The West Milford High School boys soccer team has a strong mix of experienced upperclassmen as well as younger players eager to make a strong impression on the pitch this year.
The Highlanders are scheduled to host Parsippany on Saturday, Sept. 16.
“We would like to make the (NJSIAA) state ournament and be competitive in the very tough Independence Division of the Big North Conference,’’ head coach Ray Ferriola said.
“The boys worked hard all summer ... . It is a very cohesive group with a great sense of team work and unity.”
Key returning student athletes include seniors Carlos Banks (defense), John Biegel (midfield), Andrew Golas (midfield) and DJ Sullivan (forward)l juniors Landon MacKenzie (midfield), Lorenzo Andrade (defense) and Brayden Primavera (defense); and sophomores Noah Christian (defense), Julian Pierre (defense), Nick Bognar (midfield) and Danny Bauer (midfield).
Sophomores Dominic Lenoir (goal keeper) and Will Dent (midfield) are among the promising newcomers.
“We are fortunate to have a great trio of senior captains in Carlos Banks, John Biegel and Andrew Golas,’’ Ferriola said. “We have a very young team, and they do a great job of leading by example with their great work ethic and dedication.
“Senior DJ Sullivan leads with his toughness and junior Lorenzo Andrade is the vocal leader on the field. Sophomores Noah Christian and Nick Bognar do a good job of dictating the pace of play on the field. Team managers Joel Garzon and Danny Dutches help on the sidelines and have become a vital part of the team.’’
West Milford finished the 2022 season with a record of 8-12 and no wins in division games.
This season, the Highlanders play in the Big North Conference Independence Division along with Lakeland, Fair Lawn, Wayne Hills, Wayne Valley and Passaic Valley.
“With having such a young team, I am inclined to say it is a rebuilding year, but I think we are going to surprise some teams,’’ the coach said. “The boys are ready to contend now.
“Last year, Fair Lawn won the division and they are always tough. Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley bring back a lot of top talent as does Lakeland and Passaic Valley. It is a very tough division that can be won by any of the six teams.’’
Last year, Fair Lawn won the division and they are always tough. Wayne Hills and Wayne Valley bring back a lot of top talent as does Lakeland and Passaic Valley. It is a very tough division that can be won by any of the six teams.’’ - Ray Ferriola, head boys soccer coach, West Milford High School