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Carroll County Times
Carroll County High School Sports

Carroll County 2022 high school boys soccer preview: New faces take the spotlight in competitive county race

Carroll County is noted as a strong source of boys soccer in Maryland. As the county looks to back up that reputation this season, a new group of stars is set to emerge.

Eleven of 14 first-team All-County selections last season were seniors, including 2021 Player of the Year Ben Weller of Winters Mill. Century, the county and regional champion and Class 2A state semifinalist, also lost plenty of talent.

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The three All-County selections returning are Liberty midfielder Sam Allen and Westminster forward Ashton Stewart and midfielder Jimmy Gogol.

But the cupboard is far from bare. Century’s Cooper Santos scored seven goals with four assists last year and is set to rise as a team leader for the Knights.

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Liberty, which was edged out by Century in last year’s regional championship game, returns plenty of firepower in Allen (seven goals) and Austin Wadlington (six goals, four assists).

But every team boasts talented returners, and the race for the county title will be wide open.

Gerstell Academy was unbeaten last season until it reached the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association C Conference championship game against St. Vincent Pallotti, where the Falcons fell, 2-0. But another strong group is set to make another title run.

Here is a team-by-team look at the county:

Century

Coach: Trey Howes, fourth season

Last season: 14-3-1 overall, 2A West Region I champion, state semifinalist

Top returners: Senior Cooper Santos (M)

Newcomers to watch Juniors Aiden Luckenbaugh (D) and Ryan Sien (D)

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Coach’s team outlook: “We as a coaching staff believe we have the incoming players to address our skilled departures with a talented group of young men of high character. I am excited to get to work with this group and to see what we can accomplish together.”

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Larry Haines, ninth season

Last season: 4-7-3, 1A regional semifinalist

Key returners: Seniors Evan Austin (D), Liam Hartung (M), Jeshua Jerusalem (F) and Mason Layne (D); junior Ray Whittington (M)

Newcomers to watch: Sophomore Nathan Myers (G)

Coach’s outlook: “This year’s squad is rounded with great soccer athletes that enjoy playing with each other. Add a few hungry younger guys to the mix and we have potential. We are not deep overall, so as long as we stay healthy, we will compete.”

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Gerstell Academy

Coach Ashley Murphy, sixth season

Last season: 13-1-2 record, MIAA C Conference finalist

Top returning players: Seniors Brady Dillion (D), Kirkland Kilroy (M) and JJ Weber (D); juniors Andrew Sindicic (G) and Travis Smith (S)

Newcomer to watch: Freshman Davis Quenzer (S)

Coach’s outlook: “We are looking to heavily compete in the MIAA C Conference again this season. The Falcons have a young talented soccer team. The boys are willing to work hard and push through adversity to reach their full potential on and off the pitch. Coach Murphy is excited to lead the team in the pursuit of a C Conference Championship this season, and to develop each boy on and off the pitch.”

Liberty

Coach: Dave Abarbanel, 10th season

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Last season: 11-3-1, 2A West Region I finalist

Top returners: Seniors Sam Allen (CM), Edwin Blyden (CB), Jordan DeVincent (W) and Austin Wadlington (W)

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Newcomers to watch: Senior Garrett Rodoff (G); junior Grant Bernstein (F/M)

Coach’s outlook: “Although we lose a talented senior class, we are confident in the success of our returning players and some new faces who we feel can make a positive impact. We are looking forward to another successful season.”

Manchester Valley

Coach: John Woodley, third season

Last season: 2-9-2, 3A East Region I quarterfinalist

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Top returners: Seniors Xavier Bowman (M/S), Logan Haines (S/D), Caden Mitzel (M/D), Tejas Patel (M/D), Austin Ray (M/S) and Ryan Warfield (M/D); juniors Quinn Favorite (S/D), Grant Miller (M/S) and Dayton Siegler (M/S)

Newcomers to watch: Seniors Jackson Dennis (D/M) and Cevin Slominski (M/D); juniors Hunter Agostine (D), Reid Bartles (M/D) and Joseph Peloquin (G); freshman Lino Colin (M/S)

Coach’s outlook: “The 2022 Mavericks will always be very competitive in every game. The key for the team this year is to finish scoring opportunities so we don’t play five overtime games as we did in 2021. Carroll County will again showcase some of the best soccer Maryland has to offer.”

South Carroll

Coach: Ed Wharton, fourth season

Last season: 9-7-1, 1A South Region I champion, state quarterfinalist

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Top returners: Seniors Ryan Carrado (D) and Steven Cox (D); junior Cohen Blevins (S)

Coach’s outlook: “We graduated 10 seniors and it’s been great to see how quickly, positively and competitively this new group of players are working together. Their goal is to build on last year’s success.”

Westminster

Coach: Jim Reigel, second season

Last season: 10-6, 3A East Region I semifinalist

Top returners: Seniors Jimmy Gogol (M), Jack Heefner (D), Josh Lindenstruth (S), Riley Morsgerger (G) and Ashton Stewart (S)

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Newcomers to watch: Junior Gunnar Christensen (M), sophomore Jackson Stewart (D)

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Coach’s outlook: “We have a well-balanced roster with senior-based leadership that contributed to our success in the 2021 season. Our experience should challenge traditionally strong programs in our county and conference.”

Winters Mill

Coach: Ryan Lenz, sixth season

Last season: 8-5, 2A West Region I semifinalist

Top returners: Seniors Hayden Shuman (G), Brandon Taylor (M) and CJ Wasmer (D); junior Reed Postlethwait (F); sophomore Maddox Shuman (M)

Newcomers to watch: N/A

Coach’s outlook: “With the loss of 54 Ben Weller points, we will obviously look to be a more balanced team on the offensive end. Defensively, we look to rebound from a down year, but I am happy with what I have seen from this unit thus far. Playing in one of the stronger counties in the state, we know it will be a dogfight each game, but we are looking forward to the challenge.”


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