December 6, 2021

Fall previews: 2020 can be launching pad for Trojans

The Homer Trojans fall sports teams struggled in 2019, but the coaches have identified where to improve and have talent coming up the ranks that will hopefully spell a brighter future starting in the abbreviated 2020 season.

All-around conditioning key for boys’ soccer

New head coach Christopher Guay wanted to work on not just the physical, but the mental aspects of the game to improve on the Trojans’ winless 2019.

“Beginning last winter, the guys have been focusing on technical, tactical, physical and psychological improvement,” he said. “Because of COVID, we were not able to get together in the off-season as a group but the guys responded by working as individuals and staying in touch with each other virtually to encourage our collective improvement. The overall focus is to train at our best and perform at our best. We believe improvement is a process and the results will follow as long as we continue with the process.”

Only six players return from last year’s varsity squad. Guay will be developing 11 new players from JV and 14 newcomers to the program.

Girls’ soccer has potential for rebound

Losing nine seniors from a 6-9-2 squad may sound ominous for 2020, but head coach Ben Bowers’s squad returns six all-conference second teamers and honorable mentions, so this year could be their time to shine.

Julie McGory, Katie Britt and Aleta Gross lead the back line in front of goalie Catherin Apker. Up front, Gracie Patriarco and Camdyn Cole join a now healthy Jane Gugerty and Elena Barrett on a formidable ball handling and shooting attack.

“We talk often as a team how we are fortunate and frankly lucky that we are able to be together and on the field right now,” Bowers said. “You look around the state and many teams do not have the same fortune. There is a bigger picture we think about here at Homer, and as a sports team we have a responsibility to keep not only ourselves safe, but also our school, families, community, and our opponents. I could not be more proud of our girls with the first two weeks of practice and how they have overcome everything thrown at them, and also how resilient they are and driven to still maintain a high competitive level, and they want to win.”

Bowers added, “We have waited a long time for this season and opportunity, and the girls are very excited and have earned the right to play and leave it all out on the field; for each opportunity is a gift and nothing to be squandered. If these hoops we’ve have had to jump through are tests of grit and sheer will; we are going to have a very successful season and these ladies are going to thrive in life itself.”

“Uncertain year” for familiar golf squad

Homer returns their entire roster from their 7-9 2019 campaign, including seniors David Alger and Jake Atkins.

“This is an uncertain year,” head coach Sean Malone said. “We had one day of practice to start the year and are kind of operating day by day and week by week when it comes to putting together our match line-ups. We are just happy to be back and enjoying each other’s company on the golf course right now. The expectation is still to compete and try and win our matches but at the same time we are getting other players involved who may have not had an opportunity to play in a match in a normal year.”

Field hockey starts a new chapter

A winless 2019 turns to a six-game slate in 2020 for Homer field hockey. Their schedule consists of home-and-homes with Cazenovia, Auburn and Weedsport, with the home game against Weedsport on October 16 serving as the team’s Senior Night.

“With having several months off from any athletics, several players followed the optional conditioning schedule and came to the first day of practice in shape and ready to go,” head coach Brooke Head said. “Despite a late start, the girls have shown resilience and exceptional patience so far this season. I expect that we will have a great season and we are all anxiously awaiting our first contest.”

Homer’s returning top scorers are Morgan Cotteril and Sara Cargen, and Stella Stockwin and Hannah McMasters return on defense. Molly McMasters leads a strong freshman class.