Boys soccer: Scouting Lake County

  • Libertyville forward Ryan Wittenbrink, left, battles Stevenson defender Jack Allen for a possession last season. Both players are key figures for their teams again this fall.

    Libertyville forward Ryan Wittenbrink, left, battles Stevenson defender Jack Allen for a possession last season. Both players are key figures for their teams again this fall. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 8/31/2017 1:59 PM




Coach: Ray Krawzak (sixth year, 62-44-12)

Last season: 14-6-2, lost to Waukegan in Class 3A regional semifinals

Top players lost: Michael Alemu (Benedictine), Travis Curley, Chris Galla, Josh Gresiak (St. Thomas), Luke Johnson, Reed Wilson

Top returning players: Henry Barnes (Sr. MF), Brett Cloe (Sr. D), Austin Ehren (Sr. F), Kyle Knauer (Sr. GK), Rob Rao (Sr. MF, DePaul commit)

Other notable players: Matt Fix (Sr. MF), Luis Lopez (Sr. MF), Carsten Murgas (Sr. MF), Nate Passarelli (Sr. D), Spencer Randolph (Sr. D), Teddy Williamsen (Sr. MF), Preston Wickremesekera (Sr. MF), Shane Farrell (Jr. MF), Michael Handel (Jr. D), Eli Larson (Jr. D), Ricardo Murua (Jr. GK), Ben Packer (Jr. F) Ryan Long (Jr. MF), Sean Seidl (Jr. MF/F), Ian McKernan (So. MF)

Outlook: Carmel is taking a defensive approach going into this season but has the firepower to take on anybody this season. The Corsairs have four players that have played varsity since freshman year: Brett Cloe, Austin Ehren (all-sectional last season), Nate Passerelli and DePaul-bound Rob Rao (all-sectional). Goalkeeper Kyle Knauer is entering his third year on varsity. Carmel finished third in state in Class 2A two years ago. "We need to solidify the defense," coach Ray Krawzak said. "We need to clean up our defensive mistakes and keep order in the back of the field. We do have a very positive outlook this season as we think the offense we have this year is very capable and experienced."



Coach: Mike Schmitz (11th year, 117-68-26)

Last season: 5-12-2, lost to Libertyville in Class 3A regional semifinal

Top players lost: Zach Callero, Ty Carey, Edward Chukhman, Zane Chung-Mehdi, Jordan Fleita, Collin Furlong, Andrew Kelly, Brandon Klett, Luke Kuhn, Teran Loughman, Tim Ludwigsen, Dylan Niedzwicki, Trevor Niedzwicki, Dylan Petrou, Piyasak Pharawek, Kyle Schroeder, Brandon Wohler

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Top returning players: Joe Heffernan (Sr. D), Andrew Pytlak (Sr. D), Michael Blasko (Jr. MF), Barrett Hindman (Jr. F)

Newcomers: Eric Bibb (So. F), Andrew Juarez (So. MF), Lukas Pytlak (So. MF), Mikolaj Wierzbicki (So. D), Alex Williams (So. D), Aiman Naqvi (Fr. F)

Other notable players: Eli Steuer (Sr. MF), Daniel Talar (Sr. F), Connor Trebac (Sr. GK), Ryan Bobrowski (Jr. D), Zak Kaminski (Jr. MF), Jaden McCreary (Jr. F), Robert Mepham (Jr. GK), Austin Myhre (Jr. D), David Zaccarine (Jr. MF)

Outlook: The Bears lost 17 players to graduation, but they still have plenty of talent to step in this season. Returning seniors Joe Heffernan (all-sectional last season) and Andrew Pytlak (all-conference) will bolster the defense, and juniors Michael Blasko and Barrett Hindman will help out on the attack. "We're a young team but we're excited about the opportunity to compete every time we step on the field," coach Mike Schmitz said. "We will play hard every game and look to improve each time out."


