Here is an overview of soccer in mid-Michigan. This reflects information submitted by area coaches.
Coaches’ predictions: Okemos, East Lansing, Holt, Grand Ledge, Jackson, Everett, Eastern, Sexton
Top players: Zach Lane (East Lansing), Andreas Fuentes (East Lansing), Cole Goatley (Okemos), Zach Emerson (Grand Ledge), Hunter Edwards (Grand Ledge), Zam Hang (Everett)
Coach: Nick Archer (38th season)
Last season: 25-2 (2nd)
Top returning players: Zach Lane (sr.-M), Will Uecker (sr.-M/D), Chris Wallace (sr.-G), Adrian Birge (sr.-D), Ian Carroll (sr.-F), Andreas Fuentes (sr.-M), Gynu Khatiwada (sr.-M)
Other contributors: Quinton Hay (jr.-M), Josh Wolfinger (jr.-F/M), Sam Libbie (jr.-F)
Outlook: The Trojans have plenty of returners from a team that captured a second straight Division 2 state championship a year ago. That includes an all-state midfielder in Lane, a returning goalkeeper in Wallace and others in different levels of the field.
Coach: Jeff Davis
Last season: 8-9-2 (T-6th)
Top returning players: Meng Vang (sr.-M), Panasshe Kahari (sr.-D), Leonce Irankoze (sr.-M/D), Matunda Nahumu (sr.-F), Ciza Gideon (jr.-F), Uwimana Gasito (so.-F), Nuru Abeli (jr.-D), Jesus Arroyo (so.-M).
Other contributors: Henok Fetwi (sr.-M), Hatangiman Willybapgous (G-jr.), Gulled Hassan (so.-M), Alejandro Bernal (sr.-G)
Outlook: Vang is a two-time all-league selection and one of nine starters returning for the Quakers. Davis says his team is experienced and athletic and believes it will be competitive if it gets good goalie play.
Coach: Scott Dane (7th season)
Last season: 9-7-2 (T-3rd)
Top returning players: Zach Emerson (sr.-M), Hunter Edwards (sr.-D), Anthony Patten (sr.-D), Nate Brickner (sr.-M), Trevor Mohnke (sr.-F), Brendan Garfield (jr.-D), Kyle Salisbury (jr.-D), Blaine Teahan (jr.-G)
Outlook: The Comets will be looking to find consistency and are replacing a four-year starter in MSU signee Luke Menne. Grand Ledge expects to be competitive each game with solid defense led by Teahan in goal.
Coach: Aaron Smith (9th season)
Last season: 8-13-2 (5th)
Top returning players: Charles Smith (sr.-F), Tomas Swedberg (sr.-F), Austin Nguyen (so.-M), Dominic Campos (sr.-M), Chris Bonner (sr.-G), Dominic Boettecher (sr.-D).
Other contributors: Dean Failer (jr.-F), Kyle DeLong (sr.-M), John Weaver (jr.-M), Michael Jenks (jr.-M)
Outlook: The Rams are a young team with six freshmen/sophomores on their roster and are hoping to grow into a contender and finish in the top half of the Blue.
Coach: Brian Guggemos (14th season)
Last season: 18-4-1 (2nd)
Top returning players: Cole Goatley (sr.-M), Owen Cannon (jr.-M), Josh Duren (sr.-M), Nick Barr (sr.-D), Larry Chen (sr.-F)
Other contributors: Andre Garcia (sr.-D), Vince Plascencia (jr.-D), Patrick Restum (so.-G).
Outlook: The Chiefs will need juniors and seniors to step up after losing nine players from a team that reached the regional finals. Guggemos does believe the 14 varsity returners will help Okemos compete with the better teams in the area and state.
Coach: Lazare Tegue (3rd season)
Top returning players: Pleh Reh (jr.-M), Kedrick Tegue (so.-M), Bu Reh (so.-M), Vincent Alvarado (sr.-F), Ko Reh (so.-F), Khee Reh (sr.-D), Jimmi Reh (so.-G).
