Coming off an 18-2 season and its first Spring State tournament appearance, the goals for this season remain high but there are still plenty of challenges. First is replacing key pieces of last year’s team. While it is easy to focus on midfielders Gerardo Mendoza, Cole Ours, and Isaiah Swantz, their goals, assists and midfield play, it is proving equally difficult to replace Reggie Borntrager and Mitchell Schmieder, both who anchored the defensive line for two years. This year’s team is facing it’s challenges with optimism and hard work. Returning starters from last years team include, Jacob Boller and Louis Etienne, who both played forward and added to the potent offense. Blake Bontrager fills the goalie position with three years of experience in the net. Kobe Borntrager and Eli Ours return to the back line where they provide a solid base to the defense. Cody Jones the lone returning midfielder has filled in on the back line but has also helped steady the midfield. Other returning players who saw action last year include juniors Drew Blauvelt and Toby Chen, and sophomores John Hughes, Dominic Bouse and Will Kolck. Newcomers to this years team who’ve started and played significant minutes this season include junior Brian (Noche) Maren, and freshmen Jorge Canchola and Noah Miller. With speed and strength up top this year’s team is a potent offensive threat, able to counterattack and to create pressure on the opponents defense. The back like anchored by Borntrager and Ours is coming together as we coaches begin to figure out who plays best in what positions. In goal Bontrager’s experience and confidence help allows the guys in front of him to play with a certain amount of freedom knowing they have Blake behind them. Graduation took a hit on the midfield position so we’ve worked hard at developing field awareness and the ability to better maintain possession of the ball. Like most years the team is a work in progress, one which is showing improvement every week. Truman Shetler and Vince Rhodes-Kaiser, both 2010 graduates, return as assistant coaches.