Coach: Todd Wilkins (eighth season)
Last year: 8-7, lost to West Rutland in Division IV playdowns
The team: Ten freshman make up nearly half of the Eagles’ roster and the rookies bring a key ingredient to an otherwise experienced lineup. "I finally have a little bit of depth to work with in midfield and up front," Wilkins said. "This young freshman class has brought in a bit of spunk." They join the likes of veterans Fred Pickering, John Esposito, Konnor Andrews and Alex Trayah on the attacking end of things. Pickering, who bagged a team-high 10 goals and seven assists in 2011, will assume the central forward role, while Esposito (seven goals, six assists) brings break-out speed on the flanks. Trayah, meanwhile, shifts to central midfield. "It’s not his natural position but he did a good job stepping up" in Tuesday’s scrimmage, Wilkins said. The defense, backstopped by junior keeper DJ Jennings, gets an injection with the return of senior Alex Hawley. Hawley did not play as a junior, but steps in at sweeper after the graduation of Kyle Stork. Among the newcomers, Wilkins said he expects freshman Nathan Mattison to dive in at left back, with Austin Hawley and Lucas Stroffoleno to get valuable minutes.
Opener: Sept. 5 at West Rutland Cross-country
Coach: Bianca Orza (second season)
Last year: Third in Division III, girls Marble Valley League champions
The team: The Arlington cross-country team doesn’t have a lot of numbers, but at least eight runners -- with lots of experience -- will don the Eagles’ colors. Seven of the eight return for another season, including seniors Aden Fischer and Duncan Gamble. "Aden is our fastest runner and should lead us," Orza said. Juniors Amber Welch, Elizabeth Criss, Bhumika Patel and Celia Smith, along with sophomore Anna Fischer and freshman Emily Lampron round out the current squad. Criss is the only runner new to the team. "Elizabeth is doing well during our training. She’ll be a big part of our team," Orza said.
The girls team won the Marble Valley League "C" Division championship with Welch, Smith and Patel in the top 10. Aden Fischer won the boys individual title. "Winning the MVL again is a big motivator," Orza said.
Opener: Sept. 4 at home (Arlington)