WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps' 2019-20 Boys Soccer Preview

Posted 12/9/19

The boys soccer season is under way for Northwest Valley high schools. Here are previews, with coaches’ comments, for several local teams:

ESTRELLA FOOTHILLS WOLVES

4A Southwest …

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WEST VALLEY PREPS

West Valley Preps' 2019-20 Boys Soccer Preview

Posted

The boys soccer season is under way for Northwest Valley high schools. Here are previews, with coaches’ comments, for several local teams:

ESTRELLA FOOTHILLS WOLVES

4A Southwest Region
2018-19 Record: 4-10-2 overall, 1-2-1 region
Coach: David Sims (First year as head coach)

What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We have a great group of guys this season. They are unselfish, team players and are buying into the hard work it takes in the off season in order to have a successful season.

What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to gain more experience playing together and also understanding the formation that we will be running to have a successful season. Also, a few key players have some injuries that need to heal up from for us to be at 100 percent.

Who are your team leaders? Some of our vocal leaders include R.J. Rueda, Anthony Lloyd, Zach Keating, and Nav Sing as well as Brennic Beggs, Dylan Duffer, and Caleb Sims with their play on the field.

Who are the newcomers to varsity boys soccer that can make the biggest impact? Travis Warriner is back playing up top for us after a year off.

What are some of the more anticipated games on your schedule? We look forward to all of our upcoming matches, yet teams like Flagstaff, Prescott, Glendale, and Gila Ridge always present a formidable challenge.

GLENDALE PREP GRIFFINS

3A Metro North Region
2018-19 Record:
4-10, 2-4 region
Coach: Joel Burgos (first year as Glendale Prep coach)

How long have you coached soccer? I have coached just about two years.

What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our teams best attribute this season our game IQ. Our team has been extremely focused on changing the dynamics of how high school soccer is played and their understanding of the game has allowed that to flourish.

What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? I believe we need need to become more of a unit. I think that when begin to click on all cylinders we will be on another level.

Who are your team leaders? We have our senior in Cade Cannon that leads the team with authority and passion, and Tyler Page who is our workhorse. They communicate with every and push to everyone to be their best self and that is what a leader does best.

Who are the newcomers to varsity that can make the biggest impact? Our new talent comes from Aiden Daugard. What he lacks in height he makes up in effort and passion. He knows the game well and does everything he can to elevate everyone around him.

What are some of the more anticipated games on your schedule? Our first game of the season against Chandler Prep and the first away game at Scottsdale Prep. This is because the first game sets the tone for the rest of the season. The first away game will show us how to handle adversity when the crowd doesn’t favor us.

IRONWOOD EAGLES

5A Northwest Region
2018-19 Record: 15-2-2, 5-0 region (reached 5A quarterfinals)
Coach: Tim Beck (26th year as Ironwood coach)

How long have you coached soccer? This is my 26th year.

What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We have experience and skill.

What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Team cohesion will need to be improved.

Who are your team leaders? Senior Captains Mathew Holmes, Nate Guzman and Gabe Guerrero

Who are the newcomers to varsity that can make the biggest impact? Ricardo Cardozo and Ernesto Osornio return to varsity after a hiatus for club soccer.

What are some of the more anticipated games on your schedule? We have a very competitive schedule including matches against Independence, Carl Hayden and Sunnyslope.

LIBERTY LIONS

6A Desert Valley Region
2018-19 Record: 11-9-1, 2-3 region (Reached 6A play-in)
Coach: Tyler Hussey (ninth year as Liberty coach)
Top returnees: Brian Richardson, Sr. MF (10 goals, 9 assists); Nick Olcan, Sr. GK (1.158 GAA)

How long have you coached soccer? This is my ninth year coaching at Liberty.

What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Versatility, leadership, speed and balance. Liberty returns a lot of talent with 12 seniors to lead the way. Our top scorer from last year, Brian Richardson, is returning for his senior year looking to add to his impressive high school resume. Jeff Nesbitt, a senior, is returning to the squad after sitting out for two years to focus on club ball. Nesbitt adds a lot of size, speed, and talent to the team.

What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Finishing, capitalizing on set pieces and transition

Who are your team leaders? Brian Richardson, senior, forward; Brendan Judson, sophomore, defender; Ian Eliason, senior, D/MF; Boston Pribyl, senior, midfielder; Justin German, senior, defender; Cade Lemon, senior, striker.