Coach: Kevin Thunholm (first year)

Last season: 14-4, lost to Barrington in Class 3A sectional final

Top players lost: Ryan Bogan, Anthony Brucato, Kenny Gallagher, Karl Gaertner, Ryan Gibbs (Illinois Wesleyan), Brant Kym, Darren Loos, Daniel Marks, Parker Noll, Michael Quigley, Pat Pots, Jackson Taff


Top returning players: Austin Becker (Sr. D), Riley Hoff (Sr. MF), Greg Krikorian (Sr. MF), Ryan Wittenbrink (Sr. D/MF, Indiana commit), Evan Rasmussen (Sr. MF)

Newcomers: Mickey Reilly (So. MF/F), Luke Underwood (So. MF)

Other notable players: Chase Eyre (Sr. GK), Max Johnson (Sr. F), Nathan Packholski (Sr. D), Will Powers (Sr. D/MF), Andrew Quane (Sr. MF), Carter Schaffnit (Sr. D), Thomas Smithy (Sr. F), Jacob Damocles (Jr. D), Nick Guarino (Jr. D), Zach El Ghatit (Jr. GK), Nick Guarino (Jr. D), Parker Jachim (Jr. D), Tanner Kelly (Jr. MF/F), Ryan Klainos (Jr. D), Brandon Murphy (Jr. MF/F), Jack VanDixhorn (Jr. MF), Scott Wagner (Jr. MF), Mason Williams (Jr. D)

Outlook: Libertyville returns an all-stater in Ryan Wittenbrink, who's committed to Indiana University. He was the captain of the Daily Herald all-area team last year after registering 19 goals and 12 assists. Also returning is fellow all-conference player Evan Rasmussen, who notched a hat trick this week. Kevin Thunholm takes over for Hall-of-Fame coach Andy Bitta, who will be honored by LHS on Sept. 6. The Wildcats have plenty of experience as they attempt another long run in the state tournament. A year after winning the Class 3A state title, Libertyville got as far as the sectional final last year. "This season looks to be a very strong year," Thunholm said. "We have a lot of young players returning. The experiences of last year will help us come together as a team and hopefully go deep into the season. The future is bright. I'm extremely excited for my kids."


Coach: Ernie Billittier (seventh year)

Last season: 16-5-3, lost to Barrington in Class 3A sectional semifinal

Top players lost: Ethan Butler (Rose-Hulman), Dominic Cristino, Danny Ford, Eric Muniz (Rockford College), Jose Ortega (Rockford College), Elliot Sachnoff (Loras)

Top returning players: Kenny Adiyiah (Sr. MF), Nam Le (Sr. D), Jony Lucio (Sr. F), Bryan Alba (Jr. F)

Other notable players: Brandon Aguilar (Sr. F), Daniel Bronfeyn (Sr. MF), Cristian Brito (Sr. MF), Eli Goldman (Sr. D), George Gonzalez (Sr. MF), Josue Infante (Sr. MF), Morales Lio (Sr. D), Jose Lopez (Sr. D), Jorge Mendoza (Sr. MF), Fredy Montenegro (Sr. MF), Cesar Ortega Sr. MF, Jerry Valente (Sr. D), Eddie Avila (Jr. MF), Alex Fedorets (Jr, D), Alexis Martinez (Jr. F), Andy Rodriguez (Jr. MF), Armando Rosiles (Jr. MF), Chris Villasenor (Jr. GK), Camden Kowalski (So. D)

Outlook: After a strong season last year, the Mustangs look to continue their success. Seniors Kenny Adiyiah (all-sectional, all-conference last year), Nam Le, Jony Lucio (all-NSC) and junior Bryan Alba return with plenty of varsity experience. Mundelein should be one of the front-runners in the competitive NSC. "I expect us to compete in every competition we play, coach Ernie Billittier said. "We need to develop as a team over the course of the season."


