by Ken Brown
RICHFORD – It was all systems go for the Hazen boys’ soccer team’s offense last week as they opened the season with dominant victories over Richford and Danville.
Jadon Baker scored twice to lead the Wildcats to a 6-2 road win over Richford last Wednesday. Tyson Davison also found the back of the net and Isaiah Baker added a goal and an assist in the win. Ethan Shopland made eight stops in goal for Hazen. Head coach Talan Bryant was back on the sidelines for Hazen after a year hiatus and likes what he is seeing early from his young squad.
“Coaching a young group of kids like this who are athletic, unselfish, and unbelievably kind-hearted makes my job very rewarding and fun. This is a very random season with all the uncertainties and protocols so you have to be prepared for everything, but these kids are practicing and playing as a collective and they have a lot of potential,” said Bryant.
The Wildcats kept their foot on the pedal on Saturday behind Jadon Baker’s hat trick and two assists, blanking Danville 10-0 on the road. Seven other Wildcats found the net in the win and Shopland was strong once again in preserving the shutout.
“Jadon has a natural nose for the goal and is developing into a good finisher. Isaiah has moved to midfield and has embraced it, allowing us to create opportunities from the midfield, which is a great sign for us. It’s a good start for us, and hopefully we can continue to be diligent in following protocols and remain healthy throughout the season,” said Bryant.
Hazen hosted Oxbow on Tuesday and is scheduled to host Winooski next Monday at Hudson Field.