It’s mid-November, and the Bears are poised to make another deep playoff run.
Berkshire’s top-seeded boys varsity soccer team will host Milton Academy on Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Class A tournament. The game starts at 2:00 p.m. on Berkshire’s turf.
The Bears enter the playoffs having finished the regular season undefeated at 16-0, while the No. 8 seed Mustangs closed at 13-3-1.
“It’s going to be a great game,” said Berkshire head coach Charlie Bour. “Milton is super skillful. Every team plays us a little differently, so sometimes it’s tough to prepare for the competition, but I think we’re both ready for the tournament. It’s going to be a beautiful game.”
Bour will rely on a veteran-led attack that features 12 seniors, including last year’s Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year, Jacob Shaffelburg ‘19 and Ugochukwu Achara ’19, both of whom were recently selected to play in the High School Boys Soccer All-American Game in Orlando next month.
Back in September, Berkshire defeated Milton 1-0 on a neutral field (Loomis Chaffee School).
“We are confident in our ability to adapt to the opponent, but also fortunate enough to be able to focus on what we need to do,” said Bour, whose team has outscored opponents 75-14 this year. “The guys are unbelievably versatile and resilient.”
The second year coach led Berkshire to an undefeated regular season last year but fell to his former team, Loomis Chaffee School, 1-0 in double overtime in the NEPSAC Class A championship game.
And while he’s not thinking past Wednesday’s game versus the Mustangs, Bour did admit that he’d recently talked with Loomis coach Tim Helfich, who he considers a close friend, and said the two couldn’t help but consider a rematch.
“We’ve kind of joked around with each other like, ‘Hey, hope to see you on Sunday for a rematch.’ That would definitely be amazing. It would be a great way to conclude the year,” Bour said.
Since 2012, Berkshire has won four Class A titles, the team’s last championship coming in 2016.