School: Caesar Rodney
2012 Record: 12-2-1
Key Returning Players: Chimaobi Ikwuagwu, A.J. Hayward, Kevin Sheahan, Nick Gruwell, Garrett Dixon, Eric Lyncha, Jaki Farlow, Tommy Aloe, Justin Wutka, Kyle Wutka, Chris McPoyle, Henry Cantu, Adrian Coverdale
Key Newcomers: Andrew Stant, Dannie Greiner, Bailey Nieto, Kamren Tinsley, Zach McPhearson, I.K. Madukwe, Nick Spadaveccia
Season Outlook: After a strong 12-2-1 finish to last year’s campaign, the Caesar Rodney Riders return to the pitch looking to take yet another step toward a state title. The Riders lose only 3 seniors from last year’s club, meaning many will be returning to the fold from last season. Led by a young core of experienced players, the Riders will be considered one of the favorites in the Henlopen Conference. The Rider soccer program is used to having high expectations and this year will be no different. While they do have a number of returning starters they will still have a battle not only within their conference but within the Henlopen North Division as well.
Coach’s Quote: “We hope to be very competitive and win our Division and Conference, as well as do well in the State Tournament,” said CR Head Coach Darrell Gravatt. “We hope to play high quality, attractive soccer.”
School: Dover High School
2012 Record: 7-7-1
Key Returning Players: Christian Whitney-Smith, Austin Williams, Dillon Marier, German Gomez-Iraheta, Cedric Barnes, Phillip Torres, Jonathan Carson
Key Newcomers: Jordan Hutchins
Season Outlook: Coming off a 7-7-1 record last season, the Dover Senators soccer program enters the 2013 campaign looking to improve. While the Senators lost the bulk of their core last season, they look to have just as solid a senior class as they did in 2012. With the possibility of 8 seniors on this year’s squad, the Senators hope to transition into the new season smoothly. Also, Dover has a number of returning underclassmen who will look to make some noise and fill the shoes left behind by graduates. If the Senators are to compete, they will have to do better within their division and pick up wins where they can within the Henlopen Conference.
School: Polytech High School
2012 Record: 8-5-2
Key Returning Players: Cody Sapp, Connor Ott, Sean Richarson, Ian Linaweaver, Will Lackey, Michael Tillinghast
Key Newcomers: Griffin Ott, John Riggins, Brandon Belile, Jenkiel Drane
Season Outlook: After a slow start out of the gate last season, the Polytech Panthers soccer squad bounced back finishing 8-5-2. While their record wasn’t good enough to get them into the State Tournament it was enough to put them on the Henlopen Conference radar. The Panthers lost 6 seniors to graduation last seasons, but will bring back many impact players to the fold this year. With 6 seniors ready to fill the shoes of the graduates, and a solid group of underclassmen the Panthers look to make a serious impact within the conference this year. The Panthers are hoping experience and youth will help propel them to a playoff berth.
Coach’s Quote: “As far as goals, Polytech soccer feels you are only as good as your record,” said Panthers Head Coach Ray Ott. “Our goal is to improve upon the success of last year’s 8-5-2 record and take another step forward. We play a stronger schedule this year and look forward to the competition.”
School: Lake Forest High School
2012 Record: 0-14
Key Returning Players: Ryan Sipple, Robert Green
Key Newcomers: Tyler Kocurek-Gassner, Hunter Kocurek-Gassner, Anil Kara, Tyler Cathren
Season Outlook: The Spartans entered the 2012 season as one of the youngest soccer teams in the state, and it showed in the results. After a winless season, the Spartans can go nowhere but up and with a young core already established there is reason to believe they will improve. The Spartans will look to get out to a fast start to avoid falling into the troubles they saw last season. Most teams have a number of returning players, but the Spartans have nearly an entire team of underclassmen returning to the field. With another year of experience, the Spartans are looking to build their program nearly from the ground up, and while there will still be tough times ahead, Lake Forest still has the opportunity to mold players for the future.
School: St. Thomas More
2012 Record: 1-13-1
Key Returning Players: Anthony Caruso, Rourke Bonnell
Key Newcomers: Kexxer Camarco
Season Outlook: The St. Thomas More Ravens soccer team finished a dismal 1-13-1 last season. However, optimism is in the air as they return to the pitch for another season. The Ravens will bring back a number of players from last year, most of which will be seniors. With 10 possible seniors on the squad this season, the Ravens will lean heavily on their experience and leadership to help turn things around. Also, the Ravens boast an international star in Kexxer Camarco who they believe will have a standout freshman campaign. While neither their record nor their recent history would suggest it, the Ravens are coming in to the 2013 with the highest of expectations, which always makes for a very dangerous team.
Coach’s Quote: “Our goal this year is to make the state tournament, with strong senior leadership, a returning goalie, and an internationally awarded freshmen we have high expectations,” said Ravens Head Coach Dave Aubrey. “It will be quite a story, from going 1-13-1 last year to making the state tournament this year; we expect to make some noise.”