Coach: Mark Schartner (31st year, 403-185-95)

Last season: 10-7-3, lost to Barrington in Class 3A regional final

Top players lost: Ben Brandt (UIC), Joel Fleming (University of Australia), Elliot Luck, Jake Nunez (UIC)

Top returning players: Jack Allen (Sr. D), Matt Brickman (Sr. MF), Ethan Kalis (Sr. GK), Ryan Megrogan (Sr. F), Steven O'Reilly (Sr. F), Matt Randall (Sr. D), Kyle Swanson (Sr. GK), Anthony Watrach (Sr. MF), Borler Wu (Sr. MF), Zack Klabert (Jr. GK), Kai Mayahara (Jr. MF), Kyle Riekki (Jr. MF), Hunter Tam (Jr. MF), Austin Kody (So. MF), Rei Kubota (So. D)

Newcomers: Josh Dicker (Jr. GK), Ethan Bender (So. MF), Nick Brickman (So. MF), Luka Lezhava (So. MF), Camron Mahdavian (So. MF), Kevin Yan (So. D), Alem Durarovic (Fr. F)

Outlook: Stevenson lost a few key players in valuable spots and will have to replenish. Senior Matt Brickman (all-conference last season) started the season with a stress fracture in his back. Still, the Patriots have a number of veterans and new players to fit in. Included is all-sectional goalkeeper Ethan Kalis. "We have a well-balanced team," coach Mark Schartner said. "We've got a seasoned starting lineup and have outstanding leadership. We'll have great speed and a very hardworking team."


Coach: Jason Ahonen (10th year, 133-53-35)

Last season: 14-6-2, lost to Palatine in Class 3A regional semifinal

Top players lost: Daniel Fajardo (College of Lake County), Hugo Flores (Carthage), Richie Flores (Carthage), Kevin Penarrieta (Carthage), Noe Rodriguez (College of Lake County)

Top returning players: Mike Bassler (Sr. MF), Kevin Dominguez (Sr. D), Hunter Faurbo (Sr. GK), Declan Porter (Sr. MF), Tommy Travelstead (Sr. D), Andre Chinnos (Jr. D/MF), Dylan Penarrieta (Jr. MF/F), Nolan Eithers (So. MF)

Other notable players: Arizmendi Anakin (Sr. D), Daniel Colin (Sr. MF/F), Marco Morales (Sr. MF), Ryley Sheehan (Sr. D), Anthony Zavala (Sr. D), Austin Cortes (Jr. GK), Cristan Fajardo (Jr. F), David Fuentes (Jr. D/MF), Jovan Selakovic (Jr. MF), Cris Medina (So. MF)

Outlook: Warren graduated 15 players, so it could be considered a rebuilding year, but there is a lot of talent capable of stepping up. "This group of boys has come together and has put in the work over the summer," coach Jason Ahonen said. "I do not know what this year holds for this group of young men, but I know that it's been a joy working with them to this point."



Coach: Marni Polakow (10th year, 117-70-22)

Last season: 7-13-2, lost to Grayslake North in Class 2A regional semifinal

Top players lost: Zach Espitia (Illinois Valley), Zac Tholen (Palomar College)

Top returning players: Bart Krumpos (Sr. MF), Gabe Tijerina (Sr. MF), RJ Vazquez (Sr. D)

Newcomers: Trevor Niznik (Fr. D/MF), Aidan Trunky (Fr. D/MF), Aidan Weir (Fr. MF/F)

Other notable players: Eric Ascencion (Sr. MF/F), Peter Boeh (Sr. D), Noah Boehm (Sr. GK), Jordan DeLara (Sr. MF/F), Jason Wood (Sr. D), Michael Espitia (Jr. MF/F), Ian Gugel (Jr. GK), Alex Keeler (Jr. MF), Joey Kestian (Jr. D), Krystian Nikolov (Jr. MF/F), Christian Ortiz (Jr. D), Adam Lynn (So. MF/F)

Outlook: Antioch expects a number of seniors to lead the way. Those players include Bart Krumpos (all-NLCC First Team last season), Gabe Tijerina (all-NLCC Third Team) and RJ Vazquez (all-NLCC Second Team). "We're looking to rebuild this year," coach Marni Polakow said. "We have a lot of hardworking boys who will compete for minutes. We expect to compete for the top of the NLCC as well as vie for a regional championship."


