* Coach: Jose Fajardo (seventh season).
Assistant: Try Osborn.
Last year: 16-2, Won MVC division; reached state quarterfinals.
Returning letterwinners: Fernando Pacheco, Sr.; Alejandro Pacheco, Jr.; Scott Tribey, So.; Niall Oliver, Sr.; Adam Nicholson, So.; Luke Mennen, Sr.; Grant Lewis, Sr.; Peter Larsen, So.; Chris Evans, Sr.; Roman Doyle, Jr.; Drew Cornwell, Jr.; Anton Buri, So; Pedro Aguilar Rosales, Sr.
Promising newcomers: The fabulous new artificial turf behind City High will serve as the team’s home.
Outlook: City lost only three players from a conference-title and state tournament team. Little Hawks will be talented but not deep so they need to stay healthy. They are highly motivated after the last two seasons ended prematurely in their mind, once in a substate final and the other in the state tournament opener. On the other hand, no opponent takes City High lightly anymore. “If our players do not understand this, we will struggle,” Fajardo said. This year City and West are in the same MVC division.
Coach: Brad Stiles (13th season).
Assistants: Isaac Sheffield, Austin Otto.
Last year: 18-1, MVC division champs, state champs.
Returning letterwinners: Mueng Sunday, Sr., MF; Paris Martins, Sr., MF; Aaron Miller, Sr., D; Ryan Holte, Sr., GK; Nick Kuntz, Sr., D; E.J. Schroder, Sr., D; Ben Troester, Jr., D.
Promising newcomers: Alex Bode, Jr., F; Omar El Ramady, Sr., F; Antonio Sanchez, Fr., MF.
Outlook: Sunday, Martins and Troester were all-tournament selections a year ago when West won its unprecedented sixth state title. Sunday was a first-team all-state pick while Martins and Miller were first-team all-conference. Holte is a veteran goalkeeper. That’s a pretty good place to start a season. The Trojans have a lot of experience returning, but Stiles said some roles will have to be tweaked because the team has a plethora of attackers from which to choose. In addition to the two Iowa City teams, Cedar Rapids Kennedy and Cedar Rapids Washington figure to challenge in the MVC.
Coach: Mike Gunn (6th season).
Assistants: Tyler Gross, Raul Hernandez, Manuel Machado.
Last year: 14-6-1, fourth 1A state tournament.
Returning letterwinners: Raudel Fierro, So., F; Ricky Gallegos, So., MF; Peter Seele, So., MF; Chuy Garcia, Jr., D; Carl Guardado, Jr., D; Jaime Nino, Jr., D; Ariel Lopez, Sr., MF; Oscar Marquez, Sr., D; Israel Montelongo, Sr., MF; Ramayan Rivera, Sr., MF.
Promising newcomers: Rafael Ibarra, Jr., F; Mohammed Saeed, Jr., MF.
Outlook: Gone is dynamic forward Dalvi Acevedo and foreign exchange student Torben Zoller, who provided the only size that the Comets were able to field, as well as goalkeeper Alexis Sagastume. But Fierro, who earned all-tournament honors at state, is a good place to start to recharge the offense. “We should have a strong attack and an experienced defense,” Gunn said. After drafting multi-sport star Sagastume a year ago for the keeper spot, Gunn is again holding tryouts there. Montelongo and Nino served well in the back line of the defense a year ago. The Comets will play a rugged schedule this season that includes Muscatine, Regina, Solon, Clear Creek Amana, Davenport Assumption, Iowa Mennonite School and Mid-Prairie.
Coach: Jeremy McMurrin (9th season).
Assistants: Kyle Paulson, Raven McMurrin.
Last year: 11-6-2, reached 1A state quarterfinals, 2nd place WaMaC East.
Returning letterwinners: Joe Weeks, Sr., K; Ben Hoy, Sr., D; Andrew West, So., D; Chase Gross, Sr., MF; Nick Brown, Sr., F; Keegan Paisley, So.; Adam Nelson-Ockenfels, So.; Austin Hunt, Jr.; Tim Lance, Sr.; Austin Holub, Sr.; Nick Melchert, Jr.; Drew Schultz, Sr.; Blake Steffens, Sr.
Promising newcomers: Colton Dall, Sr.; Rory Siddell, Sr.; Brandon Childs, Fr.; Zach Hirschfeld, Fr.; Ryan Kunkel, Sr.
Outlook: Five returning starters including keeper Joe Weeks give the Spartans a solid foundation. Nick Brown, Chase Gross and Austin Holub were three of the top five goal-scorers a year ago. Many of the above players are multi-sport athletes for the Spartans and should provide speed and the ability to handle physical play. McMurrin said Dyersville Beckman is the favorite in the WaMaC East. The Blazers reached the state tournament a year ago but were upset in the first round. Solon reached the Class 1A title game two years ago and the state quarterfinals last season but will move to Class 2A this year.
