“I think our starting 10 is as good as anybody’s out there,” Sweet said. “But it takes more than that – you need 16 guys.”
That’s what Sweet and the Blue Devils had last year, when they won the NYSAISAA title with a victory over Hackley, completing their 17-3 season. Poly Prep graduated nine seniors off that team, citing depth as a key attribute to the championship, so Sweet’s concern over the issue is warranted.
Poly Prep's Hugo Francis will be the senior leader for the Blue Devils, who are looking to win a second straight NYSAISAA title.
“We have a good group of seniors that were a part of the team last year,” Sweet said. “But we’re out here testing these younger guys during spring break to see who’s going to step up.”
Sweet knows one thing for certain: senior midfielder Hugo Francis will be a leader for his team out on the field.
“He was close to the best middy in the league last year,” Sweet said. “I have no problem with saying he will be the best middy this year.”
Sweet went on to call his senior midfielder one of the most well rounded players in the city, saying that he is both skilled and smart in every aspect of the game. Helping out Francis will be fellow senior Max Goupit, who scored 51 goals last year.
“He was on target all last year, and we’re hoping to have some more of the same this year,” Sweet said.
Another key veteran returning to the team is goalie Dylan Moser, that is if you can consider a sophomore a “veteran.” Moser was the goalie for last year’s team that captured the championship and Sweet is confident that he will only get better this year.
“Right now, he’s actually getting corrective laser eye surgery,” Sweet said. “It’s nothing too serious, just correcting some vision, and he’ll be ready to go in time for our first game.”
Playing in front of Moser will be the Blue Devils’ defensemen, a trio of juniors that Sweet describes as “solid.” Henry Plageman, Tommy Walker and Adam Loeman fall under the heading of the “new guys” who Sweet is looking to step up.
Overall, Sweet knows his Poly Prep team has some questions to answer and some holes to fill. He does not doubt this team at all though.
“We’re going to have some sophomores and juniors fight to fill some roles,” Sweet said. “But I think it’ll make us better, and we’re hoping to have a good season.”
That season opens up April 4 as Poly Prep will take on Riverdale, it Ivy League rival, and a team that handed the Blue Devils one of their three losses last season.
Blue Devils, Blue Devils, Poly Prep coach Brooks Sweet, Poly Prep, Poly Prep, championship team, Hugo Francis, NYSAISAA