BOYS SOCCER: Season previews: 3 area teams in Sideling Hill contention
Greencastle-Antrim Blue Devils
Coach: Scott Gelsinger, 13th year, 154-70-9 (.680).
Last year: 12-5-1 (8-1-1, won Mid Penn Colonial Division), lost in District 3-AAA play-in to Hempfield, 1-0.
Returning starters: Austyn Smith (sr., def, P.O. second team all-star, 4 assists), Kaleb Hurley (so., mid, P.O. Honorable Mention, 1 goal, 1 assist), Ryan Yoder (sr., def), Luke Herman (jr., mid, 1, 2), Chris Bowman (sr., for, 3, 1), Nick Heinze (sr., for, 4 assists), Jared Spoonhour (sr., mid, 1 assist), Ian Gelsinger (so., def, 2 goals).
Other top players: Sam Parker (sr., def, 2 goals), Damian Sherrill (jr., def), Brandon Stuhler (so., mid, 2, 2), Bryson Robinson (so., goalkeeper), Logan Cline (jr., mid), Kaleb Jentzsch (jr., mid).
Outlook: "Even with a sophomore in goal, I think we should be pretty good defensively," Scott Gelsinger said, "but we'll have to figure out who will score the goals. We'll probably have to score them as a team. We have eight seniors, but we have a lot of youth who will get lots of playing time."
Notes: Jake Kline and Ian Rohrbaugh, both graduated, combined for 29 goals last year; the rest of the G-A team knocked in only 14 ... Gelsinger expects Boiling Springs and Shippensburg to be the Blue Devils' top opponents in the Colonial.
Season opener: Tuesday, at Waynesboro, 6:45.
Coach: Warren Jones, 20th year, 215-148-16 (.588).
Last year: 7-11 (4-6 Mid Penn Colonial Division).
Returning starters: Matt West (sr., def, P.O. Honorable Mention, 8 goals, 3 assists), Luke Ashberry (sr., mid, P.O. HM, 4, 4), Jeremy Crouse (sr., def, 2 goals), Jackson VanHorne (jr., def, 1 goal), Kyle Negley (jr., mid), Chandler Olson (jr., mid, 2 assists).
Other top players: Taha Shamshudin (sr., for), Hunter Gladfelter (so., for, 1 assist), Cole Souders (so., def), Braxton Shetter (sr., mid), Nathan Marpoe (sr., for), Brandon Crouse (sr., goalkeeper), Sterling Shetter (so., goalkeeper), Spencer McKenna (so., goalkeeper).
Outlook: Jones said, "I like the attitude and the work ethic – so far it's been very positive. I think last year we didn't play enough soccer before the season, but this year the guys played more in the offseason and against good competition. If we can score some goals, I think our defense can make a difference in how successful we can be."
Notes: The Greyhounds have only 5 home games on their schedule, and 3 will be held at Memorial Park ... Jones said Ship has 4 freshmen who could push for starting spots eventually.
Season opener: Saturday, vs. McCaskey in the Reading Tournament, 10:45 a.m.
James Buchanan Rockets
Coach: Randy Jarrett, second year.
Last year: 8-10-1 (1-8-1 Mid Penn Colonial Division), lost District 3-AA play-in to Palmyra, 7-2.
Returning starters: Isaac Shenton (jr., def, 1 assist), Adam Heintzelman (jr., mid, 4 goals, 1 assist)
Other top players: Sean Martin (so., goalkeeper), Louis Hose (jr., def), Joel Wadel (jr., def), Connor Fritsche (so., mid), Dalton Leab (jr., mid), Adam Lippy (so., mid), Derek Pine (fr., mid), Alec Truett (fr., for), Bailey Keefer (so., def).
Outlook: "We only got 16 kids out; we saw a drop coming, but we didn't expect to have no seniors come out," Jarrett said. "We have a handful of kids who played varsity, but didn't start much. One positive is last year was the first time we've made the playoffs in seven years and eight kids played in the that game."
Notes: Starting defender Hunter Sowers (so.) is out with a knee injury ... The Rockets graduated 10 seniors and several other players did not come out ... JB will not have a JV team.
Season opener: Saturday, vs. Northern York in Big Spring Tournament, 11 a.m.
Coach: Brian Stum, third year, 21-17 (.553).
Last year: 12-7 (8-2 Mid Penn Colonial Division), lost to Cedar Cliff 2-0 in a District 3-AAA play-in.
Returning starters: Tim Correll (jr., mid, 1 goal, 2 assists), Elliott Swink (sr., def, 1, 1), Aaron Tylicki (so., for, 3 goals).
Other top players: Zane Rook (jr., mid, 1 goal), Andrew Wolff (sr., mid, 1 assist), James Barr (sr., goalkeeper), Nathan Cordell (jr., def), Wes Ocker (jr., def), Brad Rock (sr., def), Joey Daniels (jr., mid), Zac Forrester (sr., for), Derek Buhrman (fr., mid), Bruce Neterer (fr., def), Jack Estes (so., mid), Wyatt Feldman (so., mid), Jake Atkinson (jr., mid), Cruz Rea (so., def).
