Boys' soccer: Scouting the city

Bryan Station

Coach: Dan Hacker (ninth season, 32-74-1)

Record: 7-8-1 (lost in first round of districts)

Top players: Andrew Wethall (sr., midfielder); Christian King (sr., sweeper); Jeremy Kline (sr., stopper); Nick Petitfre (jr., forward); Desny Guerier (jr., midfielder); Marisio Garcia (jr., forward); Ross McGoodwin (so., midfielder)

Outlook: The Defenders have more experience and more depth than they've had in quite some time. They also have improved numbers within the program, all the way from the freshman team to varsity. Guerier and Petitfre have shown huge improvement, Hacker said, and could be dangerous weapons for a team that scored just 27 goals last season. It's rare for Station to have so much experience and depth, and it could make them a much better team than in years past.

defenders' Schedule

Aug. 21—Lincoln Co., 6; 23—Sayre, 8; 26—Estill Co., 6; 30—Carroll Co., 1;

Sept. 2—Tates Creek, 8; 4—at Grant Co., 7:30; 9—Scott Co., 8; 13—Lexington/Louisville Challenger vs. Jeffersontown at Tates Creek, 11 a.m.; 16—at Estill Co., 6; 18—Garrard Co., 6; 23—Lafayette, 8; 25—at Henry Clay, 8;

Oct. 1­—at Paul Dunbar, 8; 4­—at Owen Co., 11; 9—Model, 8.

Henry Clay

Coach: Tim Bernardi (third season, 19-21-4)

Record: 12-11-1 (lost in sub-sectionals)

Top players: Jake Hender (sr., defender); Alec Foster (sr., defender); Andy Hoch (sr., defender); Daniel Barr (sr., defender); Jordan Manley (sr. midfielder); Phillip Mabika (sr., midfielder); Phillip Manga (jr., forward).

Outlook: This could be a big year for the Devils, who come into the season rated No. 4 in the pre-season coaches' poll. They return all of their starting defense, with the exception of their goalkeeper. Henry Clay might be able to stop teams, but it could take some time for it to find ways to score after losing Pierre Manga, the leading goal scorer for the past two seasons, and its leading assists man in Logan Matthews. But Bernardi has faith in players like Mabika, Manley and the younger Phillip Manga to create scoring opportunities. So many teams were able to key in on Pierre Manga, but now that the offense is more spread out, it might help the Devils.

blue devils' Schedule

Aug. 19—Fayette Co. Soccer Spectacular at Tates Creek vs. Manual, 8; 21—FCSS at Tates Creek vs. Paul Dunbar, 8; 23— FCSS at Tates Creek vs. Madison Central, 8; 26—at Clark Co., 8; 28—at Sayre, 5:30; 31—vs. Heath, TBA;

Sept. 4—at Woodford Co., 7:30; 11—Scott Co., 8; 13—vs. Butler, TBA; 16—Tates Creek, 8; 20—Kentucky Bank Colonel Classic at Bourbon Co. vs. St. Henry, noon; 23—at Franklin Co., 7:30; 25—Bryan Station, 8;

Oct. 2—Lafayette, 8; 9—Somerset, 7:30.e_SClBLafayette

Coach: Chris Grimm (first season)

Record: 10-7-5 (lost in region finals)

Top players: Vinny Paiva (sr., forward); Michael Lobbo (sr., forward); Nick Deters (sr., defender/midfielder); Max Robinson (so., defender).

Outlook: As they seem to do every year, the Generals lost some top players, including forward Gersham Lobbo and goalkeeper Jacob Stephens, but they also return some key players from a team that surprised many by advancing to the region championship game last season. Paiva, last season's top goal scorer, is back, as is Michael Lobbo, an offensive threat. New coach Grimm said the team's returning offensive weapons, its athleticism and its size are strengths for the Generals. The defense will be making adjustments early in the season, especially without Stephens in goal as the great equalizer. Alex Moody has the big task of replacing the All-State goalie.

