Soccer Returns with Big Plans for the Future

Elite-level soccer will join ice hockey and ski racing as signature athletic programs at Northwood School, according to school officials.

As the 2017-2018 school year gets going, there has been some big news on campus regarding a new and improved athletic activity. Northwood has plans to bring elite travel soccer to Lake Placid, demonstrating Northwood athletes do more than hockey and skiing. School officials hope  to create another rich tradition with the soccer program.

Soccer has been a part of Northwood School for many years, but not at the competitive level of hockey and skiing. With the idea to continue excellence at Northwood, the school feels like soccer would be a good addition to continue that excellence not only with the athletes they bring in to compete on the field, but also in the classroom, according to Athletic Director and Dean of Students Mr. Gino Riffle.

“The idea of building programs at Northwood has been here since [Head of School] Mr. Maher came to campus” says Mr. Riffle. Not only is it building programs, but it’s building a center of excellence. “We feel we have one right now in skiing and in hockey. And on the academic side with robotics and innovation and design programs, and soccer would add to that as well.”  With that in mind, a group of guys were able to get together and make this program a reality.

Moody

New soccer coach John Moodey. Photo: provided.

“It started through a phone call between John Moodey and Brad D’Arco,” said Riffle. “John Moodey is the person who oversees this program, Brad D’Arco, Even Nielson, Jon Moodey all worked for Mike Maher at Berkshire school, where John was the soccer coach” said Riffle. He said the leaders of the new program have a rich history together, which can only be for the better of the program.

When news of the soccer program spread on campus, questions emerged, including “Where are they going to get players from?” and “What will their travel be like?”

Mr. Riffle had answers. The new coaches already have started bringing in players. “They spent a week in Sweden this summer, and I think 800 teams were in Sweden for the event,” said Mr. Riffle. With that being said, the travel for the new athletes will be similar to those of the hockey team. “They will play weekends in the fall against other prep schools. They will travel to four showcase events in the winter and spring months. The travel will be similar to our current hockey travel.”

Another question was, “How are these athletes going to be able to train in the rough winters of Lake Placid?” Again, Mr. Riffle was able to clear that up. “We are looking into the possibilities of an indoor turf facility for training sessions during the winter months,” said Mr. Riffle. Those are not the only plans to advance the soccer program and other athletic programs at Northwood. The future looks bright for the facilities at Northwood. “As we continue to move forward in our long range plan, we will study our current indoor and outdoor facilities, making sure we offer the best possible situation for all of our programs.”

Another question is, “How is this soccer program going to better Northwood School and the overall community?” According to Mr. Riffle, elite soccer “will allow us to branch out into new markets for our admissions office and introduce new college/universities to Northwood and all we have to offer.”

As Northwood begins the 2017-2018 school year, there is a lot to look forward to in the future year of Northwood School athletics.

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