Soccer Cavies have senior-laden squad in 2018
By Eric Becker
CARLINVILLE (Aug. 23, 2018) – Carlinville boys soccer coach Tim Johnson has a record number of players out for the Cavaliers this season.
A total of 28 players will try and help push the Cavaliers over the next hurdle as far as postseason success is concerned.
The Cavies opened at East Alton-Wood River Monday night. The annual Carlinville Classic kicks off on Saturday at Loveless Park.
“We didn’t lose any starters from last year,” Johnson said. “Only one senior we lost in Rylan Frankford. We’ve picked up quality group of freshman, some of whom will contribute. We have a good group of sophomores and juniors who really stepped up commitment wise this summer.”
The Cavaliers have 12 seniors on the roster this season, along with three juniors, six sophomores and seven freshman.
Nine of the seniors are returning starters.
The offense was spearheaded by Matt Schmidt, whose 20 goals, 31 assists and 51 total points were all school records last year, earning him first-team all-conference. He is a two-time first-team all-conference selection.
Schmidt was also the All-Prairie Player of the Year by the State Journal-Register.
Trey Gall was another first-team all-conference selection.
Nate Burns and Adin Fleischer were second-team all-conference selections.
Andrew DeNeve was a third-team all-conference goalkeeper, with Frankford also a third-team all-conference performer.
Carlinvile will be assisted by Jason Crowell and Dr. Jon Reid this season. Johnson is in his sixth season as head coach, and will also coach the girls team come the spring.
The Cavaliers have had a longer than usual preseason leading up to the first game. A total of 12 practices were held before school started.
“They’ve been working their tails off,” Johnson said. “This is the hardest preseason that I have ever ran. This is the hardest that the guys have ever worked.”
One of the goals is to try and pick up a couple of wins on Saturday during pool play at the Carlinville Classic.
“It’s kind of our kryptonite – the Saturday of kickoff classic,” Johnson said. “In past years, we haven’t been able to put both games together and move on to the championship round. That’s the goal this year to take care of business on Saturday.”
Johnson also wants to put a heavier emphasis on home matches this season.
“We’re really trying to put a high importance on our home games,” Johnson said. “We want to make sure we play our best every day, but especially in front of our home crowd on our home field.”
Expectations heading into each match is to play their best, and Johnson said with that will come a good shot to win the game.
“We’re not going to step on the field this year and feel we are overmatched,” Johnson said. “We’re very deep. We’ll be able to sub a handful of guys. They’re ready to go.”
As far as the conference race, expect another solid season amongst the SCC teams.
Hillsboro and Staunton should have solid seasons. Gillespie/Litchfield is co-oping this year under a new coach, and Greenville should be competitive. Vandalia’s numbers are improving, Roxana is competitive, and Southwestern and Pana also have new coaches.
“The conference as a whole, I think we are going to be very improved,” Johnson said. “I think every team has gotten better, which will help us.”
North Mac Panthers
North Mac heads into the boys soccer season with some key returners and some newcomers to help the Panthers.
Head coach Bryan Lambdin is in his fifth season, assisted by Paul Selhime.
North Mac has five seniors, six juniors, five sophomores and nine freshmen.
“We will have a fast team this year and should have a balanced attack with multiple players of scoring,” said Lambdin. “The team hopes to work hard, be competitive in every game and compete for a regional championship.”
With junior goalie Mathew Crawford recovering from injury, freshmen Austin Dohleman and Josh Buckellew will compete for the goalie spot.
Other top newcomers include freshman midfielder Cole Hatalla and freshman defenseman Riley Flowers.
Key returners include senior midfielder Jerico Butacan, senior forward Marshal Creasy, senior forward Justin Bounds, junior defenseman Luke June, sophomore midfielder Mathew Montgomery and sophomore midfielder Kaedyn Royer.
Lambdin expects Pleasant Plains and Riverton to tough competition within the Sangamo Conference.
The Piasa Birds have a new coach in Tyler Hamilton, assisted by Brenden Schiller and Chris Gushleff.
“This season will be a bit of a rebuilding year,” said Hamilton. “Over half the team is freshmen and sophomores so there will be a lot of learning. I think the biggest goal for this group is to be competitive in every game.”
Key returners include senior goalkeeper Stanley Travino and junior midfielder Johnathan Watson.
“It’s no secret how competitive this conference can be – we know every team is going to be a challenge and we will prepare like it.”
Members of the 2018 Carlinville Cavaliers boys soccer team, front row, from left, are: Brock Goodman, Trieton Park, Gabe Pauline, Levi Yudinsky, Caden Barkley, Garrett Pitchford, Carter Mabes, Gabe Green, Jacob Bray, Devin VanAlstine, Joe Alepra and Mitchel Proctor. Back row: Head coach Tim Johnson, Brandon Miller, Adin Fleischer, Tucker Green, Landon Eades, Trey Gall, Michael Douglas, Andrew DeNeve, Travis Osborn, Tristen Burns, Matthew Reynolds, Matt Schmidt, Kenneth Alepra, Tucker Jones and Nate Burns. Photo by Eric Becker