Coach: Bryan Mark (sixth year)

Last season: 4-15, lost to Cary-Grove in Class 3A regional quarterfinal

Top players lost: Zack Kowalik, Marcino Martinez

Top returning players: Aldahir Albiter (Sr. D), Oscar Delgado (Sr. GK), Giovanni Gonzalez (Sr. MF), Jose Gordiano (Sr. MF), Samuel Lee (Sr. MF), Rafel Torres (Sr. D), Andrew Berwanger (Jr. MF), William Gonzalez (Jr. MF), Daniel Talavera (Jr. F)

Newcomers: Ricardo Martin (Sr. D), Charlie Granat (Jr. MF), Kevin Gosciniak (So. MF), Jose Luna (So. MF)

Other notable players: Ubertino Soto (Sr. D), David Acevado (Jr. D), Xander Barillas (Jr. MF), Alexis Bustamante (Jr. MF), Michael Galvan (Jr. D), Valentin Cerna (So. F), Jacob Lokielko (So. D), Uriel Lopez (So. D), Jose Luna (So. MF)

Outlook: Grant could be on the rise this season with many seniors who have multiple years of experience on the varsity. The Bulldogs are led by Aldahir Albiter, Oscar Delgado, Giovanni Gonzalez, Jose Gordiano, Samuel Lee and Rafael Torres. "This year we return more than we have in years past," coach Bryan Mark said. "Many of the upperclassmen have been contributing on varsity since their freshman and sophomore years. We hope to use our experience and chemistry to finish the close games that have gone the other way in the past. We have a number of players who can score goals, so that will hopefully make us hard to defend. As a team, we have high expectations."


Coach: Thomas Hamilton (third year, 26-16-5)

Last season: 15-7-2, lost to Belvidere in Class 2A sectional semifinal

Top players lost: Randy Betancourth, Richie Cruz (York St. John University), Matt Kosikowski, Matt Kozak, Juan Mata, Jake Miller, Daniel Morrison, Leo Orozco (College of Lake County), Fernando Ortiz-Acosta, Trevor Veenstra (Case Western Reserve), Nick Walker (York St. John University), Bryan Wehde, David Young (Western Michigan)

Top returning players: Sebastian Hinestrosa (Sr. F), Greg Madjarov (Sr. GK), Trevor Manley (Sr. MF), Austin Rockel (Sr. F), Jack Spaulding (Sr. D), Clay Stoffel (Sr. D), Jack Kulis (Jr. F), Henry Morrison (Jr, MF), Daniel Orozco (Jr. D/MF)

Newcomers: Logan Gallaher (Sr. MF), Matt Glab (Sr. GK), Jeff Quiroz (Sr. D), Jordan Ramsey (Sr. MF), Thomas Todd (Sr. D), Ozzy Gaytan (Jr. D), Peder Harvey (Jr. F), Kevin O'Brien (Jr. D), Kyle Reihm (Jr. MF), Owen Aaberg (So. MF)

Outlook: After graduating a strong class, the Rams will lean on veterans such as Jack Spaulding, Clay Stoffel, Greg Madjarov, Sebastian Hinestrosa, Ethan Mendoza and Austin Rockel. "We lost a number of talented players with great character to graduation, but this year's group figures to build on last season's success," coach Thomas Hamilton said. "Our work rate is looking very impressive. If we stay healthy and build on our current energy and attitude, I think we're poised to contend in the NLCC and build on last season's regional championship. We're all excited to see what we can do this season. This group is determined to earn a name for itself."


