Mid-Michigan boys soccer previews

Mid-Michigan boys soccer previews

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Mid-Michigan boys soccer previews

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KEY: M-midfielder, D-defender, F-forward, G-goalkeeper

CAAC BLUE

Coaches’ predictions: 1. Okemos, 2. Holt, 3. East Lansing, 4. Eastern, 5. Grand Ledge, 6. Jackson, 7. Everett, 8. Sexton

Top players: Konroy Blamo (Eastern), Josh Robison (Okemos), Luke Menne (Grand Ledge), Jake McCreery (Holt), Grant Uecker (East Lansing)

EASTERN

Last year: 4th (14-4-2)

Coach: Jeff Davis (6th season)

Top returning players: Ndadaye Merchoir (sr.-D), Tsiswaka Maweja (sr.- D), Ibrahim Abdullahi (sr.-M/F), Konroy Blamo (sr.-M/F), Zablon Dduwayo (sr.-D), Vincent Alvarado (jr.-M), Mohamed Ahmed (jr.-F)

Other contributors: Slomon Forjourn (jr.-F), Abdallah Ebdula (sr.-G), Filmon Fetwi (sr.-M/F)

Outlook: The Quakers return seven starters from a team that won the CAAC Silver Cup, including LSJ Player of the Year Blamo. The Capital Area Activities Conference Blue is loaded as usual, but Eastern should be right in the mix for the title if its inexperienced goalkeeping holds up.

EAST LANSING

Last year: Tied for 1st (13-5-3)

Coach: Nick Archer (36th season)

Top returning players: Grant Uecker (sr.-M), Daniel Coulier (sr.-F), Nick Wheeler (sr.-M), Kellon Johnston-Roper (sr.-G), Tommy Lammers (jr.-M), Ben Swanson-Ralph (jr.-M)

Other contributors: J.P. Navarro (sr.-D), Jared Hownstine (jr.-M), Michie Nimsombun (jr.-D), DeJuan Jones (so.-F)

Outlook: The Trojans graduated 15 seniors from last year’s team but return a solid core of six starters in the attack. The entire back line will have to be replaced, so defending could be an issue, especially early. East Lansing is rarely lacking in talent, and this year will be no different.

EVERETT

Last year: 5th (15-4-3)

Coach: Scott Wesley (1st season)

Outlook: The Vikings might not be able to field a team this year. At press time, only six players have reported for practice.

GRAND LEDGE

Last year: 3rd (7-8-2)

Coach: Scott Dane (4th season)

Top returning players: Luke Menne (so.-M), Shawn Carr (jr.-G), Zach Garfield (jr.-F), Stephen Miller (jr.-M), Joey Snyder (jr.-M), Cody Marek (sr.-D), Travis Shivley (sr.-D), Connor Thompson (sr.-M)

Other contributors: Kendon Emmons (jr.-D), Noah Dunn (jr.-F)

Outlook: The Comets return just three seniors, and junior goalkeeper Carr will be relied upon to keep them in games. Dane hopes that team chemistry will make up for their inexperience.

HOLT

Last year: Tied for 1st (16-6-3)

Coach: Aaron Smith (6th season)

Top returning players: Zach Dowling (sr.-D), Alex Hadick (sr.-M), Jake McCreery (sr.-M), Abel Mixaykham (sr.-G), Justin Pratt (sr.-M), Jake Welch (jr.-D), Maurice Santamaria (jr.-M), Tucker Pape (jr.-M), Alec Gnass (jr.-M)

Other contributors: Nick Patino (sr.-M), Jacob Dowling (jr.-M), Mitch Simon (jr.-M), Jacob Simon (sr.-F)

Outlook: The Rams look like a solid pick for their fourth title in a row in the CAAC Blue, bringing back nine starters, including all-conference players McCreery and Pratt. Last year’s young team started off slowly, but advanced to the CAAC Gold Cup final. With that experience, there might not be as many early hiccups in 2012.

OKEMOS

Last year: 3rd (9-9)

Coach: Brian Guggemos (11th season)

Top returning players: Landon Collier (sr.-G), Josh Robison (sr.-F), Scott Hughes (sr.-D), Alex Eason (sr.-MF), Michael Eason (sr.-D), Carson Covell (sr.-D), Dean Bloembergen (jr.-MF), Lou Plascencia (jr.-MF)

Other contributors: Jacob Chappelle (sr.-MF), Jacob Meschke (jr.-MF), Kevin Corbett (jr.-G)

Outlook: The Chiefs were disappointed to finish third in a tough Blue last year, but lost just three players to graduation. The league still will be tough, but with all-league players Collier, Robison, Hughes and Plascencia coming back, Okemos will be in the hunt for the top spot.

