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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Despite a respectable 9-6-2 season in 2017, last year ended sourly for the Walpole High School boys varsity soccer team, who fell to eventual Division II South champ Oliver Ames, 2-1 in overtime, in the sectional quarterfinals.
This season, the Rebels return some key names and will look to avenge last year’s tough exit from the state tournament as they make a run for the Bay State Conference title.
Leading the Rebels into battle will be a duo of senior captains in center midfielder Aidan Murray and center midfielder/striker Pat Sullivan.
“The goal every year is to win our side of the league, which means that every game counts,” said Murray on his team’s general goals for the upcoming season. “Making the tournament is also always the goal, and the work we put in during the preseason helps us reach that goal.”
In terms of what he thinks will lead the Rebels to success this season, Murray says that his team must practice hard and take advantage of the large and experienced senior class they have.
“Everyone on the team knows that if we want to make the tournament in a tough Bay State Conference, we have to push each other in practice,” said Murray. “I expect everyone to show up each game and give everything they have for the whole 80 minutes. Our team has 14 seniors who have been playing together for a long time, along with a bunch of underclassmen filling into some key roles. Everyone is looking forward to Newton North on Wednesday and a good result will hopefully give us some additional confidence for a tough opening stretch to begin the season.”
At the time of print, Walpole will take on Newton North on September 5 in their season opener before welcoming in perennial power Needham on September 7 and traveling to Weymouth on September 12.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.