Clear Creek Amana
Coach: Tim Benson (3rd season).
Assistants: Will Stockman, Jake Sedlacek.
Last year: 13-5, 8-3 WaMaC, State tournament quarterfinalist.
Returning letterwinners: Bryan Marmolejo, Jr., D; Anthony Pocasangre, So., MF; Miguel Mosaquites, Sr., D; Jon Jacobsen, So., S; Mani Espinoza, Sr., S; Andrew Beckler, Jr., D; Noland Lukes, So., MF; Sebastian Calderson, So., MF; Tyrone Simpson, Sr., S; David Calderon, Jr., MF; Connor Mougin, Jr., D; Isaiah Berger, Sr., S; Austin Glandorf, Sr., GK; Jacob Loffer, Sr., D. (First six listed are returning starters).
Promising newcomers: Niels van Elsas, Sr.; Josh Martinac, Sr.; Nick Steblyuk, Sr.
Outlook: Six starters and a large number of letterwinners return from a team that qualified for the state tournament, so depth is a team strength. The defense, a strong suit a year ago when it held opponents to 16 goals in 18 games, returns three of four starters. The Clippers lost their top scorers (Ryan Hall, Austin Mussig, Caleb Sedlacek, Gavin Lukes) and their 53 goals, so their successors will have to take advantage of their opportunities at the top of the attack. Benson has the team playing a tough schedule right off the bat that will test the team’s depth but also help him figure out how to deploy his players.
Coach: Pat Cady (1st season, was assistant for 6 seasons).
Assistant: Traimain Johnson.
Last year: 6-8.
Returning letterwinners: Jordan Ulin, So., MF/F; Heath Schintler, So., D/MF; Matt McGaffey, So., MF/F; Jarrett Truitt, So., MF/F; John Adams, Jr., D/MF; Wade Stutzman, Jr., D/MF; Andrew Bates, Jr., D/MF; Wyatt Cady, Jr., MF/F; Riley Sieren, Jr., MF/D; Dayton Hall, Jr., MF/F; Dustin Yoder, Jr., D; Austin Errthum, Jr., MF/F; Reid Kaalberg, Sr., D; Logan Wadsworth, Sr., MF/F; Chase Murray, Sr., GK.
Promising newcomers: Ryan Errthum, Fr., D/MF; Tyler Verstraete, Fr., D/MF.
Outlook: The Golden Hawks’ losses a year ago all came to ranked teams. They return two all-state players in Dustin Yoder and Austin Errthum. Errthum was the highly successful kicker for the school’s football team. They also return a number of letterwinners to provide some depth. It’s going to be a largely underclassman-dominated yet experienced lineup that will try to take advantage of confidence built by good play at the end of last season. Right now the team has some early injuries and will need to find help until missing starters return. Cady indicated he will install a new formation and he’s hoping his attackers can finish shots more efficiently this season. “This is a very competitive area for boys soccer and last year’s state qualifiers prove it,” he said. “We hope our program can make it to the next level and get an experience in Des Moines this year as a competing team in 1A and not as spectators.”
Iowa Mennonite School
Coach: Marcus Miller (20th season).
Assistants: Maya Kehr, Quentin Fisher.
Last year: 15-5, tied for first in SEISC North with Columbus.
Returning letterwinners: Dillon Bender, Sr., F; Justin Boller, Sr., MF; Cody Miller, Sr., D; Peyton Thompson, Sr., MF; Nicholas Yoder, Sr., MF; Reggie Hostetler, Jr., F/GK; Enrique Sanchez, Jr., MF; Spencer Schrock, Jr., MF.
Promising newcomers: Jameson Lammer, Jr., D; Lane Schrock, Jr., D; Michael Hershberger, So., D; Enrique Mendoza, So., MF; Kirby Shetler, So.; Jacob Valov, So.; Kobie Rossum, So.; Rex Yoder, So.
Outlook: Bender scored 10 goals and had five assists in earning all-conference honors. Hostetler had 10 goals and four assists. Boller, Thompson, Nicholas Yoder, Schrock and Sanchez all scored goals a year ago. Coach Miller said the team has worked hard through the crummy spring weather. “There is a strong core of seniors along with some juniors who provide good leadership,” he said. “The main question is at goalie. Reggie is a good goalie, but he helps us a lot on the field so hopefully Joel Shetler or one of the younger guys can fill the goalie spot.” Three key defensive spots from last year will have to be filled. Miller expects strong competition from Holy Trinity, Columbus and an improved Highland team.