Senior Soccer Captain Reflects on a Successful Marauder Season
Math placement exams for the incoming Freshman class caused a welcomed frenzy among HHS students- No math classes! What better way to spend a Personal Finance X-period than having a sit-down interview with Boy’s Varsity Soccer captain Sam Pych? After hustling up to the third floor only to realize we didn’t need to check in, Sam and I made our way down to the pit, ready to reminisce on this past season. Sam, a senior co-captain, is a three year varsity starter who plays center defense, making him one of the focal points of the 2017 Marauder campaign.
Sam Pych began playing soccer at a very young age, falling in love with the team environment. He soon joined the Lighting Soccer Club, playing on the B-team under HHS varsity coach, Rob Grabill. He made his way onto the A-team as an eighth grader, just in time for high level play to prepare him for a strong high school career. Once at Hanover High, Sam played on the Freshman team as a freshman, graduating to varsity for his sophomore year. Paired in the defense with Ian Caldwell (‘16), Sam excelled and had earned himself a year long starting spot. Junior year Sam became the stalwart of the Hanover defense, earning himself All-State honors for his play in the back. Prepped for a big senior season, with repeat All-State honors and a State Championship in sight, injury struck.
In the first summer league scrimmage, Sam sprained his ankle. Describing his injury, Sam told me he was “upset, I was down on myself.” This was going to be his big year, his senior year. In a boot for much of the summer, Sam had not fully healed by Opening Day. Unable to play, Sam stayed involved with the team by acting as a sideline consult to Coach Grabill. Further helping Grabill, Sam mentored and coached younger defenders who will in the not-so-far future become the heart of the Hanover defense.
Returning a few weeks into the season, Pych began practising with the second team, eventually getting quality time in a matchup against Spaulding High School. He says that he felt a lot of discomfort playing as he wasn’t fully healed, but that it was good to be back. He says he struggled at first due to being rusty (he hadn’t played soccer since early July), and a lack of fitness because he also couldn’t run on his sprained ankle. Once Sam returned to full strength, he was making an impact. Slotted into a senior star studded midfield, Sam’s presence was felt on both sides of the ball. Leading the Marauders to a 10-0 undefeated run to end the regular season, Sam’s favorite moment of the season came against Nashua North in the first round of the playoffs. He was the hero of the game, scoring the tying and game winning goal for the Marauders.
Although disappointed by this year’s Marauders heartbreaking semi-finals exit, he says, “don’t sleep on Hanover. We’ll always be in contention for the state title.” Next year’s squad is one to be excited for, and Sam’s confident that next year’s squad they will bring home a title.
Sam’s soccer career continues next year at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, where he will be a member of the D3 squad.