NORTH SUBURBAN PRAIRIE
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Coach: Marni Polakow (seventh year, 79-42-25)
Last season: 18-5-3, lost to St. Ignatius in the Class 2A supersectionals
Top players lost: Danny Lonski (Milwaukee School of Engineering) Jeremy Pasterz (Carroll), Tommy Tritschler (Lakeland)
Top returning players: Thomas Furlong Sr. MF, Iven Hernandez Sr. F, Eric Pederson Sr. MF, Krystian Streit Sr. MF, Danny Brito Jr. MF
Newcomers: Gabe Tijerina Fr. MF, RJ Vasquez Fr. D
Other notable players: Logan Bouker Sr. MF, Danny Helgesen Sr. MF, JR Lonergan Sr. MF, Gabe Lopes Sr. D, Dan Miller Sr. GK, Colin Parker Sr. D, RJ Ruano Sr. D, Jose Tellez Sr. D, Taylor Winkler Sr. MF, Jordan Keller Jr. D, Lucas Semitka Jr. D, Mickey West Jr. MF, Alex Ruano So. GK
Outlook: All-stater and Daily Herald all-area captain Iven Hernandez is back to lead the Sequoits. He became the most prolific scorer in Antioch history when he scored in the Sequoits' 2014 season opener against Crystal Lake Central. Hernandez had 32 goals last season, setting the career mark for assists along the way. He will be one of many seniors trying to lead the Sequoits beyond their supersectional appearance last year. "We want to compete for a conference championship, regional championship and sectional championship, and qualify for state." coach Marni Polakow said.
Coach: Bryan Mark (third year)
Last season: 4-14-2, lost to Carmel Catholic in the Class 3A regional quarterfinals
Top players lost: Austin Dillow, Cameron Flores, Angelo Hinestrosa, Jorge Hurtado, Tim Oehrlein, Aaron Ortiz, Joe Osmon, Adrian Torres, Omar Valedez (Aurora)
Top returning players: Adrian Avilia Sr. D, Manual Garcia Sr. F, Nick Heidenthal Sr. GK, Kevin Peralta Sr. MF, Zach Cooper Jr. MF
Newcomers: Rudy Frescas So. F, Zach Kowalik So. MF, Gio Gonzalez Fr. F
Other notable players: Chris Chanath Sr. MF, Justin Ehrenhofer Sr. D/MF, Manuel Garcia Sr. MF/F, Johnny Gordiano Sr. D, Danial Lee Sr. D, Albert Martin Sr MF/F, Felipe Nolasco Sr. MF/F, Matt Koch Jr. D, Alex Janusz Jr. D, Moises Melesio Jr. D, Nathan Musterman Jr. GK, Jon Nolasco Jr. MF/F
Outlook: The Bulldogs lost a number of close games last year and would like to turn that around this season. So consider Tuesday's 2-1 win in penalty kicks over Harvard a positive step. Grant could be a team to keep an eye on. "We again have a good mix of veterans and newcomers," coach Bryan Mark said. "The seniors need to set the bar for the underclassmen. If they do that, we will be successful. We look to be competitive in the NSC Prairie and be improved from previous years."
Coach: Kevin Kullby (10th year, 107-80-34)
Last season: 12-7-3, lost to Antioch in the Class 2A regional finals
Top players lost: Jon Borzick (North Central), Brad Callahan, Tom Callahan, Rich Galat, Mat Goforth, Kevin Ray, Joey Savino (Lake Forest), Cam Tsuchida, Brian Werchek (Lincoln)
Top returning players: Tom Cyberski Sr. MF, Parker Edwards Sr. D, Derek Espinosa Sr. D, Jack Monson Sr. GK, Foster Dore Jr. MF
Newcomers: Dave Milostan Sr. F, Sean O'Brien So. F
Other notable players: Brandon DeBoer Sr. D, Ryan Kelekian Sr. D, Cesar Murua Sr. F, Paolo Quaranta Sr. D, Alex Rothermel Sr. MF, Zach Espinosa Jr. F, Gavin Good Jr. MF, Marko Novakovic Jr. D, Cam Breezley So. MF, Nick Dydo So. MF, Mark Garritz So. MF, Austin Jones So. D, Stephen Mogged So. F, Sean O'Brien So. F, Anthony Roldan So. D, Nick Rubio So. D
Outlook: The Eagles are rebuilding after graduating 13 players, including four of their top scorers. Senior goalkeeper Jack Monson returns along with a few other experienced players. "Scoring goals will be an issue," coach Kevin Kullby said. "However, many of the players have a good amount of varsity experience and many of these players play club soccer in the off-season. I think we will hold our own in the run of play, but how many wins that translates to remains to be seen."
