League and team outlook
Front Range League
Teams and trends: Boulder, Broomfield, Fairview, Fort Collins, Fossil Ridge, Horizon, Legacy, Monarch, Mountain Range, Poudre and Rocky Mountain. Seven of the last nine state championships in Class 5A have come out of the league. Broomfield has won four of them, Boulder two, and Fairview claimed its first title in program history in May. The last six seasons of the league winners, meanwhile, have gone like this: Fairview (2021), Legacy (2019), Fairview (2018), Fort Collins and Boulder (2017), Boulder (2016), Fairview (2015).
Spring 2021 league leaders: Points: Fort Collins’ Oliver Ramirez (39), while former Boulder player Arroll Taekla was second (24); Goals: Ramirez (18); Assists — Fort Collins’ Camden Le (9); Saves: Monarch’s Carter Watson (92).
Numbers game: Fairview and Boulder each led the league at plus-27 in goal differential during the season. Fairview played in a total of 14 games and outscored teams 36-9. Boulder played 12 games and outscored opponents 34-7.
Coach: Hardy Kalisher
The Scorecard: Kalisher has yet again set expectations high for his program as it looks to be “one of the top programs in Colorado” while hoping to compete in the “challenging” FRL. A few months ago, Boulder was the only other team besides Fairview to reach the Class 5A postseason in the Front Range League, and eventually it bowed out in the quarterfinals. Back from that team, junior MF Cameron Gerber is among the best players in the state as he was an CHSAA all-state honorable mention and a BoCoPreps all-region first teamer. GK Evan Sims, meanwhile, will return to net after he also was a first teamer on both lists. Other notable returners include senior D Sam McDiarmid, senior MF Kreitler Payes and senior F Calvin Pielke. Some others to watch out for are senior F Alex Rumph, senior MF Eduardo Castillo, senior D Paddy Hackett, senior F Luke McCraig, senior D Daniel Ramirez and senior D Hayden Miller.
Coach: Jim Davidson
The Scorecard: The Eagles missed qualifying for the condensed postseason months ago. Prior to that, Broomfield had never missed the postseason since Davidson took over in 1997, winning a state-most eight titles, including four since moving to 5A in 2014. This fall, the touted coach said his team is experienced on the defensive side but will have to be creative on the attack to find goals. Back in the mix is CHSAA state and BoCoPreps all-region first-teamer Russell Tuccio, a senior MF. Alongside him is sophomore MF Elijah Smith, and on the backline are returners in seniors David Little, Jake Dunn and Evan Judd. Others to look out for include sophomore F R.J. Underwood, junior F Yosef Nunez and junior D Dylan Duggan.
Coach: Eric Schuler
The Scorecard: Fairview broke the seal and won its first boys soccer title in program history, finishing 13-0-1 this past spring. Gone from that celebrated group are BoCoPreps.com player of the year Sebastien Mazur as well as CHSAA all-state and BoCoPreps first teamers Henrik Helmig and Job Meuleman. Returning is senior Jake Milanski, a sensational midfield talent who is looking to take another step as a player and leader this year. There’s also junior GK Shane Williams, who, as just one example of a stellar sophomore season, stole the spotlight in PKs in a quarterfinal win over Castle View. Others named captain for the team, per Schuler, are Miles Blair, Layne Weeks, Peter Alspaugh and Mckenzie Mazur. For his part, Schuler said he wants to continue to build the program’s tradition around “heartwork” — which per the team site, is the focus on building a team brand “through defined values, intentional actions and authentic relationships.”
Coach: Tony Romano
The Scorecard: Romano is going into his 13th season and will look to continue to pile on more wins after he clinched No. 100 with the program in the spring. As was the fate for a lot of top teams in the state during the pandemic spring season, the Lightning missed the condensed postseason field despite finishing 7-3. The coach said the team returns only four varsity starters from that group, which include senior GK Ryan Nun; senior D Ulises Rodriguez; senior MF and captain Gael Rodriguez; and junior F Cooper Stephens. But expectations are still high. “The 2019 team graduated 10 starters, so some expected us to struggle in 2020, but we did very well,” Romano said. “The low number of returning players will not be used to lower the team’s expectations.” Others to watch include senior MF Scott Croff and sophomore MF Lucas Montera.
