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Layden, Warriors prepare for unprecedented season

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

In 2019, Medfield High School boys varsity soccer put together a respectable 8-4-6 regular season record, earning themselves the No. 10 seed in the Division II South playoffs. The season came to a bitter end, however, with a 3-2 double-overtime defeat against Dartmouth in the opening round. With no state tournament on tap for 2020, the Medfield boys will not get the chance for postseason redemption. The lack of a postseason, a limited schedule and being forced to adapt to a boatload of COVID preventative rule changes will certainly make this soccer season unique. Nevertheless, the Warriors enter the Fall I season ready to compete.

Leading this group will be four senior co-captains: center-mid/attack James Layden, striker Jake Kraemer, center-back Brendan Harding and right-back Colin Quint.

"We're all wearing masks and staying six feet apart," described Layden when asked about how his team has dealt with the new COVID rules. "We all participated in summer leagues and those had all the new rules in place."

Every athletic team normally enters a season with the goal of winning a championship. With no postseason, expectations for Massachusetts Fall I high school teams are going to be very different. Layden says that he and his teammates are thankful for the opportunity to compete. Even without a trophy on the line, the Warriors hold the goal of winning as much as possible.

"Our goal is always just to win as much as we can if there’s a trophy or not," said Layden. "We’re a competitive group, so we want to win every time we’re out on the field. Also, we want to keep it competitive for the younger kids who will have playoff tournaments in the future."

As far as the changes being made to the on-field play, Layden says he and his teammates are going to need to focus on fundamentals in order to be successful this season.

"It’s going to be a much more technical game than it was before the installation of these rules," said Layden. "Passing and foot skills are going to be so important this year."

Medfield will kick off their season on Saturday against Westwood.

For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his own personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.

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