Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By Paul Betit firstname.lastname@example.org
Wyatt Omsberg appears to be fitting in quite well with his new teammates at Scarborough.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ryan Keefe, Kennebunk junior: A midfielder, Keefe scored four goals to pace the Rams to two wins. He scored two goals in a 4-0 win against Bonny Eagle and two more goals in a 4-1 win against Massabesic.
Grant Burfiend, Falmouth senior: Scored with 43 seconds left in overtime to lift the Yachtsmen to a 3-2 win at Greely.
Dillon Burns, South Portland senior: Scored three goals to lead the Riots to a 4-0 win at Westbrook.
Peter Vannorsdall, Camden Hills junior: Scored two goals to lead the Windjammers to a 3-2 win at Mt. View.
AREA TOP FIVE
Before the season began, Omsberg, a junior midfielder, transferred to the SMAA school from the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference's Messalonskee High in Oakland.
"My mother got a job in Portland over the summer and we moved down here," he said. "It was tough to leave. I loved the kids, loved the team. We had an awesome year last year, so it was really tough leaving."
It hasn't taken Omsberg long to find his niche with the Red Storm, who have a 4-0-2 record after Tuesday's victory at Kennebunk.
Put simply, he tends to control the middle of the field.
"That Omsberg kid in the middle is very good technically," said Cheverus Coach Bill LeBlanc, after Omsberg helped the Storm roll to a 3-1 win against the Stags last Thursday night. "He just holds them together. He's a big force in the air and he plays well with both feet. He's probably the best player I've seen this year."
But talent isn't the only reason Omsberg has been able to make a relatively rapid transition to Scarborough's style of play.
"He has a great personality, and I think, outside of his skill set, that's his biggest asset," Scarborough Coach Mark Diaz said. "He wants to fit in. He wants to work with other people. He's unselfish. Those kind of players are an easy fit. That's what he brings to the table."
Omsberg credits his new teammates and his new coach with making him feel welcome at Scarborough.
"The transition has been a lot easier than I thought," he said. "Coach Diaz is an awesome coach. The guys have been good to me."
During his past two seasons with the Eagles, Omsberg played more of defensive role, but he's expected to contribute at both ends of the field for the Red Storm.
"It's hard to get back and forth," he said. "You have to be good on offense, good on defense. You have to fight to get back on defense and win balls in transition."
Diaz said Omsberg won't have any trouble playing an expanded role with the Red Storm.
"He's extremely competitive and a hard worker," the coach said. "He's always trying to get better."
AFTER SPENDING seven seasons coaching soccer in Virginia, Andy Higgins, the second-year coach at Gray-New Gloucester, is in a good position to gauge the strength of the teams in the Western Maine Conference.
Before returning to Maine, Higgins helped coach boys' soccer teams at Bay Side High School in Virginia Beach and Norfolk Collegiate in Norfolk.
"Soccer was very good, very competitive there," he said. "We had kids who were going to big-time (college) programs like Virginia and Maryland."
The players on the teams in the WMC may not be as talented, but the games are just as competitive, Higgins said.
"It's definitely competitive from top to bottom every single day," he said. "You've got your Falmouths and your Yarmouths, but there are no slouches. On any given day, anything can happen."
Higgins, who teaches special education at Gray Middle School, grew up playing soccer in Ellsworth, where he played for Maine's winningest high school coach, Brian Higgins, who is no relation.
"I just try to get the kids to work hard, be intense and compete, and push the guy next to you," he said.
"That's how we played at Ellsworth."
GAMES OF THE WEEK: On Thursday night, South Portland, 4-0-1 going into Tuesday night's game against Deering, travels to play defending Class A state champion Windham, which was 3-1 going into Tuesday afternoon's game at Cheverus.
On Saturday afternoon, Yarmouth, 5-0-1 after Tuesday night's victory against Poland, hosts two-time defending Class B state champion Falmouth, 5-0-0 after Tuesday afternoon's victory at Freeport.
Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at: email@example.com