Coach: Hugo Tellez (fifth year, 67-14-12)
Last season: 16-3-3, lost to Fremd in the Class 3A regional semifinals
Top players lost: Marcos Avelar, Cesar Garcia, Cristian Lopez, Fermin Martinez, Christian Navarro, Eddie Ramirez, Oscar Rodriguez
Top returning players: Edgar Nieto Sr. MF, Adis Sator Sr. GK, Joel Sanchez Sr. D. Freddie Ramirez Jr. F, Alejandro Sotelo So. F
Newcomers: Brian Gomez So. MF, Vladimir Manriquez So. MF
Other notable players: Raul Albor Sr. MF, Roberto Gallardo Sr. D, Marcello Gonzalez Sr. MF, Mario Huerta Sr. MF, Fernando Sotelo Sr. MF, Irvin Torres Sr, D, Edgar Garcia Jr. MF, Christian Gomez Jr. F, Gerry Nunez Jr. GK, Erwin Paz Jr. D, Cruz Renteria Jr. D, Joel Tinajero Jr. D, Christian Vazquez Jr. MF
Outlook: Round Lake's soccer program has been showing plenty of its Panther Pride the last several years. "The guys are coming in focused," coach Hugo Tellez said. "It's a team that doesn't want to give up. They're hungry and focused. They just want a trip downstate. They just have to come out and prepare for each game. We also want to go out and win the conference, first, and go on from there."
Coach: Mike McCaulou (second year)
Last season: 12-9-1, lost to Antioch in the Class 2A sectional finals
Top players lost: Nick Bryson, Ryan Bryson, Ricardo Ceja, Jeremy Cohen, Jeremy Gonzalez, Thomas Kalsch, John Orozco, David Ortiz, Jonathan Ramirez, Caleb Shaw, Sam Veren, David White (Hope)
Top returning players: Brad Burrows Sr. D, Ilya Kravstev Sr. F, Nate Peck Sr. D, Matt Hong Jr. MF, Brennan Reback So. GK, Chris White So. MF
Newcomers: Angel Herrera Sr. F, Nikita Mikhaylov Jr. MF, Aaron Castellanos So. MF, Keaton Goshorn So. D, Matt Gramins So. MF, Cole Guillaume So. D. Andrew Kim So. D, Anakin Ruiz So. MF, Ian Schwartz So. MF, Andre Szmyt So. F, Corey Takaoka So. D
Other notable players: Chris Winter Sr. D. Avi Limer So. GK
Outlook: Vernon Hills lost 12 players to graduation, but the Cougars have a number of hungry players. "We will have many new players to varsity, but we plan on being very organized and to play together as a unit on both sides of the ball," coach Mike McCaulou said. "We will work for one another on and off the ball and progress each day. We will need to adjust to the speed of play and the physicality of the varsity game. I think they will do a great job adjusting after a few games under their belts."