SEXTON

Outlook: No information provided at press time.

CAAC RED

Coaches’ predictions: 1. DeWitt, 2. Haslett, 3. St. Johns, 4. Owosso, 5. Fowlerville, 6. Ionia

Top players: A.J. Quintel (Haslett), Scott Sperry (St. Johns), Derek Butcher (DeWitt)

DEWITT

Last year: 2nd (20-2-2)

Coach: Jamal Mubarekeh (17th season)

Top returning players: David Waterson (sr.-M), Derek Butcher (sr.-D), Christopher Lang (jr.-D/M), Mitchell Smith (jr.-F), Evan Smith (jr. M/F), Tyler Beck (jr. D), Blake Smith (jr. M), Brandon Wright (sr. D/M), Brian Lucian (sr. M)

Other contributors: Tyler Brzozowski (jr.-D), Andrew Eible (jr.-F)

Outlook: The Panthers lost their goalie and three strong defenders to graduation, but return three all-leaguers in Waterson, Butcher and Lang. Waterson and Butcher are also 3-year varsity players for a DeWitt squad that has won the CAAC Gold Cup the past two years.

FOWLERVILLE

Last year: 6th (6-12-1)

Coach: Jerry VanHorn (2nd season)

Top returning players: Josh Bates (sr.-F), Taylor Flickinger (sr.-MF), Schuyler Gullett (sr.-D), Mike Hindy (sr.-G), Derek Kottong (sr.-D), Will Massey (jr.-MF), Gavin McGregor (sr.-D), Michael Moran (sr.-MF), Galen Neuroth (sr.-D), Uriah Nyman (sr.-D), Austin Slade (sr.-MF), Derek Tupy (sr.-F)

Other contributors: Taylor Miller (sr.-F)

Outlook: The Gladiators return their 2011 squad virtually intact, so climbing out of the basement in the tough CAAC Red is a legitimate goal.

HASLETT

Last year: 3rd (8-9-3, 2-2-1)

Coach: Alex Hayner (3rd season)

Top returning players: Hector Rios (sr.-M), Dylan Fernandez (sr.-M), Thomas Grubb (sr.-M), Brandon Diebolt (sr.-M), A.J. Quintel (sr.-F), Jonah Brown (sr.-D), Edwin Sanchez (sr.-M), Hany Omar (sr.-M), Quinn McCabe (jr.-D), Justin Thoreaux (jr.-D)

Other contributors: Shady Omar (so.-F), Ismail Sultani (jr.-F), Keaton Kinder (jr.-G)

Outlook: The Vikings will be in the hunt for the Red title, with perhaps the most experienced team in the area. Seven of this year’s seniors have been starters since they were sophomores, and the addition of talented Shady Omar will make Haslett one of the teams to watch this year.

IONIA

Last year: 5th (7-10)

Coach: Aaron Baylis (1st season)

Top returning players: Corbin Kuhns (jr.-M), Chris Ahmed (sr.-M/F), Alex Lee (sr.-G), Christiaan Duell (so.-D)

Other contributors: Riese Penn (fr.-D), Avery Baylis (fr.-M), Skyler Brennan (sr.-D/F), Kipp Hartman (sr.-M)

Outlook: The Bulldogs will rely on a young, athletic defense to keep them competitive. Kuhns earned all-league honors as a sophomore, and will anchor the midfield.

OWOSSO

Last year: 4th (6-11-2)

Coach: Phil Gobel (2nd season)

Top returning players: Jon Baker (sr.-F), Adam Stowe (so.-M), Evan Ardelean (sr.-M), Wyatt Alman (sr.-D), Brad DeGarmo (jr.-D), Josh Cornell (so.-F), Tyler Gooding (sr.-M), Shawn Ardelean (jr.-G)

Other contributors: Kyler Raffaelli (jr.-M), Luke Lindquist (jr.-M), Demond Lee (jr.-D)

Outlook: Last year’s young Trojans took their lumps, but the experience should pay dividends this year. Stowe turned some heads, earning all-league honors as a freshman. Owosso could make some noise in the Red title race, and spring a surprise or two in the postseason.