Coach: Adam DeCaluwe (12th year, 102-133-4)

Last season: 9-11-1, lost to Grayslake Central in Class 2A regional final

Top players lost: Carlos Alfaro, Bruce Boyd, Miguel Carrera, Jack Critzer (IIT), Marion Delta, Christian Guerrero, Brandon LeBaron, Josian Martinez, Joshua Moran, Grant Nickolson, Jason Rhodes (Elmhurst College), Tyler Salvador (Concordia), Jake Schultze, Ben Tompoles

Top returning players: Nick Kloczkowski (Sr. D/MF), Aaron Paredes (Sr. MF), Ronaldo Rojas (Sr. F), Jake Susiu (Sr. GK), Matthew Heery (Jr. D), Will Meyer (Jr. MF/F), Angel Uniostegui (Jr. MF), Logan Holevas (So. MF)

Newcomers: Noah Gonzalez (Sr. GK), Alberto Martinez (Sr. D), Erik Norum (Sr. D), Logan Perhacs (Sr. D), Brett Thomas (Sr. D), Braeden Wilson (Sr. D/MF), Lucas Angelilo (Jr. MF), Jack Moran (Jr. MF), Omar Cordova (So. MF), Sam Inmon (So. MF/F)

Outlook: The Knights graduated a veteran group. They'll look for new leaders to emerge this season. "While we have many new faces this season, we are excited by how hard this team works and how well they get along with each other," coach Adam DeCaluwe said. "The boys have really shown themselves to be focused and committed to doing what the team needs them to, to help make every one better. Each game we play, we will look to do whatever we can to outwork our opponents while showing tactical discipline in all that we try to do. We have some really solid pieces returning, and we hope those returners can step up to lead this young group to a fun and competitive season."


Coach: Kevin Kullby (13th year, 133-112-31)

Last season: 10-10, lost to Wauconda in Class 2A regional semifinal

Top players lost: Cam Beezley (DePaul), Nick Dydo (Valparaiso), Austin Jones (Carroll College), Anthony Roldan (Augustana)

Top returning players: Jeff Milostan (Sr. F), Danny Wieczorek (Sr. GK), Andrew Gataeno (Jr. MF), Max Keenan (Jr. D)

Newcomers: Eliam Mier (Fr. F)

Other notable players: Dustin Baca (Sr. D), Colin Feustal (Sr. MF), Jon Gardner (Sr. D), Adam Hagman (Sr. D), Brett Holmes (Sr. F), Matthew Mercure (Sr. D), Shane McKeever (Sr. F), Aaron Stiegel (Sr. D), Daniel Stiegel (Sr. F), Tyler Atkinson (Jr. MF), Charlie Gaida (Jr. MF), Alec Meyer (Jr. D), Patrick McMahon (Jr. GK), Ryan Mount (Jr. F), Drew Sweeney (Jr. D), Lucas Brady (So. MF), Zach Dydo (So. MF)

Outlook: Even though the Eagles graduated eight seniors, they still should be competitive. Back are seniors Jeff Milostan (all-NLCC Third Team last season), goalkeeper Danny Wieczorek and juniors Andrew Gataeno and Max Keenan. "The hope is that we're competitive throughout the season," coach Kevin Kullby said. "I think we will be in the hunt for conference and a regional title."


Coach: Hugo Tellez (eighth year, 110-25-20)

Last season: 13-3-5, lost to Stevenson in Class 3A regional semifinal

Top players lost: Abel Campa (South Suburban College), Kevin Estrada (Robert Morris), Brian Gomez (UW-Parkside), Vladimir Manriquez (College of Lake County), Jorge Martinez (College of Lake County), Alejandro Sotelo (Trinity Christian College), Steven Tovar (Marian)

Top returning players: Alejandro Galindo (Sr. D/MF), Bryan Murguia (Sr. D), Ricardo Orozco (Sr. MF), Rudy Bernal (Jr. MF/F), Jakub Bialkowski (Jr. D), Antonio Fonseca (Jr. F), Christofer Gomez (Jr. D/F), Kevin Gomez (Jr. MF), Hector Tellez (Jr. MF/F)