Who are the newcomers to varsity that can make the biggest impact? Matthew Huguez, sophomore, GK; Jacob Hinderliter, sophomore, striker; Kade Ogren, Junior, Striker

What are some of the more anticipated games on your schedule? Cibola (home opener), Sunrise Mountain (rivals), Corona Del Sol (knocked us out last year in playoffs), O’Connor (senior night), Boulder Creek (beat us on our senior night last year) and Pinnacle and Chap (always tough games)

MILLENNIUM TIGERS

5A Desert West Region
2018-19 Record: 4-8-2 overall, 0-1-1 region
Coach: Christopher Gianandrea (First year as Millennium coach)

How long have you coached soccer? I have been coaching 7 years. This is my first year at Millennium.

What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our depth. We have a good mix of youth and experience at all positions.

Who are your team leaders? We are fortunate to have seven seniors and every single one of them are great leaders. A couple that are really taking on the leadership roles are Defender Sean Cunningham and Midfielder James Christensen.

Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? We have quite the sophomore class. I know a few of them were on varsity last year as freshman. A couple that I think can have a big impact for us this year are Sophomore winger Carlos Camacho and Sophomore defender Davis Rubel.

What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to gain more experience playing together and also understanding the formation that we will be running to have a successful season. Also, a few key players have some injuries that need to heal up from for us to be at 100 percent.

What are some of the more anticipated games on your schedule? Our very first game against Centennial (Dec. 6) was highly anticipated for the coaching staff because it is our first with the program. Then once we start region play against Barry Goldwater (Jan. 28) all those games are big games for us. Especially with a tough regular season finale versus Independence on Feb. 10.

MOUNTAIN RIDGE MOUNTAIN LIONS

6A Desert Valley Region
2018-19 Record: 4-13-2 overall, 0-5 region
Coach: Andrew Lang (fifth year)

What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We enter each game ready to fight our hardest and we play hard the full 80 minutes.

Who are your team leaders? Captains Josh Heinz and Liam Engerholm.

What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to be able to control the ball in the middle and create goal scoring opportunities.

Who are newcomers to the varsity squad who could make an impact? New to our team with biggest impact would be sophomore Peter Lauvao and freshmen Cooper Neville.

NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS

3A Northwest Region
2018-19 Record: 18-4-1, 6-0 region (3A state runner up)
Coach: Jeremy Witt (sixth year as Northwest Christian coach)

SHADOW RIDGE STALLIONS

6A Southwest Region
2018-19 Record: 1-13, 0-5 region
Coach: Andrew Engwall (second year as Shadow Ridge coach)
Top returning player: Kyle Frazier, Sr., F, (2 goals)
 
How many years have you coached soccer? Seven years in Europe at the club level. I started out in the nursery, then went to U-11-15 and professional level. My coaching mentors and peers played and coached at the highest levels of European and International football in England, Scotland, Italy, Greece, Serbia, Malta and Brazil, so I have been blessed to learn about the game from a variety of perspectives.
 
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Coaches are trying to teach the boys to embrace and understand their roles, to work hard to earn their spots, and to reinforce the fact that the support of the newly formed (and everyday growing stronger) SRHS Boys Soccer Booster Club can help us make progress. We embrace the mantra that as beautiful as the game can appear, underneath it all, soccer is suffering.  If you’re not willing to suffer, then there may be another sport for you. So far, it’s been unbelievably positive.  Everyone’s willingness to accept this reality as our greatest strength.
 
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? The boys need to understand that the ball is not a bomb.  The idea of punting it out and chasing it is not the way the game is meant to be played. Will we always play out from the back? No.  But, as much as we can, we want to see the boys playing confidently with the ball at their feet, and they need to understand the importance of moving into space and attacking space when the need is there both offensively and defensively.  Our biggest challenge on the coaching side is to figure out how we can identify the best players at each position so as to maximize our program’s short- and long-term success; we’re of the mind that we need competition at every position from junior varsity through the varsity squad. The coaches are constantly evaluating and communicating to figure this out.  We have a strong group thanks to the diligent work of some of our club coaches in the area and the boys take pride in wearing their Benfica FC, CCV FC, Phoenix Rising FC, and Arizona FC shirts. But all the boys need to take a bit more pride in wearing the Shadow Ridge shirt by paying attention to details.
 
