Scouting Local Boys Soccer Teams
Duneland Athletic Conference
Players to watch: Evan Coudriet, Sr., MF; Austin Haire, Sr., F/MF; Mac Green, Sr., D; Ben Molnar, Jr., MF; John Morris, Jr., F/MF.
Outlook: Mavrick Tumblin scored four goals in the team's first two games of the season, but he suffered a broken leg in the Boone Grove victory and is thought to be lost for the rest of the campaign. Freshman forward John Ward will see more time in the lineup. Also, the Trojans return several players on both offense and defense.
Quote: "I still feel pretty good about our team." -- Coach Jamie Sensibaugh.
Players to watch: Dan Relinski, Sr., MF/F; Brett Bayer, Jr., D; Dan Naumoski, Jr., D; Nyle Fuerstenberg, Jr., MF; Mitch Witham, So., MF; Tony Zervos, So., D.
Outlook: The Bulldogs have a solid core of returning players led by Relinski. A talented group of underclassmen will help C.P. be competitive in the DAC this season.
Quote: "We play a difficult nonconference schedule and will be relying on our experience and depth to help us compete in our conference and the post season." -- Coach JR Rosenbaum
Players to watch: Chad Rigg, Sr., F; Cody Barnes, Sr., MF; Brandon Cloutier, Sr., G; Doug Petersen, Sr., D; Manny Rios, Jr., F; Chris Rassel, So., F/MF/D.
Outlook: The goal for Lake Central's 2010 campaign is simple: Go back to state and win this time. The determination to achieve that goal has been evident in the Indians' first few games and practices.
Quote: "We've got a huge core back, so that makes us optimistic. It's going to take a complete effort every game." -- Coach Jereme Rainwater.
Players to watch: David Cervantes, Sr., F; Jorge Medina, Sr., F; Zach McCoy, Jr., MF; Josh Aaron, So., MF.
Outlook: Sophomore defender Michael Gazdick, junior defender Jordan Gasaway and junior goalie Mark Nelson are also part of a seven-man experienced group for the Slicers. Several players also hope to bring experiences gained during club soccer contests.
Quote: "Our young team from last year has certainly matured, and we are finding ways to win and play nice soccer. From the talent standpoint, this may be the best group we've had in a long time. I feel our team is in a very good position to improve on last year and make our program more competitive in the DAC rankings." -- Coach Chris Buresh.
Players to watch: Tony Angotti, Sr., D; James Ooms, Sr., MF; Brandon Uruzquieta, Sr., MF; Chris Stojanovski, Sr., G.
Outlook: Merrillville graduated a whopping 15 seniors from last season's team, so there are a lot of holes to be filled. The main goal is to prepare to be competitive in sectionals with a lot of newcomers. Five sophomores will start for the Pirates.
Quote: "It'll be a great learning situation for those (young) guys knowing how it is to play varsity. We hope it'll pay off come sectional time." -- Coach Brian Past.
Players to watch: Johnathon Pendergast, Sr., SW; Dustin Rivich, Sr., MF; Aaron Henderson, Jr., MF; Jimmy Rubino, Jr., MF; Parker Stahl, Jr., F.
Outlook: Sophomore forwards Stephen Plew and Johnathan Butler plus freshman midfielder Andrew Rodecap are welcome additions to the lineup. Coach Bruce Stahl believes this is the fastest team he's ever had, and that could to more scoring opportunities.
Quote: "I've got about eight rocket ships on the team, and that will help us. We've also strengthened our schedule, which could also help." -- Coach Stahl
Players to watch: Dean Anderson, Sr., SW; Christian Cherry, Sr., D; Brendon Swindle, Sr., F; Donovan Cole, Jr., MF; Alex Becker, So., F; Logan Cole, So. MF.
Outlook: The Indians peaked late last fall and advanced to the semistate title game. Senior midfielder Ricardo Silva injured his ankle in the season-opening win over Munster. Coach Todd Strom expects to have Silva back by September. Even without Silva in the lineup, the Indians still have a lot of talent on offense with Swindle and Donovan Cole.
Quote: "Silva's injury slows us down a little, since he's the quickest guy on the squad. We just have to find a way to get our outside players more involved. Some of younger guys come in playing with a lot of confidence. We cannot dwell on what happened last year, because nothing is going to be given to us this season." -- Strom
Players to watch: A.J. Ratajac, Sr., G; Alex Hathoot, Sr., D; Nikolas Jeftich, Sr., MF; Kenny Kolasch, Sr., MF, Pat Reineke, Sr., MF.
Outlook: Even though the Vikings graduated 13 seniors from last season's lineup, coach Danny Jeftich doesn't see this as a rebuilding season. Junior midifelder Nico Gut, who moved here from Germany, and sophomore forward Yamen Atassi, the leading JV scorer last season, are quality additions to the lineup.
Quote: "I've got a solid group of nine seniors and 10 juniors that will provide a lot of balance and leadership for the team. A lot of our juniors could have played on other varsity teams, but we were so loaded with seniors. They've stayed one more with me, and I'm very optimistci about what they can do for us." -- Coach Jeftich.
