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Boys Preseason Preview         

By Aaron Brown




2012 Boys Season Preview


The 2011 season wrapped up with Fenwick claiming their eighth straight state title after a 15-9 title game win over St Ignatius. Can the Friars make it nine in a row? Or will one of several familiar challengers stake their claim to the state championship this season?


With the season officially underway, let's take a closer look at some of the top teams in the state of Illinois on the boys' side in 2012:



Matt Farmer and Viken Huening return to lead the Friars in their quest for a ninth straight title. Even with the loss of four starters, the defending champions have the depth and talent to pick up where they left off and are once again the team to beat in 2012. Dan Kelly, Rich Mueller, and Tom Osmolak will be expected to pick up the scoring slack on the offensive end, Matt Bresnahan will likely play a much larger role as a potential starter, and goalie Tommy McGuire will be counted on to spearhead Fenwick on the defensive end.


Head Coach: Kyle Perry

Top Returnees: Matt Farmer, Viken Huening, Rich Mueller, Dan Kelly, Matt Bresnahan, Tom Osmolak

Goalkeeper: Tommy McGuire

Final 2011 Ranking: 1st


The Lions seek their second straight state tournament berth behind the
offensive firepower of Kovas Zygas and Joe Shannon and a well-balanced mix of players ready to make an immediate impact. Chris Sekula takes over in goal, while head coach Doug Eichstaedt has a large number of fresh faces that could play valuable minutes in the team's quest to defend their sectional title and challenge for the state's top spot.


Head Coach: Doug Eichstaedt

Top Players: Kovas Zygas, Joe Shannon, Danny McGuinness, Josh Hirt, Peter Dore, Sean McMahon

Goalkeeper: Chris Sekula

Final 2011 Ranking: 3rd


Sandburg will look to better their fourth-place performance at the state tourney in 2011, and they just may have the returning cast of players to do it. Matt Veldman leads the way for the offense, while the rest of the lineup is loaded with both solid attacking and defensive-minded players that got a ton of experience during the team's strong postseason run. If they can replace their leading scorer and goalie, they might be one of the main threats to Fenwick's postseason dominance.


Head Coach: Jim Caliendo

Top Players: Matt Veldman, Anthony Bonnar, Stephen Zieler, Lucas Krull, Mike O'Malley, Austin Corradino

Goalkeeper: Dakota Legge

Final 2011 Ranking: 5th


Mike Mulcrone and company will be on a mission to get the Crusaders back to the state tournament after missing out in 2011. The versatile senior will be joined by talented playmakers like Kevin Mayer and Dave Jackson and can never be counted out as title contenders in both the Catholic League and the state of Illinois.


Head Coach: Bill Mulcrone

Top Players: Mike Mulcrone, Kevin Mayer, Dave Jackson, Matt Becker, Mike Omastiak, Nate Mrozek

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2011 Ranking: 7th


The Ramblers will look to continue their momentum after their impressive third-place finish at last year's state tournament. They won't sneak up on anyone this year, but they return the majority of their starting lineup and should be primed and ready to go when they kick off their season at Fenwick on opening night.


Head Coach: Dan Hengelmann

Top Players: Charlie Dowdle, Brendan Hulseman, Jordan Hodur, Tim Netzel, Erik Goosmann, Brian Pinelli

.                   Danny Stauder, Jack Considine

Goalkeeper: Robbie O'Connor

Final 2011 Ranking: 4th


The Romans are primed and ready for their best season since they last qualifyied for the state tourney in 2006. The trio of Eddie Wickes, Jacob Himmel, and James Ruggiero will likely provide the bulk of the scoring for a team that just narrowly missed out on a sectional title to St Ignatius last May.


Head Coach: Noah Himmel

Top Players: Jacob Himmel, Eddie Wickes, James Ruggiero, Parker Wilkie

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2011 Ranking: 11th


Eduardo Chavez and Ramiro Almarez can cause nightmares for opposing defenses, so the senior duo will be looking to help lead Curie to their best-ever season and a possible state tournament berth in 2012. The Condors bowed out of the LT Sectional in the semifinals last season, but they might just be the team no one wants to face wherever they play during the postseason this time around.


