DERUYTER — It’s hard to replace the contributions of seven seniors as talented as those the DeRuyter Rockets boys soccer team graduated last season.
All-CCL nominees Ben Barnes, Dylan Skeele, Riley Glisson and captain Tristan Worlock will be sorely missed as the Rockets look to improve on their 6-4 showing from the fall II season.
But they won’t be without talent, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Gavin Richardson (15 goals, seven assists in 2020-21), Camren Daley (six goals, two assists) and Brandon Darrow (three goals, one assist) will welcome some promising newcomers from DeRuyter’s modified squad, including Nick Whitt, Justin Booth, Cody Nellenback and Gavin Miller.
“We will be led by a strong core of seniors and juniors this year,” Rockets head coach Matt Skeele said. “We should be fairly deep, but young. Hopefully our offense picks up where we left off in the spring and we can score goals.”
Skeele said his team’s biggest challenge will be “young guys stepping up and filling holes left by losing seven seniors. We have many big holes to fill, including goalkeeper, and making sure our defense is solid enough to keep the pressure off of the keeper.
The Rockets will hold a season kickoff tournament at their new soccer facility Sept. 10 and 11 with Cortland, McGraw and Solvay.
Sat., Sept. 4, 11 a.m.: at Madison
Fri., Sept. 10, 4:30 p.m.: vs. Solvay
Sat., Sept. 11, 12 p.m.: vs. TBD Tues.,
Sept. 14, 4:30 p.m.: at Brookfield
Fri., Sept. 17, 4:30 p.m.: vs. Cincinnatus
Mon., Sept. 20, 4:30 p.m.: at McGraw
Wed., Sept. 22, 4:30 p.m.: vs. Stockbridge Valley
Fri., Sept. 24, 4:30 p.m.: vs. Madison
Fri., Oct. 1, 4:30 p.m.: at Otselic Valley
Tue., Oct. 5, 4:30 p.m.: vs. Brookfield
Thurs., Oct. 7, 4:30 p.m.: at Cincinnatus
Sat., Oct. 9, 4 p.m.: at Poland
Sun., Oct. 10.: vs. TBD (game at Poland)
Tue., Oct. 12, 4:30 p.m.: vs. McGraw
Fri., Oct. 15, 4:30 p.m.: at Stockbridge Valley
GROTON LOOKING TO TURN THE CORNER With a young squad that was fortunate to reach the minimum number of players, the Groton Indians had to take their 0-6 record in the fall II season in stride.
But they still managed to place three players on the IAC North Small School All Star teams — forward Thomas Pinkowski on the first team and midfielder Dylan Sedorus and goalie Lucas Darling on the second team.
“Lucas Darling had great moments in the spring as our team’s goalie and only looks to improve this coming season,” Groton head coach Andrew Doane said. “Thomas Pinkowski has a motor that doesn’t stop running. Dylan Sedorus and Joey Bishop are effective communicators and role models for our team that players look up to.”
This year, Doane’s squad should be much more competitive, returning all their players from last season, along with new entry Noah McCormick and some more promising new players.
“In the spring, we were limited to just having enough players to fill the team,” Doane said. “We were young but this team had a will to fight and get better in practices and games. Although it did not lead us to a win in the spring, I strongly believe we have laid the groundwork for this coming season.”
Tues., Aug. 31, 1 p.m.: at Homer
Thurs., Sept. 2, 4:30 p.m.: at Dryden
Fri., Sept. 3, 10 a.m.: vs. Otselic Valley
Tues., Sept. 7, 4:30 p.m.: at Marathon
Thurs., Sept. 9, 4:30 p.m.: vs. Southern Cayuga
Tues., Sept. 14, 4:30 p.m.: vs. Moravia
Thurs., Sept. 16, 4:30 p.m.: vs. Lansing
Mon., Sept. 20, 7 p.m.: at Homer
Tues., Sept. 21, 4:30 p.m.: vs. Marathon
Thurs., Sept. 23, 4:30 p.m.: at Southern Cayuga
Thurs., Sept. 30, 4:30 p.m.: at Newfield
Fri., Oct. 1, 4:15 p.m.: at Moravia
Tues., Oct. 5, 4:30 p.m.: vs. Trumansburg
Thurs., Oct. 7, 4:30 p.m.: at Union Springs
Tues., Oct. 12, 4:30 p.m.: vs. Whitney Point