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Sports

Boys Soccer: Previewing Fenwick, Hinsdale Central, Lyons, Morton and Nazareth

Morton's Jesus Perez clears the ball away from Riverside Brookfield players in Berwyn on Oct. 11 2018.
Morton's Jesus Perez clears the ball away from Riverside Brookfield players in Berwyn on Oct. 11 2018.

The start of the high school boys soccer season begins the drive toward Hoffman Estates for the Class 2A and 3A state finals in November. Here’s the outlook as they start their quest for glory.

Fenwick Friars

Coach: Craig Blazer

2018 record: 7-10-2

Top players

Name Year Position

Jacob Arquette sr. G

Marko Brajkovic sr. G

Jack Powers so. F

Joe Sedlacek sr. D

Teddy Hernandez sr. D

Ari Velliotis jr. F

Dylan Kupiec jr. M

Outlook: Blazer takes over the program after spending 17 years at DePaul. He inherits the rare high school team that has two good goalkeepers in Arquette and Brajkovic. Arquette could play in college. The Friars are looking to improve on last year’s 7-10-2 mark and have 15 returning players, nine of them starters. The defense is expected to be strong, and Powers and Velliotis add punch up front.

Hinsdale Central Red Devils

Coach: Mike Wiggins

2018 record: 17-6

Top players

Name Year Position

Aidan White sr. F

Ethan Turner sr. G

Nathan Goliak sr. G

Ashton Wilson sr. M

Nicholas St. John sr. D

Max Ewing sr. M

Outlook: The defending conference co-champions return their second-leading scorer in White, who had nine goals and five assists last season, plus goalkeepers Turner and Goliak, who combined for 10 shutouts. Most of the rest of the starting lineup will be new, though Becker, a third-year varsity player, started 12 games last year. The schedule will be tough from the get-go as the Red Devils travel to Greencastle, Indiana, to face nationally ranked Peoria Notre Dame and traditional Indiana power North Central at the Tradition Classic.

“As always, we love our kids,” Wiggins said. “They come out every day, work hard, work for each other and compete. We’re excited.”

Lyons Township Lions

Coach: Paul Labbato

2018 record: 17-9

Top players

Name Year Position

Michael Neidermeyer sr. M

Jackson Turner jr. M

Zach Christy sr. D

Tommy Abbs sr. D

Outlook: The Lions are strong in the middle of the field, where they return most of the starters from a 17-9 team that reached the Class 3A supersectionals, losing to eventual state champion Naperville North. Neidermeyer and Turner are the leaders, while Abbs and Christy, who is back after suffering a major injury last season against Glenbard West, solidify the defense. Senior goalkeepers Bradley DeBoer and Gavin Fertitta are back and could split time in the net. Forwards Jake Frasier, Tim Slusarczyk and Max Behm will see larger roles.

“We are very skilled,” Labbato said. “We have many players returning. We need players to step up and become goal scorers.”

Morton Mustangs

Coach: Jim Bageanis

2018 record: 20-2-2

Top players

Name Year Position

Jesus Perez jr. F

Christian Perez jr. M

Saul Juarez sr. D

Yobani Esparza sr. M

Juan Hernandez sr. D

Outlook: The Mustangs are always one of the top teams in the area and this season will be no exception. They have several players who will be fun to watch, led by all-conference and all-sectional performer Jesus Perez, who had 13 goals and 11 assists last year as the Mustangs went 19-3-1 and captured conference and regional titles. Christian Perez, who had 14 goals and seven assists, provides scoring punch, while Esparza contributed six goals and six assists. All-conference pick Juarez leads an otherwise unproven defense.

“I feel we will have a lot of individuals with one-on-one skill that are dangerous offensively,” Bageanis said. “Jesus Perez, Cristian Perez and Edwin Zizumbo will be key offensive players. Defensively, we need to play a few games together to shore things up. We are going to get our back line together and we should improve as the weeks go by.”

Nazareth Roadrunners

Coach: Alex Wilkinson

2018 record: 7-15-2

Top players

Name Year Position

Nick Rozmus sr. GK

Adrian Komperda jr. D

Cole Kosanovich jr. M

Cameron Castilla jr. D

Carter Breslow jr. M

Alex Gamboa so. F

Outlook: Eight starters are back from a 7-15-2 season and are looking to take the next step. Rozmus, who scored 36 on the ACT and is pursuing Division III opportunities, was all-conference and honorable mention all-sectional last year. He and Komperda, a four-year starter at center back, figure to make it difficult for opponents to score. Gamboa led the team in goals as a freshman.

“This year is a big question,” Wilkinson said. “We have a mix of upperclassmen and underclassmen with varsity experience, but it’s just a matter of how much players are willing to step up. We have a top goalkeeper and a four-year varsity center back who keep us in games defensively; we just need players to connect and put the ball in the back of the net. We are excited to see some of our talented young players step up and fill the voids. The boys are hungry to make a run this year.”

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