Spring Sports Preview
Head coach: Kevin Lewis
2008 record: 5-6-1
Returning starters: Did not submit
Other key players/newcomers: Did not submit
Head coach: Danny Klinect
2008 record: 16-5, Class AAAAA semifinals
Returning starters: FW Theo Yang, Sr.; FW Ryan Christopher, Sr.; DEF Chris Goldsmith, Sr; DEF Ben Grassmyer, Jr.; MF Walker Zimmerman, Soph.
Other key players/newcomers: GK Tim Brown, Sr.; DEF Jeremy Kemp, Sr.; MF Matt Nagle, Jr.; MF Daniel Mohsen, Jr.; MF Justin Whitaker, Jr.; MF Stefan Gojic, Jr.
Outlook: With a good portion of the offensive firepower lost to graduation, the Broncos will lean heavily on the creative Yang, an East Tennessee State signee. He is one of only three returning senior starters, a number that was depleted with the loss of Memphis signee Joey Deloney in the preseason. Klinect needs contributions from a strong group of juniors in addition to Zimmerman, who played heavy minutes last season as a freshman.
Team: Central Gwinnett
Head coach: Bryan Allen
2008 record: 9-8, Class AAAAA first round
Returning starters: Ben Tayi, Sr.; Miki Boz, Sr.; Eshmael Kromah, Sr.; Manase Irakoze, Sr.; Steven Bott, Jr.; Archie Toe, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: Jake Dillard, Fr.; Tyler Budd, Fr.; Thomas Wah, Sr.; Cesar Reyna, Sr.
Outlook: The Black Knights were better than their barely above .500 record last season, proving it with a narrow 2-0 loss to eventual state champion Walton in the first round of state.
Head coach: Michael Burrell
2008 record: 14-5-1, Class AAAA second round
Returning starters: GK Kris Alonzo; DEF Chris Jeanfreau; DEF Franklin Cordon; MF Bryan Alonzo; MF Derek Jones; MF Ado Junuzovic; FW Luis Huertas
Outlook: The Falcons move up from 8-AAAA to 8-AAAAA, but they do so with a good core of players back. Leading the way is Huertas, who had 23 goals last season to earn 8-AAAA player of the year honors, and Junuzovic, a top-notch midfielder.
Head coach: Michael Ebel
2008 record: 10-7-1
Returning starters: GK Andy Edwards; FW Austin Clark; FW Davis Selby; DEF Will Jessup; MF/DEF Brian Reulbach; MF Chris Baker; FW Gimel Gordon; MF Colin Holliday
Other key players/newcomers: DEF Josiah Williams; DEF Wesley Snyder; FW Travis Csere
Outlook: Ebel takes over for Scott Luthart, the only boys soccer coach in the Rams' history. He inherits a group with experience and talent, including Wake Forest-bound Gordon. Grayson narrowly missed the playoffs last season.
Head coach: Jean Jacques Gregoire
2008 record: 8-10
Returning starters: Did not submit
Other key players/newcomers: Did not submit
Head coach: Michael Tolmich
2008 record: 14-4-1, Class AAAAA first round
Returning starters: FW Kofi Gyawu, Sr.; DEF Michael Coleman, Sr.; DEF Durham Knight, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: MF Trond Liu, Sr.; GK Jack Falle, Soph.; MF Matt Poteete, Sr.; DEF C.J. Ciarlante, Soph.
Outlook: Only three starters return for the Panthers, who suffered a disappointing upset in the first round of last year's playoffs. But all three of the returnees are high-level players, including Alabama-Birmingham signee Gyawu (17 goals last season) and College of Charleston signee Coleman. Parkview is hoping for a big impact from sophomore goalkeeper Falle, the younger brother of former Panther girls standout and current Georgia Bulldog Marah Falle.
Head coach: Calixte Cambronne
2008 record: 3-11-2
Returning starters: FW/MF Roberto Ortiz, Sr.; DEF/MF Chibueze Ibenacho, Jr.; MF/FW John Luciani, Sr.; DEF Corbyn Nchako, Jr.; GK Anthony Pacifico, Jr.; MF/DEF Toni Trupina, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: MF Ceaser Castillo, Jr.; FW/MF Humberto Hippolito, Sr.; DEF/MF Cooper Davis; MF/FW Cameron McDonald; MF/FW Leroy Jones; MF Alan Orosco, Jr.; MF/FW William Perez, Soph.; DEF Harold Lollar, Jr.; MF Alex Pruit, Jr.
Outlook: Cambronne's first team has 11 players who started or played significant minutes last season, leaving hopes that it can improve on its 2008 record.
