Youthful focus for Bobcats soccer

The Munising Baptist Bobcats are looking at younger players to make a big difference this season. “About half the team is sixth-ninth grade,” said Munising Baptist Head Coach Hunter MacArthur. “We have 16 kids, so our numbers are up, but we’re young.”

The team will have one senior in Michael Maloney, but the midfielder missed over 80 percent of the season last year due to injury. Jonny MacArthur will be the other captain for the team, moving out of goal to try to kickstart the offense for the Bobcats.

“With having a younger crew, it helps having Jonny out on the field,” the coach said.

The move will put Ethan Swift in net. The sophomore took multiple reps as goalie last season, including many games late in the year as the lineup got shifted around due to injury.

The Bobcats will run the traditional MBS 4-4-2, with one of the defensive back playing more forward than the others. Up front, freshman Trek Filz is expected to be a speedy option offensively with help from Dylan Swift.

Despite the younger squad, MacArthur is still expecting good things from the team. Mackinac Island is the top projected team in the league, but Big Bay de Noc and Munising Baptist are expected to be the next top two teams in the seven-team league this season.

The rivalry between the Bobcats and Black Bears have grown significantly over the years. Not only are the two teams closest in terms of mileage, but Munising Baptist won the NLL tournament title 2020 at Big Bay, but the Black Bears knocked out the Bobcats the last two years.

“(The team) seemed to be really excited to play Big Bay this year. They want a little payback this year for knocking us out last year,” MacArthur said.

Munising Beacon played their first game of the year on Thursday, Aug. 31 in Big Bay, but the game was played after deadlines of this week’s Munising Beacon. The Bobcats will return home for the first leg in the H-58 rivalry against Grand Marais on Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in Wetmore.