Football teams all over Western Mass. Use all of their unique strategies to make a good impression in the short amount of time they completed in the Fall II season.

The Amherst Regional High School Varsity and JV soccer teams are no exception. The hurricanes were aided by four members of the Amherst soccer team, who decided to join the team and transfer their skills to the soccer field.

Danny Clemons Jr., Jamie Park, Connor Plankey and Emmett Bird have made consecutive decisions for the past few weeks to support the hurricanes. With a soccer team like Amherst arguably having the best season ever in 2019, the train to join a successful program was indeed real.

It all started in the fall of 2020 when both the soccer and soccer programs trained regularly. The Fall II season turned out to be a godsend for these four soccer players as this spring gave them the opportunity to play without affecting their regular soccer schedule.

Amherst head football coach Chris Ehorn said he was thrilled to have four new athletes on the program, which has helped his team have 44 players. Ehorn didn’t even have to recruit the soccer players as each of them tried to find Ehorn to play.

“Over the course of a few weeks in autumn they came to me individually after training and asked if they could join the team in the autumn II phase,” explained Ehorn. “They had a similar story; They always wanted to play, but they played soccer and now this is your perfect opportunity to try. “

As different as the two sports may seem, some of the skills the quartet has acquired through years of playing with their feet can be easily transferred to football. Plankey, a senior that year who played as a goalkeeper on the soccer team, said the position’s requirements for good hands and diving skills helped him explore various positions on the soccer team.

“For football, I’m kind of an all-rounder and not a master,” said Plankey. “I played punter, kicker, tight end, outside linebacker, offensive tackle, wing and special teamer. I’m not the best in any of these positions, but I learn quickly, have a great work ethic, and love what I do. I like to contribute to the team in any way I can, no matter what it takes. “

The fast-paced running environment of football and the use of kicking strategies also help.

“They hook up really well for using things like kickoffs, kick returns, and punts,” said Ehorn. “The job really is to get off the field as quickly as possible and play on the ball.”

By adding additional players who are conditioned to lead the field, Amherst’s starters can sometimes take a break, knowing that these athletes have the option to leave the field and play if necessary.

While this seems like an easy addition at the moment as soccer is an off-season sport, the players said that they will continue their soccer careers while standing in the moonlight as soccer stars.

Park, a sophomore student who plays for the soccer team as a forward and central attacking midfielder, said he had time with his soccer team in addition to Amherst soccer.

“I’m with NEFC, a local club team, and we have several drills and games every week,” said Park. “I go to soccer practice at least three times a week right after soccer practice, which makes me very sore all the time. However, I love doing sports and everything with a lot of contact. I am very grateful for this opportunity to play the sport I thought I would never play again as a kid. “

Plankey is a member of the Lancaster FC Stars team. A few times a week, these student athletes have to leave football as quickly as possible and immediately drive their club team to football practice for over an hour.

While it seems like a lot of juggling, Ehorn said the team would be grateful to add them to continue another successful football season for the Hurricanes.

However, regarding the kick game, Ehorn admitted that the team is not interested in scoring field goals this season.

“The guys practice out there and show me that they can, which is very nice of them,” said Ehorn. “But when it comes to the kick game, we plan to stick with our strategy.”