Players to watch: Elias Gonzalez, Sr., midfielder; Kaleb Cooper, Jr., defender; Kobe Hayward, Sr., forward; Preston Krause, Sr., defender; Thomas Krause, Sr., defender; Diego Magana, Sr., goalkeeper.
Outlook: After losing most of its goal scorers from last year, the objective for La Porte (5-12, 1-6 Duneland Athletic Conference) is to find players who can put the ball in the back of the net, while at the same time finding continuity on the field. “We’ve been working hard in the preseason, but it seems like we still have a lot to work on,” Slicers coach Pat McCoy said. “The season is upon us here. Working as a team, it’s hard to get 11 guys all on the same page at practice, much less in a game. So if we can work together, and communicate, and execute our game plan on the field, that’ll be important.” Newcomers who could possibly contribute are junior defender Wilson Bawili, and junior forward Carlos Segovia. Kaleb Cooper and Kobe Hayward are going to be the squad’s captains. “Our goals are to have a winning season and do well in the DAC,” McCoy said. “And winning the sectional is one of our main goals right now.”
Players to watch: Patrick Connelly, Sr., center midfielder; Jon Beglin, Sr., forward; Gavin O’Halloran, Sr., outside midfielder; Ian Baker, Jr., defensive midfielder; Alex Avery, Fr., center defender.
Outlook: New coach A.J. Monroe is still in the process of getting to know his personnel and what the Blazers will hang their hat on as a team. He inherits a class of 10 seniors from an 11-5-2 squad and believes its strength could be its understanding of how to defend as a team. “Throughout the summer and pre-season I have watched as Alex and our returning defenders have developed valuable partnerships,” Monroe said. “In time, I am hoping we can discover our attacking style.” Connelly, Beglin, O’Halloran and Baker will be keys to that. Patrick is smooth and steady,” Monroe said. “He’s a solid ball winner and will be key in developing our attack. Jon is our most technically skilled player and has a vast understanding of the game. Finding balance between taking opponents one vs. one and distributing the ball will be key to Jon’s success and ours. Gavin brings significant pace and ball skill to the left flank. He has the opportunity to be one of our most dangerous attacking players. Ian performed well during his sophomore campaign. Our hope is to take advantage of Ian’s pace and understanding of how to quickly transition from a defensive posture to an attacking one.”
Players to watch: Tre Bisher, Jr., defender; Riley Shreve, Sr., forward; Omar Serrano, Jr., midfielder; Nathan Stevenson, Jr,. defender/goalkeeper Riley Buckler, Sr., defender; Josh Koepke, So., forward.
Outlook: The Wolves made strides last season, finishing .500 (8-8-1), and look to continue that uptick with sights on competing well in the Duneland Athletic Conference. “Our goals are to create more anticipation for more fluid movement of players and the ball on the field,” coach David Harris said. “We’ve pushed very strongly to have players on the field that are aware of every player’s positioning to increase this fluidity. The keys to the season will be a focus on sticking with patterns of play that prove successful at all levels, even if they do not always work. Our main goal, in summary, is to create as many scoring chances as possible to keep good teams on their heels, and keep them back in their own half, through a direct style of play.”
Players to watch: Blake Henderson, Sr., midfielder; Elliot Bogart, Sr., forward; Nik Stoll, Sr., midfielder; Tim Slatton, Sr., defender.
Outlook: James Martin’s first challenge of head coaching comes with a team that went 0-16 last season but he is meeting it head on. “We look to pride ourselves on the defensive side of the game,” Martin said. “The team and I are very determined to shock teams this year even after having the entire back four on defense graduating last year.”
-- compiled by Herald-Argus, News-Dispatch staff