Making my seasonal predictions for the fall

After a great run in 2012, Sports Editor Tim Goodwin tries for a repeat with his latest set of picks

Coming off another year where I got more right than wrong, I decided to hang on to my crystal ball and provide another year of predictions.

The fall is always an uncertainty because the freshmen are new to the high school level and I haven’t been able to see the local athletes in a few months. You just never know what to expect.

But nevertheless, it is time to go out on a limb and make my picks known. Who knows, it might just turn out to be my best season yet.

Can ConVal football return to the playoffs?

Despite a number of new players in some very key positions, I believe the Cougars will make their third trip to postseason play in school history. With a new divisional and conference alignment, ConVal will play a number of new teams this season and more importantly, avoid a few of the heavy hitters. The Cougars will be one of the top two teams in the West and will play Monadnock in the conference title game for a chance to advance to the Division II semifinals.

Can the WLC girls soccer team make a run at the semifinals?

The Warriors are just two years removed from advancing to the Final Four and after losing just one starter from 2012, WLC will be a strong candidate to make another run. With a tough as nails defense and an offense that could surprise a few teams, the Warriors are ready to make it back.

Will Mascenic’s Tim Fafard take the next step?

Fafard finished third in Division III last year and seventh at Meet of Champions. After a dominating spring on the track and a good summer of training, Fafard is hitting the ground running (no pun intended). I feel Fafard is going to have a huge season and one that will include a win at the Division III Championships at Derryfield Park on Oct. 26 and follow that up with a top five finish at Meet of Champions the following week. (And just on a side note, after the ConVal girls qualified for Meet of Champions as a team last year, the Cougars will take the next step and make it to New Englands.)

How will the local golfers fair in individual play?

The area has seen a number of high finishes in the state individual tournaments over the last few years and this will be no different. Mascenic sophomore Roman Ojala will repeat as D-III champion and Conant senior Maki Seppala will have his best finish, placing in the top six. As for ConVal’s two seniors, Sam Cody and Ben Wescott, both are playing well and should figure in the top 10 of a deep Division II — if not higher.

Can Conant boys soccer make the playoffs?

It has been five long seasons since the Orioles even sniffed the postseason. While they will not be a top contender or make a deep run, this Conant team will be much improved. And they should be in the mix for one of the final few playoff spots all season long and eventually make it in, which would be a huge step in the right direction.

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