Under new head coach Tony Reis, the Whitman-Hanson Regional High boys’ soccer team has its sights set on the state tournament.
There’s a voice leading the Whitman-Hanson Regional High boys’ soccer team this fall.
Tony Reis has taken over the reins of the club from Dave Leahy, who stepped down after four seasons due to a work commitment.
Reis spent six seasons as the head coach at Upper Cape, where he won three league titles and qualified for the MIAA tournament every year.
“Coaching at Whitman-Hanson appears to be a good fit for me as the soccer culture in this area is quite different from the Bourne area as I am gradually embracing it all,” Reis said. “There are many more kids who are serious in regards to playing this sport as most of them also play club soccer in the spring.”
His message to the team is centered on positive sportsmanship.
“Teams can play aggressively clean, along with desire, hustle and passion and still come out victorious at the end of 80 minutes,” he said. “There’s no need for any of the unnecessary negative aspects of the sport, such as arguing with the referees, talking to opposing coaches, playing dirty at times.”
And while it may be a new spot, Reis’ expectations remain the same: Make the postseason again.
“My team goal to achieve this season is to qualify for the state tournament and with a winning record,” Reis said. “One can still get into tournament play with a .500 record.”
W-H, which went 6-7 last autumn, returns a solid core, led by senior captains Jacob Donovan (center defender), Sean McAlpine (right fullback) and Jayden Stafford (center midfielder).
“They all are good leaders in their own way, whether it’s vocally or leading by example,” Reis said.
Senior Adam Sousa, junior Wes Marquez and sophomore Ethan Fostello are also key returnees.
Reis coined Sousa as the team’s best forward and Marquez as its best skilled player. Fostello will be starting at right midfield.
“The squad’s strength is at the midfield,” Reis said. “Our starting four half backs, as we usually play a 4-4-2, are good and play well on both sides of the ball. We also have a couple of midfielders off the bench who won’t miss a beat when called on. As long as those positioned players play together as a team, we should compete in all our contests.”
Senior Ethan Smith, who shared time with Randy Elfman (now playing at Western New England University), takes over the No. 1 role in net.
In addition to Elfman, EMSCA All-Star Peyton Collins (four goals, team-high six assists last season) and Patriot League Keenan Division All-Star Brendan Nehiley (team-high five goals, five assists last season) are also key departures.
W-H opens the new campaign Thursday, Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. on the road at Quincy.
“A successful season for me is finishing in the top two or three of the entire league with the least amount of yellow card cautions shown to my players by match referees, no player getting seriously injured along with being competitive, score-wise, in at least most games,” Reis said.