Newcomers: Johnny Campa (Sr. GK), Maqiis Hayward (Sr. F), Sergio Landa (Sr. MF), Adrian Reyes (Sr. D), Christian Alvarez (Jr. MF), Ulies Nuno (Jr. GK), Misael Tellez (Jr. D), Ivan Guerrero (So. MF), Cristobal Hidrogo (So. D), Sergio Montes-Decoa (So. MF), Jesus Ramos (So. F), Uriel Sanchez (So. MF)

Outlook: Round Lake has enjoyed plenty of success in recent year and last season won the inaugural Northern Lake County Conference championship. The Panthers have a shot to repeat with a group that includes seniors Brian Murguia, Christofer Gomez (all-NLCC Second Team last year) and Jakob Bialkowski. "Even though we have a lot of young guys, they don't play young," coach Hugo Tellez said. "They fit right in (last year), as they were playing like veterans. They are hungry and learning really quick what we need to do. They're more technical and playing the ball on the ground more."


Coach: Mike Jacobs (third year, 13-20-5)

Last season: 8-13-2, lost to Vernon Hills in Class 2A regional final

Top players lost: Jorge Arreguin, Joshua Castronovo, Michael Duzey, Jack Feddermann, Danny McNutt, Luiz Mendoza, Justin Mitchell, Cristian Ramirez, Sean Sullivan Trevor Tobias

Top returning players: Raffa Consalvo (Sr. MF), Erik Hernandez (Sr. F), Connor Brannick (Jr. D) David Ramirez (Jr. F), Preston Chartier (So. GK)

Other notable players: Christopher Fox (Sr. D), Giovanni James (Sr. D), Michael Pulio (Sr. D), Ozzy Segura (Sr. D), Marcus Carballo (Jr. F), Juan Flores Perez (Jr. D), Chase Hayden (Jr. MF), Jorge Morales (Jr. F), David Ramirez (Jr. F) Daniel Ruiz (Jr. GK), Ethan Yost (Jr. F), Joey Angelles (So. MF), Brandon Castellanos (So. D), Rogelio Palestina (So. MF)

Outlook: Wauconda appears to be headed in the right direction. A number of players are back this fall, led by seniors Raffa Consalvo (all-NLCC First Team last year) in the midfield and forward Erik Hernandez. "We've got a very positive outlook for this season," coach Mike Jacobs said. "Our lineup remains relatively intact from a regional championship runner-up team that returns a lot of fire power. Our senior leadership and talent is strong, and we look forward to seeing what our soccer family can accomplish."



Coach: Mike McCaulou (fifth year, 51-32-5)

Last season: 15-9, lost to Latin in Class 2A supersectional

Top players lost: Aaron Castellianos (College of Lake County), Ravi Gandhi, Matt Gramins, Cole Guillaume (Taylor), Andrew Kim, Brennan Reback, Anakin Ruiz, Corey Takaoka, Steven Tow, Chris White (Loyola), Zack Yurkovsky

Top returning players: Michael Harty (Sr. F), Ryan Kim (Sr. D), Steven Auw (Jr. MF), Carlos Aguilar (So. MF)

Newcomers: Ryan Kim Jr. (Fr. D)

Other notable players: John Frantz (Sr. MF), Christian Vargas (Sr. F), Victor Camacho (Jr. MF), Sean Collins (Jr. MF), Brandon Kim (Jr. D), Isaias Sanchez (Jr. MF), Jack Schulman (Jr. F), Nick Burrows (So. GK), Josue Castillo (So. MF), Nick Jahen (So. MF), Kevin Martinez (So. GK), Mathew Quandt (So. MF), Jessy Sanchez (So, MF), Edgar Uribe (So. D)

Outlook: Vernon Hills had a great run last year, reaching the Class 2A supersectional, but the Cougars lost a good senior class. The Cougars still boast a group that includes seniors Michael Harty up top and Ryan Kim (all-sectional) on defense. The Cougars will have a number of underclassman filling spots. "We've got a great group of players that will be young but hungry," coach Mike McCaulou said. "If we stay disciplined and composed on both sides of the ball, we have a great opportunity to have a lot of success."

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