If Northfield might appear inexperienced this year, it isn’t because of a lack of talent. After last season, the Raiders graduated 14 seniors, a number which created a bit of a logjam for younger players to find a spot on the varsity roster.
This year, with that blockage cleared, a number of older players are stepping into concrete varsity roles for the first time.
“There’s a tier of guys who were pretty much ready last year that we pretty much didn’t have space for,” Northfield coach Gunnar Olson said. “I think that role might be served by committee, we could have five or six guys who might be ready to make that next step.”
Returning from last year’s varsity Raiders will be senior attacker Brandon Foster, junior attack Dawson Foster, junior defender Logan Bornick, junior midfielder Zach Marvin and sophomore goalie Cristoph Tisdale, who all contributed in major ways to last year’s team that advanced to the Section 1A semifinal.
After those five, it’s a bit of a question who will find their place among Northfield’s regular rotation.
“I fully expect a couple more guys are going to make their presence felt as the year goes on, we just don’t know exactly who those guys are yet,” Olson said.
With only 13 regular-season games on the schedule, though, those adjustments to the varsity level will have to happen quickly.
Last year’s record: 10-5
Last year’s finish: Co-champs of Big 9 Conference, lost 17-9 to Lakeville South in Section 1 semifinal
First game: April 16 at Rochester John Marshall
“It’s kind of crazy actually, but I guess that’s the way it is with the weather and the field’s and everything,” Olson said. “It’s really important that we get off to a fast start and we have two weeks to prepare for our first game, which is more than usual actually for us. Once the games start we’re three or four games a week all the way until playoffs. It’s really a sprint and we have to do a lot of the teaching up front with the young guys especially. I think they’re up for it. These are guys we’ve been coaching as youth all the way up. I think they’re going to be ready and from what I’ve heard they’re excited to do so.”
Chase Marnlenee, midfield
Griffin Loecher, attack
Quinn Beithon, attack
Nicholas Kvernmo, midfield
Lane Dornbusch, defense
Brandon Foster, senior, attack
Logan Bornick, junior, defender
Dawson Foster, junior, attack
Zach Marvin, junior, midfield
Cristoph Tisdale, sophomore, goalie
Skylar Parsons, senior, attack
Zach Anderson, junior, midfield
Kearic Gargrave, sophomore, attack
Brady Mingo, sophomore, defender