Boys soccer: Scouting the Fox area

Aurora Central Catholic

Coach: Enrique Anaya (sixth season)

Last season's record: 7-14, 2-2 MSC

Top returners: Nathan Diedrich, jr., D; Connor Dineen, so., D; Neil Mayer, so., MF; Matthew VanDeman, so., F; Jake McVey, sr., MF

Key newcomers: Alan Acosta, fr., MF; Landon Diedrich, fr., D; Omar Flores, fr., MF; Miguel Vazquez, fr., GK; Adolfo Viveros, fr., D

Worth noting: Injuries and limited numbers because of such adversity made for a tough season for the Chargers in 2022. This year the program welcomes one of the largest freshman classes it has seen in years which should help in the long run. "With being in a new conference we feel like we will be able to compete," Anaya said. "I'm excited for what is coming this season. Many new faces that will most likely shine this year." The Chargers graduated nine seniors, six who were starters.


Coach: Anthony Glorioso (first season)

Last season's record: 5-15-1, 2-6-1 UEC

Top returners: Will Ehlers, jr., MF; Luis Leon, sr., MF; Nate Preissig, jr., D; Adan Rueda, jr., D

Key newcomers: Lucas Lopez, sr., MF; Mason Magnanao, jr., D

Worth noting: The Hawks boast a large junior class, many which return from a season ago in what was a challenging year for the team. There's optimism at Bartlett thanks to the experience gained from last season, continued development of those players and the addition of club kids in Lopez and Magnanao. "Practices will be competitive," Glorioso said. "As everyone is battling for a starting role each game." Glorioso may be new to the role of head coach at Bartlett, but he's been coaching at school since 2017.


Coach: Mark Gianfrancesco (14th season)

Last season's record: 3-13-4, 0-6

Top returning players: Sam Barsch, jr. MF; Josh Black, sr., MF; Mike Ruffo, sr., F

Worth noting: The Bulldogs, looking for a rebound season, have 10 returners from last season. Their back line has four returning defenders in Owen Stahl, Nick Evangilista, Max Simmons and Luke Petersen, so that figures to be a position of strength early on. "We are looking to build relationships on the pitch throughout the six-week season. We have some nice talent that we will work to bring out as the season progresses," Gianfrancesco said.

Burlington Central

Coach: Adam Schmitt (second season)

Last year's record: 4-13-3, 0-8-1 FVC (ninth place)

Top returning players: Kaleb Boer, sr., M; Charlie Ames, sr., M; Daniel Nava, sr., F; Noah Rosborough, so., D

Key newcomers: Charles Wyzukovicz, jr., GK; Sam Knych, so., M; Max Salas, so., M

Worth noting: The Rockets are looking forward to having continuity as Schmitt enters his second season as head coach. Last year's seniors had three coaches during their time at Central and Schmitt knows how important it is for things to stay the same within a program if it wants to grow. "Just having some continuity between what we were working on last year and having that similar formation, philosophy as last year," Schmitt said. "We're not starting from zero with most of them, which is a big bonus." Boer returns as a leader and should be a strong defensive player no matter where Schmitt places him. ... Schmitt is excited to see if Nava can take over as the program's top goal-scorer. The Rockets will feature five underclassmen but Schmitt knows if the younger players prove themselves, there won't be problems with the team coming together. "If you can prove yourself that you're a valuable asset to have out there, you're not going to run into conflict when you're on the field," Schmitt said. The Rockets are looking to make improvements on the field. Central will try to win its first playoff match since 2015 and finish with a winning FVC record for the first time since the Rockets moved to the conference in 2019.


Coach: Mark Olson (18th season)

Last season's finish: 2-13-1, 0-8-1 FVC (10th place)

Top returning players: Sean Barnes, sr., D; Ian Frangiamore, sr., M/D; Logan Kemp, sr., GK; Cooper Motz, sr., D; Kyle Nordengren, sr., M; Caleb Ramirez, sr., D; Ethan Flesor, sr., M/F; Angel Apaez, so., M/F; Ryan Boutwell, jr., F; Daniel Czerwinski, jr., F; Kyle Erpelding, sr., M/F; Parker Frank, so., M; Landon Nawracaj, jr., F; Cole Waddell, jr., F/M; Finlay Evangelista, sr., F/M

Key newcomers: Landon Burns, sr., D; Bryce Nordengren, so., M

Worth noting: The Trojans are hoping to have better health this season. Barnes, Flesor, Boutwell, Kyle Nordengren and Frank all missed matches last season, forcing younger players to have a bigger roles. Olson is excited to have his injured players back. "It's a huge bonus," Olson said. … Although C-G lost plenty of talent to injury last season, the Trojans will now have plenty of depth. Olson was impressed with many of the Trojans' grit and determination when thrown into the fire and now he's excited to see how those experiences help this season's team. "It was a valuable experience for them and we're going to be better for us," Olson said. … This year's seniors have played together for the last few seasons and are hoping that familiarity leads to more wins. … The Trojans will try to win their first regional and reach the regional finals for the first time since 2015.