Coach: Ryan Brady
The Scorecard: The Coyotes didn’t win a game in the spring, but Brady’s second year in charge comes with higher hopes. Last year, the Coyotes scored only five goals but played close in a number of them inside the vaunted FRL. In fact, they lost by just one goal to league powers Broomfield and Legacy, as well as Mountain Range and Poudre. Returning are junior Sean Kendall, senior Dominic Decaro, junior Patrick Bell and sophomore Leif Anderson. Others to keep an eye out for include Mathew Younce, Danny Bell and William Miles. Monarch, meanwhile, will need to fill the void left by graduated GK Carter Watson, who was named first team in league and in the BoCoPreps all-region in the spring.
5A/4A Northern Colorado Athletic Conference (NCAC)
Teams and trends: Centaurus, Erie, Greeley Central, Greeley West, Holy Family, Longmont, Loveland, Mead, Silver Creek, Skyline, Windsor. The inaugural league champ was Erie, which went a perfect 10-0 in league, and then eventually reached the 4A quarterfinals. Windsor, which finished third behind Silver Creek, went on to win the state championship in 4A.
Spring 2021 league leaders: Points: former Windsor star John Burnett (49) followed by Holy Family’s Jackson Ward (23); Goals: Burnett (20), Erie’s Evan Hutson (10); Assists: Burnett (9); Saves: former Longmont GK Connor Taylor (92).
Numbers game: Silver Creek, one of the two league 5A teams along with Skyline, needed an at-large bid in order to reach the 5A postseason last spring. It went 8-2, but just another oddity of the pandemic, it did not get the invite.
Coach: David Wood
The Scorecard: Wood, who’d been the program’s JV coach the last five seasons, moves into the main seat left by Lee Stanley. After going 2-7-1, the team returns Griffin Meere after he led the Warriors with three goals and an assist in the spring. Junior MF Conrad Haraf is also back and is now in his third year on the varsity squad. “We’re excited to bounce back from a difficult COVID/rebuilding season last spring with a hard-working team,” Wood said. Others to watch are junior MF Alejandro Arellano and sophomore F Max Spear. Wood said Arellano is an excellent distributor and team leader. Spear scored seven goals and had four assists on JV last season.
Coach: Jeff Vigil
The Scorecard: Coming off its most successful season in school history — a trip to the state quarterfinals — Vigil said he’s excited to see what his team can do with a full season and a normal 32-team postseason field. Senior F Evan Hutson, an all-league selection, is back after leading the team with 10 goals. He’s accompanied by frontline mate Zach Crooks, a senior who had four goals and two assists in the spring. Others returning are senior D Xander Fernandez, sophomore D Joey Knoll, sophomore GK Gavin Stanesa, senior D Eric Merchant, senior D James Sorrel, sophomore F Tyler Hoffman, senior MF Connor McGehan, senior MF Dario Hinojosa and junior D Landon Bogg. Others to look out for are D/MF transfers in junior Quinn Barjesteh and senior Kai Gimeno.
Holy Family Tigers
Coach: David Martinez
The Scorecard: The Tigers missed out on the condensed postseason field in the spring but are hoping to get back into the mix with a more normal season slated. Senior F Jackson Ward returns after he led the Tigers in points with nine goals and five assists. During the pandemic year, Ward was a first-team soccer player on BoCoPreps.com’s all-region team and a second teamer for basketball. The Tigers also return senior MF Garrett Havens, junior MF Zach Taylor and junior GK Jack Krueger. Havens, Martinez said, shows up in big moments and has been a consistent threat from the center of the pitch. Taylor was the team’s defensive leader last season, he added, and Krueger helped keep the team in contention with his play in net.
Coach: Andy Callaway
The Scorecard: The Trojans return just three players from a team that went 1-8-1 in the spring. Junior Chris Barron is back after he scored one of the team’s six total goals. Among others to know include seniors Teagan Fregosi, Gavin O’Brien and Bryan Miranda. “We will have a whole new look,” said Callaway as he heads into his fifth season at the helm. “We are hoping to find our chemistry quickly out of the gate and surprise some teams this season.” Last season finished on a high for Longmont as it beat Centaurus in overtime in the regular-season finale.
