Boys soccer: Fox area season preview

  • Elgin's Eduardo Nava celebrates a goal against South Elgin last year, one of his 11 on the season.

      Elgin's Eduardo Nava celebrates a goal against South Elgin last year, one of his 11 on the season. Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

  • Trent Giansanti scored 15 goals and had 7 assists for Geneva last year.

    Trent Giansanti scored 15 goals and had 7 assists for Geneva last year. Daily Herald file photo

 
By Chris Walker
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 8/22/2022 12:26 PM

Aurora Central Catholic

Coach: Enrique Anaya (5th season)

 

Last year's record: 5-15-2, 3-6

Top returning players: Justin Cebulski, sr., GK; Nathan Diedrich, so., D; Jake McVey, jr., MF; Micheal O'Brien, sr., F; Danny Perez, sr., MF

Top new players: Connor Dineen, fr., D; Neil Mayer, fr., MF; Elias Perez, fr., MF; Matthew VanDeman, fr., F/MF

Worth noting: McVey, O'Brien and Perez combined for 17 goals and 14 assists last year so the Chargers will look to build upon their input with a large group of newcomers, including four freshmen who will be asked to contribute right away.

Bartlett

Coach: Vince Revak (4th season)

Last year's record: 6-16-1, 2-7

Top returning players: Alex Brown, sr., GK; Spencer Medendorp, sr., D; Oscar Medina, sr., F

Top new players: Cristian Avila Mora, so., MF; Adan Rueda, so., D

Worth noting: Revak believes last year's squad underperformed but hopefully learned some valuable lessons. "I believe this year's group should be able to learn from their mistakes," he said. A challenging schedule won't make it easy on the Hawks.

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Batavia

Coach: Mark Gianfrancesco (23rd season)

Last year's record: 5-14, 2-5

Top returning players: Nathan Feller, sr., MF; Ryan Horlock, sr., GK; Eric Perkins, sr., D; Luke Petersen, jr., D; Owen Stahl, jr., D

Top new players: Sam Barsch, so., MF; Alex Marshall, jr., MF; Brokk Olber, so., MF; Mike Ruffo, jr., F; Henry Sindelar, jr., D

Worth noting: The Bulldogs haven't had a winning season since 2014, but have a solid mix of returning talent and are expecting contributions from some new sophomores and juniors.

Crystal Lake South

Coach: Brian Allen (16th season)

Last year's record: 18-4-2, 8-1

Top returning players: Nolan Getzinger, jr., MF; Brendan Lewis, jr., MF; Andrew Smart, sr., D, Logan Vargas, sr., GK; Josh Washington, sr., D

Top new players: Pierce Johnson, fr., D, Mason Ross, so., MF; Steven Smith, jr., MF; Hayden Stone, so., MF

Worth noting: A senior-laden back line with Washington and Smart leading the way should provide a solid defensive foundation for a squad that returns 13 players overall. All but six of the Gators' regular season games are against 3A foes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Dundee-Crown

Coach: Rey Vargas (19th season)

Last year's record: 14-4-2, 6-2-1

Top returning players: Jacob Budys, sr., MF; Alex Martinez, sr., MF; Miguel Pena, sr., F/MF; David Smeich, sr., GK

Top new players: Daniel Gantz, sr., D; Gabriel Herrera, so., TBD; Martin Leon, jr., D; Sebastian Sanchez, fr., TBD

Worth noting: The Chargers have Pena back to lead their attack but also saw 13 players graduate. Newcomers will need to step up and fill spots all over the field while Smeich provides security as the returning senior keeper.

Elgin

Coach: Jimmy Romano (1st season)

Last year's record: 12-4-5, 4-2-3

Top returning players: Eduardo Nava, jr., F; Miguel Navarro, sr., MF; Julian Orozco, sr., D; Edgar Perez, jr., D; Omar Saldana, sr., D

Top new players: Geovanny Aviles, jr., D; Adan Garcia, jr., D; Alberto Gaytan, so., MF; German Lara, jr., D: Aaron Saldana, so., MF

Worth noting: Romano inherits a program that's hungry for huge things this fall, returning a huge chunk of talent from a team that advanced to a sectional final a year ago, as well as exciting new players. Nava led the Maroons in scoring (11 goals, 5 assists) last season.

