NHIAA Boys' Soccer: Bedford has weapons
BEDFORD — Bedford High boys' soccer coach Stuart Pepper was eager to test his team during Sunday's 10-team jamboree.
The Bulldogs will field newcomers, as well as two key players who missed last season to injury, Dan Smushkin and Matt Martin. On Smushkin: ';He's looking great,'; said Pepper. ';He's got his energy. I think being out has made him even more hungry. I think he's one of the best midfielders in the state and he just wants to enjoy every minute.';
';And Matt Martin is back,'; said Pepper. ';He's another impact player who brings more physicality to the team,'; said Pepper. ';Hopefully they'll be ready Friday against (Manchester) Central.';
Bedford, eliminated from the Division I tournament in the first round last fall, will have several new faces. Talented freshman Rich DiMarco and a European import, Magnus Dagler, a Danish exchange student, will play for the Bulldogs this year.
On Sunday, two other DIvision I teams, Salem and Exeter faced off in an early match. The Blue Hawks had a solid year in 2013 at 13-5 but coach Jim Tufts says competition will be tougher this year.
';There are an awful lot of good teams in our division. We will see how it goes,'; said Tufts. ';Today was a classroom day. We're better than we were at 9 o'clock.';
Salem coach Tony Karibian hopes his Blue Devil squad can be more consistent this year. ';We have some players last year who are back a little older and wiser,'; said Karibian. ';Hopefully that will all pan out for us but we have work to do.';
Division II Goffstown, which also participated on Sunday, has former head coach Randy Lovering back with an experienced, senior-laden team. ';Our goal is to have two playoff games at home. Our goal is to be a top-four team,'; said Lovering. ';Once we're there, anything can happen.';