Coach: Shane Adler
The Scorecard: The Mavs, after going 4-5-1 in the spring, are excited about what lies ahead in the fall. Said Adler: “We look forward to being on the field together again and continue to build and represent our school and community. We have a large group of upperclassmen and strong leadership excited to see what the season brings.” One key returner is junior D Brody Foote, who was named to the all-league list in the spring. Others back are senior D/CF AJ Rusk, senior MF Erik Torrez, senior D Winston Sears, senior D/MF Josh Kurtz, junior MF Mateo Gonzaga, sophomore MF Logan Knight and sophomore GK Jordan Lohr. The Mavs were led by their defense last season, allowing just 11 goals while scoring just 10. Others to watch are junior MF/D Cam Rusk, junior CF Tavon Underwood and sophomore MF/CF Dalton Berg.
Silver Creek Raptors
Coach: Rob Johnson
The Scorecard: The Raptors had a nice resumé in the spring, winning eight of their 10 games with the two losses coming to league champ Erie and state champ Windsor. But with the league not getting an automatic qualifier for 5A, and the playoff field shrunk to 16 teams, that’s where their season ended. This year, Johnson said he hopes to have a normal season. “Compete,” he said, “and make the playoffs.” Back in the mix are all-league players Andrew Van Ens, a senior CM who had four goals and seven assists last spring, and EJ Davis, a senior F who led the team with eight goals. Other returnees include junior D Grant Gaddis, sophomore MF Fabrizio Giovenzana, sophomore F Kael Pacaro, sophomore D Ryder Nicolaus and senior F Dalmiro Naveira. Others to watch are senior D Ben Hyman as well as junior middies Brody Frankowski and Neruda King.
Coach: Luis Chavez
The Scorecard: Skyline heads into its second year in 5A, finishing 2-6-2 in its first. Chavez, in his 11th season at the helm, returns senior GK Ethan Stoner, who helped contain offenses as the Falcons allowed just 18 goals. He is joined by senior MF/F Alex Meza, who scored twice last spring, one of two players on the team with multiple goals. Also back is senior utility Alan Castro, senior MF/F Cameron Piggot, senior MF Jackson Tropf, junior utility Jake Cook, junior D/MF Joshua Kalisher, junior D/MF Cesar Garcia, senior D/MF Owen Roberts, sophomore utility Emanuel Bustos and senior utility Adrian Mendez. Said Chavez: “Our goal is to continue to work as hard as we can, to promote and maintain a good, strong, and positive mindset to remain as calm, composed, and positive as possible to not lose focus while facing the upcoming challenges presented to us this second year in 4A/5A.”
Class 4A/3A Longs Peak League
Teams and trends: Berthoud, Fort Morgan, Frederick, Mountain View, Niwot, Northridge, Riverdale Ridge, Roosevelt, Severance, Thompson Valley. Niwot won the league, finishing a perfect 9-0 while outscoring league foes 62-4. Frederick, Northridge and Thompson Valley all finished with two losses in league.
2021 league leaders: Frederick’s Zane Doehring led in points (53), goals (20) and assists (13). Saves: former Roosevelt keeper Seth Witherspoon (95).
Numbers game: Doehring, Frederick’s star scorer, led 4A with 20 goals alongside former Windsor player John Burnett. Meanwhile, he was all alone in first in points with 53 as he led Frederick to its first postseason appearance in boys soccer.
Frederick High School
Coach: J Doehring
The Scorecard: Frederick reached the postseason for the first time in program history in the spring. Now eyes are on a follow-up trip. At its arsenal is stud playmaker Zane Doehring, who led the classification in points (53) and goals (20) in the spring. He scored in 10 of 11 games and had six multi-goal games. Elsewhere, Frederick graduated key contributors in John Livingston and Wyatt Schroth, but it does bring back a shining sophomore in Michia Paice, who had nine goals and six assists in the spring, as well as GK Kael Rundquist. Other key returners include senior MF Chris Serrano, sophomore D Cullen Aasmundstad, sophomore D Jimmy Prado and junior MF Brandon Hernandez. Said coach Doehring: “We have been knocking on the door for the past few years, so hopefully we can stay in the hunt to get back to the playoffs and be successful.”