Crystal Lake Central

Coach: Leah Rutkowski (first season)

Last season's finish: 11-9-2, 4-4-1 FVC (sixth place)

Top returning players: Vicente Romero, sr., M; Gideon Burleson, jr., M; Owen Kaiser, sr., F

Key newcomers: Gavin Kane, fr., M/F; Nicholas Pagonis, M/F, fr., Nathan Gray, fr., M/F

Worth noting: Rutkowski takes over after coaching in the program at the lower levels for the past five years. … The Tigers' roster will feature a good balance with positions and grades that Rutkowski hopes will lead to success. "I'm absolutely ecstatic about the team that I've been able to put together and hopeful for what we can do," Rutkowski said. "I know we're going to come out and battle, hopefully surprise a few people." … Romero returns after scoring seven goals and finishing with two assists. He earned IHSSCA All-Sectional honors last year and Rutkowski is expecting more success. "I'm hoping he will be an anchor for the team," Rutkowski said. "He's already been a top scorer his junior year so I'm hoping he can be our huge impact player." … The Tigers' roster will feature three freshmen - Kane, Pagonis and Gray - who Rutkowski is excited to see how their talents translate to varsity soccer. "I think they're going to energize our offense," Rutkowski said.

Crystal Lake South

Coach: Brian Allen (17th season)

Last season's finish: 14-5-3, 8-1 (first place), FVC champions, Class 2A regional champions

Top returning players: Nolan Getzinger, sr., M; Brendan Lewis, sr., M; Blake Marunde, sr., D; Garrett Hess, sr., D

Key newcomers: Parker Zilm, fr., D; Dustin Banner, fr., M; Josh Moreno, fr., M/F; Will Prus, fr., M

Worth noting: South will try to build off of last season's late success. The Gators won the FVC crown on the last day of the regular season and went on to win a regional title before losing in the sectional semifinals. The returning players are motivated to advance further in the postseason. "When half your lineup is that senior driven, they've been through the grind, they've had their ups and downs and they lose scenarios like that, disappointment in the playoffs for the future," Allen said. … Getzinger returns after earning IHSSCA All-State. He had 22 goals and added eight assists. "He's a player that wants to continue to get better, he asks good questions in training and he never takes plays off," Allen said. "That'll have him in good form that we can ride quite a bit." … Getzinger, Marunde, Lewis and Hess all return with plenty of experience. Marunde enters his fourth year while Lewis will start his third. … Thirty-one freshmen tried out for the program, with Zilm, Banner, Moreno and Prus joining the varsity roster.


Coach: Rey Vargas (20th season)

Last season's finish: 13-9-4, 7-1-1 FVC (second place), Class 3A regional champions

Top returning players: Martin Leon, sr., D; Diego Flores, jr., D; Gabriel Herrera, jr., M; Sebastian Sanchez, so., M

Key newcomers: Ronaldo Zavala, so.; Braeden Hayes, jr., GK; Manuel Hernandez, so., GK

Worth noting: The Chargers won their fourth straight regional title and fifth in the last six postseasons, but they want to get over the hump and win a sectional title. D-C lost to Jacobs in penalty kicks in the sectional final in 2019 and the players have talked about helping the program advancing deeper. "I know we have the talent and the ability to do it, it's just a matter of how they play and how much they want it, how hungry they are for it," Vargas said. … D-C led the FVC for much of last season until it tied with Jacobs to end the season, leading to a second-place finish. "It didn't sit well with them because they know we should've done better than we did," Vargas said. … Leon enters his third year with the Chargers as he, Flores, Herrera and Sanchez will try to lead a younger team. "We're going to ask them to kind of guide some of the younger guys who weren't on varsity last year through this whole process," Vargas said.