GENERALS' Schedule

Aug. 18—Fayette Co. Soccer Spectacular at Tates Creek vs. Oldham Co., 6:15; 20—FCSS at Tates Creek, 8; 23—FCSS at Tates Creek vs. Male, 11:30 a.m.; 29-30­— Purples Classic at Bowling Green, TBA;

Sept. 2-6—Robert's Cup at Lafayette, TBA; 9—at Paul Dunbar, 8; 11—at West Jessamine, 7:30; 13—Lexington/Louisville Challenger at Tates Creek vs. Atherton, 1; 16—at Manual, 7:30; 18—Lexington Catholic, 8; 23—at Bryan Station, 8; 27—at Lexington Christian, 7:30; 30—East Jessamine, 8;

Oct. 2—at Henry Clay, 8; 7—Southwestern, 8; 9—at Highlands, 7.

Lexington Catholic

Coach: Greg Hilvers (first season)

Record: 14-11-1 (lost in state semifinals)

Top players: Patrick Roberts (sr., striker); Tony Schwab (sr., defender); Tony Schneck (sr., defender)

Outlook: The Knights have a lot of question marks going into this season with a new coach, new senior leadership and a lot of young players. But Hilvers has 19 players who are juniors or seniors, and he says that past state tournament experience will be a good motivator for the group. Catholic, which is rated No. 18 (low for Knights standards) in the pre-season poll, will have to find a way to replace three key senior leaders from last year's state semifinalist. Fister was the team's emotional and assists leader. They also lost two longtime midfielders in Evan Maddox and Zack Peffer. Roberts, the team's leading scorer from last season, is back, and Schwab and Schneck should be anchors for what could be a strong defense. Considering its always brutal schedule, Catholic might not have the prettiest record by the end of the season, but they could be strong at the end.

KNIGHTS' Schedule

Aug. 19—at Cincinnati St. Xavier, 7:15; 23—at West Jessamine, 7:30; 26—Lexington Christian, 7:30;

Sept. 2—Paul Dunbar, 8; 4—East Jessamine, 7:30; 9—Lou. Trinity, 7:30; 18—at Lafayette, 8; 20—at Bethlehem, 1; 23—at Cov. Catholic, 6; 25—Manual, 6:30; 30­—at St. Henry, 7:30;

Oct. 4—Donley Classic at Madisonville North Hopkins, TBA; 7—at Oldham Co., 7:30; 11—St. Xavier, 3.e_SClBLexington Christian

Coach: Jim Tussey (first season)

Record: 7-11-2 (lost in first round of districts)

Top players: Dylan Fouts (sr., goalkeeper); Nate Spain (sr., sweeper/forward); Ben Boone (sr., midfielder); Bo Manaco (sr., defender); Josh Braun (sr., midfielder)

Outlook: New coach Tussey, who coached the Woodford County girls to the state finals last season, has inherited a full cupboard with 14 talented, experienced returning seniors and a group of athletic, eager younger players. The coach said many of underclassmen will be competing for minutes. It might take some time for the Eagles to learn Tussey's new system and completely new style of play, but the coach said his players are working hard and want to be successful. Leadership will be the key during the transition period, he said, but with 14 seniors he has to be optimistic even though the No. 20 Eagles are competing in one of the state's toughest districts.

EAGLES' Schedule

Aug. 19—All “A” Classic regional, TBA; 26—at Lexington Catholic, 7:30; 28—Marion Co., 5:30;

Sept. 2—at Kentucky School for the Deaf, 6; 6—at Clark Co., 7:30; 18—Paul Dunbar, 7:30; 20—West Jessamine, noon; 25—East Jessamine, 7:30; 27—Lafayette, 7:30; 30—at Boyle Co., 7:30;

Oct. 2—at Lou. Christian, 6; 6—Franklin Co., 7:30; 9—Montgomery Co., 7:30.

Paul Dunbar

Coach: Todd Bretz (19th season, 294-107-18)

Record: 12-5-2 (lost in first round of districts)

Top players: Alex Riggs (sr., midfielder); Brad Laile (sr., midfielder); Will Potter (sr., defender); Joe Osborn (sr., goalkeeper)

Outlook: As usual, Bretz is looking at the glass as half empty, noting that the Bulldogs have graduated three of their four midfielders, three of their four starting defenders and their leading goal scorer from last season, but the state's coaches still like Dunbar's chances, ranking it No. 8 the in pre-season poll. The team graduated eight starters from last season and it lacks experience in the back (which allowed a region-low 19 goals last year) and in the middle, but the Bulldogs have some young talent that could make them a contender (as usual) by late in the season. Bretz said his team is lacking that “one true attacker” and will need to score opportunistic goals.

