RH Raiders ready to rock

The outlook isn’t bad for Red Hook boys soccer, it’s just not rosy yet.

Coming into the season, Red is looking at some big, bad roster hits. The team will only be returning four starters from 2011.

“We have good players that weren’t able to start last season because of seniors who were ahead of them. We have some really talented young players that could make a difference. and I think that the seniors are really dedicated to each other and the program and that leadership can make a huge difference,” Coach Steve Sutton told the Observer.

Maclyn Willigan, a returning seniors captain who Sutton called “universally respected and admired,” will lead a varsity team that will include, barring a tryout snafu, seniors Aaron Barkstrom, Tong Guerra, Armando Spagnoli, Austin Loeffel, and Matt Jantzen.

The senior contingency doesn’t fill out the team, but Sutton is confident that Red could see a few underclassmen rise to the occasion and secure a roster spot. According to Sutton, 55 students came out for varsity and junior varsity in 2011, so it shouldn’t be difficult to plug those holes when training camp opens in two weeks. Red Hook begins a preseason camp with Rhinebeck and Spackenkill this week that will host around 25 players.

And for 2012, Sutton wants a more aggressive and focused varsity Raider squad.

Sutton said that he wants his team to “put its impression on the match.” Look for Red Hook to lay it on the opposition this year, as Sutton is pushing a tougher mentality on his team, saying that he wants his squad to “get more pressure on opposition backs” and “play with more possession.”

For all that, Sutton is going to have a lot of work to do in patching up his squad before the season starts. He’s calm about it, though.

“At this point in time, we are undefeated and nothing has gone wrong, so I’m pumped,” he said.

The blueprint is laid out. Look for a rougher Raider crew this year, playing in a darker shade of Red.

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