Team: South Gwinnett
Head coach: Chris Hambie
2008 record: 6-8-2, Class AAAAA first round
Returning starters: DEF Clay Mersmann, Sr.; DEF Griffin Thomas, Sr.; FW/MF Danny Brainard, Jr.; MF Ben Burghaus, Jr.; MF Saxon Venair, Jr.; FW/MF Andres Gomez, Sr.; FW Sam Hart, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: MF Kamal Azimi, Jr.; MF Reid Folkard, Fr.; FW Oscar Bautista, Fr.; DEF/MF Justin Ramkissoon, Sr.; DEF Stephen Hester, Jr.; MF Josh McKelvey, Jr.; DEF/GK Zane Harmon, Sr.; MF Austin Kempf, Sr.; FW Juan De La Cruz, Fr.; DEF Brandon Boysou, Soph.; FW Paul Tshikaya, Soph.; GK Brandon Hammer, Jr.
Outlook: A repeat of last season's state playoff trip would be nice for the Comets, who have seven returning starters.
Team: Collins Hill
Head coach: Stan Carpenter
2008 record: 18-5, Class AAAAA runner-up
Returning starters: DEF Nicky MacKain, Sr.; FW/DEF Juan Giraldo, Sr.; FW Ricky Ortega, Jr.; MF Dominic Bonilla, Soph.; MF Alex Reyes, Sr.; DEF Johnathan Nelson, Jr.; DEF Brady O'Brien, Jr.; MF Zac Wallingford, Soph.
Other key players/newcomers: FW/MF Malcolm Miller, Jr.; MF/FW Peter Kurowski, Jr.
Outlook: An own goal in the closing minute kept Collins Hill from the Class AAAAA title last season and plenty of talent returns for the Eagles, who have state championship aspirations this season. MacKain anchors the defense while Giraldo and Bonilla are among the team's top offensive threats. Two new additions also give a huge boost - Miller, an all-county player as a freshman who ran track last season, and Kurowski, who was out last year with an injury.
Head coach: Gregg Tavani
2008 record: 10-7
Returning starters: DEF/FW William Rodriguez, Sr.; DEF Agustin Abreu, Sr.; MF Kevin Rodriguez, Jr.; DEF Daniel Espinel, Jr.
Other key players/newcomers: MF Adrian Barrantes, Sr.; GK Daniel Starovasnik, Jr.
Outlook: The Wildcats have been consistently strong over the past 10 seasons and Tavani doesn't expect that to change despite returning only four starters. College prospects Rodriguez and Barrantes lead the way.
Team: Mill Creek
Head coach: Sean Garnett
2008 record: 6-10-1
Returning starters: GK Greg Smith, Sr.; DEF Scotty McDonald, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: Christian Carrera, Sr.; Taylor Scalera, Soph.; Cuyler Kitts, Sr.; Matt Muntean, Jr.; Mason York, Jr.
Outlook: A new-look team hits the field this season for the Hawks, who are rebuilding after huge graduation losses. A pair of seniors, Smith and McDonald, are the team's only returning starters and anchor the defense. Mill Creek does have nine total seniors.
Head coach: Chris Bess
2008 record: 11-7, Class AAAAA first round
Returning starters: FW Kevin Kinney, Jr.; MF Jason Lewter, Jr.; MF Ryan King, Jr.; MF Taylor Krek, Jr.; MF Connor Hawk, Jr.; GK Enrique Miranda, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: DEF Robert Sakamaki, Sr.; FW Kornel Wyszkowski, Jr.; FW Elvis Opoku, Sr.; MF Edward Bravo, Sr.; DEF Luke Kvasnicka, Jr.; MF Alex Hernandez, Jr.
Outlook: The Blue Devils finished as the 7-AAAAA runner-ups before falling in the first round of state last season. Five talented juniors make up the core of the returning starters along with talented goalkeeper Miranda, a Winthrop signee who had a 1.21 goals-against average in 2008. Kinney and Krek combined for 15 goals last season and Lewter had nine assists.
Team: North Gwinnett
Head coach: Erik Crawford
2008 record: 10-7
Returning starters: MF Moises Araya, Jr.; FW Tyler Gutzman, Sr.; MF Roberto Hinojosa, Soph.; DEF Jonathan Mora, Jr.; FW Peter O'Reilly, Jr.; DEF Oscar Pinto, Sr.; DEF Michael Recchia, Sr.; MF Matt Young, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: DEF Laurynas Bileisis, Jr.; MF Nicollas Gomes, Jr.
Outlook: UNC-Wilmington signee Recchia, a four-year starter and two-time captain, and Pinto, a three-year starter, lead a solid defense for the Bulldogs. Gutzman, also a four-year starter, is the team's top offensive threat after a 13-goal, six-assist season. Hinojosa, just a sophomore, is a playmaker in the midfield.