Coach: Stephen Dimit
The Scorecard: Niwot came oh-so close to reaching the 4A state finals, but dropped its semifinal to eventual 4A champ Windsor. “After graduating one of our strongest senior classes in recent years, this young team is focused on moving forward and creating their own identity,” Dimit, the sixth-year Niwot coach, said. Adding, “the team aims to repeat as league champions and make a return to the state tournament.” Among the losses are former standouts Aiden Martin, Ismael Dominguez and, of course, the engine, Keegan Stobbe. They do return senior F Azael Marrufo, who scored a team-best 11 times last spring, and joining him is senior frontline mate Jake Elston, who had seven assists. Others back are senior D Mason Wright, senior D Charlie Ingraham, senior F Kaiden Waterman, senior MF Finlay Burns and senior F Julian Biscaldi. Others to watch include sophomore MF Jett Feiner, junior MF Orlando Lopez and sophomore MF Bo Gardner.
Teams and trends: Bishop Machebeuf, Colorado Academy, Faith Christian, Jefferson Academy, Kent Denver, Lutheran, Manual, Peak to Peak, Prospect Ridge Academy, SkyView Academy, Stargate School. Colorado Academy won the league last year, going 9-0. In the previous six years, Kent Denver had won five league titles while Jefferson Academy won it in 2017.
Spring 2021 league leaders: Former Colorado Academy player Nick Maffei had 14 goals and 34 points; Assists: CA grad Luke Wharton (9): Saves: CA’s Charlie Westfall (57).
Numbers game: Jefferson Academy, ranked eighth in the preseason 3A coaches poll by CHSAANow.com, has reached the postseason eight years in a row.
Jefferson Academy Jaguars
Coach: Matt Cassell
The Scorecard: The Jags finished third in the league and qualified for the 3A postseason, eventually falling to Liberty Common in the opening round. Chrisly Kelly, a now-junior, scored a team-leading eight times and had a team-best 17 points while leading the team to a 5-2-3 record. Also back is Drew Smith, Jeremiah Davis, Jonah Elstad and Andrew Bauer. Last spring, a total of 11 players scored for Jefferson Academy and 15 recorded a point as it outscored teams 31-18. Next, the Jags are looking to make it nine straight playoff appearances.
Peak to Peak Pumas
Coach: James Wagenschutz
The Scorecard: Wagenshutz, a former assistant coach at Regis University and Colorado College, heads into his second year with the Pumas. In his first, he turned the program around from a 6-10 team to 5-3. It included a 1-0 win over Kent Denver, the program’s first win over the Sun Devils since September of 2010. Now, “with an influx of seniors coming back out to play, the team has a renewed sense of comradery, purpose and energy.” Returning are senior CM Luke Crotty, junior F Ian Faussett, senior D Idean Zarei and senior CM Samuel Thengvall. Others to watch include F Daniel Estoll, sophomore CM Jorden Gyaltsen and senior CM Caden Gundrum.
Prospect Ridge Miners
Coach: Todd Schoeder
The Scorecard: The Miners, 2-6-1 in the spring, have some interesting pieces back. Senior GK Andrew Cuss owns a career goals-against average of 2.249. Senior F Caleb Perruzza was an all-league honorable mention after leading the team with six goals in the spring. Senior D Griffin Hill returns from an injury that forced him to sit out last season. Other defenders back are sophomore Josh Carrasco, as well as senior Matt Poshusta, who is the “anchor that sets the tone for the team”, his coach said. As an outlook, Schoeder said: “With an experienced roster of eight seniors and six other returning varsity players, we are looking at a solid year culminating in a state playoff bid.” Others to watch include senior MF Tristen Zeidman, sophomore MF Parker Brown and junior F Jack Haynes, who had a school record seven goals as a freshman in 2019.
Mile High West League
Teams and trends: Campion Academy, Dawson School, Heritage Christian, Loveland Classical, Nederland, Union Colony Prep. In its first year as a league, Loveland Classical won all four of its league games to claim the crown. Dawson played three games in league, going 2-1, good for second.
Spring 2021 league leaders: Former Loveland Classical player Joe Neville led in points (29) and goals (13); Assists: Heritage Christian’s Jayden Taylor (seven) followed by former Dawson standout Jonas Ricke (six); Saves: Union Colony’s Richard Mata (78).