Coach: Patrick Heckmann (fourth year)
Last season: 7-12-2, lost to Grayslake Central in the Class 2A regional finals
Top players lost: David Bandillo, Alex Bueno, Mario Estrada, Tommy Fox, Taylor Karnatz, Brandon Morales, Jake Ortiz, Jake Sullivan
Top returning players: Eric Berg Sr. D, Gio Marquez Sr. MF, Max Bermann Jr. MF, Teddy Kolarov Jr. F, Alex Reyes Jr. D
Newcomers: Raffaele Consalvo Fr. MF, Chris Fox Fr. D, Erik Hernandez Fr. MF
Other notable players: Karl Christ Sr. MF, Octavio Gomez Sr. MF, Asad Javed Sr. D, Jeff Moorehead Sr. D, Eric Olejnickzak Sr. MF, Shane Purcell Sr. GK, Alonzo Sanchez Sr. F, Hector Sanchez Sr. MF. Alfredo Soto Jr. D. Danny McNutt So. GK, Luis Mendoza So. MF
Outlook: With a new season comes new artificial turf. The Bulldogs are hoping to get a step on their competition. "The guys are excited about the turf and we've got some speed that I feel can exploit slower teams," coach Patrick Heckmann said. "We are as always looking to measure ourselves against the top teams in the (NSC) Prairie Division."
NORTH SUBURBAN LAKE
Coach: Mike Schmitz (eighth year, 92-44-20)
Last season: 6-10-4, lost to Lake Forest in the Class 3A regional semifinals
Top players lost: Braven Bacardi, Tim Burroughs, Kevin Cihlar, Mike Doheny, Adam Griffith, Miguel Hernandez, Conor O'Kane, Mike Savio, Eric Thurston
Top returning players: Jack Abry, Sr. D, Collin Foote Sr. MF, Collin Foreman Sr. F, Jacob Karbowski Sr. D, Ian Murray Sr. MF, Dan Ross Sr. D
Newcomers: George Maroudas Sr. GK, Dan Grabowski Jr. GK, Piyasak Pharawek Jr. F, Jordan Fleita So. F, Luke Kuhn So. D, Zane Chung Medhi So. MF
Other notable players: Kyle Brandt Sr. D, Emil Iliev Sr. F, Adam Swinehart Sr. MF, Scott Shadrick Jr. MF, Nate Rathe Jr. MF, Ian Root Jr. D
Outlook: The Bears lost some good players to graduation, but they return six players with valuable experience. They should be ready to compete against some of the top teams in the area. They also have a new turf. "It's an experienced team with a lot of depth," coach Mike Schmitz said. "Expectations are to compete at a high level every game."
Coach: Andy Bitta (29th year, 348-211-53)
Last season: 10-10, lost to Barrington in the Class 3A regional finals
Top players lost: Matt Bertier, Lloyd Chatfield, Ryan Dawson, Bailey Gallagher, Kyle Kohl, Alex Lucas, Charlie McKeon, Scott Metzger, Ethan Miller Ricky Mundrane, Alex Prillaman, Kiki Savatic, Tanner Sanks, Alec Schory, Carlos Schultz, Scott Tilton, Nick Vogel (Carthage), Steve Zarling
Other notable players: Ryan Behm Sr. MF, Austin Fuller Sr. GK/F, Sam Kratzer Sr. MF, Sam Leonard Sr. D, Paul McKeon Sr. D, Peter Mollenhauer Sr. F, Sam Muchmore Sr. GK, Ryan Pacholski Sr. D, Salvatore Potts Sr. MF, Kyle Robson Sr. D, Alex Stiber Sr. MF, Gerald Eugene Touhy III Sr. F, Thomas Vondrak Sr. MF, Tucker Goebeler Jr. D, Christian Long Jr. MF, Liam O'Connell Jr. MF, Jacob Rasmussen Jr. D, Kevin Reilly Jr. F, Jeff Wagner Jr. D, Grant Widmark Jr. D, Kenneth Gallagher So. MF, Michael Quigley So. D
Outlook: The Wildcats were hit by a number of talented players who graduated. However, there's plenty of other players with experience. "We're molding into a fine group," coach Andy Bitta said. "We've got teamwork, passing and togetherness. It's a totally unselfish group of players. We also have a lot of depth and should challenge for the conference championship."
