"We always concentrate on one game at a time. These are just kids and there will be good days and bad days. There is so much unpredictability in this game," said Beauchemin, whose squad finished 8-6-4 last season.
The idea behind Beauchemin's strategy is to concentrate on the present instead of the distant future. By only considering the practice or game at hand, the team can stay focused on improving and winning each individual day. A steady improvement from late August to early November is what Beauchemin would most like to see.
The most successful teams are those with great chemistry. Building a team's chemistry generally cannot be done overnight, though. It can take months, even years for a team to unite. Having a large group of kids who have spent the past few years playing together makes accomplishing that task a bit easier for Beauchemin.
"Kids have to develop a chemistry," he said. "Depending on how many you lose from the year before, it can make it an easy or hard thing to do." He hopes this year the chemistry will come quickly and naturally due to the large amount of
Although only three seniors were lost to graduation, a few important holes have been left for Beauchemin to fill. "We have to fill gaps on both defense and offense and then see what develops," he said. Former center midfielder Evan Sadlowski has left an enormous vacancy in the middle third of the field. Sadlowski had a remarkable season in 2005 for which he was named All-Transcript MVP. Also gone are Tom Kolodziejcyk and Ross Campoli, who, along with Sadlowski, captained last year's team. In order to fill those vacant positions. junior Jeremy Pierce may be pulled up from his sweeper position, and a few others will change positions as well.
As for the other empty spots, Beauchemin is still searching for the right guys to do the job. "It's still up in the air as to who will fill those positions," he said, "We need to fill the gaps but not upset the chemistry on the field. The first few weeks will say if we are on the right track or not."
Filling those gaps with the right players is imperative if Hoosac wants to advance in the WMass. tournament. Last year, a first round defeat to eventual champion Belchertown sent the Big Red Machine home early. Hoosac has not been to the final two rounds since its 2002 WMass. championship season.
Beauchemin claims his team still has much to work on, but they did come into the preseason bigger and stronger. "Kids mature in their junior and senior years," he said of his team, which is filled with upperclassmen. It's impossible to tell who is going to do what throughout the course of a season, but Beauchemin, now in his third season as head coach, thinks there may be a few surprise players stepping out of the woodwork.
"There are surprises every year. There are a couple sophomores that could have an impact," Beauchemin said. Still, the last thing he wants to do is burden the team with specific expectations.
Third year starting goalie Adam Tarsa, forward Sam Blazejewski and outside back Jack Demers are the three seniors that will lead the squad as captains.
Beauchemin said his team may not be the fastest or the most skilled, but it will be competitive because the players want to win. Tarsa made it quite clear what he and his classmates would like to accomplish this fall: "We want to win Western Mass."