2018 Boys Soccer Season Outlook | Parity rules early in the season
By Malcolm Shields
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
The early stages of the 2018 boys soccer season suggests that the margin of separation between some schools in the Daily Advance’s coverage area isn’t particularly large.
Granted, regional teams First Flight and Manteo have established themselves as the teams to beat in the 2A Northeastern Coastal and 1A Albemarle Athletic conferences, respectively.
Currituck, Northeastern and Pasquotank will challenge for the second state playoff spot out of the NCC, while John A. Holmes and Camden will battle for a playoff berth out of the AAC.
Perquimans will field a boys only team this fall.
Here is more on area boys soccer:
Coach: Christie Gibbs
Outlook: The Colts are off to a 1-1-1 start to the 2018 campaign.
Left wing Logan Dunn, goalkeeper Brandon Jackson, right wing Brandon Gilliam, striker Donovan Sherlock, striker Ethan Mercer, midfielder Raymond Hooper, midfielder Bryson Sawyer and defenders Tienton Harris, Melik Horton, Josh Hooper, and Gavin Bunch are expected to comprise the starting 11 for the Colts.
Gibbs expects to see teamwork, communication, and good attitudes.
The coach added that the team will work hard on good passes, strong shots on goal and ball control.
Albemarle School competes in Class 1A in the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association in the TIC.
Coach: Preston Kuno
Last season’s record: 11-11-2, 5-7-0 Albemarle Athletic Conference
Outlook: The Bruins return six starters from last season’s club that won a first-round state playoff game in the NCHSAA 1A East Regional.
Camden has multiple juniors and seniors in its starting 11.
That includes junior goalkeeper Luke Wiseman, senior defender Zachary Burgess, senior striker Gabriel Keeling, senior midfielder Devin Sellers, senior striker Kevin Robertson, junior midfielder Devin Brigman, senior defender Jordan Wood, junior midfielder Nate Graham, and senior defender Micah Tucker.
Sophomores Ryan Barry, a defender, and Noah Kelly, a midfielder, are expected to be in the starting lineup this season.
Kuno noted that the team strength in the team’s maturity and that everyone trusts each other.
“This team has very good chemistry and the seniors show very good leadership towards the rest of the team,” Kuno said.
Chemistry and leadership is what Kuno noted is the key to the season.
The Bruins have a 2-2-2 overall record entering their conference opener at Camden Community Park against John A. Holmes today.
JOHN A. HOLMES
Coach: Thomas Di Martino
Last season’s record: 12-10-1, 8-4-0 Albemarle Athletic Conference
Outlook: Di Martino noted the Aces lost 75 percent of their scoring from last season.
Many of those goals was from Daily Advance All-Area team selection Nev Duruman.
Edenton returns starters in senior forward and midfielder Marsel Zidan, senior midfielder and defender Ryan Tunney, senior midfielder William Whichard and junior defender Ryan White.
Despite the losses, the Aces are off to a 3-2-1 overall record to the 2018 campaign.
The Aces have been tested so far this season with matches against Northeastern, Washington and Williamston-Riverside.
Edenton finished second last season in the conference.
Coach: Lori Davis
Last season’s record: 10-7-1, 5-3-0 Northeastern Coastal Conference
Outlook: It has been a slower than normal start to a season for the Knights this fall.
That can be attributed to a difficult non-conference schedule.
Currituck, which finished second in the league last season and earned a state playoff berth in Class 2A, had a 1-3-2 record before Tuesday’s match at TEACH in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Although the Knights lost last season’s Daily Advance Area Player of the Year in Collin Innes to the college ranks this fall, Currituck returns seven starters from last season’s team.
Some of the key players for the Knights include goalkeeper Connor Goins, midfielder Hunter Goins, midfielder Hunter Goins, forward Joshua Crisell, midfielder Zackary Holl, defender Jesse Dongarra, defender Matthew Erikson, forward Ryan VanKirk, midfielder Manuel Torres, defender Connor Kelley and defender Joshua Reddick.
Davis noted that the team worked hard during the offseason to develop chemistry and mental toughness.
Coach: Michael Ratzlaff
Last season’s record: 9-10-1, 4-4-0 Northeastern Coastal Conference
Outlook: The Eagles earned a state playoff spot in Class 2A last fall in the NCHSAA.
NHS returns four starters from last season’s club.
Leading the way are midfielder and striker Noah Hurdle, midfielder and forward Eddie Garcia, midfielder and striker Sim Hurdle and midfielder and defender Michael Carter.
Forward Scott Margzoff, midfielder Rodrigo Molina, defender Alex Kockler, defender Daniel Lamb, defender and midfielder Enoch Adedeji, defender Brendan Byrum and goalkeeper Christian Wolfen are expected to fill out the starting lineup.
Ratzlaff noted that the 2018 Eagles are young and inexperienced.
He added that the key to the season will be how quickly the team’s youth can catch up to the speed of the high school game, learn the formation and create some chemistry.
The coach added that the strength of the Eagles will be from team captain Noah Hurdle and 2017 all-conference selection Sim Hurdle.
NHS has a 3-2-0 overall record heading into their road match at Perquimans today.
Coach: Craig Haist
Last season’s record: 5-11-1, 3-5-0 Northeastern Coastal Conference
Outlook: The only team without a loss in the Daily Advance’s coverage area weeks into the season is Pasquotank.
Pasquotank had a 2-0-2 overall record before Tuesday’s match against Perquimans.
The Panthers return four starters from last season’s team.
Leading the Panthers are goalkeeper Matthew Harrell, left back Domanic Bojo, center back Jevon Colbert, center back Adan Cano, right back Wyatt Rhodes, center midfielder Evan Jarvis, center midfielder Jimmy Padilla, left midfielder Jalen Haist, center attacking midfielder Mateo Perez, right midfielder Zachery Evans and striker Chase Perry.
Coach: Varick Taylor
Last season’s record: 9-12-0, 4-8-0 Albemarle Athletic Conference
Outlook: The first few weeks of the 2018 season have been rough for the Pirates, which made the 1A state playoffs last fall.
Before Tuesday’s match at Pasquotank, Perquimans had not scored a goal this season, while surrendering 17 goals.
Taylor took over the boys soccer program recently after Michael Fipps led the team to begin the season.
Taylor is the Pirates’ third coach in a year as Taylor Smith coach the team last fall.
This season, Perquimans is a boys only team.
In previous seasons, Perquimans was a combined boys and girls soccer team.
In the season opener against Riverside on Aug. 13, the Pirates had 12 available players.