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Greg Lindstrom
Niwot’s Grant Webster (right) expects to provide more of a scoring punch for the Cougars in 2013.

 

10 PLAYERS TO KNOW

 

Patrick Borer, Sr., Holy Family — After scoring nine goals and adding seven assists, the Tigers’ midfielder should continue to help open up the offense for a talented team.

Javier Castruita, Sr., Boulder– Came alive in the playoffs to help Boulder win a state championship, and now the senior is hungry for a title defense along with his teammates.

Jesus Cervantes, Sr., Skyline — A player that’s good with both feet, 15-20 goals is not out of question for the senior Falcon.

Mason Douillard, Sr., Boulder — Another first-team all-region pick in 2012, Douillard is the play-making midfielder that is going to keep the Panthers in their offensive third a lot.

Cameron Guzman, Sr., Silver Creek — The Raptors’ go-to guy, Guzman had double the amount of goals as anyone else on a high-scoring team, but he can set up with the best of them, too.

Connor Metzger, Sr., Broomfield — Metzger is the finisher that every team desires, and he’ll be looked at to lead a young crew up front for the Eagles.

Alan Scheuermann, Sr., Fairview — The workhorse for the Knights in goal, Scheuermann makes a strong defense even tougher to penetrate and could break several school records with a full season.

Eric Spangler, Sr., Centaurus — The senior in the midfield provides stability both offensively and defensively for the Warriors.

Cruz Valdez, Jr., Skyline — Will “compete” with Cervantes for the goals, but together they should be one of the area’s more dynamic duos.

Grant Webster, Sr., Niwot — Webster is going to be given the chance to score more goals this year for the Cougars, and there’s no reason to think he won’t take advantage.

 

POSTSEASON INFORMATION

 

Regular season for all three classifications must be complete by Oct. 18.

Playoffs begin on Oct. 23 with 32-team seeded brackets for each class, leading up to championship games on Nov. 9 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.

 

 

TEAM-BY-TEAM PREVIEWS

 

ALEXANDER DAWSON MUSTANGS

COACH: Josh Shemroske (1st year).

LAST YEAR: 7-8-1; 5-1-1 Class 3A Region 7.

RETURNING STARTERS: Chase Brown (So., D); Brooks DeFrees (So., D); Tanner Fulkerson (So. MF); Jose Gutierrez (Jr., F); Ryan Luffenberger (Sr., F); Tyler Morley (Sr., GK); Mike Paquette (Sr. F).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Sebastian Gregor (Fr., MF/F); Alex Rodriguie (Fr., D).

OUTLOOK: Since Shemroske is the third coach in the past three seasons for the Mustangs, his focus this year is entirely on teaching some good basic technique and just getting a firm foundation under the program. Alexander Dawson will play a strong counter attack, as Shemroske feels his speed up front and in the middle can enhance the breakout. Morley in goal should help keep every contest close.

 

BOULDER PANTHERS

COACH: Hardy Kalisher (8th year).

LAST YEAR: 14-6; 8-2 Front Range League

RETURNING STARTERS: Josh Branum (Sr., MF); Javier Castruita (Sr., MF); Mason Douillard (Sr., MF); Sushant Gurung (Jr., MF); Henry Huettel (Sr., GK); Kevin Van Lieshout (Sr., D); Matteo Wilczak (Sr., F).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Ryan Bower (Sr., MF); Wyeth Leemon (Sr., MF); Quinn Liebmann (Jr., MF); Spencer Raffi (Sr., D).

OUTLOOK: On paper, the Panthers are well-stocked for a repeat run at the Class 5A state championship. Boulder expects its defense to be particularly stingy with Huettel, one of the state’s top goalkeepers, guarding the net. While Boulder must discover a goal-scorer to replace the finishing touch provided by Lake Brant last year, the Panthers boast two dynamic play-makers in the midfield in Castruita and Douillard.

 

BROOMFIELD EAGLES

COACH: Jim Davidson (17th year).

LAST YEAR: 14-2-3; 7-0-1 Northern League.