ST. JOHNS

Last year: 1st (5-0)

Coach: Karl Hanover (6th season)

Top returning players: Scott Sperry (sr.-D)

Other contributors: Andrew Cloutier (sr.-M/F), Kyler Koschmider (jr.-M/F), Collin Nurenberg (jr.-M), Adam Zebiak (jr.-G)

Outlook: The Redwings graduated perhaps their most talented senior class in school history, with 10 starters and 13 total. Repeating as league champs will be a daunting task for a young team, but they could be a tough out by tournament time.

CAAC GOLD

Coaches’ predictions: 1. Mason, 2. Parma Jackson County Western, 3. Eaton Rapids, 4. Jackson Northwest, 5. Waverly, 6. Jackson Lumen Christi, 7. Charlotte

Top players: Josh Flamme (Mason), Tyler Raab (Mason), Blake Johnson (Eaton Rapids), Logan Sheffield (Eaton Rapids)

CHARLOTTE

Last year: 5th (4-13-1)

Coach: Ryan Sisco (13th season)

Top returning players: Chace Curtis (jr.-M), Jon Skrip (sr.-D), Grant Arras (sr.-D), Jack Johnson (jr.-F/M), John Forell (jr.-F/M), Tegan Johns (jr.-M/D)

Other contributors: Greg Dornbos (fr.-M), Bryce Prudden (sr.-D/G), Jesse Haga (sr.-D), Travis Tarasenko (jr.-D), Joe Anzaldua (jr.-M/D), Curtis White (fr.-M/D), Jared Dewey (so.-G)

Outlook: The Orioles will have a small varsity roster this season, so any injuries could be a problem. If they stay healthy, Charlotte has the talent to make some noise later in the season.

EATON RAPIDS

Last year: 3rd (12-10)

Coach: Matt Boersma (11th season)

Top returning players: Blake Johnson (sr.-M), Logan Sheffield (sr.-D), Kyle Chapman (so.-D), Sam Masteller (jr.-D), Garrett Broskey (sr.-M), Nathan Warren (sr.-G), Chase Coss (so.-M), Landon Smith (sr.-D)

Other contributors: Devon Fuller (so.-M), Kendall Wright (sr.-M), Kyle Merriman (sr.-F)

Outlook: The Greyhounds will be very young after graduating a talented and accomplished senior core. Johnson was first-team all-league as a junior, and defenders Sheffield, Chapman and Masteller received honorable mention. If ER can score goals, they can surprise.

MASON

Last year: 1st (22-2-2)

Coach: Nick Binder (6th season)

Top returning players: Josh Flamme (jr.-G), Bill Wilson (sr.-M), Tyler Raab (sr.-F), Taylor Pease (sr.-D), Jonathan Jordan (sr.-M)

Other contributors: Chris Hanneman (sr.-M), Luke Pawlowski (sr.-D), Aaron Young (sr.-D)

Outlook: The Bulldogs will have to replace a lot of talent from a team that posted the most wins in the history of the program in 2011. Flamme, Wilson, Raab and Pease will be an experienced core, but Mason will need contributions from its newcomers to continue its run of 11 consecutive league titles.

WAVERLY

Coach: Matt Hill (2nd season)

Outlook: No information provided at press time

CAAC WHITE

Coaches’ predictions: 1. Lansing Catholic, 2. Williamston, 3. Corunna, 4. Lakewood, 5. Stockbridge, 6. Portland

Top players: Nathan Riley (Lansing Catholic), Jacob Foy (Lansing Catholic), Charlie Coon (Williamston), Phil Erickson (Williamston)

CORUNNA

Outlook: No information provided at press time.

LAKEWOOD

Last year: 4th (8-9-3)

Coach: James LeVeque (5th season)

Top returning players: Brady Forman (jr.-G), Nate Kauffman (jr.-F), Dylan Durkee (sr.-M), Drew Durkee (jr.-M), Daniel Sauers (jr.-D), Joey Reed (sr.-F), Wade Piercefield (jr.-D), Jesse Darnell (sr.-D), Kyler Knapp (sr.-M)

Other contributors: Lee Vang (sr.-M), Trenton Mitchell (jr.-D)

Outlook: The Vikings bring back nine starters from last year, but the two who graduated accounted for the bulk of their scoring. If they can score, a winning record is within reach and a serious run at a league title is not completely out of the question.