Outlook: Stum said, "We've had a big makeover. Our lack of experience might show, but we have the capability to surprise some people. We've got some good talent and decent speed, but our lack of size will hurt us. The few seniors we have will be fighting for their positions by the midway point because some underclassmen are pretty good."
Notes: The Indians lost a group of 14 seniors from last year ... Graduate Cam Huff, now playing for Wilkes College, scored 20 goals, and the rest of the team had 21.
Season opener: Saturday, vs. host in Central York Tournament, 9 a.m.
Coach: Greg Best, 12th year, 143-73-10 (.685).
Last year: 8-11 (4-8 Sideling Hill League), lost in District 5-A first round to McConnellsburg, 2-1.
Returning starters: Mikell McGee (jr., for, P.O. second team all-star, 16 goals, 3 assists), Layton Hoffman (sr, mid, P.O. Honorable Mention, 10, 7), Jamie Birgfield (sr., goalkeeper, P.O. HM, 2 shutouts), Sawyer Rosenberry (sr, def, P.O. HM), Wyatt Thorne (jr., def, 1 goal), Chris Rosenberry (sr, def, 1 assist), Lucas Wingert (so., def, 2 assists), Alec Jesmer (sr., mid), Kolby Hammond (sr., mid, 1 assist), Levi Brady (sr., for, 3, 3), Mikayla O'Donel (jr., 2 goals).
Other top players: Kyler Goshorn (fr.), Robbie Runk (so.), Becky Runk (jr.), Dylan Seibert (so.), Brandon Winegardner (so.), Kyler Harris (jr.).
Outlook: "There was no pressure on us last year, but we pretty much have everybody back, so we will have pressure this year," Best said. "We should be competitive in every game, but in our league it should be tough night in and night out. We're using last season's success as a foundation to help build for success this year."
Notes: The Tigers started out 0-7 last year, but rallied to win 8 of their final 12 contests ... McGee scored his 16 goals in just 9 games after coming back from an injury.
Season opener: Friday, at home vs. Rockwood, 4.
Coach: Cory Houck, fourth year, 33-20-3 (.616).
Last year: 15-4 (10-2 Sideling Hill League), lost to Windber 3-2 in District 5-A semifinal.
Returning starters: Jake Boehme (sr., mid, P.O. first team all-star, 22 goals, 9 assists), Patrick Keefer (sr., for, P.O. second team, 17, 8), Nick Culler (jr., def, P.O. Honorable Mention), Cody Parson (jr., def, P.O. HM, 1 assist), Ethan Barclay (jr., for, 4, 3), Landon Richards (sr., mid, 2, 1), Hunter Souders (jr., goalkeeper), Jared DeShong (sr., def), Justin Welsh (sr., def).
Other top players: Chad Bunch (so., mid, 1 goal), Josh Booth (so., mid, 1 goal), Braydon Kylor (jr., mid, 2, 2), Chase Glee (jr., mid).
Outlook: "We lost three players from last year, but really only had two spots to fill, so we have a lot of experience," Houck said. "There are some special guys in this group – I started coaching them in eighth grade. We moved a few pieces around and hope to do some different things on offense. Three or four guys have really matured physically since last year."
Notes: Houck said the team's goal is to earn a home playoff game again and be at least in the top four of the district ... Souders was the starting keeper until he got hurt last year.
Season opener: Friday, at home vs. James Buchanan, 6.
Forbes Road Cardinals
Coach: Justin Gelvin, first year.
Last year: 3-15 (0-10 Sideling Hill League).
Returning starters: Aaron Schepis (jr., for, P.O. Honorable Mention, 13 goals, 1 assist), Jim Kendall (sr., mid, P.O. HM, 4 assists), Owen Gilbert (jr., goalkeeper), Talon Blair (so., for, 4 goals).
Other top players: Cameron Duval (jr., mid), Lane Kendall (jr., def), Bryce Ulsh (sr., def), Brendan Loopey (fr., def), Hunter Martz (fr., mid), Levi Truax (fr., def), Nolan Wilt (fr., def), Hayden Mitchell (so., mid), Anthony Goshorn (so., def), Caleb Voegl (fr., def).
Outlook: "It was a little disappointing having only 14 players come out," Gelvin said. "We're very young, with only two seniors. I'm trying to play a different style than last year, so there's a learning curve. The kids have worked hard, but we need to get more kids involved and build the program."
Notes: Gelvin is a Forbes Road graduate ... In his career, he scored 106 goals and was the 1999 P.O. Player of the Year ... He takes over for Ben Young, who coached 3 years ... The Cardinals have 2 players from Tussey Mountain as part of a cooperative program.
