After nearly two years off the field, high school boys soccer teams throughout Harford County have been readying themselves for the 2021 season. There are 11 schools fielding teams, with Edgewood the only program unable to due to a lack of players.
Here’s a look around the county:
Head coach: Kevin Williams (third year)
Top returning players: Steven Sparks, Sr.; Julian VanMatre, Sr.; Naambon Kolbon, Sr.; Nathaniel Flatau, Jr.; Izak Battle, Jr.; Sky Pugh, Jr.
Key new players: Isaiah Steigerwalt, So.; Tyler Kenny, So.; Ethan Hill, So.; Reed Dimick, So.; Charles Epple, So.; Kaleb Holmes, Fr.; Xavier Morgan, Fr.
Outlook: “It’s like putting together a new program. We have a solid group of seniors and very few juniors. Several talented and exciting underclassmen,” coach Williams said. “It’s going to be a fun and interesting season. All things considered, I feel we should do well.”
Head coach: Dominic Rose (22nd year)
Top returning players: JT Moran, Sr. (Midfield); Amdam Saccoh, Jr. (Defense).
Key new players: Matt Weidman, Jr. (Midfield); Andrew Lassen, Jr. (Midfield); Kevin Tridone, Sr. (Midfield); Jake Tridone, Sr. (Midfield); Cameron Class, So. (Defense).
Outlook: “It’s really hard to know what to expect this season, I believe we will be very competitive, but it is hard to know exactly what any team has this season,” coach Rose said. “I feel the league will be pretty balanced between Fallston, CMW, Patterson Mill, North Harford and Bel Air. Should be very exciting to see how it unfolds.”
C. Milton Wright
Head coach: Brian Tully (eighth year)
Top returning players: Adrian Gonzalez, Sr. (Midfield); Jacob Kegley, Sr. (Midfield).
Key new players: Jon Akers, Sr. (Defense); Connor Lesniewski, Sr. (Forward); Matthew Luk, So. (Forward).
Outlook: CMW has a talented group of players, but without the varsity experience due to the year off, they’re looking to reestablish the culture that has allowed the program to compete on the county and state level. “We have an athletic and physical group with an understanding of how we want to play the game,” coach Tully said. “If they can bring a high level of work rate, enthusiasm and team first mentality, the group has the potential to develop into a very strong team with a chance to be competing again late in the season.”
Head coach: Christopher Hoover (17th year)
Top returning players: Cason Donahue, Sr. (Goalie); Devin Reddel, Sr. (Midfield); Brendon Mudd, Sr. (Midfield); Michael Estremsky, Sr. (Foward); Christian Worthington, Jr. (Defense).
Key new players: Dylan Kries, Jr. (Goalie); Ethan Salsa, Jr. (Midfield); Jayden Dillard, Jr. (Foward); Ian Wilson, So. (Defense); Luke Tarrant, Sr. (Defense).
Outlook: “The team is excited to have the opportunity to play this fall. We are training hard each day and building our understanding of what each team member can contribute to a competitive side,” coach Hoover said. “From the coaches, to the players, to the managers, we have a renewed appreciation for being out there and competing in the UCBAC and the state.”
Head coach: Wesley Peters (second year)
Top returning players: Dan Giro, Sr. (Midfield); Timmy Williams, Jr. (Midfield); Garrett Richardson, Sr. (Defense).
Key new players: Steven Boughers, Fr. (Forward).
Outlook: “After coming off a winning season last year (8-3-2), we have similar expectations for this season. Our team’s strength is our depth and our experience,” coach Peters said. “We do not have a player that will dominate a game, but we also do not have any holes on our team.” The Eagles have nine seniors on the team this year, and many of the players have been playing together for a long time.
Head coach: Mike Dempsey (fourth year)
Top returning players: Thomas Geyer, Sr. (Defense); Aydin Blevins, Sr. (Midfield)
Key new players: Andrew Wozar, Jr. (Goalie, Forward); Ethan Kunes, Jr. (Midfield); Logan Barkey, Jr. (Midfield); Brayden Chryst, Fr. (Defense); Reid Dedeaux, Sr. (Forward); Aiden Hall, So. (Forward); Seth Topfer, Jr. (Defense)
Outlook: “We are looking forward to an exciting season and are just happy to be back on the field playing,” coach Dempsey said.
