Boys soccer season gets underway this coming week, and here are previews of teams from around the Record Newspapers coverage area.
Coach: Henry Cheung.
Last year’s record: 4-5-1 overall; 2-3-1, fifth place in Little Ten Conference.
Top returners: Lance Pasakarnis, so., D; Nathan Kath, so., D; Rober Rios, sr., M; Jesus Rios, sr., M.
Key newcomer: Angel Pedroza, so., F.
Worth noting: Newark is going to be extremely young on paper, so the key is how quickly the kids can develop. Cheung said his group has been working hard all summer and the workouts were well-attended.
“I want to be able to look back on and say that the kids grew up very quickly, they stepped up to the plate and achieved some great things that maybe no one thought we’d be able to do,” Cheung said. “We will be looking to improve as the season progresses.”
Coach: Gaspar Arias.
Last season’s record: 11-3 overall, third place in Southwest Prairie Conference.
Top returners: Daniel Avila, sr., F; Jack Walsh, sr., F; Jacob Thompson, sr., F; Logan Wade, sr., GK; Alex Nobles, sr., D.
Key newcomers: Kyllian Avila, so., M; Will Kalsto, jr., D; Ryan Walsh, so., D.
Worth noting: Arias aims at a modest goal of finishing in the top five in conference, which given Oswego’s recent success certainly seems attainable. Thompson scored a team-high 12 goals with five assists in the spring in his first varsity season. Jack Walsh scored seven goals and had four assists. Arias said it will be a challenging year for the Panthers, who have a young team but will work hard to be in the top five in the SPC.
“I feel we should be able to be one of the best teams in the conference,” Arias said.
Coach: Stephen Szymanski
Last season’s record: 6-4-4, fourth place in Southwest Prairie Conference.
Top returners: Kellen Klosterman, sr., M; Cael Cummings, sr., D; Carter Boberg, sr., M; Grant Glorioso, sr., M; Min Kha, sr., F; John Danison, sr., D; Gilberto Mirarez, sr., D.
Key newcomer: DuPablo Parodis-Yu, jr., F; Javier Ruiz, so., GK.
Worth noting: The Wolves return 16 players from last season’s team, nine of them starters. Of that group, five are third-year starters and one a fourth-year starter in a senior-heavy group. Klosterman, all-sectional, all-conference and team MVP in the spring, had five goals and three assists. Cummings was honorable mention all-sectional and all-conference. Boberg had three goals and four assists, Glorioso three goals and four assists and Kha seven goals and two assists. Szymanski said it’s a deep team with 16 or 17 kids who realistically could start without the Wolves losing a step, and should be a top four team in conference behind West Aurora and Plainfield North.
“Our midfield is our strength and if we can find two or three consistent goal scorers, I think we will be a tough team to beat,” Szymanski said. “I haven’t been more excited for a season in a while like I am for this one.”
Coach: Tom Dean.
Last season’s record: 2-14 overall, 1-6 Interstate Eight Conference, seventh place.
Top returners: Vincent Herbig, sr., M; Diego Hernandez, jr., F; Kevin Romero, jr., M; Tristan Cervantes, so., D; Nathan Smotzer, so., D.
Worth noting: The Reapers are a very young team. Plano has four upperclassmen in the program and a large amount of underclassmen. Graduated all-sectional goalkeeper Hugo Tochimani leaves big shoes to fill. Keying the returning players is Herbig, an all-sectional and all-conference pick who had eight goals and two assists, and made 16 saves in goal in two games when Tochimani was sidelined. Romero scored two goals and Hernandez one as sophomores.
“This will be a growing year for the Reapers,” Dean said. “We look to lay a deep foundation for the future, and to find success wherever we go.”
Coach: Aaron Mlot.
Last season’s record: 0-13 overall, 0-7 Interstate Eight Conference, eighth place.
Top returners: Luis Baez, jr., M/D; Jacob Scalf, sr., M; Johnathan Carlson, so., GK; Xander Clark, so., D.
Key newcomers: Alex Alfaro, sr., Jamie Serrano sr. and Cesar Garcia jr.
Worth noting: The Indians graduated eight seniors, all of whom played significant minutes, leaving a lot of questions. Baez, a quiet leader who began to assert himself midway through last season, returns bigger, stronger, faster and more confident. Scalf is the heart and soul of this Sandwich team who fills any gaps that Baez has left open. Carlson and Clark both take on expanded roles this fall with Alfaro, Serrano and Garcia all back after a year off.
“The team possesses skill and a mind for the beautiful game, but we lack fitness, shape and will struggle with depth,” Mlot said. “While looking at the schedule there are games to be had, but as far as an outlook is concerned, it’s uncertain. Without a doubt, there’s talent here, but what will we do with it?”
Coach: Chris Palmisano.
Last season’s record: 1-9, 10th place in Southwest Prairie Conference.
Top returner: Michael Ripsch, sr., D.
Key newcomers: Noe Fletes, so., M; Caden Nadler, jr., M.
Worth noting: The Foxes graduated 18 seniors, led by Record Newspapers Player of the Year Preston Huitron, with only three players returning. Each of those three were role players off bench. Of that group, Ripsch started games defensively for the Foxes.
“With that being said, we are going much younger this year and are excited about what our team will be able to accomplish and build off last year’s results,” Palmisano said.
Palmisano expects that Fletes and Nadler will be key forces in the Yorkville lineup, “extremely hard workers, good on the ball, and make great decisions while on the field.” The Foxes also will have three freshmen on varsity for the first time in program history.
“With all of the new faces and new experience at the varsity level we look to compete each day and grow as a team,” Palmisano said. “We are looking forward to competing in every game in an extremely talented and well coached conference as well as continuing to build a strong program and team culture that emphasizes the importance of growing as young men both on and off the field and putting the we before the me.”
Source: The Daily Chronicle