Niagara Gazette — “I think this is going to be one of those years where we’re going to struggle with some young guys until they figure out our system and they learn to play with each other,” he said. “And by playoff time it should be OK, and I’ll be looking forward to getting back into that championship game again.”
Junior midfielders Justin Westmorland and Kevin Daunce are not projected to light up to scoreboard this season. But they are hard-working, high character players that embody the mantra head coach Kris Brayley is instilling in his team this season — “Play without fear.”
“Fear will cripple you. It will take the joy away from the game and it will cripple you,” Brayley said.
Wilson experienced the most successful season in school history last year, going 13-5 (9-5 Class C) en route to making the sectional semifinals. The Lakemen lose eight players from that team, including Aric Frieschlag, who now plays at NCCC, and the school’s all-time scoring and assists leader, Tyler Martin.
With a young roster that Brayley described as a “fearless bunch”, he is embracing a style that emphasizes more ball possession to limit opponents’ time on the offensive. Tri-captains, junior defender Timothy Walch, senior midfielder Zachary Mariani and senior attack Zachary Magoon, will join Westmorland and Daunce in leading the young squad.
Magoon and junior Jacob Farmer are the team’s returning leading scorers. Last season, Magoon had nine goals and 29 assists, while Farmer netted 37 goals.
Brayley is assisted by Ed Schiffert, who was WNY Assistant Coach of the Year two seasons ago, Eric Frieschlag, John Gansworth and Brian Peck. With no modified or JV program, Brayley largely attributes the development of players to his assistants.
“They show up every day,” Brayley said of the volunteer coaches. “We can really break kids down and work on some really fundamental skills and work them up along the way and try to put some strategy in as we go.”