“We’re in a conference with some established programs,” he said. “It’s a great conference for learning. Our non-conference schedule is against newer programs that we can be competitive with.”
The Warriors are only in their second varsity season. The first win in program history came in last spring’s season finale with a 10-9 win over Lewis Mills – only a day after losing to the Spartans by 10 goals.
The first win of this season came a bit quicker. Junior Manny Harden had a career-high four goals while junior teammate Alex Haley had three goals in a 7-5 victory over Bristol’s St. Paul in early April. It is the lone win of the season so far for the Warriors (1-5, 0-5 NCCC).
“Now, it is about improvement,” Schaus said. “I told the kids that this year isn’t about wins and losses. This year is about improving your fundamentals and learning how to play.”
Schaus is looking for Canton to be competitive in upcoming non-league contests with Lewis Mills, Housatonic, Watertown and a return date with St. Paul.
There are just two seniors on the team – co-captains Kyle Mullins and Nick Lavtis.
Mullins is a midfielder who scored twice in the first four games. “He has really taken his game to the next level in the past few weeks,” Schaus said. “He is probably our best player on the team right now. He has good ball control and is creating scoring opportunities.”
Lavtis is a defenseman who has been getting stronger this season.
“They’re helping us break the ice,” Schaus said. “They’re pioneers who are helping us to establish this program.”
Sophomore Dakota Carey starts in goal. He had 10 saves in a nine-goal loss to Somers last week. “It was probably his best game of the year,” Schaus said. “He saw a lot of shots that day. But he did a good job.”
Through the first four games, Haley had four goals on the year with Harden scoring five. Sophomore Jacob Whittingslow had four goals.
“We’re pleased with the work ethic (of the players),” Schaus said. “They’re coming along.”
APRIL: 26: at Ellington; 30: at Suffield, 7 p.m.
MAY: 1: LEWIS MILLS; 3, GRANBY; 6: at Housatonic; 8: at Lewis Mills; 10: at Avon; 13: WATERTOWN; 16: at Somers, 20: at St. Paul.