Geneva

Coach: Jason Bhatta (6th season)

Last year's record: 9-8-6, 4-2-3

Top returning players: Nathan Branstad, sr., MF; Luke Easter, sr., D; Trent Giansanti, jr., F: Grant Havertine, sr., D: Liam O'Donoghue, jr., MF

Top new players: Genel Jaffer, sr., F; Ben Schuemer, jr., D

Worth noting: Before being upended in the postseason, the Vikings had a nine-game unbeaten streak last year while winning a regional title for the second straight season. Giansanti (15 goals, 7 assists) is among a strong core that returns from that squad.

Hampshire

Coach: Chayanee Martinez (2nd year)

Last year's record: 9-11-3, 5-4

Top returning players: Samuel Beer, jr., D/MF; Niklas Kaistinen, jr., F/MF; Alex Muños, sr., D; John Serra, sr., F/D

Top new players: Jackson Carey, so., MF; Greyson Hedderich, fr., D; Kevin Huynh, sr., D; Kyle Johnson, sr., D; Landon LaMarca, sr., D; Johnathan Leonardo, sr., F; Michal Mis, sr., D; Broling Perkins, sr., D/MF

Worth noting: The Whip-Purs hope to continue where they left off last regular season as they won five of their last six games. In order to do so, plenty of new bodies will need to contribute, including six new seniors.

Harvest Christian

Coach: Pedro Assumpcao

Last year's record: 3-9, 2-4

Top returning players: David De Souza, sr., F; Caleb Fast, sr., MF; Seth Pritchett, sr., MF

Worth noting: Assumpcao will only have about a dozen players this fall; however, those players return with varsity experience and they hope to double their win output from last fall.

Huntley

Coach: Matt Lewandowski (4th year)

Last year's record: 20-3-2, 8-0-1

Top returning players: Jack Breunig, jr., MF; Gavin Eagan, jr., MF; Zach Heitkemper, sr., D; John Lengle, sr., D; Hudson Nielsen, jr., MF; Micah Overly, sr., D; Kyle Paler, jr., D

Top new players: Ansel Dias, jr., F; Isaac Jacobo, jr., F; Mason Leslie, so., MF; Elias Ramon, jr., D

Worth noting: With seven key contributors from a team that competed for a sectional title returning, the Red Raiders will look to defend their FVC title and go on another deep postseason run. Heitkemper (10 assists) and Nielsen (3 goals, 6 assists) are among their leading returnees.

Jacobs

Coach: Colin Brice (5th year)

Last year's record: 7-12, 3-6

Top returning players: Owen Armstrong, jr., D; John Kraft, sr., D; Carter Roper, sr., D; Nevin Volarath, jr., MF; Peter Wolf, jr., F

Top new players: Andrew Deegan, fr., D; Adan Farias, sr., GK; Oleg Fushtei, sr., MF; Kelvin Medina, jr., F

Worth noting: Returning the majority of last year's team, Jacobs will look to contend for the FVC title. "The FVC will be up for grabs this year and I feel that we have a solid team to compete for one of the top spots in conference with our experience," Brice said.

Kaneland

Coach: Scott Parillo (21st year)

Last year's record: 9-10-1, 8-2

Top returning players: Anthony Buchanan, sr., MF; Andrew Davison, sr., GK; Sam Keen, jr., F

Top new players: Wilson Love, jr., D/MF; Eric Ramos, jr., D/MF; Andrew Walter, jr., MF/D

Worth noting: Parillo is seeing plenty of new faces so the Knights "need to be cohesive as quickly as possible." Keen buried 13 goals a season ago while Davison is a veteran, dominant presence in goal.

Larkin

Coach: Mike Huizar (2nd year)

Last year's record: 7-8-4, 2-4-3

Top returning players: Anthony Cordova, sr., TBD; Adrian Diaz, jr., TBD; Joel Gutierrez, sr., TBD; Oscar Jimenez, sr., TBD: Elian Rendon, sr, TBD: Alexis Sanchez, jr., TBD

Top new players: Atlai Gutierrez, so., MF; Fran Montoya, jr., D: Reyli Perez, jr., MF

Worth noting: Huizar expects to see an improvement compared to a season ago with lots of new players and a new system. "It's too soon to tell how it'll turn out," he said. "but these changes are exciting." Six starters and four rotation players return.

Marmion

Coach: Gerardo Alvarez (3rd year)

Last year's record: 14-8-2, 5-2

Top returning players: Danny Jankowski, sr., GK; Harley Karner, sr., F; Barry O'Neill, sr., MF/F, Matthew Powell, sr., D/MF

Top new players: TBD

Worth noting: The Cadets only graduated a handful of players from a squad that was a Class 2A sectional finalist. A strong senior class on both ends of the field should have the Cadets reaching for similar successes. Karner and O'Neill alone combined for 25 goals in 2021.