RETURNING STARTERS: Bridger Burnett (Sr., MF); Michael Genge (So. GK); Tyler Hulst (So., MF); Connor Metzger (Sr., F); Porter Milner (So. MF); Jake Zec (So., MF).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Jared DeLisa (So., F); Tyler Duggan (So., D); Ben Gibble (Sr., MF).

OUTLOOK: Broomfield enters the season as one of the state’s elite in Class 4A, with the Eagles presenting an exciting mix of technicality and explosiveness. Metzger, an elder statesman of the team, is coming off a 20-goal season while a strong group of sophomores should keep the train rolling. The Eagles want to attack, but Genge’s presence in net should help keep pressure off a green back line. The Eagles suffered a significant loss when Noah Chapleski, who tallied 19 assists last year, opted to compete for his club team.

 

CENTAURUS WARRIORS

COACH: Ken Eborsole (28th year).

LAST YEAR: 6-6-3; 4-3-1 Northern League.

RETURNING STARTERS: Harain Aldama (Sr., F); Gabe Antunez (Jr., F); Ventura Dominguez (Jr., GK); Hunter Grant (Sr., D); Giovanni Nunez (Sr., D); Carter Reid (Sr., MF); Eric Spangler (Sr., MF).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Fernando Cerceda (Jr., D); Jose Espin (Jr., MF); Chenchar Lee (Jr., MF); Jimmy Nunez (Sr., GK/D); Tanner Syed (Sr., MF).

OUTLOOK: The Warriors are not a big team as far as physical size, but they have skill and quickness to make up for it. Jimmy Nunez is going to start the season in goal, with Dominguez easing his way back into an important role, and Centaurus should benefit from a full season from Syed and Lee. Spangler will help quarterback the team in the tough Northern League.

 

FAIRVIEW KNIGHTS

COACH: Stan Jozwiak (32nd year).

LAST YEAR: 14-4-1; 8-2-1 FRL.

RETURNING STARTERS: Sav Amman (Sr., D); Joel Frykholm (Sr., MF); Connor Kerry (Sr., D); Zac Lokay (Sr., D); Raul Magno (Jr., MF); Alan Scheuermann (Sr., GK).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Robbie Dunn (Sr., F); Sean Miller (Sr., D); Aidan Stout (Sr. MF).

OUTLOOK: After watching his team surge to the Class 5A semis in 2012, Jozwiak said the success of this year’s squad will depend on the chemistry developed among a pretty young group up front. Dunn leads that attacking crew as the senior, with the hopes of support from an experienced midfield. Defensively, the Knights should be one of the best, especially with Scheuermann being a pillar in net the past couple seasons. Fairview must replace the scoring punch left behind by Nick Porter, a junior who will play for the Rapids Development Academy this year.

 

FAITH BAPTIST PIONEERS

COACH: Michael O’Grady (1st year).

RETURNING STARTERS: David Cross (Sr.); Jared Lotz, (Jr.); Branden Smith, (So.); John Wilhelm, (So.).

OUTLOOK: A year ago, O’Grady was in Ireland heading up a youth team to a 33-1 record and a Nations Cup appearance. He is still just getting to know his players, and the four returners to the team may not play the same positions that they’ve been used to, he said. It all depends on where he views the strengths of the players, and he said he has already seen vast improvements among the young group. “I won’t know what to expect until I see them in action,” O’Grady quipped, “but I enjoy working with this group.”

 

FREDERICK WARRIORS

COACH: Nathan Oliver (4th year).

LAST YEAR: 2-13; 2-8 Tri-Valley League.

RETURNING STARTERS: Victor Avalos (So., GK); Jesus Berumen (Sr., MF); Jared Campbell (Jr., MF); Jake Doud (Jr., D); Blake Finn (Sr., D); Jose Rodriguez (Sr., D).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Abel Huerta (So., F); Jonathan Rivera (So., F); David Salazar (So., F); Jestin Wu (So., MF).

