High School Sports

BOYS SOCCER PREVIEW

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Athenians ready to return to winning ways

Last season injuries plaqued the 5-11-1 Crawfordsville boys’ soccer team, but those injuries gave several young players the chance to play.

Now that those players are one year older, the Athenians are ready to get back to winning.

“We have several players who stepped up to play a lot of games last year, and we have a lot of flexibility with this group,” Athenians coach Marcus Hale said. “We are looking to compete, play well and grow from every game of the season. We are targeting finishing in the top-3 of conference, challenging for a county title and compete in sectional.”

Kevin Barrera-Chinchilla, Dwane Macias, Joseph Sanchez, Marshall Horton, Edwin-Gil Herrera, Alex Caballero, Eli Reeves, and Landon Timmons all returns for the Athenians, while they welcome newcomers Emmett Bowman, Shota Koyanagi, Andrew Jones, Patrick Corado, and Yeison Cifuentes to the varsity this season.

Hale said several of his players put in the time during the offseason, despite the COVID-19 pandemic preventing team activities throughout the spring and into the early part of the summer.

“Overall, we have a number of players who have worked very hard over the spring and summer, and they were able to do so with the resources available to them,” he said. “They were able to complete various strength, conditioning and ball workouts provided by CHS. We are excited to get out on the pitch and compete."

Chargers will be young

LINDEN — The North Montgomery boys soccer team graduated six seniors from the 2019 team, including their top two goal scorers in Baydin Hall and Colby Coon.

Replacing them will be tough, but coach Tristain Hall knows his young squad is ready to meet the challenge.

“Just replacing six seniors in general is difficult, but the guys have really stepped up,” he said. “I don’t expect them to be those guys, but I do expect them to be the best versions of themselves. We constantly are adapting as a team and I think the guys welcome this challenge because there are at least five other guys on the field that helped those seniors out and guys on the bench that still received significant playing time so they know what is expected of them and how we are going to deal with the loss of those guys.”

Jayden Rausch, Cooper Bowman, James McClerkin, Nicholas Sommer, and Henry Garver all return for the Chargers, with the new additions of Ben Eldridge, Edgar Biddle and Dylan Perez.

Hall, who is in his second year at the helm of the program, says the goals remain the same heading into 2020.

“Our goals for the coming season have not changed since last year,” he said. “We are continuously learning the game of soccer. A lot of guys are in their second year of the program and know a little more coming in than what they knew coming into last year and it has really been showing. The ultimate goal is to have fun and just enjoy the game of soccer.”

Mounties return core group

NEW MARKET — New Southmont boys soccer coach Stephanie Kennedy is ready to see what the Mounties are made of.

Southmont returns Beck McIntyre, Beckett Jett, Kristian Prado, Isiah Gayler, Logan Phillips, Taishi Greiner, Silas Adams, Christian Worth, and Logan Phillips — meaning the goals are lofty.

“Some of the goals the team has include having a winning season and winning county,” Kennedy said. “We as coaches thought that those were very reasonable and achievable goals to have this season.”

Kennedy also expects Logan Link and Skylar Wood to contribute this season.

A new mentality will be key if the Mounties want to improve upon their 2-12-1 record in 2019.

“One of the things I believe will help them be more competitive is having a different mentality,” Kennedy said. “They have come off a losing season so that is a big battle coming into a new season. If we change our mindset and take the challenges as learning opportunities to grow, I believe that they will be more competitive.”

And defense will play a vital role.

“Defense is definitely a key component to any game,” Kennedy added. “We have to be able to work together as a team throughout the whole field but especially in the defensive third. Being able to support one another in the back and be prepared to step up to the ball when needed."

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