Coach: Jimmy Romano (second season)

Last season's record: 21-1-3, 8-0-1 UEC (first)

Top returners: Geovanny Aviles, sr., D; Fernando Cuahquentzi, sr., MF; Beto Gaytan, jr., MF; Eduardo Nava, sr., F; Edgar Perez, sr., D; Aaron Saldana, jr., MF; Robert Salinas, jr., D

Key newcomers: Carlos Benitez, sr., GK; David Castaneda, jr., GK; Danny Perez, so., MF; Jayden Plancarte, so., MF

Worth noting: The Maroons got a taste of the success they craved last fall yet they are starving for much, much more, including that coveted state title. "We're returning 15 experienced players from last year's roster," Romano said. "And the newcomers have added top talent and competitiveness to the squad, making our roster very deep." Elgin's lone loss last fall was on PKs to York in a supersectional. Aviles, Perez (7 goals) and Saldana (5 assists) started in every match a season ago while Nava produced 23 goals and 12 assists in just 14 games. Benitez and Castaneda will look to replace Kleber Rodriguez in net. The team is heading to Iowa this fall for the prestigious Great River Classic in addition to playing in the Streamwood Tournament.


Coach: Jason Bhatta (seventh season)

Last season's record: 8-4-8, 2-2-3

Top returning players: Trent Giansanti, sr., F; Jack Hatton, jr., F; Liam O'Donoghue, sr., MF

Top new players: Kieran Kelly, jr., D; Caleb Kelly, sr., F; Jackson Raby, jr., F

Worth noting: Giansanti is a dynamite scorer and will continue to be a mark for opposing defenses at all times. Giansant, an all-conference selection, had 13 goals and two assists for the Vikings last year. Graduated defender Colin Hasty is a key loss in the lineup. After a late regular season surge, Geneva fell short in the regional semifinal, something it hopes to correct this year. "After a disappointing end to last year losing in the regional semifinal, we are looking to have a core of returning players who have been at the varsity level for three and four years. We want to make a strong run in a very tough DuKane conference and a deep run in the playoffs," Bhatta said.


Coach: Chayanne Martinez (third season)

Last season's finish: 6-13-3, 2-6-1 FVC (eighth place)

Top returning players: Andrew Nuzzo, jr., M; Logan Heileman, sr., M; Niklas Kaistinen, sr., F/M; Jackson Carey, jr., M; Charlie Terriquez, jr., F

Worth noting: Martinez will rely on his experienced players to lead the way as Hampshire tries to win its first playoff match since 2019 and its first regional title since 2017. "They're all young players, they're all still developing," Martinez said. "The biggest thing is the psychological game of what to do when things don't go our way, how do we bounce back." … Nuzzo, Heileman, Kaistinen, Carey and Terriquez will all provide needed leadership. … The Whips added 20 new players this season. Martinez is excited to see what sort of boost new faces can add to the program. "They all bring something special and they're all excited to start the season," Martinez said. ... The Whips will play five of their last six matches on the road.


Coach: Matt Lewandowski (fifth season)

Last season's finish: 14-8-2, 6-3 FVC (third place)

Top returning players: Hudson Nielsen, sr., M; Isaac Jacobo, sr., F; Jack Breunig, sr., M

Key newcomer: Jack Bakey, sr., GK

Worth noting: Huntley will try to get back to deeper postseason runs after it failed to win its third straight regional title last season. The Red Raiders return 12 seniors and two juniors from last year's squad. "Having that experience and having so many guys come back with that experience leaves a bad taste in their mouth and they're to amend it, fix it and move on," Lewandowski said. … Nielsen and Jacobo both return after each scored 11 goals last season, finishing top-five in scoring in the FVC. Lewandowski is excited to see what his scoring duo can do in their senior years, especially Jacobo. "You just know he's dangerous when he touches the ball," Lewandowski said. … Lewandowski is excited to see how Bakey does after earning his chance to start in goal. "He's a big kid, he's fearless and he's itching to go," Lewandowski said. … The Red Raiders will play what Lewandowski considers their toughest schedule. Highlights include matches against Barrington, Libertyville and Fremd.


Coach: Colin Brice (fifth season)

Last season's finish: 9-9-4, 3-4-2 FVC (seventh place), Class 3A regional champions

Top returning players: Nevin Volarath, sr., M; Kelvin Medina, sr., F; Owen Amrstrong, sr., D; Elsworth McIntosh, sr., M; Kaiji Seto, jr., M; Andrew Deegan, so., D

Key newcomers: Ethan Aldrete, fr., M; Oumer Abdukarem, jr., M; Maksym Kharchenko, jr., M

Worth noting: The Golden Eagles return 15 players from a team that hit its stride toward the end of last season. Jacobs stopped D-C from winning the FVC crown by tying with the Chargers late in the season and went on to won its first regional title since 2019. … Brice is confident Jacobs can compete for a FVC crown and its first sectional title since 2019. The Golden Eagles won three sectional titles from 2016 to 2019. "We can go out there and compete for a sectional," Brice said. "That's one of our goals this season: see how far we can make it." … Volarath returns after scoring five goals and tallying two assists to earn All-FVC honors. "He'll be one of the best players in the conference for us," Brice said. … Medina will miss the first few weeks of the season with a foot injury but should be ready to play early in the year. … The Golden Eagles will face a challenging nonconference schedule, playing Hersey, Hoffman Estates, Barrington and Glenbrook North.


