Central Catholic Knights
Coach: Billy Hall (8-9-1 in second season)
2011 results: 8-9-1; lost to West Lafayette 2-1 in Benton Central Sectional championship
Returning starters: Joe Yeaman, sr., F; Andrew Dyer, sr., D; Thomas Decker, sr., D; Austin Comery, sr., D; Nick Thompson, jr., MF; Ben Page, jr., MF.
Top newcomers: Tim Wagner, jr., GK; Stefano Ferrari, sr., D; Chris Cardenas, fr., F; Ben Kukkan, fr., MF.
Outlook: Hall expects to field a deep and versatile squad. Yeaman and Thompson combined for 19 goals last season and both earned All-Hoosier Conference recognition.
Faith Christian Eagles
Coach: Kevin Johns (11th season)
2011 results: 9-5-2 (Independent)
Returning starters: Sam Merkle, sr., F (23 G, 4 A); Junbum Kim, sr., F (9 G, 6 A); Connor Sandry, sr., GK (32 saves); John Spykman, sr., GK (41 saves); Peter Starr, sr., M; Cody Imel, sr., D; John Hilt, sr., D; Zane Merkle, soph., D; Jared Schumm, jr., M (5 G, 2 A).
Top newcomers: Jay Jung, sr., F; Daniel Rausch, jr., F; David Kuhns, jr., M; Peter Timperman, jr., F; Logan Heusinger, jr., D.
Outlook: After a season of provisional IHSAA membership, Faith Christian begins full membership in 2012. Top scorer Sam Merkle headlines an experienced senior class. The Eagles will compete in the same Class A sectional with Central Catholic and West Lafayette.
Coach: Bryan Clouse (second season with Harrison; 110-63-6 in 10 seasons overall)
2011 results: 12-8 (3-6 Hoosier Crossroads Conference); defeated Frankfort 3-0 in Lafayette Jeff Sectional championship; lost to Noblesville 3-1 in Kokomo Regional semifinal
Returning starters: Charlie Newton, sr., M (2 G); Chris Musi, sr., D; Jake Bower, sr., D; Chris Bush, sr., F (3 G, 3 A); Austin Webb, jr., M (8 G, 8 A); Nestor Sededji, jr., F (13 G, 5 A); Jake Allrich, sr., GK (8 shutouts).
Top newcomers: Quentin Harris, jr., M; Branden Thompson, sr., M/F; Dennis Lyrintzis, sr., D.
Outlook: An experienced group of Raiders, including nine seniors and six juniors, hopes to defend its sectional championship. Chris Bugay, last season’s team MVP, was not granted a fifth year of eligibility by the IHSAA. But Newton was honorable mention All-HCC, Webb was honorable mention all-district, and Sededji was the team’s second-highest goal scorer.
Lafayette Jeff Bronchos
Coach: Tim Hollendonner (37-50-5 in six seasons)
2011 results: 1-15 (0-9 Hoosier Crossroads Conference); lost to Harrison 1-0 in Lafayette Jeff Sectional semifinal
Returning starters: Taylor Childers, sr., M (3 G, 3 A); Hector Rosado-Sanchez, jr., F (6 G, 4 A); Bryce Everett, jr., M (4 G, 2 A); Alex DelReal, soph., GK (2.97 GAA, 87/118 saves).
Top newcomers: Ricardo Gonzalez, soph., M; Austin Marks, jr., D; Ignacio Gonzalez, sr., M; Jose Hernandez, jr., F.
Outlook: The Bronchos expect to take a step forward after a rebuilding year. Of last year’s losses, four came by just one goal and three others came by two goals. Childers, who has trained in the Oympic Development and Vardar Millenium programs, is attracting Division I interest.
Coach: Boyd Wheeler (second season)
2011 results: 4-10-2 (0-7-2 Hoosier Crossroads Conference); lost to Frankfort 3-1 in Lafayette Jeff Sectional semifinal
Returning starters: Chase Bennett, jr., M/F (2 goals, 3 assists); Cameron Childers, sr., M (2 goals, 1 assist); Lukas Blumling, jr., D; Tomme Reitsma, jr., D; Eric Elming, sr., D (1 goal); Jake Shake, jr., M/F (3 goals); Evan Nolan, sr., M (5 goals, 1 assist); Sean Nicol, soph., M (1 goal, 1 assist).
Top newcomers: Quentin Perez, jr., GK (33 saves); Danisan Cruz, jr., F (1 goal, 1 assist); Pedro Zaldivar, jr., M/F (2 assists).
Outlook: The Mavericks lost three all-conference performers to graduation but return eight starters. Included in the team’s summer work was a runner-up effort at the Hagen Classic, where Bennett earned the Golden Boot Award. Shake was an honorable mention All-HCC selection last season.
Coach: Andrew Kiernan (second season)
2011 results: 11-7-1 (won Hoosier Conference tournament); defeated Central Catholic 2-1 in Benton Central Sectional championship; lost to Argos 6-1 in Caston Regional championship
Returning starters: Lez Zemlyanov, soph., M/F (1G, 4 A); Braxton Rathod, sr., D; Ryan Schmierer, sr., M/D; Jack Erdman, sr., F/M (9 G, 2 A); Guarav Mittal, sr., GK (5 shutouts); Dimitri James, sr., D/M; Free Burton, soph., M (2A) Austin Bates, sr., D.
Top newcomers: Costa James, soph., M/D; Lowell Knight, jr., M/D; Mark Smith, jr., D; Jay Chapman, sr., M.
Outlook: The 12-time defending Hoosier Conference champions will take another shot at a deep run in the Class A tournament. Erdman, Burton and Mittal all return from all-conference seasons, and Bates was the Red Devils’ defensive MVP in 2011.
Around the area
Carroll returns five starters from a team that finished 13-2-2 and won its fourth straight Hoosier Heartland Conference championship. Senior D Brady Wiles (1G, 2 A), junior midfielder Justin Willoughby (3 G, 2 A) and junior forward Elliot Packard (6 G, 2 A) lead the Cougars.
Covington returns eight letterwinners from last year’s 7-6 squad, including goalkeeper Garrett Link (76 saves) and midfielders Travis Coleman (7 G) and Damon Hegg (4 G, 11 A).
Frankfort returns a slew of talent from its breakthrough 15-2-1 season. Much of last year’s scoring punch is back, including forwards Evan Giebel (15 G, 4 A) and Cory Jakes (8 G, 3A) and midfielders Adrian Cruz (14 G, 8 A) and Jessie Rodriguez (10 G, 3 A). Jose Cervantes is back in goal.
Junior midfielder Skylar Bouwkamp (15 G, 8 A) is one of six returning lettermen for a Twin Lakes team that finished 11-6-1 last season. Senior keeper Jacob Shane (4 shutouts, 2.78 GAA) leads the defense.