“John is one of those kids that work hard at it,” said Bleau. “It shows when you work hard at something. You may not be the best player starting, coming right out, but if you work at it and stay with the program; it shows what you can do. And John was perfect for that.”
“It’s such a big step up,” Spears said of varsity. “JV is a lot different than varsity because varsity is much more serious. There is so much more focus on the team.”
It turns out Spears had focus to spare, and his teammates recognized it when it was time to name captains for the upcoming season.
“I honestly didn’t think (I would be voted in as captain),” said Spears. “Because I hadn’t been playing varsity for that long. So when my name got called, obviously I was pumped up and I was really gunning for it.”
Spears will be joining fellow senior Adam Traxler and junior Tom Graham as a tri-captain.
“It’s a lot of weight on my shoulders,” Spears said of his captaincy. “But I feel that with Adam and Tom, we can definitely take and lead the team. And we’re definitely starting to do that.”
But while both of his co-captains play up front, Spears will be filling the considerable shoes of his varsity mentor in the backfield.
“I hope I bring a voice out there,” said Spears. “Alex Salah was really loud. He really talked to the team and made sure that everyone was moving, marking players up. Because that’s what the defense needs.”
The Clippers will need the kind of work ethic Spears brings to the pitch when the season starts next week.
“The Cape Ann League is probably one of the top two leagues in Eastern Massachusetts and in the state,” said Bleau. “So the league is going to be tough. You can’t take any game for granted. A lot of our games come down to a goal, so it’s going to be about who is going to grind it out. Right now I like our chemistry. But we still have to make sure that we have the mentality to finish those games.”