Cavies soccer set to open with new system
By Eric Becker
CARLINVILLE (Aug. 24, 2017) – With no seniors on the roster, the Carlinville boys soccer team will look to 13 juniors for leadership this season.
Carlinville finished 11-10, 7-2 in the South Central Conference in 2016.
The Cavies opened the season at Southwestern Monday (see related story) and will host Plains on Thursday before embarking on its own kickoff classic which starts Saturday at Loveless Park.
“I think we’re ahead of schedule when it comes to getting use to each other,” said Carlinville coach Tim Johnson. “We lost so many last year, and they are bonding very well. At this point, they’re ready to play a real game.”
The Cavies will look to three captains, including Andrew DeNeve in goal, as well as forward Adin Fleisher and midfield Matt Schmidt. All three are juniors.
“We lost eight starters last year but we return 13 juniors,” Johnson said. “It will give us time to grow together.”
Schmidt is a returning first-team all-conference performer. “Everything is going to be run through Matt,” Johnson said. “He has pretty high expectations on his shoulders.”
Fleischer will lead the offense up field.
“They’ve earned their captainship by leading in various ways, by example, some verbal leadership and just by attendance in the offseason,” Johnson said. “They are trying to make everyone better.”
Heading into the new season, the Cavies are adapting to a new system, but Johnson said the team has really bought into the new style.
“It has sparked their interest even more, trying to learn something completely new,” Johnson said. “They’re grasping it really well. We’ll be ready to play, but obviously we’re have more room to grow and learn after that.”
The Cavies played against other area teams in a summer league and saw some good competition. They will see how it all plays out starting with season opener against the team that knocked Carlinville out of regionals last fall in Southwestern.
“I think they want to start a new year on a positive note,” Johnson said. “It’s a busy first week.”
The South Central Conference should again be a solid group of teams, with Hillsboro, Greenville and even Staunton being among the top.
“I think everybody is going to be competitive,” Johnson said of the SCC. “It seems like last year and the year before, all these teams are growing and getting better, which is exciting for our conference.”
The Cavies assistant coach is Jason Crowell, with Jon Reid and Kelly Furness serving as volunteer assistants.
Members of the Carlinville Cavaliers soccer team for 2017, front row, from left, are: Mitch Proctor, Caden Barkley, Devin Van Alstine, Joe Alepra and Carter Mabes. Middle row: Gavin Val Alstine, Brandon Miller, Tucker Green, Matthew Schmidt, Adin Fleischer, T.J. Gosnell, Tucker Jones and Kenneth Alepra. Back row: Head coach Tim Johnson, Andrew DeNeve, Nate Burns, Landon Eades, Trey Gall, Travis Osborn, Michael Douglas, Parker Cummings, Tristen Burns, Matt Reynolds, assistant coach Jon Reid and assistant coach Jason Crowell.