2012 record: 4-7, 5-9-1
Top players: Seniors Denys Perez (D), Zach Smythe* (D) and Julio Valles (D); junior Brian Obrochta (MF).
What you need to know: The Wildecats have put together two straight four-win seasons in county play, which is something this year’s squad is aiming to improve upon despite being extremely young. There were 14 seniors that graduated from last fall and in their place is a roster that has seven underclassmen, including four freshmen. “We have a lot of new players in new positions,” Coach Robinson said. “Our success will be dependent on how fast they pick up the level of play at the varsity level.”
Smythe is the leader, having made all-county two straight years. With him, Perez and Valles, Wilde Lake has a trio of established seniors with the ability to excel in the back half of the field. Throw in Obrochta up the middle and the team should have success in playing a ball-control style that will try and dictate the pace of the game.
Chapelgate Christian Academy
Coach: Jason Bennett
2012 record: 2-9-1 MIAA C, 2-9-1
Top players: Senior Sam Rivera (D); juniors Tommy Carlson (GK), Nick Rizzi (D) and Kunle Soniregun (MF); sophomore Charlie Tibbels (F); freshman Marc Little (F).
What you need to know: It’s a young group for the Yellowjackets, who will be trying to push themselves back into the top half of the C Conference standings. In all, there are just four full-time starters back and of the team’s top returning players, only Rivera is a senior.
The good news, though, is that the underclassmen have a ton of potential. Carlson is a stud at goalie, Rizzi is a lock-down defender at fullback and Soniregun is a skilled player in the midfield. Then there’s the promising underclassmen duo of Little and Tibbels up top to jumpstart the offense. It’s just a matter of everything coming together. “As always, chemistry is a huge factor in determining our success,” Coach Bennett said. “The quicker these young men develop trust for each other on and off the field will prove our success or lack thereof.”
Glenelg Country School
Coach: Hal Kenny
2012 record: 0-16 MIAA B, 0-16
Top players: Juniors Cole Chason (D) and Griffin Keane (F); sophomores Reid Chaconas (MF), Sam Smith (MF) and Eric Wootton (GK); freshmen Camden Fisher (D) and Yianni Karabatis (MF).
What you need to know: The Dragons are wiping the slate completely clean after two consecutive winless seasons. Hal Kenny, who has more than a decade of coaching experience with travel teams in the area, takes over as head coach and the team is making the move down to MIAA C Conference. There are just five seniors on the roster and Kenny is going back to basics. “After going 0-36 the last couple years, the returning guys have definitely been humbled,” Kenny said. “I was selected for my style of coaching, which is a disciplined, possession style. There’s going to be a heavy emphasis on technical development so that they feel comfortable with the ball on their feet.”
Working in the team’s favor is the fact that there’s a wealth of young talent to work with. Wootton is a star in the making in net, while Chason will be a leader in front of him on defense. Keane and Chaconas are both returners, while Fisher and Karabatis are freshmen expected to make immediate impacts.