H.S. Soccer Preview: Frontier programs seeking big spring

  • Frontier’s Sierra Warren, left, tangles with Mahar's Delaney Parker during past girls soccer action in Orange. Staff FILE PHOTO/Dan Little

Recorder Intern
Published: 3/24/2021 6:28:40 PM
Modified: 3/24/2021 6:28:39 PM

(Editor’s Note: With the soccer season set to begin next week, we are running previews for individual schools over the course of the next few days.)

The Frontier girls soccer team has a solid 19-player roster this spring. According to head coach Philip Pittelli, it’ll be more of a trial and error season, with the primary goals of making it through the season and developing skill and chemistry as well.

“For this season, I hope for the team to get as much playing time and experience as possible,” started Pittelli. “I would like to try out some different formations and different strategies. We’re going to focus more on developing player skills than we focus on wins and losses.”

Pittelli mentioned that this year’s team is not necessarily any different from years prior, however dealing with the pandemic definitely adds a level of perseverance that other teams in the past may not have had. Pittelli said he’s noticed something quite encouraging to this point.

“I think the group we have this year has a much stronger soccer IQ, and they really understand what we are trying to achieve and accomplish this year,” noted Pittelli. “I’m curious to see how our strategies fare against our opponents and see where our gaps are so we can correct them for the fall.”

His three hard-working and dedicated seniors are worthy of taking a closer look at as the season progresses, according to Pittelli. Sierra Warren, Megan Dejnak, and Cambrie Hamilton are all ready to wrap up their careers on a high note after putting considerable time and effort into the Red Hawks program.

Frontier boys

Red Hawks coach Evan Horton has a talented group of players heading into this spring. In the fall of 2019, Frontier did not quite meet Horton’s expectations of what he had hoped to accomplish. After an extended period of time in between seasons, Horton said this unit is hungry to get back out on the field and be competitive again.

Frontier will not be able to compete against teams they are accustomed to, however, due to the fact that teams in the Franklin County bubble are only granted the right to face off against other local foes. 

“We have the opportunity to play some teams that we don’t normally play,” Horton offered, as Frontier will play teams from Franklin County as well as Hopkins Academy and Smith Academy this spring. “There is nobody on the schedule this year that I have personally coached against since I have been at Frontier. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see what those teams are like since I’m not too familiar with them.”

During this difficult and unorthodox year, the Red Hawks are still looking to accomplish a few goals. Similar to most coaches, Horton said he wants to ensure that his seniors get the proper sendoff that they deserve after putting in so much time and effort into their program throughout the years.

“We have four seniors, all of which have been in the program consistently since they were in middle school,” began Horton. “The fact that we’re able to do anything competitive for them, allow them to have a season, and give them a proper sendoff is an amazing opportunity.”

Another sought after goal from Horton and his bunch is to develop a sense of chemistry and leadership for the upcoming years. Because there is no postseason, Frontier is looking ahead to next fall, perhaps catching a glimpse of what talent will be returning in certain positions on the field.

“We have an incredibly young team this season. We have a lot of guys we can build around, so our other goal is to really try to build a sense of cohesiveness within the team for next year. We have an 18-game schedule set for next season, and after this season ends in April we are only four months away from tryouts for the fall,” said Horton. 

Horton expects captain Tanner Finch to rack up a hefty amount of points during the eight-game season, as the talented goal-scoring striker heads into his final season of competition at the high school level. Holding down the midfield will be Finch’s fellow classmate Gates Tuttle, as the two look to develop a lethal one-two punch to aid the Red Hawks offense this season.

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