Sam Montalto

Sam Montalto

Head coach: Paul deCastro (13th season). Assistant coaches: Mario Costa, Gordon Lord, Roland Parrilla, Joe Tavares.

Last year: Stonington finished 19-0-2 and won the Class M state championship. The Bears won the ECC tournament and broke a number of school records along the way.

Returning to varsity:

Seniors: Ethan Allen-Fernandez (D-MF), Jonathan Clark (D), Elias Dahl (MF), Owen Lindenmayer (MF), Jacob Pereira (MF), Alex Tobiassen (D). Juniors: Billy deCastro (MF), Cole DeVoe (D), Phoenix Glaza (GK), Wynn Hammond (MF), Nate Huynh (D), Drew Johnson (MF), Sam Montalto (F), Dominic Morrone (F), Ryan Orr (MF-D), Jesse Pacheco (MF), Will Sawin (MF).

New to varsity:

Sophomores: Josh Lord (MF), Brandon Tavares (GK).

Outlook: The Bears, with a bevy of experience (they lost just three seniors to graduation), could have been a contender for a second straight state title, but the coronavirus pandemic took that away.

The schedule features just 12 games, and a regional postseason event will also take place, but no statewide tournament.

“I can’t say I didn’t think about that,” coach deCastro said of a potential repeat. “But there are other sports and other teams that don’t have the opportunity to play at all. We have to be thankful for the opportunity to play 12 to 14 games. It’s better than zero.”

Montalto, who scored a school-record 33 goals last season, is back. DeCastro said he’s put on about 10 pounds of muscle.

“He played 30 minutes against a good Fitch team in a friendly and scored three goals before we took him out,” deCastro said.

Stonington will have to replace Tyler Fidrych, who had 25 goals and a school-record 34 assists last season. Montalto was on the receiving end of a number of those assists.

Sawin, Hammond and Billy deCastro will have to fill that void from the midfield. They are capable of doing it.

The Bears are strong in the back with Clarke, DeVoe, Tobiassen and Allen-Fernandez.

Coach’s take: “Being able to practice, play games and be together is important. We are trying to put a positive spin on it. If you whine and complain that doesn’t do anyone any good.”

— Keith Kimberlin

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