The Belfast Area High School boys junior varsity soccer team, led by coach Ted Rakis, had a down season in terms of its record, but "made positive strides during the year" en route to a 3-9-1 campaign.

Team members included Tae-Sun Yun, Fouad Al-Matrouk, Damion Benner, Jerehmy Clapp, Gage Corson, Wolfgang Heintz, Sean Kennedy, Ian McBride, Chase McIntire, Leo Richter, Jack Schnetzer, Kieran Shell, Jesse Snider, Peter Spectre, Thomas Ventura, Philip Wich, Robert Wiley, Christian Williams, Soren Moesswilde, Sam Kulikowski and Tyler Martin.

Rakis said injuries and fatigue plagued the Lions at the end of the season, though many of his players made the jump to the varsity during the campaign and "played crucial minutes" in helping the Lions win their final game of the regular season and preliminary playoff — both against Waldo County rival Mount View of Thorndike — before falling to top-seeded Ellsworth in the quarterfinals.

"Although the record does not impress, the team improved every game and developed into a skilled, possession-driven squad," said Rakis.

Seven players creased the net and 11 had roles in goals. Among those scoring goals or adding assists were Al-Matrouk (2 goals, 3 assists), Heintz (4 goals), Snider (3 goals, assist), Corson (assist), McIntire (goal, 2 assists), Schetzer (assist), Shell (assist), Williams (4 goals, assist), Kulikowski (goal, 3 assists), Martin (2 assists) and Spectre (goal).

With the varsity team graduating nine seniors, coach Rakis feels many of his players will make the jump to varsity full-time next season and make an impact for the Lions.

"These jayvee players are an extremely smart group and learn incredibly quickly," he said. "Although many might consider next year to be 'rebuilding' [at the varsity level], there is a wealth of intelligent players who can be called upon to learn quickly and play a number of different roles for the team."

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