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Tribe soccer nixed this year

Adam Graves’ first major decision as athletic director at Turners Falls High School was not an easy one to make.

Citing low numbers and games in which the Indians were forced to finish with fewer than 11 players last season, Graves has elected to suspend the varsity soccer program this fall.

In an email sent to The Recorder late Tuesday afternoon, Graves said there were only 15 players at the start of the 2013 season, and 10 finished.

“This is the last decision I wanted to make,” admitted Graves, “but it had to be made now, because our opponents needed to add games.”

Graves lauded the tireless work of head coach Nate Burgess in attempting to make the 2014 season possible.

“Nate did everything he could to keep the program going — making phone calls, sending emails and text messages — but we’re just in a down cycle,” said Graves.

Although Turners Falls does not have a junior-varsity program, Graves said the middle school program is still strong. He will try to keep enough interest among underclassmen and seek a waiver for middle-schoolers to play on the varsity.

“We’re hoping it’s just a one-year thing,” he said. “Our plan going forward is to promote the program for next year and get some help from the middle-school team. We hope the middle school continues to have success and that it will generate interest.”

Burgess was able to continue coaching this season when he was hired by former Indians AD Glenn Doulette to be West Springfield High School’s JV coach.

Turners went 1-12-3 last season but qualified for the postseason in 2012 under Gregg Bergstrom and advanced to the Division III quarterfinals.

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