St. Charles East

Coach: Vince DiNuzzo (6th year)

Last year's record: 18-5-0, 5-2

Top returning players: Mason Brockmeyer, sr., F; Connor Brown, sr., D; Elia Desario, sr., D; Jack Harrington, sr., MF; Ryan Vandeveer, sr., MF

Top new players: Griffin Counts, jr., D; Aiden Maloney, jr., MF; Aiden Wostl, fr., F

Worth noting: The Saints graduated some standouts and nine players overall from a team that just fell short of upending Class 3A state champion York in the sectionals. Newcomers will look to mix with returnees to help the Saints continue to play at an elite level.

St. Charles North

Coach: Eric Willson (19th year)

Last year's record: 7-4-6, 2-1-4

Top returning players: Alex Curtis, jr., GK; Walter DelaPaz, jr., MF; Arnel Dizdarevic, sr., F; Casey Kriz, so., D

Worth noting: Willson referred to this year's North Stars as "a very intriguing team this season," he said. "I really believe we have the potential to compete in a very difficult conference." Curtis returns in net while DelaPaz is a dynamic offensive player who should have some scoring options alongside him in forwards Chase Bettini and Blake Taylor among others.

St. Edward

Coach: Tim Brieger (28th year)

Last year's record: 8-14-2, 0-6

Top returning players: Gael Gonzalez, sr., MF; Matt Kapetan, sr., MF; Josh Pottorff, jr., D; Morgan Sajtar, sr., GK; Alex Valdez, sr., F

Top new players: Brandon Kloeckner, sr., MF; Michael O'Brien, sr., D; Josh Schelonka, jr., D; Robbie Sommers, so., D; Ben Zelinski, sr., F

Worth noting: The Green Wave will build around Kapetan, Sajtar, Pottorff and Gonzalez up the spine of the pitch. There's a lot of new and young faces in the starting lineup this fall.

South Elgin

Coach: Jerzy Skowron (4th year)

Last year's record: 6-10-5, 4-3-2

Top returning players: Carlos Barajas, sr., D; Guido Gonzalez-Ortiz, jr., MF; Xavier Marquez, jr., D; Ryan Nguyen, jr., MF; Ethan Scholl, sr., F

Top new players: Justin Defensor, so., MF; Isaac Marquez, so., F; Jose Ortiz-Gavina, sr., F; Jonah Stueck, jr., D

Worth noting: Skowron is hopeful that a diverse mix of talent, size and athleticism will whip up a Storm team that's one to be reckoned with this fall. They had 110 players try out, including 38 freshmen. David Criswell, who led a girls program to a pair of state titles in Colorado, is Skowron's new varsity assistant coach.

Streamwood

Coach: Matt Polovin (24th year)

Last year's record: 6-10-4, 2-5-2

Top returning players: Alex Alcala, so., D; AJ Sabanovic, so., F

Top new players: Saul Zamudio, sr., MF

Worth noting: Polovin acknowledged that he coached his youngest team last year and they learned a lot while collecting more than their fair share of lumps. Now, he's optimistic with a year under their belt and with further developed skills that the Sabres will be playing at a much higher level this fall.

West Aurora

Coach: Joe Sustersic (22nd year)

Last year's record: 13-7-1, 6-3-2

Top returning players: Loretto Lopez, sr., MF; Omar Rashidi, sr., F; Blake Studdard, sr.. D

Worth noting: With 10 starters back and almost all of the scoring from a season ago, the Blackhawks should be in for another special season which is saying something for a program that has averaged 16.4 wins (82 overall) the past five seasons. Rashidi and Lopez lead an attack that will look to frustrate opponents.

Westminster Christian

Coach: Dave Siers (5th year)

Last year's record: 12-3-2, 5-0

Top returning players: Stephen Boldt, jr., MF: Peter DiNapoli, sr., MF; Cal Hoon, sr, MF/F; Charles Richardson, sr, D; Nathan Siers, sr., F

Worth noting: With a strong group of upperclassmen returning, the Warriors will look to maintain the quality of play it had last season.

Note: Aurora Christian is not fielding a team this season. Burlington Central, Cary-Grove and Elgin Academy did not respond to our request for team info.

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