OUTLOOK: The Warriors appear to have an improved group so long as they can spread the ball out up front. Huerta and Rivera tied for second on the team in goals last year, and all the now-sophomores played plenty as freshmen. Oliver said he feels the midfield can control the speed of play, a helpful notion for a team that allowed 62 goals in 2012.

 

HOLY FAMILY TIGERS

COACH: Kathy Hogan (2nd year).

LAST YEAR: 12-4-2; 6-2 Class 3A Region 6.

RETURNING STARTERS: Scott Avirett (So., MF); Patrick Borer (Sr., MF); Zach Burk (Sr., MF); Nate Dalton (Sr., F); Paul Elliott (So., D); Christian Guerrero (Jr., F); Robbie Hanley (Sr., GK); Matt O’Hayre (Sr., D); Thomas Rosa (Sr., D); Robbie Wyton (So., GK).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Lorenzo Santi (Sr., D/MF).

OUTLOOK: The Tigers did an excellent job of working the ball to the open man last year, resulting in about three goals a game on average. Borer is a nice centerpiece for the team to play the game around, and a formation change should prove fruitful with Dalton, Guerrero, and Avirett active up front. Santi could be a surprise player to an already stout defense, giving Holy Family deep playoff aspirations.

 

LEGACY LIGHTNING

COACH: Tony Romano (5th year).

LAST YEAR: 4-11; 2-8 FRL.

RETURNING STARTERS: Eric Andrade (Sr., F); Conner Bell (Sr., MF/D); Jonah Cavender (Jr., MF/D); Tate Collison (So., GK); Isaiah Mondragon (Jr., GK).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Ben Dolph (Jr., F); Aaron Hurtado (So., MF); Riley Johnson (So., D).

OUTLOOK: One or two more reliable scorers would have made all the difference in the world for the Lightning in 2012, after losing seven one-goal games. Legacy continues to be on the youthful side, but Romano feels his team is very strong, technically speaking. An abundance of midfielders means some will play back to help buoy the defense, and both goalies return eager to keep their team on the winning side.

 

LONGMONT TROJANS

COACH: Mike DiGiallonardo (1st year).

LAST YEAR: 9-7; 5-3 Northern League.

RETURNING STARTERS: Eric Alvarado (So., D); Romero Arriaga (Sr., MF); Jacob DiGiallonardo (Jr., MF); Nikolai Harroun (Sr., D); Jason Pocalyko (Sr., MF); Kyle Pocalyko (Sr., F); Francisco Razo (Jr., F).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Joel Chavez (Jr., GK); Sander Dieryck (Sr., D); Hector Martinez (Jr., GK); Mario Rivera (Sr., D).

OUTLOOK: Many around the area will recognize DiGiallonardo’s name from club coaching, but he has also been with Longmont for several years, which makes for a smooth transition. The Trojans have some experienced scorers up front, and they are going to like the aggressive offense the new coach wants to employ. If Chavez and Martinez can set themselves up in goal, LHS should be in for a good year out of the Northern.

 

MONARCH COYOTES

COACH: Marcelo Balboa (2nd year).

LAST YEAR: 2-13; 0-10 FRL.

RETURNING STARTERS: David Andrews (Sr., MF); Jason Elzinga (So., D); Zach Langer (So., D).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Christian Barr (Sr., F); Thomas De Faria (So., MF); Greer Hathaway (So., GK).

OUTLOOK: Balboa is looking long-term for the Coyotes, and he admits they will still be in that rebuilding process this season. However, he is excited about the group he has to work with. De Faria comes from Fairview and should help bolster the midfield, but the set of sophomores must build some chemistry to get some league wins.

 

NEDERLAND PANTHERS

COACH: Kevin Hueth (6th year).

LAST YEAR: 1-13; 1-5 Class 3A Region 7.

RETURNING STARTERS: Jake Aguilar (Sr., D); Tucker Carr (So., MF); Sam Churches (Sr., GK); Luke Harrison (Sr., D); Ian Hastings (Sr. F); Diego Lopez (SR., MF); Ashish Malla (Sr., F); Eli Rogers (Sr., F); Japhy Sanchez (Sr., D); Noah Thatcher (Sr., D).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Gunner Kinsey (Sr., MF).