Coach: Scott Parillo (22nd season)

Last season: 14-9-2, 6-1, Interstate 8 Conference

Top returners: Sam Keen, sr., MF; Tommy Watson, sr., D; Izack Patino, sr., D; Michael Happ, sr., MF

Top newcomer: Javony Ruiz, jr.

Worth noting: Sam Keen and Michael Happ had a great summer for the Knights according to coach Scott Parillo. The veteran coach said that staying healthy will be key for his group if they are going to make a deep run in the state playoffs. But before that, Parillo has a checklist of sorts: Win the Body Armour series, win the Interstate 8 Conference title and then, win their regional.


Coach: Michael Huizar (fourth season)

Last season's record: 16-9, 6-3 UEC

Top returners: Adrian Diaz, sr., MF/F; Atlai Gutierrez, jr., MF/F; Fran Montoya, sr., D; Danny Duarte, sr., GK

Key newcomers: Brian Cena, fr.; Chris Tellez, so.

Worth noting: The graduation of a dozen seniors will certainly give the squad a makeover this fall, but it doesn't take away the drive to win another regional title while battling for a conference championship beforehand. Diaz (9 goals, 5 assists last year) is the top returning scorer for a team that scored 38 goals last year but 24 came from seniors who have since graduated.


Coach: Gerardo Alvarez

Last season's record: 10-9-5

Top returners: Adam Oszvath, jr., GK; Diego Tellez, jr., D; Macztil Uriel-Lopez, sr., D

Top newcomers: Andres Alvarez, so., F; Emilio Arizaga, jr. D; Austin Conlin, jr. MF

Worth noting: Marmion's magical run to a Class 2A supersectional appearance last season put forth momentum heading in 2023. The Cadets return seven starters from that team and are adding more pieces for another run. The most notable graduation was Barry O'Neill, an all-conference selection, and he had nine goals and six assists. "We will be competing to win our first-ever Chicago Catholic League title, and are very much looking forward to unveiling our newly renovated stadium field," Alvarez said.

Prairie Ridge

Coach: Josef Schroeder (second season)

Last season's finish: 10-9, 6-3 FVC (fourth place)

Top returning players: Chase Vrba, sr., D; Kaj Justesen, sr., D; Mason Fowler, sr., F; Ethan Ormsby, sr., M/F

Key newcomers: John Malina, jr., GK; Chris Zinevich, so., GK

Worth noting: The Wolves will need to turn over their lineup with only three returning senior starters. Schroeder knows some players will need to play a position they haven't played before. "It's just trying to find the different pieces to fill in the different areas that we need to work on," Schroeder said. … Schroeder will rely on his senior leaders to help teach a large junior group. Vrba, Justesen, Fowler and Ormsby have all been open to the challenge in helping the program for not only this season but years to come. "We're going to have to rely on these guys to lead the way, show them the way," Schroeder said. … Malina and Zinevich will battle it out for the goalkeeper spot. … Ormsby returned to the program after not competing last season. He played as a sophomore. … Schroeder is looking for more shutouts this season after the Wolves had five last year. … PR starts the season with a tough matchup against Warren on Tuesday.

South Elgin

Coach: Jerzy Skowron (fifth season)

Last season's record: 3-13-4, 3-4-2 UEC

Top returners: Justin Defenson, jr., MF; Ashton Kerrigan, sr., F; Isaac Marquez, jr., D; Ryan Nguyen, sr., F; Jonah Stueck, sr., D

Key newcomers: Pablo Correa, so., D; Jahson Leon, jr., F, Matthew Lipp, fr., F; Jack Schmidtke, so., F

Worth noting: Skowron is looking for Stueck and Nguyen (9 goals, 6 assists in career) to finish out their high school playing days by having a much more successful season compared to a season ago. Marquez missed most of last year due to an injury, but is ready to make contributions this fall. Overall, Skowron likes the mix of senior experience and young talent that he could work with this year. Schmidtke and junior fullback Quentin Albert are three-sport athletes who also play basketball and baseball for the Storm. Schmidtke broke his foot just before the postseason last fall but is healthy and ready to contribute.