LANSING CATHOLIC

Last year: 2nd (14-4-2)

Coach: Gus Flores (3rd season)

Top returning players: Sam Dionise (sr.-D), Jacob Foy (sr.-D), Connor Patton (sr.-D), Eric Plaehn (sr.-M), Nathan Riley (sr.-M), Alpha Sow (sr.-M)

Other contributors: Adam Elias (so.-M), Robert Mothersell (so.-D), Kevin Kosciulek (sr.-F/D), Rafael Meszaros (sr.-F)

Outlook: The Cougars will rely on senior leadership and a solid, experienced defense to make a run at the White title. If they can score goals, they will be tough to beat. Their game against Williamston on Sept. 24 will decide the league.

PORTLAND

Last year: 6th (0-16)

Coach: Chris Roof (1st season)

Top returning players: Kendall Teitsma (sr.-F), Henry Devlin (sr.-M), Travis Kapcia (sr.-F), Matt Horvath (so.-M), Travis Keusch (so.-D), Josh Stirton (so.-M), Casey Pung (so.-D), Zach Thorp (so.-M), Dane Hengesbach (sr.-D)

Other contributors: Spencer Zigler (fr.-F), Charles Devlin (fr.-M), Ford Kelly (fr.-G), Brady Leonard (so.-D)

Outlook: The Raiders have nowhere to go but up after last year’s winless campaign. Four-year varsity players Teitsma and Devlin provide experience in the attack, but success will depend on a young defense.

STOCKBRIDGE

Coach: Abdul Al-Mansoor

Outlook: No information provided at press time.

WILLIAMSTON

Last year: 1st (13-10-1)

Coach: Brent Sorg (8th season)

Top returning players: Charlie Coon (sr.-G), Phil Erickson (sr.-M), Hunter Lyle (jr.-M), Ross Needler (sr.-M), Zach Sundin (sr.-F), Thomas Vaughn (sr.-M)

Outlook: The defending league champion Hornets return the bulk of the 2011 squad and will be the team to beat in the White. Third-year varsity keeper Coon will have a young back line in front of him, but the solid Williamston attack may make up for any early defensive hiccups.

KVA

MAPLE VALLEY

Coach: Andy Roush (1st season)

Top returning players: Joe Eddy (jr.-F), Nate VanStee (sr.-D), Robbie Welch (sr.-M), Joshua Sanchez (jr.-D), James Burd (sr.-G), Kenny Christopher (jr.-D)

Other contributors: Sam Bonney (so.-F/M), Hunter Hilton (so.-F/M), Lucas Robles (so.-D), Tecumseh Hakenjos (jr.-D), Wyatt Ledford (so.-M), Gavin Gardner (fr.-D)

Outlook: The Lions look to improve as the season progresses.

OLIVET

Last year: 7th (3-13)

Coach: Steve Peak (10th season)

Top returning players: Carney Greene (sr.-F/M), Tyler Andrews (jr.-M), Hayden Spoelstra (jr.-M)

Other contributors: Joe MacInnes (so.-F/M), Kane Spotts (jr.-M), Teddy Sobleskey (so.-D), Bryce McCullah (jr.-M), Russell Pliley (jr.-G)

Outlook: The Eagles, who return just three starters and have just one senior on the roster, will look to rebuild.

TVC WEST

Coaches’ predictions: 1. Alma, 2. Ovid-Elsie, 3. Chesaning, 4 Ithaca, 5. Shepherd

Top players: Trevor Rice (Alma), Charles Beck (Ithaca), Wyatt Hurst (Ovid-Elsie)

ALMA

Last year: 3rd (15-6-2)

Coach: Nick O’Neill (9th season)

Top returning players: Trevor Rice (sr.-F), Travis Butcher (sr.-G), Paul Moeggenborg (sr.-D), Caleb Loomis (sr.-D), Evan Bigelow (sr.-F), Chase Ramirez (jr.-M), Charlie DuHadway (jr.-D), Jorge Benitez (jr.-M), Jacob Adams (so.-M)

Other contributors: Luke Mallory (jr.-F), Mason Molesky (so.-M), Brevan Bender (fr.-F)

Outlook: This could be a big year for the Panthers, who return nine starters from a squad that won a Division 3 district title and advanced to the regional final. As juniors, Butcher earned all-conference honors with seven shutouts and Rice scored 18 goals and assisted on six more. Alma appears to be a clear favorite to win the realigned TVC West.

