BOLTON LANDING - While the Bolton soccer teams always enjoyed a measure of success, the 2009 team - under the helm of coach Francesco Roca - reached new heights for the school.
Although it was their first season playing against teams in the well-established and highly competitive Adirondack League, the 2009 Bolton boys soccer team fought all the way to Section II Class D finals, where they lost in overtime to Northville.
In the process, 2009 Bolton soccer standout Harry Caldwell, the area's leading scorer, was named Most Valuable Player. He and teammates Dan Brown and Dominic Pfau were named to first-team area All-Stars, followed by Todd Markham, Kyle Vilmar and goalie Mitchell Jordan on the second team.
While Caldwell, Brown and Pfau graduated, the talented trio of Markham, Vilmar and Jordon are back on the 2010 squad.
Roca, named the regional 2009 Coach of the Year, said the departure in June of eight talented seniors presented an obstacle to overcome.
"We're very, very young, and the lack of experience is a big hurdle to overcome," he said. "The kids need to develop very quickly if we're going to be competitive in the league."
Roca's discomfort over the season's prospects may subside in the coming weeks, considering the players' collective attributes.
"This is one of the hardest-working teams I've ever had," Roca said. "Their work in practice is phenomenal. They witnessed success last year, and they want to follow in the steps of the seniors who graduated - they want to share the same experience, and they know it takes a lot of work."
2010 Varsity Boys Soccer schedule
Sept. 13 Hartford Away
Sept. 15 Warrensburg Away
Sept. 17 Fort Ann Central Home
Sept. 22 Corinth Central Home
Sept. 24 Argyle Central Away
Sept. 27 Salem Central Home
Oct. 1 Hartford Central Home
Oct. 4 Fort Ann Central Away
Oct. 8 Argyle Central Home
Oct. 9 Old Forge Tourney TBA
Oct. 10 Old Forge Tourney TBA
Oct. 13 Hadley-Luzerne Home
Oct. 15 North Warren Away
Oct. 18 Salem Central Away
Oct. 22 Championship & Crossover Games