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The 2011 Buford High School soccer team is looking to find the right team chemistry this spring.
The Jackets, who finished as the region runner-up last season in their final season in Class A with a 7-10 record, will look to blend veteran players with a cast of solid newcomers.
The BHS veterans are led by senior captains Justin Sims and fullback John Knight.
Sims and Knight reaped all-region honors last season when Knight also was named winner of the team’s Best Defensive Award.
Junior keeper Matt Ellis, and fullback Jonathan Soliman, a senior, will also be key returnees for the Jackets.
“Sims and Ellis are the lone players who retain their positions all of the time,” BHS coach Allen Rogers said. “All of the rest of the players can be at any position anytime depending upon where they are needed.”
Rogers said integrating seven new players will be key in the Jackets’ hopes.
The players include senior Brady Ramsay, junior Scott Catledge and sophomores Danielle Beard, Brandon Gossman, Cody Rutledge, Donovan Lang and Trey Starnes.
Lang won the Junior Jackets Most Valuable Player Award last season.
“Our keys to the season are that we must play sound defense,” Rogers said.
“How well we challenge will depend entirely on how well our returning and new players integrate and become a true team.”
The Buford High varsity squad also includes seniors Erica Powers and Chris Thomas along with juniors Josh Roach and Tyler Jenkins.
Rogers, assisted by former Yellow Jackets’ player Andrew Riner, said Indian Land is the team to beat in region play.
“As the region winner last season, they are the favorite,” he said.