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Depth key in LHS boys soccer hopes

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Bruins soccer

By The Staff

 

   

The 2012 boys Bruin soccer team is comprised of upperclassmen with years of experience playing with each other.

This experience should come in handy as they face perhaps one of the toughest Class AAAA regions in the state.

With Spartanburg, Gaffney, Rock Hill, Northwestern and Clover, the Bruins face battle-hardened and experienced programs with long traditions of playing a high level of futbol.

With Ridge View, Sumter, Andrew Jackson, Chester and Buford as non-region foes, the Bruins face a challenging season of many styles of futbol.

“The young men are excited about the prospects of playing these programs and challenging themselves to this type of competition. I am confident that with all of our players healthy we can compete with each of these programs and remain competitive in all matches,” LHS coach Bo Sylvia said. “It has been the goal of the coaching staff to improve each and every year so we can enjoy the beautiful game and make a good account of ourselves. We feel we have the talent to compete this season.

“The biggest hurdle we face is depth at every position. Our underclassmen are excited, but lack the knowledge and experience necessary to keep the level high when one of our starters is out. This is a coaching challenge that we have accepted and continue to work with them each and every night so their progress can be exhibited sooner rather than later.”

The senior class is led by all-region striker Chad Kiser, the Bruins’ 2011 Offensive Player of the Year, midfielder Justin Knight, winger Jesse Zaitz, defenders Kola George, Arnold Roman and Anzelmo Zamora.

“These three defenders have really developed into a solid unit with our senior goalkeeper Matthew Johnston,” Sylvia said.

Johnston received the team’s Coaches Award last spring.

“These young men have done everything we have asked of them. They like each other, hang out together, support each other and have all of the leadership qualities a coach expects from a senior class. They are all committed to excelling in the classroom as well as representing their school in an honorable manner,” Sylvia said. “I like being around them and enjoy the training sessions. There is truly no drama with this group, so it is fun to see how they are improving each week.”

The junior class is led by Jaden Driggers, Kewon Anthony, Austin Snipes, Jonathan Goebel and Colton Crenshaw.

“Jaden is without a doubt one of the best juniors in the region and we will be very disappointed if by the end of the region season his name is not on everyone’s lips as an all-region candidate. Kewon is a remarkable athlete who has stepped up and helped us at a variety of positions in our system. We are very pleased with his commitment to improvement. Jonathan Goebel has really stepped up this season into a more consistent midfield presence. Colton Crenshaw has been a big body in our defense that was needed, and Austin Snipes, at midfield, continues to impress us with their hunger for more knowledge and toughness.”

Our sophomore and freshmen classes are led by Christian Tarque a developing midfielder with a love for the game, Ryan Whitaker at midfielder and Eric Valencia, a striker.

“We are very happy with the work of our junior varsity head coach, Robert Fields, who has developed a group of young players that will make our program proud in the years to come.

“Coach Fields has a young talented group of tenth, ninth, eighth and seventh graders that will provide the varsity program many years of exciting futbol,” Sylvia said. “We are confident this group will blend in nicely with our existing varsity players to provide a strong nucleus in the future.

“We are truly a united staff that crosses over from the boys program to the girls program. It is this unity of coaching that has made our progress possible these past three years in both programs,” Sylvia said. “Coach Alex Tarque has been a great addition to our staff with his years of playing the game and coaching at the highest levels. His commitment to our programs and students has made a deep impact.  When you have all of the coaches on the same page pushing towards the same goals, good things will come about and we are seeing those bear fruit now at all of our levels.”