| Newport Daily News
The Portsmouth and Tiverton High School boys’ football teams remained undefeated during the regular season. Middletown and Rogers had to be quarantined for a period, and later in the season Tiverton was unable to compete in the playoffs because an opponent tested positive and the Tigers were forced to sit.
There were some outstanding performances during the shortened season, and these players are recognized as members of the Newport Daily News All-County’s boys’ soccer team.
Caiden Ibbotson, Tiverton
Ibbotson added to his personal portfolio with another fine, if short, season. As a junior, he led the team with nine goals and seven assists in 16 games and was a selection of all divisions of the second team.
“He scored six goals and had four assists and we only played eight games,” said Tiverton coach Tom Murray. “This year he was the first team in all divisions.”
Ibbotson’s scoring chances were known to their opponents, but they still found it difficult to stop him.
“I think he was one of the most dangerous strikers in the league,” said Murray. “He’s quick, his foot skills are really good, and he’s dedicated. He gave everything he had. He had a good attitude this year. “
Sam Stamoulis, Portsmouth
Stamoulis, a team three-captain and all-division second team that I picked, made an impact on the offensive side of the ball.
“He was my energizer,” said Portsmouth coach Mike Stinton. “He was always go, go, go. He covered a lot of space for us in advance and was quick over a short distance. He is aggressive and irritates the other team. “
The defensive-minded Patriots failed to score many goals, in part because Teagan Brady, an all-county player and seven-goal scorer in his sophomore year last season, missed a handful of games. That meant that Stamoulis couldn’t play his normal partner up front.
“I felt bad because Sammy was alone a lot,” said Stinton. “(Brady) was away for a couple of weeks so the teams focused on him and made sure they recognized him.”
Andrew Bolano, Middletown
Middletown spent more time together in the preseason than the regular season as the islanders had to be quarantined for two weeks. But Bolano, the team captain, was a pioneer for the islanders in difficult times.
“He was our leader. He’s so calm and just goes about his business and cares what he does, ”said JP Massaro, Middletown coach.
Bolano’s job in the field was to ease the offense, and Massaro had no complaints about his work.
“We were able to support Andrew in his position and he thrived in that situation,” said Massaro. “He was the creative guy who pitched teammates. He was without a doubt our best player. “
Tim Borden, Tiverton
In a season shortened by the pandemic, Borden was consistently tall.
“It changed a lot of people,” said Tiverton coach Tom Murray. “We’ve talked all year about being careful with the people you’ve been hanging out with and being careful where you go.
“He was just happy that we could play. He stayed focused and worked his butt off. He was dedicated and stayed healthy all season. “
Borden was a strong player in Tiverton’s defense and one of the reasons the Tigers set a 5-0-3 overall record.
“He made sure no one came back here and scored goals,” said Murray. “We only allowed five goals all year and he was one of our consistent defenders.”
Evan Torio, Tiverton
Torio joined the picking of Tiverton and his classmate Tim Borden.
“He was a starter at Sweeper for two years. He was our safety net in the background, ”said Tiverton coach Tom Murray. “We relied on him. He was a workhorse for us. “
In addition to his soccer intelligence, Torio used another one of his assets to his advantage, keeping Tiverton’s goals under one goal against the average of a game.
“I think he’s one of the fastest players in the division,” said Murray. “If someone wanted to get past the defense, they could go right or left and relax. He worked very hard. “
Parker Hagen, Rogers
Rogers coach Jaime Perez Vazquez recalls a game that defined Hagen’s eclectic season.
“If I had a full line and got Parker, I wouldn’t hesitate to make him a striker,” said Perez Vasquez. “In one game we had no hope and we lost, but he cheered everyone on and kept fighting.
“He won a ball on the back line and picked it up through four lines. Then he took on two children 1 (against) 1. From 40 meters away with his left foot, he shot a shot and hung the ball in the corner above the goalkeeper. I’ve never seen a piece like this before. “
In central defense, Hagen was excellent in defense.
“He was the anchor of the team. He had good vision, was strong, and had no problem expressing what was great in the background. He’s just so athletic … a great team leader, a great student and just a great kid. “
Jack Bielawa, Portsmouth
Bielawa could simply be called Mr. Everything. He was a first-team, all-state pick, an all-first-team academic choice, and one of three captains for the Patriots.
Portsmouth coach Mike Stinton said: “He can do anything. He was free to do what he wanted. “He was a mainstay in the back row but wasn’t cemented on the defensive side of the field.
“He was the leader of our defense in the middle. He controlled the defense, ”Stinton said. “He could run too.
“He appeared in dead ball situations when we needed a corner kick. He was able to score from 40 meters away. He had a laser of a shot. “
John Maedke, Portsmouth
Maedke, a selection of the first team and the entire Division I, turned out to be an experiment that worked for Portsmouth coach Mike Stinton.
“He was a midfielder and a striker last year but we moved him back,” said Stinton. “It was difficult to throw him back there because we didn’t have a preseason. It was a little difficult to understand what to do at first, but he got it. “
In addition, Maedke could still occasionally take a foray through the midfield strip.
“He’s a good size, he’s a tough kid and has explosive pace,” said Stinton. “He was one of the better dribblers on the team. Due to its size, he moved it upwards with dead balls for air balls at corners and kicks. The teams were afraid of us in such situations. “
Wil Rudolph, Portsmouth
Like teammate Jack Bielawa, Rudolph is an all-county replay pick, a staunch defender and a captain of three. Rudolf was also a second team, an all-division pick, and one of the main reasons the Patriots only allowed two goals in eight games.
“He’s a four year old starter on the backline,” said Portsmouth Coach and Small School State Coach of the Year Mike Stinton. “He’s a tough defender. He is consistent, steady, quick and aggressive. “
Rudolph also mimicked other wing backs when attempting to support and encourage the Portsmouth offense.
“We want to play in such a way that we run from the back to the outside. He was an outside threat, ”said Stinton.
Colin Sullivan, Middletown
The Islanders only played four league games and one non-league game this season, but the total number of competitions was 100 percent higher than Sullivan’s in the previous campaign.
“He was injured the year before and had his entire junior season taken from him,” said Middletown manager JP Massaro. “Then he almost missed this year because of COVID. We didn’t know what to do with him.”
Sullivan worked his way back into shape, but didn’t get enough opportunities to really show off his talents.
“He secured our defense. He ran an organized backline, ”said Massaro. “He just made his move. The best players in the division couldn’t get past him. Then the season was over. “
Nathan Levine, Portsmouth
The goalkeeper turned out to be a weak spot for Portsmouth before Levine was given the opportunity to show what he could.
“He was the goalkeeper (Junior Varsity) last season and was a big question mark for the season,” said Portsmouth coach Mike Stinton. “I didn’t think he’d be ready right away. He surprised everyone, including the players on the team. “
Levine was up to the task and it was noted that he was an all-division first-team pick. He had five shutouts in eight games and allowed no goal in regulation or overtime in Portsmouth’s shootout defeat in the playoffs.
“We just had to build his trust,” said Stinton. “He’s very intelligent, had calm and was pretty calm for a junior. He took on a leadership role back there. “