(Photo by Bill Allen/NJ SportAction)
HANDS-ON APPROACH: Hun School star goalie Kevin Morse makes a save in action last fall. Bolstered by his outstanding performance in 2004 when Hun went 16-4, Morse has emerged as a vocal leader of the Raider defense. Hun starts its 2005 season with home contests against Montclair Kimberley on September 15 and Nottingham on September 17.end
Hun Boys' Soccer Looking for Identity, Shoots to Develop Competitive Fire
By Bill Alden
Chris Kingston didn't have to think twice last fall when he made out the lineup for his Hun School boys' soccer team.
With eight battle-hardened seniors in the fold, Hun head coach Kingston could focus on fine-tuning things and not worry about who was playing where.
Those seniors proceeded to go out in style as Hun produced a 16-4 campaign and made it to the state Prep A title game and the Mercer County Tournament championship game.
With the 2005 season fast approaching, Kingston finds himself in the position of reinventing the wheel as he works to put together his rotation.
"We need to figure out who is playing where," said Kingston. "We're still trying to find out our identity. We're getting there but we're not there yet."
In finding that identity, Kingston is looking for his players to emulate the focus last year's seniors displayed on a daily basis.
"We need to learn how to be intense and competitive in practice everyday," said Kingston. "Last year's seniors left a big void in talent and in leadership. This year's seniors are still trying to figure out the leadership part of things."
One senior who is emerging as a key leader is goalkeeper Kevin Morse. "I think it's the first time since I've been here that we have a returning senior goalie," said Kingston.
"Kevin is the rock of the team right now. He had a good season last year and that's given him experience and confidence. I'm pleased with his communication on the field. Last year, Matt Care and Adam Kotchin talked a lot and Kevin was quiet. This year, he is talking a lot back there. He has turned into the quarterback of the team."
As for the Raiders' back line, Kingston sees senior Marc Chiarello and sophomore David Putman as the fixtures. "Marc will definitely be back there and so will David," said Kingston. "We may even use Matt Sanford and Ryan Putman back there."
A major issue facing Kingston is making up for the goal scoring punch he got last year from such stars as Matt Millar and Scott Loesser.
"That's the obvious question, how are we going to score goals," said Kingston. "But that's not really my main concern right now. Matt, Ryan, Christian Richardson, and Kenny Ross have all scored for us in the past. I think that we have a lot of guys that can contribute."
As Hun prepares to kick off its season with home contests against Montclair Kimberley on September 15 and Nottingham on September 17, Kingston is working on getting his players to focus on the present.
"It'll be difficult to match last year's record but we can't worry about that," asserted Kingston. "Everybody is going to be gunning for us. We need to figure out how to compete and improve everyday. We are going to have a lot of close games. I think we'll be competitive."