HARVARD -- The Bromfield Trojans graduated 11 seniors and lost three additional players for various reasons from last year's Division 4 Central Mass Finalist team that finished 19-2-0 overall prior to falling to arch rival Sutton at Foley Field.
Bromfield head coach Tom Hill (38th season) admits that his team has a lot of growing left to do heading into the season with just five seniors.
Of those five returning seniors is central midfielder Matt Olejarz, who is the only player on the team that has started at the varsity level.
"Matt was a Central Mass and league All-Star last season," Hill said. "Olejarz is really the anchor of our defense.
He has always been an aggressive player, but he has come back with a little more skill than in the past. He has a little better touch on the ball and is one of our co-captains. He is a true leader."
Protecting the back line with Olejarz is senior Matt Greene.
Greene, who was injured for a good portion last season, did not start, but he came on in the later minutes to close out games for the Trojans. Greene was as good as a starter at left fullback.
Greene is a consistent player who happens to possess a strong left foot.
"He is a quick and aggressive player who has truly improved," Hill said. "He has really shown me that he is ready to take on a bigger role. He is easily the most improved player that we have on our team."
Starting at stopper is junior Luke Karis, who was a late season call-up from the junior varsity club.
Vying for time between the pipes are seniors Ben Cadman and Tyler Brandon.
Cadman is a steady player who has honed his craft over the summer. Cadman and Brandon floated between junior varsity and varsity last season behind three-year varsity starter Ryan Kennedy.
"Cadman has the edge right now because of the offseason work he put in," Hill said. "Ben and Tyler are both very good goalies who will see time. Ben is a more consistent player, while Tyler is more of an athletic player. Both of them will split minutes early on in the season before we name a clear-cut favorite."
Finding their niche defensively will be sophomore Joey D'Amore, who will play in every game. D'Amore is a left-footed player who can play sweeper, stopper and left fullback.
Bromfield's weakest link will be at the midfield where they will start freshmen and sophomores. Senior Kevin McCauley, senior Nattie Dexter and junior Thomas Greene will be fighting for time on defense.
Colin Grant is a sophomore who played in every game, but the district final against Sutton.
Grant brings varsity experience to the table, but he is undersized for his position. Freshman Jack Armstrong will join Grant in the midfield. Armstrong was a late season call-up to varsity. With the graduation of midfielder Ben L'Ecuyer, the Trojans lose a lot of size in the heart of the offense.
"Physical play is going to be a big problem for us," Hill said. "They are both skilled, but they are not physical players. Colin and Jack really see the field very well. They are going to have a little difficult time with the physical play, but I think they have the intelligence to handle those positions."
J.J. Stadler and Kadin Deruitter will look to pickup minutes at the midfield
Starting at outside halfback will be sophomore Cole Stecyk, who played last season, and he was injured for most of last season.
"Cole has got some great skills," Hill said. "He is a very experienced outside halfback that played in the off season for a select team. It is good to have these guys who are playing outside of school because they are playing for much of the year. Cole will be very solid for us on offense."
The other outside halfback slot is still a toss-up between the left-footed junior Nate Dutkewych and junior Mark Schwiegerhausen. Hill says that no matter which guy he decides to start, the other will receive ample playing time. Rounding out the halfback position is Reilly Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons is a good player who will get plenty of playing time on varsity.
Bromfield will look to score a lot of goals using its speed up top with senior co-captain Adam Lorenz-Kruk and Omar Al Homsi.
"It is a pleasant surprise to have Omar back after he played out in Michigan last year," Hill said. "Omar played at a division 1 school in Michigan and had 10 goals. Omar is one of our most aggressive players with a strong shot and a lot of speed.
"Adam Lorenz-Kruk came off the bench for us last season, but he was as good as any starter we had. Adam is very mobile up front and he makes things happen."
Nick Wyman and Sam Hayes have upside and will find some time at striker during the season.
Heading into the season, Hill has the goal to win the Mid Wach D title and make a district run.
"Division 4 is not all that strong, but Sutton is going to be strong this year," Hill said.
"A lot of the guys on the team have the goal of winning districts. With so many young kids, I am hoping that they will get a load of varsity experience. It is going to be challenging to win the league, but I still think we can do it."