Havre de Grace
Head coach: Jeff Berthney (fifth year)
Top returning players: Lev Logan, Sr. (Midfield); Keegan Gruzs, Sr. (Keeper); Blake Clark, Jr. (Forward); Liam Coakley, Sr. (Forward).
Key new players: Wyatt Molyneux, So. (Midfield); Hamed Diallo, So. (Forward); Brady Walker, So. (Defense); Chase Wilkenson, Jr. (Defense); Jeremiah Rushik, Jr. (Defense); Jared Rice, Sr. (Midfield).
Outlook: “We had our biggest turnout of players this year, 43 players. We have experience at every position this year and a JV team with experience. We will need to control the middle of the field to execute,” coach Berthney said. “This should be a fun-filled season and should keep the fans in the stands. The HdG Youth Soccer program has done an excellent job in preparing players to move forward. If we can stay healthy and injury free it could be a very positive season. Teamwork is a must.” Assistant coach Addie Pleh joins the team for a second year.
Head coach: Jim Fendryk (12th year)
Top returning players: Eric Schultz, Sr. (Defense); Ryan Skandalis, Jr. (Midfield).
Key new players: Eddie Smith, So.; CJ Supan, So.; Christian Rugel, So.; Josh Petty, So.; Connor Ellis, So.; Tyler Mezzedra, So.
Outlook: “We have a younger group overall with a good blend of upper class experience and really promising talent at the sophomore level. We are expecting to start seven sophomores for this upcoming campaign,” coach Fendryk said. Last year the Patriots went 1-2 in the short restart before the plug was pulled. The win came against Loyola to open up and then there were losses to Curley and Mt. St. Joe. Eric Schultz will be the senior captain playing at center back, along with junior Ryan Skandalis in the central midfield. “We will be relying on the both of them to provide guidance and direction for our group,” Fendryk said. “I will say that this is the most talented team we’ve fielded at John Carroll in the 12 years that I have been the head coach. I’m really looking forward to see what these boys can do in what’s arguably the best high school soccer conference in the nation.”
Team preview information was not received from Mariners coach Cameron Schnaack.
Head coach: Matt Johnstone (15th year)
Top returning players: Javier Mejia, Sr. (Midfield); Josh Ferro, Sr. (Forward).
Key new players: Luke Mejia, Jr. (Midfield); Kian Pucher, Jr. (Defense); Austin Smith, Jr. (Midfield); Colton Taylor, Jr. (Defense); Mason Barker, So. (Defense); Ben Wardle, So. (Midfield).
Outlook: “Very young team with only four seniors, but the team is working extremely hard each day of preseason,” coach Johnstone said. “Looking forward to them growing together and continuing to improve throughout the season.”
Head coach: Wes Rich (15th year)
Top returning players: Thomas Niblock, Sr. (Defense); Robby March, Sr. (Defense); Kyle Luddy, Sr. (Defense); Ian Sauer, Sr. (Goalie); Dylan Gough, Sr. (Midfield); Cameron Dawsom, Sr. (Midfield); Alex Salem, Sr. (Midfield); Nate Karwatka, Sr. (Defense); Josh Garcia, Sr. (Midfield).
Key new players: Vinnie Wysong, So. (Forward); Diego Peralta, Fr. (Forward); Mason Gravitte, Jr. (Midfield).
Outlook: ”After missing the 2020 Fall soccer season, the Huskies are thankful to be back on the field and have a chance to compete this season. The team will be led by a strong senior class and some exciting young players that are fitting in well with our returning guys,” coach Rich said. “Our players have trained hard over these past few weeks and can’t wait to represent their school and compete in the always tough UCBAC. We will continue to work hard and support each other as we push to return to the state finals.”