After graduating a talented group of seniors last season, Head Coach Ian Hamlet and Assistant Coach Riley Anderson ‘16 saw a reworked roster, a group of young talent, and veterans stepping into new roles for the team as they launched the 2023 season.
Every athletic team faces challenges throughout their season, but the hope of coaches is that the team works through adversity and finds themselves peaking at the right time. Facing a challenging schedule out of the gates with games against perennial New England power South Kent School and Vermont Academy during the first weeks of the season, early season uncertainties and some unfortunate bounces saw the Hornets fall to 0-5 before they found their footing as a group.
Over the last month, the boys have posted a 4-4 record despite battling injuries throughout their midfield and defense, avenging early season losses to New Hampton School (4-1) and Brewster Academy (6-2), while also defeating St. Paul’s School (1-0) and Dexter Southfield School (2-0). With two games remaining against Tilton School (Wednesday 2:30 pm) and Holderness School (Saturday at 4:30 pm), the team is poised to finish their campaign with positive momentum that will carry returning players into the off-season hungry to work hard, improve, gain strength, and become a force in the Lakes Region next season. Their perseverance through challenges this season is a testament to their character and willingness to lean into adversity alongside their coaches and teammates, rather than shy away from it.
As the team’s six seniors (Madoc Harden ‘24, Jackson Etheridge ‘24, Conrad Laesh ‘24, Gavin Wheeler ‘24, Alex Bishop ‘24 and Kael Reynoso ‘24) head into their final week of their soccer careers, we thank them for their contributions to Proctor’s soccer program. Each has left an impact and augmented the experience of those around him. Co-captains Alex ‘24 and Kael ‘24 share insights into the season below:
How has your team evolved over the course of the season to the point of being highly competitive in the league down the stretch?
Alex ‘24: We started off slow, but started to pick it up and get it together and work as a team as the season progressed. It’s always hard to start off playing really well, especially with the level of competition we play at the beginning of the season.
Kael ‘24: Starting the season we struggled a bit because our back line wasn’t as organized as we have been over the last month. We are approaching the end of the season a lot stronger and a lot more organized. Losing Gavin (Wheeler ‘24) in the middle of the season was also difficult as we had to adjust our lineup and style of play in his absence, but we have adapted and performed well. We are excited to have Gavin play for the last two games.
How have you tried to build a positive culture within the group?
Alex ‘24: We try to make it fun for everyone, and make sure everyone feels welcome.
Kael ‘24: I always try to show up to practice with a positive attitude. I try to share some advice with some of the younger players that will hopefully carry on for their Proctor careers. We have a talented group of young players and that bodes well for the future of Proctor soccer.
What are you most looking forward to during these last two games of the season, especially Holderness Day?
Alex ‘24: I’m excited to get out there for a last couple times with the guys. I’ll miss the team a lot, and it feels like just yesterday when I was here for my first preseason.
Kael ‘24: I’m looking forward to finishing up the season with two wins and having a good time with the fellas one last time at Holderness in front of the entire school.