The Greens Farms Academy boys soccer team has a long and storied tradition of reloading every fall.
Seventy-five wins over the last seven seasons — and only losing 37 of the 122 games the Dragons have played — is solid proof that consistency is the name of the game on GFA’s artificial pitch.
This fall, Coach Chris Mira’s squad is undergoing a mighty big “reloading” process.
Ten of the 11 starters from last year’s squad, which went 7-1 in a COVID-shortened season, need to be replaced, but Mira thinks the Dragons still have the depth and talent to compete in the Fairchester Athletic Association.
“We’re building and fitting together a new group of players,” Mira said. “It’s a step-by-step process, and we’re looking for day-to-day progress and playing as a unit. There’s still an opportunity for the playoffs this year.”
Eight seniors will lead the way for GFA, including captains Ben Isenstein and Ryan Buzzee. They are joined by classmates JP Atehortua, Thomas Edwards, Kyle Haas, Patrick Murphy, Aadit Ranjangam, and Jeremy Robertson.
A solid junior class, led by Oscar Edelman — the team’s only returning starter — and Mat Timashev, provides the Dragons with a lot of depth. Other juniors on the roster include Andrew Bellissimo, Ethan Eckert, Max Laferriere, Matt Maged, Andrew Pasierb, Andrew Roth, Townes Russian, and Owen Weismann.
Sophomore Harry Harmstron saw a lot of playing time a year ago while classmate Bento Silva is also on the varsity roster and looking to contribute.
While the Dragons are replacing players all over the field, the goalkeeper is one of the biggest holes Mira has to fill and he’s looking at Buzzee, Maged, and Ranjangam in a competition to win the starting spot.
Freshman Cecil Reid, Manny Bishay, and Aidan Spellacy all should see action, as well.
The Dragons open the season against the always tough St. Andrew’s out of Rhode Island, on Saturday, Sept. 18, at 2 p.m. Over their last three meetings, the Dragons have tied St. Andrew’s twice and lost by a 1-0 score.
The Dragons FAA opener is Wednesday, Sept. 22, when they host Hopkins.
2021 GFA BOYS SOCCER VARSITY ROSTER
Seniors: JP Atehortua, Ryan Buzzee, Thomas Edwards, Kyle Haas, Ben Isenstein, Patrick Murphy, Aadit Ranjangam, Jeremy Robertson
Juniors: Andrew Bellissimo, Ethan Eckert, Oscar Edelman, MaxLaFerriere, Matt Maged, Andrew Pasierb, Andrew Roth, Townes Russian, Mat Timashev, Owen Weismann
Sophomores: Harry Harmston, Bento Silva
Freshmen: Manny Bishay, Cecil Reid, Aidan Spellacy