HAMBURG — It didn’t take all that long for Wallkill Valley head boy’s soccer coach Larry Hildebrand to see firsthand that his team was built on a sturdy foundation.

In fact, a match played on September 25 proved that the Rangers were well prepared for even the toughest competition.

“The first was our home game versus Vernon early in the season," Hildebrand. “It was 94 degrees and we only had one substitute to start the game and finished with 11 players. This showed our players we could win even though we had starters who were injured and couldn’t play. We overcame adversity and won the game in overtime.

“The other game was the second game against North Warren (on October 21). We needed to win to secure the Colonial Division Championship and we were again without several attacking players who were hurt. A junior varsity player who was brought up for the game scored the first goal and we went on to win 2-0."

Wallkill Valley had some very strong leaders on the roster this year.

“Dan Bacon started the season as a midfielder but was eventually moved to center defender," Hildebrand said. “It was not Dan’s preference of positions to play, but he did it because it made the team better. Dan did an excellent job of organizing the defense which gave our team a lot of confidence. Josh Abrahams was our goalkeeper and also was a vocal leader from the back and helped organize the team. Josh’s strong play allowed our defenders to relax and play with more confidence.

“Grady Egan was a player that showed continued improvement throughout the year. This was Grady’s first year as a varsity defender and as his confidence grew he became better not only as a defender but at initiating the attack out of the back of the defense. Marvin Kuryala was a senior player who started as a forward but was moved to holding midfielder. Marvin’s play at midfield was one of the reasons we won seven games in a row after a rough start to the season."

The Rangers tallied an overall record of 10-7-1 and they won the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference Colonial Division with a mark of 7-1. Next year should prove fruitful as well for Wallkill Valley.

“We return a core of players who have two to three years of varsity experience," Hildebrand said. “As long as we can develop the younger players, we should be able to compete next year.’’