Mooseheart boys soccer team set for inaugural season
Boys soccer becomes the newest of Mooseheart's varsity sports this fall. Already deep into preseason practice, the Ramblers open their inaugural season on Tueday, Aug. 27, when they visit the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora for a 4:45 p.m. match.
Boys soccer takes the place of football, which Mooseheart discontinued following the 2019 season due to a variety of factors. Mooseheart's high school boys were asked their preference for a new sport and soccer was a clear favorite -- something that has been proven with a strong turnout. Mooseheart continues to offer girls volleyball and girls cross country as girls fall varsity sports.
"We're thrilled with the level of activity and athleticism on the team this year. It's our first year, so it's inaugural and the only way to go is up," Mooseheart coach Paul Klinger said.
Mooseheart's roster is comprised of some athletes who played football previously, some who preferred soccer and some for whom this is their first varsity sporting experience.
"(Assistant coach John Lochbaum) and I have been thrilled with what we've seen so far. The effort's been stellar," Klinger said.
Mooseheart has a nine-game schedule for its first boys soccer season. As with all Mooseheart high school sports, the boys soccer team will compete in the Northeastern Athletic Conference. The Ramblers also will participate in the IHSA Class 1A postseason tournament.
"The good thing about the conference that we're in is that the referees and coaches understand that we're starting the program. They know that it's a growing opportunity for our boys and that we're starting from Square One," Klinger said.
One of the highlights of the season will come Sept. 28, when the team's match against Sandwich will take center stage during Mooseheart's homecoming celebrations.
"For all the boys who have been asking me 'are we ever going to have soccer?' this is an opportunity -- and the opportunity's wide open. We're excited for the season and we're going to celebrate the wins, losses and things we learn together," Klinger said.
The 2019 Mooseheart boys soccer schedule continues on Sept. 4 with a home game vs. Yorkville Christian at 4:30 p.m.; Sept. 10 home vs. Westminster Christian at 4:30 p.m.; Sept. 12 at Harvest Christian at 4:30 p.m.; Sept. 17 at Schaumburg Christian at 4:30 p.m.; Sept. 24 home vs. Christian Liberty at 4:30 p.m.; Sept. 26 at Genoa-Kingston at 4:15 p.m.; Sept. 28 home vs. Sandwich at 1 p.m. (Homecoming); and Oct. 1 home vs. Keith Country Day at 4:30 p.m. On Oct. 11, the Class 1A tournament begins.