Great Lakes Athletic Conference
Outlook: The Pioneers lost a plethora of seniors to graduation last season -- and that's an understatement. Clark will need to find a way to fill those gaps to be competitive.
Players to watch: Esteban Rodriguez, Sr.; Joe Rodriguez, Sr.; Art Avalos, Sr.; Cory Sutton, Sr.
Outlook: The Gladiators have an even mix of seniors and underclassmen, and the team chemistry has been good. New coach Jon Sarlea hopes that will play out on the field.
Quote: "We have a small team, so conditioning is going to be critical." -- Sarlea
Outlook: Eight seniors graduated last season, so the Wildcats will need to rely upon its previous group of underclassmen to step up. Former assistant coach Carlos Alvarez takes over for William Rojas this season.
Player to watch: Israel Rosillo, Sr., F.
Outlook: Morton will be a senior-laden team, and coach Chris Jagadich expects the Governors to be the best team in Hammond.
Quote: "Israel is the first one to practice and the last one to leave. He gives 100 percent in every drill and is a very mature young man." -- Jagadich
Northwest Crossroads Conference
Players to watch: Hayden Fogle, Jr., MF; Steve Magura, Sr., MF; Dean Riccardi, Jr., F; Matt Anderson, So., D; Connor Gorny, Jr., MF.
Outlook: Andrean will have to battle through growing pains with a very young and inexperienced team, but coach Pete Reist feels that his squad can overcome them and still have a successful season.
Quote: "They're two of our key guys (Fogle and Magura) and we'll be looking to them for leadership both on and off the field." -- Reist
Players to watch: Justin Turner, Jr., D; Nick Kudya, Jr., D; Josh Kisfalusi, Sr., G; Ryan Anelis, Jr., MF.
Outlook: Griffith graduated one of the Region's most prolific scorers in Matt Plawecki, and a host of other talented seniors that made up the starting lineup. The juniors will need to step up to continue Griffith's string of solid seasons.
Quote: "I'm always optimistic. We have a very young group that supports one another." -- Coach Ron Knestrict.
Players to watch: Mike Anderson, Jr., G; Pablo Baldetti, Jr., D; Connor Moynihan, Jr., MF; Matt Dyer, Jr., MF.
Outlook: There are many reasons for optimism this season for the Trojans. Anderson is solid as the goalkeeper, and the offense should be very good all season long. All the players have seemed to feed off of each other so far this season.
Quote: "We have the potential to score goals -- it's just the matter of our midfielders and forwards being on the same page." -- Coach Mirko Maric.
Players to watch: Phil Yarbrough, Sr., SW; Mike Pavlopoulos, Sr., G; Tom Spears, Sr., MF; Aaron Delgrosso, So., F.
Outlook: Hobart went 0-16 during the regular season last year, so the only place the Brickies can go is up. Each player has a lot more positive mental attitude this season.
Quote: "The upperclassmen are very intent on not repeating last year." -- coach Jack Allendorf.
Players to watch: Evan Dahm, Sr. F; Trevor Butler, Sr. MF; Bo VanderWoude, Sr. F/D; Dakota Dellahan, Sr., MF.
Outlook: The Kougars have gotten off to a very strong start this season behind the offensive strength of Dahm. With the entire NCC losing a lot of talent last season, this could be a good year for K.V., which has goals of winning its sectional again.
Quote: "We just have to get them ready for sectional and regional play." -- Coach Duane VanderWoude.
Players to watch: John Eison, Sr., MF/D; Dylan Heine, Sr., MF/D; Omar Balderas, Sr., D; Mike Scott, Jr., D; Aaron Burgans, Jr., MF/D; Kyle Costa, So., F.
Outlook: Seven seniors graduated from last season's squad, but the outlook is still optimistic for the Red Devils with the rest of the conference losing a plethora of key seniors to graduation. Lowell hopes to improve upon a subpar 2009 campaign.
Quote: "We have a strong offensive presence. We hope to shore up our defense." -- Coach Chris Werling.
Players to watch: Jeff Lawler, Sr., D; Eric Frasco, Sr., MF; Antonio Ceja, Sr.; MF; Zarko Coric, Jr., F.
Outlook: Munster lost its top two offensive threats in Anthony Huard and Derek Carlson to graduation last season, and to make matters worse, goalie Jess Clark is likely out for the year with a torn ACL and is being replaced by junior Ethan Flahaven. However, a solid core of seniors returns to one of the perennial top teams in the Region.
Quote: "We've just got to jell together as a team and trust each other, and we'll be good." -- Coach Jim Prasopoulos.
Northwest Indiana Soccer Conference
Players to watch: Angel Zumudio, Jr., MF; Gonzalo Romo, So., MF; Zack Gasper, Sr., D; AJ Cardenas, Jr.; G.
