Northville seeks successful season

Northville boys soccer coach Steve Clapper, left, watches Dan VanNostrand in a goalie drill during practice Wednesday at the Prospect Street Fields in Northville. (Paul Wager/The Leader-Herald)

NORTHVILLE — After going 8-2 during a shortened Fall II schedule in March and April, the Northville boys soccer team will be looking for continued success with the return to a more traditional fall season.

The Falcons lost just three seniors from last season’s team — Griffin Leiby, Curtis Arnold and Chase Wood.

Northville returns a talented group of players led by junior Jacob Frank, who has been among the Falcons’ top scorers in each of the last two seasons.

“We have a very strong core coming back,” Clapper said. “We’ll definitely be competitive.”

The group has played together for several years, according to the longtime Northville coach.

“It’s a good group that has been playing together since they were 6 years old,” Clapper said. “They’ve been working their way up through together and it’s been a lot of fun working with them.”

Like every other team taking to the field this fall, Northville is hoping to stay healthy and avoid any COVID-related issues this season.

“We’re hoping to have a full season. Obviously, it’s nothing we can control,” Clapper said. “Healthwise we’re headed in the right direction and we’ve done everything we can do to stay safe. We’re thankful to have the opportunity to play.”

The Falcons are looking to make the most of their opportunity after losing only to Oppenheim-Ephratah/St. Johnsville during the Fall II campaign.

Northville reached the Section II Class D semifinals the last time sectionals were played in 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s sectionals and normal fall season.

“It’s a unique situation. In times like we’ve been living in everything is different,” Clapper said. “Different has kind of become the new normal and we just have to adjust along the way.”

A total of 30 players will make up the Falcons’ varsity and junior varsity teams,

Northville is slated to host Hadley-Luzerne in a non-league contest on Sept. 2 to open its season before hosting Fonda-Fultonville on Sept. 4 to kick off its Western Athletic Conference schedule.

“We’re thankful to be out here and have the opportunity to play,” said Clapper, who will be assisted by Doug Chamberlain and Tom Moore.

By Paul Wager