OUTLOOK: The Panthers have their leading scorer back in Malla, fronting a senior-heavy squad looking to finish off their careers on a high note. Nederland is also banking on the athleticism of Churches, whom Hueth said improved tremendously in the offseason. Communication is an asset with this team, and they should be much more competitive as a result.

 

NIWOT COUGARS

COACH: Rob Johnson (4th year).

LAST YEAR: 14-4; 7-1 Northern League.

RETURNING STARTERS: Aldair Cintora (Sr., D); Jack Fitzgerald (Jr., GK); Billy Hoffmann (Jr., F); Nick Oelsner (Sr., GK); Grant Webster (Sr., MF); Danny Witt (Sr.,F); Tougian Xiong (Jr., MF).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Nick Alaverdo (Jr., D); Justin Barkow (So., F).

OUTLOOK: There is stability in the core for the Cougars with a number of players, but so is the situation in general for Johnson in his fourth year. With a pair of returning goalies, and a strong base in the midfield, the Cougars should be knocking on the doorstep of a Northern League title. Webster will get the chance to score more goals, and Hoffman could have a breakout season.

 

PEAK TO PEAK PUMAS

COACH: Peter Chandler (10th year).

LAST YEAR: 9-7-1; 3-4-1 Class 3A Region 6.

RETURNING STARTERS: David Griffith (Sr., Fwd); Ben Pagel (Sr., D); Chris Quinn (Sr., D); Will Swanson (Jr., MF); Chris Thompson (Sr., MF).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Blake Bride (So., F); Nathan Dee (So., MF); Daniel Griffith (So., GK/F); Bailey McMahon (GK); Andrew Peterson (Sr., F); Areeb Rohilla (Fr., MF/F).

OUTLOOK: This year’s squad is looking to follow in the footsteps of the girls’ teams that have won back-to-back state titles, and there is a feeling of optimism around the Pumas’ camp. A lot of players found the net last year, with Griffith’s seven goals leading the squad, and Chandler wants the team to transition faster if possible. Pagel and Quinn form a stout back line tandem in front of two returning goalies.

 

SILVER CREEK RAPTORS

COACH: Shane Smith (3rd year).

LAST YEAR: 5-7-4; 4-2-2 Northern League.

RETURNING STARTERS: Ryan Aragon (Sr., MF); Steven Flores (Sr., MF); Cameron Guzman (Sr., F); Dare Murray (Sr., D); Manuel Steinbach (Sr., F).

OTHERS TO WATCH: Caleb Foster (Sr., GK); Steven Jimenez (Sr., MF); Luis Moreles (Sr., D/MF);

OUTLOOK: Silver Creek is looking to keep a playoff streak alive, and with 11 seniors they should have a good shot. Guzman should stay at or improve on his 14 goals from last year, and the team is strong up the middle with Murray, Flores, and Aragon, too. Steinbach will move up front, and the players making the jump from JV provide some good depth all around.

 

SKYLINE FALCONS

COACH: Luis Chavez (4th year).

LAST YEAR: 9-5-2; 6-3-1 Tri-Valley League.

RETURNING STARTERS: Jesus Aguirre (Sr., GK); Jesus Cervantes (Sr., MF); Ulises Garcia (So., F); Gerardo Meza (Jr., D); Andres Mosqueda (Jr., D); Gustavo Nunez (Jr., MF); Marco Rodriguez (So., F); Alex Seeley (Sr., GK); Irvin Sierra (Jr., D); Cruz Valdez (Jr., F);

OTHERS TO WATCH: Jonathan Flores (So., D); Noah Sanders (Jr., MF); Jonathan Timms (Sr., D).

OUTLOOK: After a couple of first-round playoff losses, the Falcons are primed to break the trend this season. They’ll be getting a lot of scoring from Cervantes and Valdez, who combined for 24 scores in 2012. Good defense starts in net with Aguirre and Seeley both back. Chavez said he hopes the Falcons play with a little bit more of an edge when it comes playoff time, too.

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