Categories: clam_chatter
      Date: Oct 11, 2010
     Title: Second Clam practice shows marked improvement

Coaches note strides after just one week together

Fighting Clam practice #2 is now in the books. A fair amount was spent putting in some basic offensive & defensive structure, and then letting the boys go at it. It was an absolutely perfect morning to play, and the boys made the most of it.

Recruiting Consultant Scott Anderson (former Harvard Head Coach) was again present and evaluating aggressively. Chris Sweet (Head Coach, Duxbury HS), Ronnie Westgate (Asst. Coach, Wellesley HS) and Program Director Justin Walker (Head Coach, Rivers) were accompanied this week two former Clams now competing in the college ranks, Wheaton College standout sophomore attackman Billy McNamara and National Champion Sam Gardner, the Jumbos' top long stick midfielder in just his first year of collegiate ball.

As I will do each week, following practice I will list some players coaches felt stood out, along with pertinent comments. These will be written in no particular order. (Please excuse phrases and incomplete sentences.)

Chris Williams (Duxbury, junior midfielder) - Coach Anderson again reiterated that Chris is a good match for the strong academic/athletic schools he very much wants - most in either the Ivy League or NESCAC. Coach Westgate was effusive his praise as well, saying the following about Chris: "I was most impressed with his defense. He understands how to play Team Defense and is very good at taking advantage of doubling opportunities, but most importantly does it intelligently".

Kyle Soroka (Acton/Boxboro, junior midfielder), Jory Makin (Brooks School, sophomore midfielder), Jack Rautiola (Rivers, junior attackman), Austin Bannister (Catholic Memorial, junior midfielder) and John Tocchio (Hingham HS, junior LSM) - each of these players drew recognition from Coach Anderson, stating these players "should get serious interest" from the Ivy League and/or NESCAC schools that are high on their respective lists.

Jordan Fong (Weston HS, sophomore attackman) - Coach Sweet noticed Jordan's skills, and indicated he will get and better and better as he moves up through the ranks in the program.

Jared Fong (Weston HS, junior goaltender) & Will Ryan (Avon Old Farms, junior goaltender) were the two netminders who drew praise from a couple coaches. Coach Sweet mentioned both, focusing in on Jared's technique and skill, and Will's steadiness & reliability between the pipes. Coach Walker noticed what he's previously noticed all of this past summer with Ryan; Will's ability to get his body in front of the ball, and lead the defense with his voice. Coach Westgate offered more on Will: "(Will) made 3 or 4 amazing saves throughtout the morning, but he also acted like a leader as we taught things. He was very vocal as we implemented our defense, and was calm, cool and collected in the clearing game. Really looked strong on Sunday".

Matt Ryan (Phillips Exeter, sophomore defenseman) & Ryan Breen (Taft, PG defenseman) - Both defensemen showed a comfort with one another, probably based in no small part on their history together - first last spring at Phillips Exeter where Matt was a freshman and Breen was a senior, then this summer, when the two played great at the UMBC Shootout where their Clams team progressed all the way to the C-ship. Coach Sweet said, "both these d-men clearly have bright futures"; Coach Walker also felt that these two were dominant in his 6 v. 6 station. Matt & Ryan completed the grand slam of praise if you will, drawing mention from both Coach Anderson and Coach Westgate as well. Said Coach Westgate about Breen, "This kid knows how to go after someone. He was a machine going after 3 or 4 attackmen in a row and wouldn't let them get their hands free". Coach Walker chimed in on Chase Williams (Rivers, junior LSM), who played in the same group with Matt and Ryan, and said "Chase did pretty much the same things to the midfielders that Matt and Ryan did to the attack".