The 2017 boys high school soccer season is here and Harford County teams have been getting themselves ready for it. Here's a look at the teams.
Head coach: John Applegate (first season)
Preview information for the Aberdeen Eagles was not received in time for publication.
Head coach: Dominic Rose (18th season)
2016 record: 15-4-1
Players to watch: Vince Rose, Sr. (Mid); Connor Lorenz, Sr. (Mid); Ethan Lassen, Jr. (For); Arthur Jackson, Sr. (Mid); Andrew Sin, Sr. (Mid)
Outlook: The Bobcats return four players from last years state final team and will look to build throughout the season to find the form they had last season. "We will be competitive, everyone has worked very hard in the off-season and tryouts to try and pick up where we left off last year," Bobcats coach Rose said. "Vince Rose and Lorenz were key to last year's team and having them back will be very good for us."
C. Milton Wright
Head coach: Brian Tully (fifth season)
2016 record: 10-6-1
Players to watch: Ryan Miller, Sr. (GK); Sean Fleming, Sr. (Mid); Jake Spurlock, Jr. (Mid/Def); Ryan Belfiore, Jr. (For/Mid); Conner Appleby, Jr. (For); Jayson Butler, Jr. (Def); Brett Lindsey, Sr. (For)
Outlook: "Returning a strong core of the team from the last few seasons means we are experienced around the field," Mustangs coach Tully said. "If we buy into a team first mentality then this squad will be poised to have a successful season competing against some the conferences/regions/nations best high school teams."
Head coach: Ted Childs (first season)
2016 record: 9-6-1
Players to watch: Ryan Dean, Sr. (For); Cedrick Ofori, Sr. (Mid); Issac Blankston, Jr. (Mid); J.P. Markowski, Sr. (Mid); Ethan Jenkins, Jr. (Def); Soloman Miller, Sr. (Def); Zach Mateo, So. (GK)
Outlook: Edgewood High is looking to repeat its division winning season last year and are looking towards a strong performance from its core group of returning players to do this. Coming off a school record-setting season, the offensive performance will be driven by senior striker Dean, and will be backed by a deep core of midfielders, and a solid defense, led by senior Markowski and sophomore goalie Mateo.
Head coach: Drew Bisker (15th season)
2016 record: 15-4
Players to watch: Jake Kauffman, Sr. Mid/For); Mason Mullaney, Sr. (GK); Jared Puglisi, Sr. (Def); Ben Muzzelo, Sr. (Mid/For); Cory Reed, Sr. (Mid); Reese Ripken, Sr. (Def); Trey Book, Sr. (Mid); Kyle Moody, Jr. (Mid); Connor Lumpkin, Jr. (Def)
Outlook: Last season the Cougars went (15-4) with 12 shut outs and17 different players scoring goals. Of those, 10 players will return to add to their stats. Fallston lost in a hard fought state final match against Middletown of Frederick County, 1-0, on a very cold and extremely windy evening last November. "Our goal this year is to work hard in practice everyday. Also, to play as a team avoiding as many injuries as possible in order to play the last game of the season in November," Cougars coach Bisker said. "This year there will be 12 returning players (four of which started last year), eight with quality minutes and 12 talented newcomers." This Fallston High School team will compete in every match with heart and determination to reach that goal. The Cougars will match up with a few high powered Baltimore County teams, along with those in the conference as well, to make it another great year of soccer.
Head coach: Tim Olinger (fourth season)
2016 record: 10-5
Players to watch: Jake Edwards, Sr. (Def); Trevor Prevost, Sr.m (GK); Jeong Suk Chae, Sr. (For); Dallas Kane, So. (Def); Dominic Zappala, So. (Mid)
Head coach: Jason Falkenstine (second season)
2016 record: 8-7
Players to watch: "Everyone on our roster has an incredible valuable and well defined role for the team. Individual mentions are earned throughout the season," Cobras coach Falkenstine said.