Head Coach: Omar Vasquez

Top Players: Eduardo Chavez, Ramiro Almarez, Ari Franco, Marcos Hernandez, Jaime Lopez, Ivan Ariza

Goalkeeper: Daniel Pantoja

Final 2011 Ranking: 15th


The Huskies are team on the rise in 2012 as they seek their first state tournament bid since 2007. Aaron Katz, Eric Curia, and Jacob Thompson should provide the bulk of the scoring, while a trio of sophomores that includes Luke Landiak, Nolan Roberts, and Gianmarco Duin could be the type of difference-makers head coach John Blumthal needs to fend off rivals like Naperville Central, Neuqua, and Waubonsie.


Head Coach: John Blumthal

Top Players: Aaron Katz, Eric Curia, Jacob Thompson, Luke Landiak, Nolan Roberts, Gianmarco Duin

Goalkeeper: Michael Shabel

Final 2011 Ranking: 13th


The Redhawks will look to rebuild and compete for a state tournament berth at the same time this year, They will have plenty of new faces in the starting lineup and will have to compete with a resurgent Naperville North and Neuqua Valley, but the likes of Dennis Herron, Matt Reasons, and new goalie Matt Prestinario could have the Redhawks back on top of the Naperville-area by season's end.


Head Coach: Bill Salentine

Top Players: Dennis Herron, Matt Reasons, Kyle Stablein, Neal Hosper, Josh Arneson, TJ Johnson

Goalkeeper: Matt Prestinario

Final 2011 Ranking: 6th


The Wolfpack will need to replace several talented starters and head coach Brian Drumm before they can think about a return to the state tournament, but former assistant Luis Martinez has the likes of Brayden Amendola and Jaime Juarez ready to pick up the scoring slack and several new faces who are eager to make an impact after waiting for their chance to shine last season.


Head Coach: Luis Martinez

Top Players: Brayden Amendola, Jamie Juarez, Bradley Mueller, Angus Tam, Max Enger, Joe Imburgia

Goalkeeper: Tym Zymon

Final 2011 Ranking: 2nd


The Warriors lost a handful of experience from last season's state team, but Dylan Clohessy, Tim Briscoe, and Lucas Matthys will look to make it four straight state tournament berths in 2012. An always solid defensive team just might have the strength to overcome whatever opposition they face in whatever sectional they are assigned to at season's end.


Head Coach: Craig Fowles

Top Players: Dylan Clohessy, Tim Briscoe, Lucas Matthys, Joe Peck, Robby Schwertdfeger

Goalkeeper: Wyatt Schroeder

Final 2011 Ranking: 8th


The Huskies will look to bounce back from a topsy-turvy and injury-plagued season under new head coach John Rapp. Troy Williams leads the way on offense, while the likes of Mark Hallman, Nate Pimental, and goalie Sean Obrecht will be counted on to help the Huskies compete for top honors in the West Suburban Conference and at sectionals.


Head Coach: John Rapp

Top Players: Troy Williams, Mark Hallman, Nate Pimental, Kyle Patnode, Dylan Reynolds

Goalkeeper: Sean Obrecht

Final 2011 Ranking: 12th


The Trevians return the bulk of a lineup that came up just short of a state berth against Loyola in last year's GBN sectional final. Jordan Palmer leads a well-balanced offense that always has several options in both the starting lineup and off the bench. Meanwhile, John Friesen will step into the starter's role in goal after NT lost two goalies to graduation from the previous season.


Head Coach: Dave Goodspeed

Top Players: Jordan Palmer, Nate Urban, Jacob Dray, Joey Ryan, Max Krueger

Goalkeeper: John Friesen

Final 2011 Ranking: 14th


The Vikings might have more questions than answers at the start of the season after losing a ton of talent to graduation, but head coach Tim Caldwell always seems to get the maximum out of whatever players return from year to year. He will likely count on Kevin Kuchta to lead the way offensively, while Henry Weeks and Zach Peterson will be expected to play even bigger roles in 2012.


Head Coach: Tim Caldwell

Top Players: Kevin Kuchta, Henry Weeks, Zach Peterson, Nick Thiros

Goalkeeper: Jakoby McClellan

Final 2011 Ranking: 9th


The Titans should be right back in the mix to compete with the likes of Loyola and New Trier when it comes to the postseason, as they feature one of the top goalies in the state (Tom Meyer) and a prolific scorer in JJ Connor. The lineup should also get a boost from the emergence of junior Bob Meyer and the experience of several returning seniors from a team that narrowly lost to Loyola in the sectional semifinals.


