By all standards, Trevor Grafton has had a standout season for the Abington High School boys varsity soccer team. He’s netted 20 goals – the highest total by a Green Wave soccer player in at least a decade – and will lead the team to its second straight MIAA tournament berth.
The campaign has been made easier by being able to talk to his cousin, Hunter Grafton, who experienced an all-star season of his own for the Abington varsity golf team. A junior, Hunter finished the season as the squad’s top player, and the second best player in the South Shore League based on scoring.
The Graftons catch up after every game or match, and also talk about their seasons as Trevor, a senior, drives them to school each morning.
“It’s definitely helpful to have someone to lean on during times when you’re mentally struggling,” said Trevor.
“We’re super supportive of each other,” said Hunter.
Starts At Home
The success being enjoyed by the two Grafton cousins – their dads, Rich and Mike, are brothers – is not surprising to their families. Both come from sports-centric homes with lots of athletic siblings and cousins to play with.
Trevor Grafton is the third of five; older siblings Maddie and Brendon have already donned the green and white, while brother Aiden is a sophomore starter on the soccer team, and Brody, a 7th grader, often serves as the team’s ball boy. Soccer is the primary sport for all five.
Hunter is the oldest of three brothers, each of whom play multiple sports. Younger brother Matthew had played soccer but switched to football for his freshman year, and Wes is a 6th grader. All three also play lacrosse.
“They have been surrounded by sports and games their whole lives,” said Hunter’s mother, Danielle. “Family parties have always centered around backyard sports competitions ranging from fierce games of flag football, soccer and volleyball to Olympic style events like towel jumping, pool relay races and diving/flip competitions.”
Determined To Succeed
With Trevor in the middle helping lead a deep roster of talented seniors, the Green Wave boys soccer is poised to make its deepest playoff run in years. After a breakout junior season that included a first round tournament win, Grafton came into his senior year bigger and more confident in his game, which he honed in the off-season as a member of the Bolts FC, club soccer team.
“Definitely confidence is a huge factor which has come through me growing bigger, being faster,” he said.
Head Coach Brian Claus was the team’s junior varsity coach until taking over the varsity squad last year. He coached Grafton as a freshman and has had an up close view of his development as a player.
“He’s been fantastic,” Claus said. “He just came into the season mentally saying this is his year.”
He said it starts for Grafton during training and carries over into the games.
“You can see how much he enjoys playing. He’s playing hard. He’s playing intelligently,” Claus said. “You could see from the beginning he wanted to make it his year and he’s made it that way. “
Rich Grafton said because his son has been on the smaller size, he’s had to work “tirelessly” on his footwork to stand out among the bigger players.
“He has had to be more technically proficient just to continue to compete and sometimes actually excel at his club level,” said Grafton, a longtime soccer coach in town.
The Green Wave finished the season 10-6-2 and is ranked 9th going into the tournament.
“He’s got a good cast around him,” Claus said. “He’s the type of player that makes them better as well.”
Trevor, who is hoping to play soccer in college, says he has a playlist he listens to before games that gets him mentally ready.
“I like to go into the game with confidence that I’m going to score,” he said.
Hunter Grafton grew up playing alongside his cousin on the pitch – until last year.
“My freshman year I played soccer but I wasn’t really loving it anymore, and I thought I’d try something new,” he said.
The golf team made sense for him. He had started playing golf with his dad in middle school. A number of his hockey teammates were already on the golf team. And the team’s coach, Tim Hill, had been his 7th and 8th grade history teacher.
“I thought I’d switch it up, and play golf for a year, and I really liked it,” said Grafton. “It’s a lot more laid back and competitive at the same time.”
He was a South Shore League All-Star in his first year, and spent the offseason playing more. Grafton also credits Hill with rebuilding his swing.
“I was almost swinging like a baseball bat. Now I almost look like a golfer,” he said.
The result was an impressive junior year campaign where he averaged 23.4 points per match under the Stableford scoring system, beating his nearest teammate by more than 2 points. He averaged almost 27 points over the season’s last five matches – a score that translates into approximately even par – helping the team qualify for the state tournament again.
What stood out to Hill was that Grafton averaged 22 points during away matches – sometimes on courses he’d only seen once before.
“Its not like playing on a football field where the dimensions are the same. Every golf course is different,” he said. “If your game can travel, then you can play.”
Hill said Grafton’s strengths are his strong short game and mental toughness. Whether it was having to jump off the bus right onto the tee box, or recovering from an errant shot, Grafton was always cool under pressure.
“I’ve never seen him get flustered,” said Hill. “He just says, ‘OK, fine, I missed a shot, I’m going to make up for it.”
Grafton considers lacrosse his top sport. He plays on a club team and has led the varsity lacrosse team – which his dad coaches – in scoring the past two seasons. He also finished the hockey season last winter second on the team in goals.
“I could see this coming with him since he has always been competitive and skilled in everything that he does,” said his uncle, Rich. “He has great composure and confidence and eventually that size, strength, and intensity will all come together for even better performances.”
Danielle Grafton said it’s been a thrill to watch her son and nephew have standout seasons at the same time.
“The Grafton cousins growing up together, going to school together, and playing sports together has been pretty amazing to witness and I’m hoping an experience they have enjoyed and appreciate,” she said.