PAXTON, Mass. – Freshman center backs Bryan Blomgren (Auburn, Mass.) and Nick Paige (Gloucester, Mass.) have been named the co-captains for the Anna Maria College Men's Soccer Team in 2012.
"It is not typical that players this young earn the captains armbands, but Bryan and Nick are not typical first-year members of a program. They both led in their own, unique ways throughout their freshmen campaigns and we believe that they have the respect of both the coaching staff and all of their teammates and deserve this tremendous honor," said AMCATS Head Coach Zach Rocha.
Blomgren was the only AMCAT to start and play in all 20 of Anna Maria's games this past season. He consistently held together the back line from his center back position. He was the anchor of a defense that regularly missed players due to injury.
"I'm ready for next season. I'm looking forward to helping progress the team further. We are only going to get better," Blomgren said.
Blomgren also tallied two goals. He converted a penalty kick in a 3-1 home loss to Norwich on September 17. He also scored in a 4-2 home loss to Mount Ida on October 8.
"Bryan was the definition of consistency and leadership on the pitch. No matter how tired or beat up he may have been physically, we knew that we were going to get his best every time he stepped on the field; whether it be in practice or a match. We are excited at his continued improvement," said Rocha.
Blomgren was a standout player at Auburn High School. As a senior, he was selected to the Southern Worcester County League All-Star Team and Central Massachusetts Soccer Coaches Association All-Star Team, as well as the Worcester Telegram & Gazette Super Team. Additionally, in a testament to his character, he received a Coaches' Award and Outstanding Sportsmanship Award from his coaches at Auburn High School.
Though Paige only appeared in and started two games as a freshman due to a severe back injury, there was no question as to his dedication to his teammates and his desire to see them succeed.
"As all great competitors are, Nick was certainly frustrated that he could not be on the pitch more to help out his teammates. And it was a trying season. There were a lot of factors that kept us from reaching our short-term goals this season. Nick, though, was there in whatever capacity he could to support. Though he could not physically perform, his voice was non-stop and positive and full of strength and intelligence," said Rocha. "We hope that we can get his back injury fixed and rehabilitated and get him on the pitch playing. Regardless, he is someone who exemplifies what it means to be an AMCAT and is of great character. He is paramount to our long-term success."
Paige was a key performer as a central defensive midfielder and captain for Gloucester High School, helping lead the team to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 State Tournament. He also served as captain for the Cape Ann Spartans U-18 club team.
"I'm delighted to be a leader on the squad. We are excited at who we already have, at who we are going to add, and building a solid group of guys," Paige said. "Our goal is to develop into a program which will be in the top of the GNAC in the near future."
The Anna Maria College Men's Soccer team went 4-15-1 in 2011, besting the record of the previous season. In 33 seasons of existence, the program currently sits at 99 wins. It will look for win No. 100 on Saturday, September 1, when the AMCATS host Mitchell College in their 2012 season opener.