Other contributors: Patrick Kamanzi (so-M), Nya Too (so.-G), Sai Musa (fr.)
Outlook: Lazare Tegue says the Big Reds are a young and hungry team. He expects them to be better than they have been in his first two seasons.
Coaches’ predictions: Mason, DeWitt, Haslett, St. Johns, Owosso, Waverly
Top players: Eric Des Chenes (DeWitt), Nate Foddrill (DeWitt), Leutrim Shefkiu (Mason), Holden Dippel (Mason), John Kingman (Mason), Brian Coscarelli (Haslett), Connor Ashwood (Haslett)
Coach: Joe Ishraidi (1st season)
Last season: 15-6-2 (3rd)
Top returning players: Nate Foddrill (sr.-M), Eric Des Chenes (sr.-F), Avery Beland (sr.-M)
Other contributors: Zach Rollis (so.-F), Dylan Beck (jr.-D), Jack Beck (so.-M), Benny McDonnell (sr.-M), Chris Ciacunu (sr.-M)
Outlook: Des Chenes and Foddrill are returning all-state honorees for a Panther team that expects to be very competitive in the league and around the area.
Coach: Darus Ward (3rd season)
Last season: 6-8-5. 3-1-1 CAAC Red
Top returning players: Connor Ashwood (sr.-D), Torsten Holland (sr.-M), Brian Coscarelli (jr.-D/M), Harry DeHaven (sr.-M/F), Hunter Nash (so.-D/M), Andrew Schmidt (jr.-M/F)
Other contributors: Clay Chernich (jr.-M), Joe Sparkia (so.-F), Andy Vahng (so.-F), Paul Fiorillo (jr.-M/D)
Outlook: The Vikings will be implementing many new players after graduating 12 from last year’s team. Ward expects this fall to be a transitional season, but believes Haslett can compete with Mason and DeWitt for a league title.
Coach: Nick Binder (9th season)
Last season: 19-2-2 (1st)
Top returning players: Leutrim Shefkiu (sr.-M), Holden Dippel (sr.-D), John Kingman (sr.-D), Christian Jordan (sr.-M), Lirim Shefkiu (jr.-F), Tristan Pease (so.-D).
Other contributors: Mike Liberato (sr.-D), Gaven Smith (sr.-M), Lance Garrison (sr.-G).
Outlook: Mason lost five starters, but has a core of players returning from a team that captured CAAC Gold Cup and regional championships last year. Shefkiu, Dippel and Kingman are returning all-state selections for a Mason program shooting for a 14th consecutive league title.
Coach: Phil Gobel (5th season)
Top returning players: Trever Svard (sr.-D), Caleb Scollon (sr.-M), Kieran Smith (sr.-D)
Outlook: The Trojans will be looking to veterans Smith and Svard to lead the way this fall.
Coach: Karl Hanover (9th season)
Last season: 5th
Top returning players: Grant Moeggenborg (sr.-D), Nick Hitchens (so.-F), Steven Edwards (sr.-M), Andrew Sampson (sr.-M)
Other contributors: Bobby Stehlik (so.-D), Nathen Stehlik (so.-D)
Outlook: It will be a rebuilding season for the Redwings, who have to replace 10 seniors and nine starters from last fall. Scoring will be one of the top challenges for St. Johns according to Hanover.
Coaches’ predictions: Williamston , Lansing Catholic, Fowlerville, Eaton Rapids, Portland, Ionia
Top players: Jalen Rodriguez (Ionia), Eric Oesterle (Williamston), Josh Ward (Williamston), Jacob Phillips (Lansing Catholic), Nick Peters (Lansing Catholic)
Coach: Matt Boersma (14th season)
Last season: 4-15 (5th)
Top returning players: Michael Geiger (sr., F), Hudson Hays (sr., F), Jess Hawkins (sr., D), Seth Broskey (sr., D), Thomas Streed (sr., M), Zach Richard (sr., D), Parker Sheffield (jr., M), Connor Wright (sr., M)
Other contributors: Ryan Freemire (jr., M), Brendin Lipp (so., M), Dakota Yennior (sr., F), Bobby Henderson (sr., D).