Coach: Ernie Billittier (fourth year)
Last season: 11-6-5) lost to Palatine in the Class 3A regional semifinals
Top players lost: Jacob Diaz, Carlos Huaracha, Efren Mancilla, Eric Morales (New Hampshire), Andy Will
Top returning players: Jesus Alba Sr. D, Lino Garcia Sr. MF, Armando Gomez Sr. MF, Mason Homsey Sr. F, Hector Ruiz Sr. MF
Newcomers: Yann Nsoga Jr. MF, Edison Suaste Jr. D
Other notable players: Jamie Bonilla Sr. MF, Yoshio Jimenez Sr. MF, Juan Jahen Sr. D, Pepe Gonzalez Sr. MF, Jesse Ramirez Sr. GK, Roman Thachuk Sr. MF, Luis Villalba Sr. D, Stephan Wald Sr. MF, Victor Casas Jr. D, Jake Fiolka Jr. D, Donnie Kvien Jr. GK, Herman Portillo Jr. MF, Jose Ortega So. MF
Outlook: The Mustangs return a number of players with varsity experience and they could make noise with 12 seniors. "We have senior-heavy team that has a strong desire to win," coach Ernie Billittier said. "We're looking to compete in the NSC and make it deeper in the IHSA series."
Coach: Mark Schartner (29th year, 378-141-85)
Last season: 10-6-4, lost to Libertyville in the Class 3A regional semifinals
Top players lost: Sam Batko, Michael Dobin, Max Klaber, Jacob Kraus, Cesar Navarro, Kamal Starks, Jimmy Wang
Top returning players: Michell Gullet Sr. F, Ethan Marx Sr. MF, Jonathan Weissman Sr. GK, Sam Zwirm Sr. D, Cooper Colvig Jr. MF, Dennis Katzman Jr. F, Jeremy Klaber Jr. GK, Dean Lim Jr. MF, Jun Min Jr. F, Kuzuki Nimi Jr. MF, Thomas Ricchio Jr. D, Matt Treiber Jr. D, Avery Delgado So. F
Newcomers: Andy Boutrous Sr. D, Filip Delija Sr. D, Juan Margolin Sr. MF, Zach Sherman Sr. F. Max Warren Sr. D, Rahul Krishnan Jr. MF, Cari Li Jr. MF, Ben Brandt So. MF, Matt Brickman Fr. MF
Outlook: The Patriots are on the young side. Coach Mark Schartner has 10 juniors, two sophomores and one freshman. "We do have four returning seniors that will provide great leadership," Schartner said. "We also have good speed and hardworking boys. I know that we're diversified. It's a well-rounded team. I think we're one of the teams to watch in the conference. We're talented enough."
Coach: Jason Ahonen (seventh year, 88-39-26)
Last season: 10-6-7, lost to Buffalo Grove in the Class 3A regional semifinals
Top players lost: Karl Bappert (North Central), Mickey Cain, Jin Kwon, Rafa Macias, Elijah Parker (Central Methodist), Andrew Schulz, Lucas Geib, Hector Salazar
Top returning players: Nick Haas Sr. F, RJ Hill Sr. GK, Mikey Pliskat Sr. MF, Chris Travis Sr. D, Ivan Esquivel Jr. MF
Newcomers: Alex Fratila Jr. MF, Kevin Penarrieta So. MF
Other notable players: Jorge Aranda Sr. D, Stephan Binstock Sr. D, Anthony Castrejon Sr. MF, Ronaldo Garza Sr. MF, Joe Haight Sr. D, Jack McKearnan Sr. D/MF, Matt Russell Sr. D/MF, Matt Haight Jr. D, Jacob Luka Jr. MF, Blair McCormick Jr. GK, Jermemy Richter Jr. D/MF, Kody Anderson So. MF/F, Richie Flores So. D/MF/F
Outlook: Expectations are running high once again, as the Blue Devils return a veteran squad. "We're a senior-laden team and are going to be relying heavily on our seniors to lead," coach Jason Ahonen said. "This past summer the boys have been totally committed to our program. We're hoping that the summer league and tournament success will benefit us this fall."
