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Youth Programs Boost MHS Sports
Even with a number of talented multi- sport athletes at Milford High School, more than ever importance has been placed
on year-round development and training
in order to help athletes compete at the highest possible level. And that training and experience is being developed at younger ages.
Milford has embraced youth programs
as a means to developing reliable feeder systems to have young athletes ready to compete and having honed the basics
by the time they reach high school. The Hockomock League is replete with towns that have such programs, and in order to keep up, Milford has had to do the same beyond the traditional youth baseball, football, and basketball teams.
A pair of recent success stories highlight the value of these types of programs. This fall's undefeated middle school girls soccer team includes a strong eighth grade class, many of whom are likely heading to MHS next fall. The Scarlet Hawks girls soccer program has a new head coach who has said repeatedly he is looking to change
the culture of the program and adding a talented crop of young talent will likely help.
The varsity team struggled at times to score goals and the coach is looking to shift the squad to a more offensively-minded focus. The middle school team included a player who scored 20 goals in just 11 games, which would seem to jibe with the direction in which Milford's varsity team wants to go.
Another sport where the Hawks seem to be well ahead of other area programs is in girls' cross country. The Hock is strong in this sport, as has been the case for years, but teams in the greater Milford area are working hard to find athletes.
Nipmuc was able to field a small team this fall after several years without a girls' program. Blackstone Valley Tech has seen a dip in numbers despite booming participation in other sports, and BVT
is still well ahead of most of its league compatriots. BVT barely had a win-loss
record in dual meet competition due to either its team, or the opposing squad, being unable to have enough runners available to have the competition qualify as an official meet.
Conversely, Milford had 19 girls running with this year's team. The Scarlet Hawks will lose six to graduation from the
varsity roster, but the team's head coach
is confident he will be able to maintain
a robust roster thanks to the successful middle school program. It's another sign the town is having success getting athletes hooked on sports at young ages.




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