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Corner kicks

By Jason Mastrodonato
Globe Correspondent / September 11, 2011

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Boys’ players to watch
Remy Fragola, Medfield: With 16 graduates gone from last year’s Tri-Valley League championship squad, the onus will fall on this senior keeper. He pitched a shutout in the opener against Norton.

David Hepp, Natick: The program’s first junior captain, the goalie made quite a impression in his first season with the Under-16 Revolution; he is looking to do the same this fall for the Red & Blue.

Chris Kafina and Forest Sisk, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional: It will take more than one player to replace Cole DeNormandie, last year’s state Player of the Year who is now at Cincinnati. But Kafina, a senior, is a proven offensive threat, while Sisk is an experienced defender/midfielder and a three-time league all-star.

Ryan Rose, Acton-Boxborough Regional: His free-kick goal against Lincoln-Sudbury remains one of the highlights from last season, but the senior captain will be asked to take on a bigger role this fall.

Tim Stanton, Newton North: As a junior, he was a do-it-all player for the Tigers during their run to the Division 1 North title game, and is among the area’s most dangerous players in the air.

Boys’ teams to watch
Acton-Boxborough Regional: The Colonials lost their season-opener to Newton South, but were minus six players due to injury. Their top goalies, Jack Nugent and Jake Siegel, are not yet healthy, and their back line is new. But if it all comes together . . .

Brookline: Coach Jeff Katz had injuries-a-plenty with his squad last season, yet the Warriors still posted a 14-3-6 record in the Bay State Conference’s Carey Division, and some area rivals believe they will be even better this year.

Dover-Sherborn: There’s no way to replace Cam Bielski’s 17 goals and postseason electricity that led the Raiders to their first Division 3 title since 1992, but Joe Gruseck has set his sights on a Tri-Valley League championship.

Lexington: Coach Dan Rudolph was as disappointed and surprised as anyone when the Minutemen were stunned by Newton North in the Division 1 North semis last fall; now they have to move on without the talent of Thomas Ballenthin.

Newton North: Last year’s Cinderella team is out to prove it was not a fluke. The energy provided by coach Roy Dow spread throughout the Tigers squad last fall; for this edition, Dow is transitioning from the kick-and-run tactics of last year to a more possession-based offense with the always-sturdy back line.