Oulook: Boersma believes the Greyhounds have the ability to shock a few teams if they can find consistent effort. Goal scoring is expected to be a strength, but Eaton Rapids will be breaking in a new goalkeeper this fall.
Coach: Doug Jarvis (2nd season)
Last season: 7-11 (2nd)
Top returning players: Alex Montrose (sr.-F), Chase East (sr.-D), Jacob Jarvis (sr.-G), Riley Swails (sr.-D), Bailey Edwards (jr.-F), Kyle Gross (jr.-D)
Other contributors: Cory Lemieux (jr.-F), Josh Cecelon (so.-D), Ethan Moore (fr.-M/F)
Outlook: Montrose, Jarvis, Swails, Edwards and Gross were all-league performers a year ago for the Gladiators, who expect to be more balanced this season and have depth at all positions. Coach Jarvis believes his team will be tough if it plays to its potential.
Coach: Ryan Nevins (1st season)
Top returning players: Avery Baylis (sr.-M), Ethan Wohlbers (sr.-D), Dylan Spohr (sr.-G), Nate LeForge (sr.-D), Reese Stuart (so.-F), Owen Sweeney (so.-D/M)
Other contributors: Zahid Zavaleta (fr.-F/D), Justin Sarka (fr.-M), Jordan Badder (so.-D)
Outlook: Outside of five seniors, the Bulldogs are young and inexperienced. Nevins believes the season could have a slow start, but expects Ionia to be more competitive as the fall progresses.
Coach: Gustavo Flores (6th season)
Last season: 7-12-1 (2nd)
Top returning players: Jacob Phillips (sr.-D), Nick Peters (sr.-D), Janis Grigans (sr.-M), Remy Collard (jr.-M), Chuck Plahen (jr.-M), Michael Hollis (jr.-M), Paul Tarvis (sr.-M)
Other contributors: Alec Gonzalez (jr.-M), Jack Gonzalez (fr.-M), Robert Ramierez (jr.-D).
Outlook: The Cougars only lost a few players to graduation and have a seasoned group of varsity players back this fall. That includes a pair of veteran defenders in Phillips and Peters. Flores says success this fall will be based on how his team implements past lessons and how some of the younger players step into bigger roles.
Coach: Christopher Roof (4th season)
Last season: 7-9-2 (6th)
Top returning players: Matthew Prehn (jr., F), Charles Devlin (sr., M), Spencer Zigler (sr., D), Jacob Cairl (sr., D), Zach Pung (so., D)
Other contributors: Beau Rich (so., G), Ethan Phillips (so., D), Tate Dziewthauski (fr., F), Sam Alvesteffer (so., M)
Outlook: The Raiders have six starters returning and expect to have a young, competitive team this fall. Portland will be trying to improve upon its showing last fall.
Coach: Brent Sorg (11th season)
Last season: 14-4-6 (1st)
Top returning players: Eric Oesterle (sr., D), Josh Ward (sr., M), Jacob Chisholm (sr., M)
Other contributors: Brian Ganton (sr., F), Zach Griffin (sr., F), Zach Richardson (sr., D), Caleb Schuiteman (sr., D)
Outlook: Oesterle and Ward are returning all-staters and among a strong core of major contributors back for the defending CAAC White champions. The Hornets have 14 seniors returning and will be expected to be tested. Sorg says his team must get better each time out.