St. Charles East

Coach: Vince DiNuzzo (7th season)

Last season's record: 17-3-4, 6-0-1

Top returning players: Logan Lewarchick, sr., MF; Jordan Rolon, sr., GK; Marc Walker, sr., F; Jake Walker, sr., D

Top new players: Michael Greszenko, fr., D; Alex Meseke, sr., MF; Santi Porcayo, jr. MF; Connor Sychowski, so., F

Worth noting: The reigning DuKane Conference champions fell in penalty kicks in the regional finals last season. The Saints did graduate Mason Brockmeyer from its lineup, but also have 14 seniors on varsity - the most DiNuzzo has had to date. Rolon, a consistent starter in goal last year, had nine shutouts and a 0.74 goals against average. "We hope with the experience we have, we can compete at a high level throughout the season.

St. Charles North

Coach: Eric Willson

Last season's record: 9-6-4, 2-3-2

Top returning players: Alex Curtis, sr., GK; Walter Delapaz, sr., MF; Ashton Goettel, so., D

Worth noting: The North Stars typically compete for the DuKane Conference title and a viable playoff run, and this season's expectations will be no different. Curtis, who played every minute for the North Stars, was an all-conference, all-sectional and all-state selection and had a 0.42 goals allowed average last year. Add in Delapaz, who had seven goals and 11 assists, that's a good start.

St. Edward

Coach: Tim Brieger (25th season)

Last season's record: 8-14, 0-6

Top returners: Drew Kapetan, so., MF; Tristan Menendez, so., GK; Chris Pottoroff, sr., MF/D/GK; Josh Schelonka, jr., D; Robbie Sommer, jr., D

Key newcomers: Axell Magana, so., MF; Brendan Mangan, sr., MF; Sean Mangan, fr., F; Mateo Perez, so., D; PJ Tinejero, fr., MF

Worth noting: Youth is riding the Green Wave as Brieger will be working with 10 underclassmen on his 16-player roster. "The new conference brings new opportunities and faces," Brieger said. "This goal this year is 'marathon' approach. It is a long season, not a sprint."


Coach: Matt Polovin (25th season)

Last season's record: 10-8-4, 4-3-2 UEC

Top returners: Alex Alcala, jr., D; Andy Benitez, so., F; Bryan Huerta, sr., MF; AJ Sabanovic, jr., F; Jairo Sanchez, jr., MF; Trey Yi, sr., D

Key newcomers: Max Galvan, so., MF; Ian Rivera, so., F, Jared Vera, jr., F

Worth noting: With a tough schedule that includes a couple of big tournaments as well as nonconference foes like Class 3A state runner-up Romeoville, the Sabres really will be challenged this fall. "It's a mix of talent and experience of all ages," Polovin said. "The guys have worked hard all summer doing fitness days on their own besides going to my camp. I have a bunch of guys who played for various national championships with their clubs teams. So we will see how it all plays out."

West Aurora

Coach: Joe Sustersic (24th season)

Last season's record: 15-4-5, 5-1-4 SPC

Top returners: Adam Acosta-Kee, sr., F; Pedro Delgado, jr., F; Omar Juarez, sr., MF; Shauri Mateso, sr., F; Mauro Munoz, sr., MF; Pas Ndayishimiye, jr., MF; Power Selemani, jr., F

Key newcomers: To be determined

Worth noting: The Blackhawks are younger and less experienced than they've been, but they also could be more talented with Mateso, Selemani, Acosta-Kee and Delgado returning to lead the offense and Ndayishimye, Munoz and Juarez returning in the midfield. The biggest challenge for West Aurora is defense and in net. Seniors Manny Guillen and Jorge Reta and junior Lupe González will battle for the starting goalkeeper role while senior Emiliano Lopez will anchor a completely new back line.

Westminster Christian

Coach: Barry Versaw (first season)

Last season's record: 15-5-1, 3-0

Top returners: Stephen Boldt, sr., MF/F; Zach Hoon, jr., D; Jaxson Schultze, sr., MF/F; Joram Versaw, sr., D/MF/F; Connor Zorn, sr., GK

Key newcomers: Drew Hendrickson, fr., MF/F; Miles Meurer, fr., MF/F; Aiden Sears, sr., D

Worth noting: While most of the starters, some key reserves and coach Dave Siers are gone from last year's 15-win squad, the Warriors are blessed to have some returning talent back in the mix and some newcomers who will battle to help fill the void left by those who departed via diploma. Barry Versaw takes over for Siers.

- Jake Bartelson, Michal Dwojak and John Gallione

from Shaw Media contributed to this preview.

Note: Aurora Christian and Elgin Academy are not fielding boys soccer teams in fall 2023.

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