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Granite State Games: Hanover’s Adams a versatile threat

New Hampshire Union Leader

June 22. 2018 12:48AM

Monadnock’s Charlie Adams, of Hanover High, competes against the Lakes team during the Granite State Games at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester on Wednesday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — Charlie Adams had never played striker in his soccer career before his freshman year at Hanover High School. Before high school, Adams played primarily as an attacking center midfielder, setting up his teammates and finding the back of the net on occasion.

Now two seasons into his time with the Marauders, the change in positions has suited Adams well.

Adams led Hanover in scoring each of the past two seasons and has logged 21 goals and 22 assists over that span.

Despite dealing with a nagging bone spur in his right foot most of last fall, Adams, whose stronger foot is his right, received the most votes among forwards for Division I All-State First Team honors.

Last season, Adams, now a rising junior, played half of his games as a striker and the other half as a center midfielder.

“I was able to get a bunch of goals and assists — goals mostly coming from striker and then assists from center mid,” Adams said before representing the Monadnock region boys’ soccer team in its 5-0 victory over Lakes in the fourth annual Granite State Games Thursday at Larkin Field. “I think kind of switching up where I was kind of helped give the defense a different look and whatnot.”

The Granite State Games are sponsored in part by the New Hampshire Union Leader.

Monadnock coach Rob Johnstone led the Lebanon High School boys’ soccer team for 25 years before resigning from the position this spring. Johnstone said Adams’ vision stood out the most to him when he saw the striker play as a freshman.

“He’s a kid that even at that point when he was not particularly physically big, because his mind was already two steps ahead, (he) really was able to exploit other teams,” Johnstone said.

When Division II Lebanon scrimmaged Hanover last fall, Johnstone noticed Adams, who also plays point guard for Hanover’s boys’ basketball team, was stronger and more confident than the season before.

“I would say that ability to absorb contact because honestly, sometimes the reaction to a kid with that next-level vision or creativity is whack them,” Johnstone said. “And I really think that’s something I’ve seen in Charlie — his ability to absorb that contact and still without that thought process being interrupted, still be able to do that.”

Adams had surgery in February to correct the bone spur in his right foot and said he is back to 100 percent. He is playing in the Granite State Games for the second straight year to have fun and get back on the pitch for the first time since the fall.

Adams is focused on getting in shape this summer so he can play the entire game for Hanover in the fall. He is also plenty motivated to help the Marauders capture the Division I title after how last year ended. Hanover lost to Pinkerton Academy of Derry, 1-0, in the quarterfinals on penalty kicks.

“Knowing that we finished the season not the way we deserved to and kind of an unfinished season, it was very frustrating not being able to do that for the seniors who graduated,” Adams said. “But we only graduated five seniors as opposed to 16 the year before. I think we’re in good shape for this year.”