Season opener: Wednesday, at home vs. Everett, 4.
Southern Fulton Indians
Coach: Scott Varner, third year, 11-22 (.333).
Last year: 7-11 (5-7 Sideling Hill League).
Returning starters: Chase Varner (jr., mid, P.O. Honorable Mention, 12 goals, 7 assists), Benji Voight (jr., mid, P.O. HM, 8, 2), Collin Bard (sr., goalkeeper, 3 goals), Jacob Silver (jr., def, 1 assist), Jeremiah Ashkettle (so., def), Jacob Murray (jr., def, 1, 1), Levi Shank (jr., def), Sage Minteer (so., mid, 1, 3).
Other top players: Cam McCray (so., mid), Raymond Truax (fr., mid), Juan Mazariegos (jr., for), Casey Spade (fr., mid), Nate Voight (fr., mid).
Outlook: Scott Varner said, "We only lost one key senior. I've always considered us a young team, but I can't say that anymore. We just missed the playoffs by two one-hundreths of a point last year. That was humbling, because we thought we were going to get in for the first time ever. I think we are a better team this year."
Notes: The Indians were 7-7 until dropping their last 4 games ... Varner said 41 kids came out for junior high and high school combined, SF's largest showing.
Season opener: Friday, at Hyndman, 4:30.
Shalom Christian Flames
Coach: Chris Lehman, first year.
Last year: 5-10 (5-7 Mason-Dixon Christian Conference).
Returning starters: Cyrus Lehman (sr., mid, P.O. Honorable Mention, 3 goals, 6 assists), Jonah Stains (jr., for, P.O. HM, 15, 2), Jake Holderman (sr., def, P.O. HM), Tyler Thrush (sr., mid, 1 assist), Chase Martin (jr., mid), Mikey White (jr., def), Tucker King (jr., for).
Other top players: Tanner Gibble (jr., mid, 1, 1), Jacob Nicholas (so., def), Mason Schaffer (jr., def), Travis West (so., goalkeeper), Micah Lehman (jr., goalkeeper), Christian Martin (so., mid, 2 goals), Peter Livermore (so., for), Hunter Diehl (fr., def), Tobion King (fr., mid), Jerry Min (jr., mid).
Outlook: "I'm pleased with our start (the Flames are 2-0-1)," Chris Lehman said. "We had some adjustments and some learning to do, but I was an assistant here last year so I know most of the guys. I think we should expect to be in the middle of being in contention for the MDCC."
Notes: Lehman was a 2004 Shalom grad and played under former coach Jeff Garner ... Min played last year at CV Christian.
Next game: Friday, at Calvary Christian, 4:30.
Cumberland Valley Christian Blazers
Coach: Stan Hott, fourth year, 33-34-1 (.493).
Last year: 14-11 (7-5 in Mason-Dixon Christian Conference), placed 4th in MDCC Tournament.
Returning starters: Sterling Bard (jr., mid, P.O. Honorable Mention, 12 goals, 15 assists), Jackson Park (sr., mid, 2, 4), Justin Mummert (2 assists), Spencer Propst (jr., mid, 3, 3).
Other top players: Eli Black, Kenneth Hott, Christian Hott (goalkeeper).
Outlook: Stan Hott said, "On paper, this should be a rebuilding year for us, because we lost six starters, but I think we'll do OK. Several of the freshmen play high-level travel soccer and pairing them with my five returning starters should make for a decent season. With this group, I think we'll be relentless on the field and will be competitive."
Notes: Returning starter Jerry Min transferred to Shalom Christian ... Players who graduated scored 65 goals last year.
Next game: Friday, at Grace Academy, 5:15.
Mercersburg Academy Blue Storm
Coach: Quentin McDowell, eighth season, 84-30-7 (.723).
Last year: 18-1-1 (4-0-1 won Mid-Atlantic Prep League title, also won IPSL championship), PAISAA runner-up after 1-0 loss to Hill.
Returning starters: Kane Doyle (sr., def, P.O. Honorable Mention), 2 goals, 1 assist), Matt Athanas-Linden (sr., def, P.O. HM, 2 goals), Elliot Hicks (sr., mid, 2, 8), Ryan Klaff (sr., def, 1 goal).
Other top players: Miles Hearon (sr., goalkeeper), Gnim Bazim (jr., def), Mikale Williams (so., def, 1, 3), Alvaro Valentin (PG, mid), JinMook Kang (jr., mid, 1, 1), Christian Recker (jr., for).
Outlook: McDowell said, "We should have another exciting team; maybe not quite as dynamic as last year, but we should be fun to watch. I believe Alvaro Valentin (from Spain) should do a nice job of filling in for some of our losses."
Notes: P.O. Co-Player of the Year David Coly is playing at the University of Washington ... Recker scored 9 goals and had 2 assists at James Buchanan last year.
Season opener: Thursday, at home vs. Martinsburg, W.Va., 4:15.
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