FOX VALLEY FOX
Coach: Steve Feldman (second year, 16-3-1)
Last season: 16-3-1, lost to Antioch in the Class 2A sectional semifinals
Top players lost: Steven Anderson, Anthony Betancourth, Nate Cerquone, John Moroney, Nick Nayersina, Alex Stickler (Rhodes), Jacob Swearingen
Top returning players: Isaac Longenecker Sr. MF, Johnny Madrid Sr. F, Joey Mudd Sr. F, Conner Gossell Jr. GK, Paul Kulis Jr. MF
Newcomers: Randy Betancourth So. D, Richard Cruz So. MF, Leo Orozco So. F, Ethan Mendoza Fr. MF
Other notable players: Eric Abascal Sr. MF, Jackson Frey Sr. D, Josh Garcia Jr. D, Chris Quiroz Jr. MF, Ethan Rockel Jr. MF, Ben Sizelove Jr. D, Trevor Veenstra So. D, Bryan Wehde So. D
Outlook: Losing a senior-dominated defense could be a problem. The Rams, however, showed the type of quality defense they can play by winning Vernon Hills' tournament in the opening week. They went 5-0, allowing only four goals. "We lost our entire defense from last year, so we're are in a rebuilding stage in back," coach Steve Feldman said. "The attacking core is back, and I'm looking forward to see them playing together again.
Coach: Adam DeCaluwe (ninth year, 71-99-2)
Last season: 7-14-1, lost to Wauconda in the Class 2A regional semifinals
Top players lost: Zach Harmon, Jake Hensley, Nick Nikolav, Nabojsa Markovic, Nick Rice, Andreas Thedorf (St. Ambrose)
Top returning players: Lucas Buckels Sr. MF, Zack Kottmer Sr. D, Denzel Mitchem Sr. D, Mickey O'Reilly Sr. MF/F, Fernando Sanchez Sr. MF, Kyle Hensley Jr. F, Chris Zamora Jr. MF
Newcomers: Julian Jimenez So, F, Christian Guerrero So. MF, Grant Nickolson So. MF, Jason Rhodes So, F, Ben Tomoles So. D
Other notable players: Shane Boyd Sr. GK, Beto Gomez Sr. MF, Dylan Harmon Sr. D, Dean Jones Sr. GK, Christian Reyes Sr. MF, Danny Wilson Sr. D, Cole Karabinus Jr. F, JC Thomas Jr. D, Benjamin Tompoles So. D/MF
Outlook: The Knights have started out strong, winning their first three matches and its own invite to boot. "We have a really nice group this season with a good mix of experience and youth," coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "I'm expecting us to be really competitive this season, as we are balanced on both sides of the ball with a quality group of technically skilled, versatile players who are all capable of leading the team when needed."
EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC
Coach: Ray Krawzak (third year, 19-19-7)
Last season: 12-8-3, lost to Buffalo Grove in the Class 3A sectional semifinals
Top players lost: Eric Barraza, Adam Cloe (Drake), Nick Groenke, Phil Homa, Jeremy Jenich, Jake Johnson, TJ Johnson, Timmy Karich, Drew Miller, Evan Potter (St. Thomas), Nick Principe, Keenan Walsh
Top returning players: Justin Ehren Sr. MF, Jack Titterton Sr. D, Scott Cloe Jr. MF, Braco Lasso Jr. MF/F, Ryan McKernan Jr. D, Jacob Spheeris So. GK
Newcomers: Chris Galla So. F, Josh Gresiak So. MF, Brett Cloe Fr. MF/F, Austin Ehren Fr. MF/F, Nathan Passarelli Fr. D, Robert Rao Fr. MF
Other notable players: Erik Berrones Sr. D/MF, Brandon Hassan Jr. F, Jason Kappes Jr. D, Andrew Kuderna Jr. D, Devon Cole So. MF, Chris Galla So. MF/F, Josh Grezesiak So. MF, Reed Wilson So. D/MF
Outlook: The Corsairs lost 12 players to graduation and have just three seniors leading this year's team. It might take a few games before the Corsairs find their groove. "We're a young team this year," coach Ray Krawcak said. "Our success will probably depend on the sophomores and freshmen stepping up to prove they can play at the varsity level and the upperclassmen proving themselves as leaders. We would love to repeat last year's regional championship and win the ESCC."