Outlook: The Warriors return a solid core from last season, but will need to find a way to replace Alberto Anguiano and Chris Lorenz, who both graduated. Zumudio should continue to grow as a leader and offensive threat.
Quote: "I'm looking forward to the season. I'm hoping to advance past the regional." -- Coach Armando Garza.
Players to watch: Matt Pomranke, Sr., MF; Patrick Cannon, Sr., F.
Outlook: Former Valparaiso University men's soccer coach Mis' Mrak takes over the program at Marquette. The Blazers have seven seniors and 12 underclassmen on the roster.
Quote: "I am very pleased with the overall chemistry of the team, and the group has responded well during training to the new ideas and schemes that I have brought to the program. I look forward to a fun and productive season." -- Mrak
Players to watch: Jake Burdine, Sr., F; Kevin Stone, Jr., G.
Outlook: Senior captain Quinn Bacon was lost for the season with a kneecap injury. Stone was an all-league pick last season, and the rest of the junior contingent is gaining valuable experience.
Quote: "Quinn's presence on the field will be missed. It will be a rebuilding year. Next season we should be stacked with seniors in our lineup." -- Coach Brian Ton.
Player to watch: Kevin Koehler, Sr., MF.
Outlook: Dragon Dobras takes over as coach of the Bearcats. With close to 20 freshmen and sophomores on the roster, this could be rebuilding season for the first-time varsity coach.
Quote: "They have a really good attitude, and they are willing to learn. I'm so happy to work with them, and I've received a lot of support from the community." -- Drobas.
Porter County Conference (Also part of the NWISC)
Players to watch: Brandon Crenshaw, Sr., SW; Matt Gerhardt, Sr., F/MF; Garrett Wardell, Jr., G.
Outlook: The Wolves won their third-straight NISC crown and second PCC title last season, but 90 percent of the offensive production graduated. Crenshaw and Wardell return to solidify the defense, while several players will need to step on offense.
Quote: "This proves to be a challenging year. We should continue our strong tradition of solid defense." -- Coach Brian Sherwin.
Players to watch: Shawn Krager, Sr., MF; Steve Hough, Sr., MF; Charlie Sawyer, Sr., SW; Nick Sudicky, Sr., D.
Outlook: The Wildcats have a couple holes to fill, but the returning seniors should more than make up for it. Every player is more focused this year to help the team succeed. Coach Steve Krager's younger son, Scott, has been helping the team out as an assistant coach.
Quote: "They're not horsing around too much in practice. They're just more focused this year." -- Coach Steve Krager
Players to watch: Joe Moser, Jr., G.
Outlook: Zeljko Mijatovic is the new coach for the Hawks. All-PCC pick Moser is one of the top returning players to the squad.
Players to watch: Kyle Benson, Sr., D; Sydne Robertson, Sr., F; Conor VanDyke, Sr., MF; Jordan Greavu, So., F; Stuart Price, So., F/MF.
Outlook: Roberston, Greavu and Price accounted for 19 goals and 14 assists in the first two games of the season, but the elder part of the forward line is now out with an injured ankle. Greavu and Price will have to pick up the slack.
Quote: "We're coming together as a unit. We're just not about one player." -- Coach Robert Dowhen.
Players to watch: Andrew Sharp, Sr., MF; Kyle Winquist, Jr., G; Tim Kemp, Jr., D; Matt Polito, Jr., D.
Outlook: Kyle Semento graduated, but first-year coach Stephen Hutchins doesn't see this as a rebuilding season.
Quote: "I am looking forward to a good season. At the same time, I expect it to be tough one from our opponents and as the team adjusts to a different coaching style and each other." -- Hutchins.
Players to watch: Zac Cannon, Sr., SW; Jeremy Lewis, Sr., G; Nick Moskwa, So., MF; Joshua Chilel, Fr., F.
Outlook: Since the school recently started a girls soccer program, this will be the first non-coed campaign for coach Joe Alessi. Conditioning will be a key to the season.
Quote: "Minutes will be increased. At the most, I might have two subs. We're going to have to sustain our play over the entire game." -- Alessi.
Players to watch: Victor Lozano, Sr. G; Eddie Rios, Sr., MF; Itzael Gonzalez, Jr., D.
Outlook: E.C. Central suffered through a losing 2009 season after winning a sectional championship in 2008. The Cardinals started six freshmen last season, so the expectations are much higher this time around.
Quote: "(Lozano) has grown a lot and can really be a leader on the field." -- Coach Costulo Perez.
Players to watch: Justin Cook, Sr., SW; Josh Foster, Sr., G/MF; Clayton Mattocks, Sr., D; Brooks Rodibaugh, So., D; Troy Phillips, So., F/MF; Maricio Ruiz, Jr., F; Jake West, Jr., MF.
Outlook: The Bombers will use plenty of newcomers on the offensive end of the field, but as they grow throughout the year, improvement should be seen. Rensselaer's strength should be its defense.
Quote: "I'm confident even if our offense struggles early on this early (our defense) will keep us within striking distance." -- Coach Josh Davis.