

Last year: 7-7-2

League: Vermont Division III

Returnees: Seniors — Mitchell Parkman (D), Justin Robinson (G); Juniors — Hunter Clay (D), Dempsey McGovern (D), Matthew Vivian (M), . Sophomores — Thomas Amber (D), Owen Goodrich (F), Dylan Libby (M), Daniel Mann (M), Cody Mckinstry (G), Samuel Parkman (D), Emmett Terry (D), David Thaxton (D), Henry Trage (M).

Newcomers: Seniors — Owen Bicknell (M), Asa Keleher (D); Freshman — Andrew Foster (D), Matthew McGovern (M), Oliver Emery (M), Rowan Moody-Aness (M), Tanner Hardy (M), Julian Cutter (M).

Analysis: Bicknell arrives after helping coach at Dover High and is the program’s third coach in as many years. The Panthers, who reached last year’s quarterfinals are 12-21-7 the past three seasons. Thetford has won three state titles, its last in 1996.

WHITE RIVER VALLEY

Coach: Alex Montaño (10)

Last year: 9-4-1

League: Vermont Division III

Returnees: Seniors — Ben Bean (D), Cory Darling Salls (G),Finn Bailey (F); Juniors — Brayden Russ (M), Donavan Craven (D), Hayden Mabey (D), Paul Andrade (M), Sonny Snelling (D); Sophomores — Andrew Fors (M), Bennett Hanson (M), Isaac Wimett (F), Jacob Benoit (M), Kelan Tlumacki (F), Lincoln Miller (D), Matt Bangerter (M), Sawyer Morrill-Cornelius (M), Ty Couture (G).

Newcomer: Senior — Joey Ferris (M); Freshmen — Isaac Kinsley (D), Jack Hughes (F), Lucas Hatch (D), Samuel Armstrong (M).

Analysis: “Success will likely depend on the projected six freshmen or sophomore starters,” Montaño said, noting it’s the Wildcats’ second season in Division III.

WOODSTOCK

Coach: Rob Stainton (4)

Last year: 12-6

League: Vermont Division III

Returnees: Seniors — Ezra Lockhart (M), Bode Wood (M), Zach Martsolf Tan (D), Jaedon Beardsley (D), Ben Johnson (D) Joe Tsouknakis (D) Django Farinas (F), Lucas Morgan (D); Juniors — Parker Pierce (G), Ethan Zayas (G), Reid Allegretti (M), Aidan Keough Vella (M), Oliver O’Neill (F), Joey Sluka (M).

Newcomers: Sophomore — Oliver Boswell (D); Freshmen — Luke Hecker (M), Drew Gallagher (M).

Analysis: “A large group of returning seniors will need to bring leadership to the team,” Stainton said. “We’re relatively unchanged at the back, so the challenge is finding ways to score with a new front line.”