It didn’t take long for Manasquan head soccer coach Tom McGill to notice something positive about this year’s team.
Heading into the first organized team practice, McGill knew his team’s fitness was at an elite level.
“I’ll tell you what, this team came in fitter than any team I’ve been associated with for 10 years,” McGill said. “First two days [running] there wasn’t a peep. The times were awesome in the two-mile run, and now we’re just working on soccer fitness.”
For a team that’s expected to play a ton of close games in a competitive B North division, senior back Chris Black knows the significance of the Warriors being fit.
“It’s so much fun to play in the [division] because there’s not going to be any easy games,” Black said. “I’ll say it right now I think there’s going to be a lot of overtime games and it’s good for us to be fit already for overtime and late in games.”
In addition to the fitness level of his squad, McGill also has no worries about how the team will respond without several key seniors from last year’s team.
“They are coachable,” McGill said. “Now it’s just up to us to figure out what we can do.”
This year’s team will be led by a group of upperclassmen, but will also feature three newcomers who could contribute right away.
Three freshmen, Tom Johnson, Liam Diamond and Simon Cardenas are already seeing valuable time during the team’s organized practices.
The Warriors will take the field for their season-opener September 7, at home vs. Monmouth Regional.