New season offers promise for area teams
Last year, two area teams advanced to the postseason.
Last year, the area was chock full of senior stars.
Last year is over and 2013 is full of opportunity for new players to make a name for themselves.
Shamokin and Southern Columbia, the playoff qualifiers from last year, lost the most from their squads, but are hopeful they can return to last season's success.
Line Mountain, after qualifying for the playoffs in 2011, took a hit in the form of a 1-17 record.
Lourdes, which had to play several games with a short roster, seems to have gotten back to numbers in the program that will allow the Red Raiders to improve on last year's 1-17 record.
Mount Carmel has been bitten the worst by the roster bug, going through the preseason with just 12 players.
A division by division look at our teams:
The loss of 2012 News-Item Player of the Year Jon Deitrick and the area's leading goal scorer, Matt Gass, along with roleplayers Ryan Rompolski and Theo Deptula, all all-area players their senior year, will no doubt hurt Shamokin.
But the Indians find themselves in a remarkable position with 24 players on the roster.
First-year head coach Brandon Hockenbroch, brother of former head coach Joel Hockenbroch and an assistant for four years under his brother, is excited to get his chance to call the shots.
Brady Haupt and Max Morrison, both part of an eight-man sophomore class, will be looked at to do the scoring. Morrison had two goals, and Haupt one last year.
Mount Carmel notched two nice wins toward the end of last year with victories over Hughesville and Central Columbia, but lost its leading scorers as well.
Nick Troutman and Armando Chami graduated, while Danny Fletcher chose to focus on cross country this season. All three were all-area players.
While the Red Tornadoes look for their scoring punch, Brandon Young, a returner at goalkeeper, gives Mount Carmel an experienced backstop.
"Brandon has improved immensely from last year in terms of aggressiveness and play reading," Mount Carmel head coach Jesse Wagner said.
Southern Columbia has the only returning player from the 2012 all-area team.
Nate Mitchell is back to lead a midfield which was essential in Southern's playoff victory last season. Joining Mitchell in the midfield are fellow returning starters Jacob Trathen and Tyler Keiser.
Seth Joseph also returns after scoring six goals last year, but needs someone to step up and be a second option.
"We are looking to fill a few holes due to graduation on offense and defense, but we should be okay," Southern Columbia head coach Dave Hall said.
Line Mountain experienced a drastic fall last season after making the playoffs in 2011.
But with 11 returning starters, including forward Falconer Walshaw-Wertz, who scored five goals last season, and defender Kaleb Portzline, the Eagles should easily improve this season.
Brent Houser, who missed all of last season with an injury is also back.
"I will be looking to his leadership and work ethic to set the pace for goals this season," Line Mountain head coach Shawn Walshaw-Wertz said.
Lourdes has a roster with 15 players and returns Aaron Greager, who scored twice last season.
The Red Raiders are keeping their expectations close to the vest going into the season.
Head coach: Shawn Walshaw-Wertz
Last year: 1-17
Roster: Seniors - Falconer Walshaw-Wertz, Brent Houser, Kaleb Portzline, Ethan Marquette-Hulsizer, Conner Noblit, Collin Klinger, Dakota Klinger, Andrew Laudenslager. Juniors - Austin Spotts, Luke Bortz. Sophomore - Dylan Latsha.
Outlook: The Eagles are looking for a bounce-back year. After qualifying for the playoffs in 2011, Line Mountain took a step in reverse in 2012. With a strong senior class, led by forward Falconer Walshaw-Wertz and defender Kaleb Portzline, who also traveled to Europe over the off-season to play, Line Mountain should reach its goals.
Head coach: James Sandri.
Last year: 1-17
Roster: Seniors - Anthony Catino, Riley Feese, Aaron Greager, Wyatt Hoffman and Nicholas Taylor. Juniors - William Allen, Luke Holleran and John Klitsch. Sophomores - Nicholas Adams, Vincenzo Bucanelli, Brian Christiana, Alex Holleran and Tommy Nguyen. Freshmen - Jacob Feese and Jarrid Todd.
Outlook: The Red Raiders have more depth this year and that should help them stick with more teams.
Head coach: Jesse Wagner
Last year: 4-14
Roster: Seniors - Jess Hoffman, forward; Brandon Young, goalkeeper. Juniors - Jon Engelke, defense; Jerell Bechtell, defense; Brandon Yuschock, midfield; Chris Stellar, forward; Josh Ashbaugh, defense; Colin Bettleyon, forward. Sophomores - Brandon Dauber, midfield; Kevin Velez, defense; Branden Zacek, midfield. Freshman - Jose Velez, defense.
Outlook: Mount Carmel lost eight senior starters last year, including all-area players Dan Fletcher, Armando Chami and Nick Troutman. Brandon Young returns at goalkeeper and has improved in becoming more aggressive and reading plays better. This will be crucial for the Red Tornadoes if they hope to build on their two HAC wins from last year.
Head coach: Brandon Hockenbroch
Last year: 10-8-1
Roster: Seniors - Joey Collengelo, defense; Noah Rachau, midfield; Andrew Eveland, forward. Juniors - Tyler Candelora, defense; Tevin Gonzalez, midfield; Jarrett Willis, defense; Ronnie Rhoades, defense; Darren Edgick, defense; T.J. Alderson, defense; Zach Moyer, goalkeeper. Sophomores - Josh Cohoon, defense; Corey Houser, defense; Peter Young, forward; Brad Carpenter, defense; Ryan Gass, midfield; Max Morrison, midfield; Brady Haupt, forward; R.J. Gurba, midfield. Freshmen - Alek Washuta, goalkeeper; Cameron Jacoby, midfield; Sammy Deptula, forward; Jarred Rachau, midfield; Vinny Quincy, midfield; Logan Stine, midfield.
Outlook: The Indians lost a lot of talent and leadership from last year's District 4 playoff-qualifying team, but new coach Brandon Hockenbroch likes the core of his team this year. He's been an assistant for the last four years and will rely heavily on a strong defense.
Head coach: Dave Hall
Last year: 10-10
Roster: Seniors - Nate Mitchell, midfield; Alex Scull, midfield/defense; Justin Dancho, midfield/forward; Sunny Sen, midfield; Allen Potter, midfield; Dylan Levan, goalkeeper. Juniors - Jacob Trathen, defense; Seth Joseph, forward; Conner Swank, defense; A.J. McKeaney, midfield; Ryan Matukaitis, defense; Brandon Winter, defense. Sophomores - Tyler Keiser, midfield; Jake Dorey, defense; Nathan Smith, forward; Tyler Tomaschik, forward; Alex Minnick, defense. Freshmen - Noah Brecht, midfield; Dominick Kandrot, forward; Noah Bloom, midfield; Matt Haupt, defense; Zachary Consentino, forward.
Outlook: After losing 3-0 in the District 4 quarterfinals, the Tigers watched a tremendous amount of talent depart because of graduation. But the roster this season in Dave Hall's second year at the helm and that should help ease the transition. Six starters, including three in the midfield, return. Nate Mitchell, the area's lone returning all-star, leads that group.