Who are your team leaders? Seniors George Gonzalez, AJ Flores Dylan Morrow, Kyle Frazier and Josh Cano are the upperclassmen that have earned the priveledge of wearing the captain’s badge this season. Juniors Yahir Ortega, Ethan Vannucci and Sean Enouen could be called on to lead. Gabriel Engwall and Parker Critchlow are two sophomores that lead by example.
 
Who are the newcomers to varsity that can make the biggest impact? George Gonzalez transferred from California midseason last year. He’s prolific. He’s being recruited by Division 1 and 2 colleges.  He’s a classic 9 but he can play anywhere: he’ got the “it.” He’s smart, hungry, adept, confident, and he’s a dedicated student of game. Other players: AJ Flores, Kyle Frazier and Dylan Morrow are skilled, smart on the ball, and dynamic. Gabe Engwall has shown signs of being a dynamic midfielder that can play almost any position due to his background and experience.  Gabriel was raised and taught the game in Europe, and he has been mentored and coached properly so he is technical and he’s no stranger to competition and pressure at a high level.
 
What are some of the more anticipated games on your schedule? The coaches and boys, frankly everyone, are anticipating the first match versus Skyline; everyone is anxious to see what happens when we kick off.  We want to play well, but in the sense that they played well, we mean, confidently.  The coaches and I try to ask simple questions each training session in order to anticipate tomorrow: Did we compete? Did we move into space when space was there?  Did we show poise with and without the ball? We are a 6A program, so we don’t have the luxury of yesterday and we anticipate that each match is going to be a dog fight. We’re just working as hard as we can to make sure the boys are up for it, and, so far, we’ve got a bit of hope that they’ll be ready.

SUNRISE MOUNTAIN MUSTANGS

 
5A Northwest Region
2018-19 Record: 13-4-2, 2-1-2 region (Reached 5A first round)
Coach: Bob Hossain (eighth year as Sunrise Mountain coach)
Top returnees: Cameron Burns, Sr. F (17 goals, 6 assists); Lorenzo Nicolia, Sr. MF (7 goals, 2 assists)
 
How long have you coached soccer? I have been coaching soccer for more then 20 years. This is my 11th year coaching high school soccer.
 
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? I strongly believe our togetherness and connection that we built this year with each other will take our team one step further this season than last year. I am very hopeful and pleased from what I am seeing from my boys so far.
 
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We just need to believe in ourselves and play as a team this season. I believe we can do that and will see much better soccer and will see more wins.
 
 Who are your team leaders? Lorenzo Nicola, Thaib Abidi and Cameron Burns — My three senior team captains.
Who are the newcomers to varsity that can make the biggest impact? Logan Guertin, Alex  Huzuez, Thaib Abidi, Nicolas Newman and Talon Willeford
 
What are some of the more anticipated games on your schedule? Ironwood, Casteel and Sunnyslope

WILLOW CANYON WILDCATS

5A Desert West Region
2018-19 Record: 4-14-1, 0-4-1 region
Coach: Guillermo Uriarte (second year as Willow Canyon coach)
Top returnee: Koa Patterson, Sr. F (10 goals), Joshua Hubbs, Sr., GK.
 
How many years have you coached soccer? I’ve been coaching soccer now for about 10 years now.
 
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Resilience. The team is definitely on a mission to turn this program around and not let the past dictate its future. So far we are off to a great start, we just scrimmaged a team Nov. 26 that beat us 8-1 last year and we walked away with a 3-0 victory this year and the team looked good doing it.
 
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? To play with confidence, to believe in themselves. The boys soccer program hasn’t been the greatest in the past but we are looking to change that this year and I believe we have the team to do it.
 
Who are your team leaders? Everyone on our team is a leader, everyone is bought in and pushing to get the best out of eachother but the two leaders that stand out among the team are our captains, seniors Koa Patterson (forward) and Joshua Hubbs (goalkeeper). They are the two that are fueling the turnaround in this program.
 
Who are the newcomers to varsity boys soccer that can make the biggest impact? Hayden Diekmann, transfer from Washington state and Ceasar Casterona, a transfer from Valley Vista. And a group of five freshman will be the future of this program — Makua Patterson, Andrew Manore, Angel Esquivel, Bryson Wilke and Tiesen Cudmore.
 
What are some of the more anticipated games on your schedule? We looked forward to our games with the following schools because of the lopsided wins they took on us — Independence, Camelback, Verrado. We are a different team this year and want to return the favor or at least prove the we are a program trending up in the right direction And we want to improve on our 2018 Az Soccer Showcase Tournament second place finish.

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