Numbers game: Dawson outscored teams 29-5 in its six wins. It its three losses and a draw, it was outscored 10-0.
Coach: John Welsch
The Scorecard: David Criswell, who led the Mustangs to the state finals in 2019, then to the semifinals in the spring, moved to Illinois. In his place, Welsch takes over a team that graduated eight seniors, including Sam Freedman and Jonas Ricke who are now playing in college. Second-year captain Nick Knobel will lead the team after he posted 10 goals and two assists in the spring. He currently has 40 goals and seven assists in his career. Other returnees include senior Jovian Borek, junior Jase Heinrichs, junior Oliver Keeley, senior Ben Raposo, senior Fin Drapkin, junior Mateo Oosthuizen, junior Badri Damerla, sophomore Guillermo DeHerrera, sophomore Mike Knobel, sophomore Eduardo Góes Hees, sophomore Jack Wixson, sophomore Nathan Duckett and sophomore Eddie Alberto Cordero-Munoz.
Coach: Luis Gonzalez
The Scorecard: The Panthers are still in the process of rebuilding their program after it went without a team for three seasons before returning in 2018. In their first year back, they won three games. Then over the last two seasons, they largely struggled, dropping all 19 on schedule. The team returns junior MF/F Beshal Malla, who had two goals last year, and it is excited about junior F Max Godsil and senior D/MF Zachary Weiner.
Cream of the crop: 2021 BoCoPreps.com All-region team
First Team (Name, 2021 class, school)
Zane Doehring, Jr., Frederick; Evan Hutson, Jr., Erie; Aidan Martin, Sr., Niwot; Arroll Taekla, Sr., Boulder; Russell Tuccio, Jr., Broomfield; Jackson Ward, Jr., Holy Family; Sam Freedman, Sr., Dawson; Cameron Gerber, So., Boulder; Zane Jacobson, Sr., Broomfield; Sebastien Mazur, Sr., Fairview; Jake Milanski, Jr. Fairview; Max Reder, Sr., Legacy; Henrik Helmig, Sr., Fairview; John Rosa, Sr., Silver Creek; Job Meuleman, Sr., Fairview; Keegan Stobbe, Sr., Niwot; Evan Sims, Jr., Boulder; Carter Watson, Sr., Monarch.
Alejandro Arellano, So., Centaurus; Gavin Bhan, Sr., Legacy; Miles Blair, Jr., Fairview; Jose Bucio, Sr., Legacy; Justus Carter, Sr., Fairview; Diego Cordero, Sr., Mead; Michael Crotty, Sr., Peak to Peak; EJ Davis, Jr., Silver Creek; Ismael Dominguez, Sr., Niwot; Oliver English, Sr., Boulder; Brody Foote, So., Mead; Tony Garcia, Sr., Frederick; Connor Grant, Sr., Niwot; Conrad Haraf, So., Centaurus; John-Luc Harbour, Sr., Broomfield; Garrett Havens, Jr., Holy Family; Gael Hernandez, Jr., Legacy; JT Higgins, Sr., Skyline; Tristan Hird, Sr., Fairview; Garrett Jackson, Sr., Peak to Peak; Louis Kehoe, Sr., Fairview; Chrisly Kelly, So., Jefferson Academy; Nick Knobel, Jr., Dawson; Carter Kruse, Sr., Niwot; Ethan Livingston, Sr., Jefferson Academy; Justin Livingston, Sr., Frederick; Cole Manuel, Sr., Erie; Jack Marin, Sr., Legacy; Azael Marrufo, Jr., Niwot; Dylan McIntosh, Sr., Holy Family; Joe Murtagh, Sr., Skyline; Blake Nemeth, Sr., Erie; Kiernan Opp, Sr., Holy Family; Kreitler Payes, Jr., Boulder; Caleb Perruzza, Jr., Prospect Ridge; Jonas Ricke, Sr., Dawson; Ulises Rodriguez, Jr., Legacy; Andrew Sanchez, Sr., Legacy; Wyatt Schroth, Sr., Frederick; Connor Taylor, Sr., Longmont; Andrew Van Ens, Jr., Silver Creek; Jorden Wehrly, Sr., Legacy; Zach Weiner, Nederland.