BULLDOGS' Schedule

Tues.—Fayette Co. Soccer Spectacular at Tates Creek vs. Madison Central, 6:15; Wed.—FCSS at Tates Creek vs. Henry Clay, 8; Aug. 28­—West Jessamine, 8;

Sept. 2—at Lexington Catholic, 8; 5-6­—Indiana/Kentucky Challenge at Castle, Ind., TBA; 9—Lafayette, 8; 13—vs. Ballard, TBA; 18—at Lexington Christian, 7:30; 23—Berea, 7:30; 25—Bourbon Co., 8;

Oct. 1—Bryan Station, 8; 7—at Woodford Co., 7:30; 9—Tates Creek, 8.e_SClBSayre

Coach: Joe Porter (first season)

Record: 10-7-1 (lost in district semifinals)

Top players: Griffin Miller (so., midfielder); Conrad Banderoff (so., goalkeeper); Henry Martin (jr., defender); Devin Goodnight (jr., midfielder); Dougie Hilliard (sr., forward)

Outlook: The Spartans found some success last season and return a core group of experienced players from that 10-7-1 team. They did graduate longtime starters and anchors Hampton Frazier and Tavis Goodnight, however and will have to fill those holes. Porter says the team, especially its five seniors, is eager to carry over last year's success to this season, but it is struggling with overall team size and depth. Porter is the Spartans' fourth coach in as many seasons so there may be some growing pains as the team learns a new coach and a new system yet again.

SPARTANS' Schedule

Aug. 18—vs. Owen Co. All “A” Classic, 5:30; 23—at Bryan Station, 8; 26—at Tates Creek, 8; 28—Henry Clay, 5:30;

Sept. 2—at Bath Co., 6; 4—Franklin Co., 5:30; 11—Louisville Collegiate, 5:30; 22—at Scott Co., 7:30; 23—at Walton-Verona, 5:30; 26—Boone Co., 5:30; 27—at Harrison Co., 1; 30—Pulaski Co., 5:30;

Oct. 2—Boyle Co., 5:30; 3—at St. Francis, 5:30.

Tates Creek

Coach: Bo Lankster (12th season, 141-76-16 at Tates Creek; 197-130-16 in 17 seasons overall)

Record: 10-7-6 (lost in region finals)

Top players: Zach Whaley (sr., striker); Sherwin Farhoudi (sr., striker); Ulalo Chirwa (sr., midfielder); Tyler VanBussum (sr., defender); Lee Kimbrell (sr., goalkeeper)

Outlook: The Creekers return five starters on offense and will try to build on their success from last season, where they fell in the region championship game. The offensive attack should be multi-dimensional and could keep other teams off balance, Lankster said. The question marks come on defense. The Commodores allowed a region-low 20 goals last season, but return just two starters in the back and have a lot of work to do to shore it up, Lankster said. Having keeper Kimbrell back should help provide some consistency and he could serve as a stabilizer back there as new players learn new roles.

COMMODOREs' Schedule

Aug. 18—Fayette Co. Soccer Spectacular at Tates Creek vs. Male, 8; 20—FCSS at Tates Creek vs. Lafayette, 8; 23—FCSS at Tates Creek vs. Oldham Co., 10 a.m.; 26—Sayre, 8;

Sept. 2—at Bryan Station, 8; 6—at East Jessamine, 7:30; 9—Woodford Co., 8; 13—Lexington/Louisville Challenge at Tates Creek vs. Eastern, 7; 16—at Henry Clay, 8; 18—at Scott Co., 7:30; 19-21—Kentucky Bank Colonel Classic, TBA; 23—at Corbin, 6:30; 30—Madison Central, 8;

Oct. 4—Donley Classic at Madisonville North Hopkins, TBA; 7—Western Hills, 8; 9—at Paul Dunbar, 8.

Jennifer Smith