Outlook: Tech brings a fair amount of mature players to the pitch this year as well as some impressive younger talent. With the increasing popularity of Harford Tech in both academics and sports success, the turnout for tryouts was incredibly impressive. This allowed Tech's unique position to quickly raise the level of expectations for the soccer program. "We are strong in every position with a fair amount of depth to support the starting 11. Without a doubt the chemistry is already stronger than at any point last year and the desire to play at a much higher level is evident in the first weeks of training," Falkenstine said. "We will be very strong offensively and anticipate creating a large number of scoring opportunities from multiple positions. Our expectations are to score multiple goals from multiple positions." Defensively, the Cobras are strong and fast, so Falkenstine expects Tech to be very solid in the back as well. The schedule is very competitive in and out of the league. "The competition within the league will prove to offer some tough challenges, but with the unity we feel we have, we should be tough to beat with any opponent we face," Falkenstine said. "Our goals are lofty, but we have a group of young men that believe in themselves and most importantly in one another."
Havre de Grace
Head coach: Jeff Berthney (second season)
2016 record: 1-12
Players to watch: Aaron Toepfer, Sr. (GK); Christian Blackwell, Sr. (Mid); Devon Martin, Sr. (Mid); Jarod French, Sr. (Def); Zach Neary, Sr. (Mid); Alex Lloyd, Sr. (Def); Nate McRoberts, Jr. (Mid); Ethan Parsley, Jr. (Def); Morgan Sherman, Jr. (For); Ethan French, So. (Mid)
Outlook: The season will depend on the strength of the bench. "Everyone has been working hard and there is no JV program, so we are carrying a lot of freshmen," Warriors coach Berthney said. One freshman to watch is Jared Rice. Senior keeper Toepfer is another player to watch. "This is a team game and we will count on all players to have a successful season."
Head coach: Jim Fendryk (eighth season)
2016 record: 7-9-2
Players to watch: Jake Krieger, Sr. (Mid); Hayden Gaeng, Jr. (For); Wyatt Moran, Jr. (Mid); Gavin Greene, So. (Mid); Kyle Mikulcik, So. (Mid)
Outlook: "After a very strong start to the 2016 campaign, the Patriots found themselves on the losing end of a series of close contests that saw them finish just outside of the playoffs. 2017 looks to be a rebuilding year with much potential. This year's team will have a nice blend of upper class experience with the addition of some very promising underclassmen making the varsity roster this year. "The A Conference is one of the most competitive soccer conferences in the entire nation. The group we have will compete and their goal has to be a return to post season play," Patriots coach Fendryk said. "The start of pre-season has shown us lots of positives about our boys and we are going to continue to fine tune things in the coming weeks as we look forward to our league opener on September 1st."
Head coach: Scott Sands
2016 record: 4-8
Players to watch: Tajohn Willis, Sr. (For); Zach Wagner, Sr. (Def); Andrew Harney, Sr. (Def); Stephan Mulder-Stoupakis, Jr. (For); Sean Mulder-Stoupakis, Jr. (Mid); Joel Sands, Fr. (Def); Bailey McCarthy, Fr. (GK); James Van Horn, So. (Mid)
Outlook: "After a 4-8 season last year, we are looking to rebound. We will add some depth and an ability to move forward. We are hoping to return to the winning record we had two years ago," Mariners coach Sands said.
Head coach: Matt Johnstone (12th season)
2016 record: 4-9-2
Players to watch: Ryan O'Leary, Sr. (Def); Tommy Campbell, Sr. (Mid); Chris Romoniello, Sr. (For); Jake Helewicz, Sr. (Def); Evan Michel, Sr. (Mid); Bryce Kemajou, Jr. (For); Frank Kemajou, So. (For); Justin Gue, So. (Def); Cameron LaPlante, So. (Mid)
Outlook: "I'm looking forward to an exciting season in Harford County soccer. Our team has a lot of new players who must come in an provide a lot of minutes but also learn from the returning players," Hawks coach Johnstone said. "This group has been working extremely hard in the pre-season and we hope to see good results from their hard work."
Head coach: Wes Rich (11th season)
2016 record: 8-6-1
Players to watch: Connor Cantrell, Sr. (Def); Jake Smith, Sr. (For); Cameron Neumann, Sr. (For); Tom Kraus, Sr. (Mid); Brendan McCully, Sr. (Mid); Matt Funk, Jr. (Mid); Mike Noya, Jr. (Def); Andrew Papageorgopoulos, Jr. (Mid); Ryan Greezicki, Jr. (Mid)