Coaches’ predictions: Lansing Christian, Leslie, Lakewood, Perry, Olivet, Stockbridge, Maple Valley
Top players: Jake Lyon (Lansing Christian), Alex McDowell (Lansing Christian), Chase Hansen (Lansing Christian)
Coach: James LeVeque (sixth season)
Top returning players: Mathew Morse (jr.), Lane Allen (so.), Jesse Waldron (jr.), Kevin Foltz (sr.), Carson Scobey (so.), Cash Thompson (jr.)
Other contributors: Dominic Solomon (sr.-G), Chris Sanchez (fr.), Dustin Strand (sr.).
Outook: Lakewood has 10 returners, including seven starters and believes it has a bright future. Defense will be a strength for Lakewood with six defenders returning.
Coach: Joel Vande Kopple (7th season)
Last season: 16-1-3 (1st)
Top returning players: Alex McDowell (sr.-M), Jake Lyon (sr.-M), Chase Hansen (sr.-G), Noah Usiak (jr.-D), Preston Granger (jr.-D), Jamieson (sr.-F)
Other contributors: Brian Mains (fr.-F), Luke Hagy (jr.-D), Evan Dunsmore (sr.-M), Jared Reed (sr.-D)
Outlook: The Pilgrims have talent with all-state selections McDowell, Lyon and Hansen returning. Depth is a potential concern. Vande Kopple believes his team can have a strong season if it avoids injuries.
Coach: Jason Felix Berry (1st season)
Last season: 1-18-1
Top returning players: Zack Allen (sr.-D), Matthew Frazzini (sr.-M), Collin Curtis (sr.-D), Justin Schray (sr.-M), Alexei Jessop (jr.-F), Wade Cox (sr.-M),
Other contributors: Sam Nichols (jr.-G), James White (sr.-D), Cory Cook (jr.-F), Mike Monroe (sr.-D), Austin Stanfield (jr.-M)
Outlook: Allen is one of many experienced upperclassmen for the Panthers, who are anticipating a successful season and hoping to compete for a GLAC title.
Coach: Nick O’Neill (12th season)
Last season: 18-4-1 (1st TVC Central)
Top returning players: Brevan Bender (sr.-F), Korbin Kovac (sr.G), Adam Moeggenborg (sr.-D), Jacob Lalonde (sr.-M), Kolton Kovac (sr.-M), Max Bos (sr.-M), Liam Malovich (so.-F), Brannon Fletcher (jr.-M)
Outlook: Alma lost six players from its league championship team, but expects to have another strong season. Bender is a returning all-stater, while Korbin Kovac and Moeggenborg were all-league selections last fall.
Coach: Ryan Sisco (16th season)
Last season: 7-9-2 (7th Interstate Eight)
Top returning players: Curtis White (sr.-F), Kyle Hoyt (jr.-D), Tanner Johns (sr.-G), Greg Dornbos (sr.-M), Connor Rosekrans (jr.-D), Kamal Ali (sr.-F), Dreux Denny (jr.-M), John Hoesli (so.-M), Christian Stone (sr.-M), Joe Hall (sr.-F), JT Dykstra (sr.-M), Cameron Langmaack (sr.-D).
Other contributors: Nick Welch (jr.-D), Ian Hartley (jr.-F), Coy Brown (fr.-D).
Outlook: Sisco has an athletic and hard-working group that he expects to be competitive. White and Hoy are returning all-league and all-district performers that lead the many starters back for the Orioles this fall.
Coach: Scott Belanger (4th season)
Top returning players: Jordan Dietrich (sr.-F), Trevor Klatt (sr.-F), Jacob Danek (sr.-D), Jacob Saint Amour (sr.-D), Brandon Freehen (jr.-D), Ryan Kingsbury (so.-M).
Other contributors: Brandon Rebufat (fr.-M), Chase Rodriquez (fr.-D)
Outlook: The Wolfpack are lacking players on their roster this fall, but expect to be competitive and to continue to grow their program. Klatt, Denek and Saint Amour are each in their fourth year on varsity for Laingsburg.