OVID-ELSIE

Last year: 4th (11-7-2)

Coach: Chris Parker (1st season)

Top returning players: Avery McGroarty (jr.-M), Sawyer Astle (jr.-M), Wyatt Hurst (sr.-M), Dalton Butts (jr.-D), Dustin Murphy (jr.-M), Brandon Walter (jr.-G)

Other contributors: Dylan Kernohan (so.-D), Austin Bisson (jr.-D), Jannik Hostert (sr.-F)

Outlook: The Marauders will rely on a talented junior class for success this season. Three of those juniors played varsity soccer as freshmen, including Butts and Walter, who will anchor an otherwise inexperienced defense. Look for early hiccups, but drastic improvement as the year goes on.

ITHACA

Last year: (5-12-2)

Coach: Doug Strait (9th season)

Top returning players: Charles Beck (sr.-M), Alex Vanderploeg (jr.-F), John Derry (jr.-D), Seth Casey (jr.-M), Bram Desaegher (so.-D)

Other contributors: Aaron Moon (fr.-M), Mike Meier (fr.-M)

Outlook: The Yellowjackets will be young, with just one senior on the roster, but talented youngsters could keep them in the league title hunt and make a run at a distirct crown.

OTHERS

DANSVILLE

Last year: (5-12)

Coach: Kevin Hatch (7th season)

Top returning players: Logan Mussell (sr.-F/M), Nathan Adkins (sr.-F), Jared Powers sr.-D), Darek Polek (sr.-F/M), Kevin Soderberg (jr.-F), Dayton Yantz (jr.-G)

Other contributors: Tanner Coward (sr.-M/D), Russell Fordham (so.-F), Spencer Benney (jr.-D)

Outlook: The Aggies return a solid core of players, and should improve their record dramatically from a rough 2011 season. Four-year starter Adkins will be a handful, and present a prolific scoring partnership with Mussell.

LAINGSBURG

Last year: (6-13-1)

Coach: Scott Belanger (1st season)

Top returning players: Malachi Marshall (so.-F/M), Josh Confer (jr.-M), David Ravits (sr.-F/M), R.J. Miller (jr.-F/M), Ethan Jarvis (sr.-F/M), Tyler Wittman (so.-D), Jacob Jarvis (so.-D), Jordan Ransom (jr.-F/M), Jacob Ferland (sr.-G)

Other contributors: Jacob Danek (fr.-F/M), Logan Stohl (fr.-D)

Outlook: The Wolfpack look to rebuild with a new coach and just three seniors returning. While Laingsburg does not play in a league, they might have the talent to climb above the .500 mark and make some noise in the postseason.

PERRY

Last year: (16-5-4)

Coach: Abu Towghi (1st season)

Top returning players: Andy Price (sr.-D), Jacob Miller (sr.-F), Dalton Parish (sr.-D), Tyler Mayberry (jr.-F), Dalton Brenke (jr.-D), Chase Dunn (jr.-M), Nate Bickerstaff (jr.-D)

Other contributors: Andrew Warren (sr.-D), Nathan Parker (sr.-M), Jeremy Ramirez (sr.-M)

Outlook: The Ramblers return a solid group from their last year in the CAAC White for their first season this fall in the Genesee Athletic Conference (GAC).

LANSING CHRISTIAN

Last year: 2nd in SMAA (17-4-1)

Coach: Joel VanDekopple (5th season)

Top returning players: Josh Lyons (sr.-G), Jay Noyola (sr.-D), Michael Garcia (sr.-D), Jacob Helder (sr.-M)

Other contributors: Hector Guzman (so.-F), Brian Guzman (so.-M), Zach Hagy (jr.-M), Gabe Loredo (so.-D), Martin Lang (so.-M)

Outlook: The Pilgrims’ four returning seniors will provide a solid core for some talented newcomers. All four were all-league in the now-defunct SMAA, and Noyola earned first-team all-state honors. With no league to play in, Lansing Christian can concentrate on duplicating last year’s district title-winning season.

LESLIE

Last year: 4th in SMAA (13-7)

Coach: John Lynch (4th season)

Top returning players: Adam Olfier (jr.-M), Zane Hampton (sr.-M), Noah Jansen (jr.-M), Guy Procopio (jr.-M), Connor Falls (sr.-D/M)

Other contributors: Devin Cunningham (jr.-D/M), Trenton Mulnix (so.-F), Tyler Dock (so.-M/D)

Outlook: The Blackhawks will look to rebuild after losing eight seniors to graduation, including their starting keeper and virtually all of their scoring, but Hampton and Falls will each play their fourth year of varsity soccer this season. With the dissolution of the SMAA, Leslie will play as an independent.

– Compiled by Scott Yoshonis and Jack Dowd

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