Team: Peachtree Ridge
Head coach: Bill Holleman
2008 record: 12-7, Class AAAAA second round
Returning starters: FW Chris Cook, Soph.; FW Steven Quintero, Sr.; MF Andreas Rodriguez, Soph.; MF Francisco Galaviz, Sr.; MF Isreal Figueroa, Sr.; MF Bayan Vojdani, Sr.; DEF Mathis Fraga, Soph.; DEF Garrett McClurg, Jr.; DEF Alvin Feliciano, Sr.; DEF Adam Schraudenbach, Sr.; DEF Ryan MacGregor, Sr.; GK Tyler Young, Jr.; GK Mitch Kupstas, Soph.
Other key players/newcomers: FW Saudin Garanovic, Sr.; FW George Green, Jr.; MF Juan Herrera, Fr.; DEF Derek Bryant, Soph.; FW Zach Morgan, Jr.; MF Ricky Bowen, Jr.; DEF Parker Young, Jr.
Outlook: Peachtree Ridge made huge strides last season, reaching the second round of the playoffs after winning the 7-AAAAA championship. The lineup is filled with experience players as the Lions seek to go farther this season under Holleman, who adds girls coaching duties this season.
AREA 11-CLASS AA/A
Head coach: Brandon Manders
2008 record: 9-9
Returning starters: FW Shea Kelly, Jr.; MF Gerado Mondragon, Soph.; MF Tony Arroyo, Sr.; MF Steven Tatum, Sr.; DEF Gabino Alanis, Sr.; DEF Mauricio Gomes, Sr.; DEF Pat Guiney, Soph.; DEF Matt Guiney, Jr.; GK Daniel Villafuerte, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: FW Baxter Argo, Fr.; MF Edgar Villafuerte, Fr.; MF Escardo Arroyo, Fr.; GK Rutilo Mondragon, Fr.
Outlook: The Wolves hope to make a playoff push and return to their position as one of the top boys programs in AA/A. Manders brings back plenty of experience to the lineup, which will be bolstered by a talented group of ninth-graders.
Head coach: Thom Jacquet
2008 record: 17-2, Class AA/A quarterfinals
Returning starters: GK John Max Bolling, Sr.; DEF Brian Sullivan, Sr.; DEF Danny Knight, Soph.; DEF Richard Klemm, Sr.; MF Zack Johnson, Sr.; MF Eric Fletcher, Sr.; MF Allen Williams, Sr.; MF Stewart Abrahart, Soph.; FW Aldyn Royes, Sr.; FW Chris Thomas, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: DEF Matt Carothers, Soph.
Outlook: Last season ended in disappointing fashion for the Spartans, who were defending state champions and a state title favorite again before an unlikely upset. The key components from that team return, including Clemson signee Fletcher and Elon signee Thomas, in hopes of returning to the top of AA/A.
Head coach: Todd Henry
2008 record: 10-9-1, Class AA/A semifinals
Returning starters: MF Jonny Mercado, Sr.; DEF Sam Lutz, Sr.; FW Erik Terry, Sr.; FW Brent Hansen, Soph.; DEF/FW Taylor Sykes, Soph.
Other key players/newcomers: FW Keith Kreutzer, Jr.; DEF/FW Stephen Dubbert, Soph.; MF Evan Pruitt, Soph.
Outlook: Mercado, Lutz and Terry anchor the center of the field for the Stars, who lost six seniors from a program that made the Final Four last season and was AA/A runner-up the year before. Four sophomores played key minutes last season and Providence also has a strong freshman class of six talented players.
Head coach: Billy Coxhead
2008 record: 9-5-1
Returning starters: DEF Reed Bennett, Sr.; DEF Alain Monyette, Sr.; MF Greg MacKenzie, Jr.; MF Chris Duvall, Jr.; MF Austin Delk, Jr.; FW Spencer Brown, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: MF Jeffrey Lutton, Fr.
Outlook: The Wolves improved greatly in 2008, finishing third in a tough area that featured state powers GAC and Providence. They hope to build on that this season with a lineup that features two Division I prospects in the midfield in juniors MacKenzie and Duvall.
AREA 16-CLASS AA/A
Head coach: James Greco
2008 record: 3-11
Returning starters: DEF Austin Smith, Sr.; MF Cody Gardner, Jr.; DEF Bobby Foley, Sr.; GK John Foley, Fr.; MF Will Looney, Jr.; FW Josh Manga, Soph.; DEF Aaron Lucas, Jr.; MF Andrew Lucas, Jr.; DEF Ian Cairns, Sr.
Other key players/newcomers: Xavier Railey, Fr.; Austin Pinto, Soph., Kevin Sharpton, Soph.
Outlook: The Lions are looking to get closer to the postseason this spring, and returning nine starters is a boost to those expectations. Hebron has solid veterans but also good talent in its freshman and sophomore classes.