Head Coach: Dave Lieberman

Top Players: JJ Connor, Bob Meyer, Eric Dembski, Adam Vevang, Ron Feingold, Ryan Hianik

Goalkeeper: Tom Meyer

Final 2011 Ranking: 20th


The Wildcats return a blend of talent and experience that could be a major threat to the Naperville-area teams by season's end. The team will have to bounce back from an up-and-down season in 2011, but they do have the type of balance needed to win with Kevin Patterson, Robert Vechiola, and Will Russell leading the charge for first-year head coach Adam Hoffer.


Head Coach: Adam Hoffer

Top Players: Kevin Patterson, Robert Vechiola, Brian DuPuy, Will Russell, Simon Shatinski, C. Lockridge

Goalkeeper: Eric Stahl

Final 2011 Ranking: 17th


The Mustangs will likely face a handful of challenges in the early part of the season after losing a large portion of their starting lineup, but expect Matt Marcotte, Max Goin, and goalie Jakub Sierzputowski to make Mundelein a dangerous opponent as always when the postseason rolls around.


Head Coach: Rahul Sethna

Top Players: Matt Marcotte, Max Goin, Art Kasemets, Jason Begrowicz, Luke Speer, Jason Rehor

Goalkeeper: Jakub Sierzputowski

Final 2011 Ranking: 19th


The Chargers were solid and consistent throughout the entire 2011 season, so expect more of the same from head coach Wes Gonzalez' squad in 2012. The team will have to make up for the loss of the bulk of their scoring, but Juan Valdez, Brandon Hadhazy, and Spencer Krivanec should form a dangerous trio that will be tough to stop. Austin Temple returns in goal, while the team also has a handful of seniors who could play a much larger role in their final season.


Head Coach: Wes Gonzalez

Top Players: Juan Valdez, Brandon Hadhazy, Spencer Krivanec, Pat McHale

Goalkeeper: Austin Temple

Final 2011 Ranking: 18th


Are the Cougars the early favorites in the Mid-Suburban League race? If their 2011 postseason form, offseason work, and swim team performance is anything to judge by, Conant could be the team to beat in the Northwest Suburbs in 2012. The team is balanced on both ends of the pool and might even be a darkhorse to cause some damage at the state tournament if they can claim a sectional title.


Head Coach: Tim Daniel

Top Players: Brandon Grzegorek, Alan Wojciechowski, Devin Schmitz, Jonathon Burke

Goalkeeper: Ryan Haman

Final 2011 Ranking: 24th


Joe Poletto and Mike McWhirter both return to lead the Warriors in what new head coach Matt Niemeier hopes will be a much more consistent season for the squad in his first year at the helm. The key for Waubonsie will be blending their talent together and finding the right balance in the starting lineup to compete with the Naperville-area teams throughout the season. If they can do that, they could be right back in the mix when the postseason rolls around.


Head Coach: Matt Niemeier

Top Players: Mike McWhirter, Joe Poletto, Stephen Ernst, Eric Martina, Kelvin Newton

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2011 Ranking: 31st


The Saxons will have their work cut out for them if they hope to return to state in 2012, as they lost five starters and their head coach from last year's sectional title-winning team. With 100+ goalscorer Randy Carr back in the fold and several other players ready to step into the starting lineup, new head coach Brian Ragano should have his squad ready to compete for MSL honors and a state berth once again this year.


Head Coach: Brian Ragano

Top Players: Randy Carr, Marty Kwiatkowski, Eric Heitman, Matt McMullen

Goalkeeper: Robert Bach

Final 2011 Ranking: 16th


The Patriots are on the rise again in 2012, as a young and hungry team took some bumps and bruises and gained valuable experience last year and should return to prominence this season. Robbie O'Brien is a highly talented goalkeeper who should keep plenty of opponents in single-digits, while the likes of Alex Shkiler and Kyle Plotsky should lead the way on the offensive end for Sean Wimer's squad.


Head Coach: Sean Wimer

Top Players: Alex Shkiler, Evan Woodward, Hasan Khan, Mitchell Sokolsky, Kyle Plotsky, Taylor Baretz

Goalkeeper: Robbie O'Brien

Final 2011 Ranking: 35th


Jon Gutierrez and Jack Smollen lead a solid group of seniors with an abundance of experience that should make the Shamrocks a difficult challenge for any team they face this season. Luke O'Callaghan returns in goal for Pats, while head coach Marty Gibson will look to younger players like Greg Johnson to provide them with the depth necessary to compete in the Catholic League.


Head Coach: Marty Gibson

Top Players: Jon Gutierrez, Jack Smollen, Stefan Nyholm, Luis Plascencia, Greg Johnson

Goalkeeper: Luke O'Callaghan

Final 2011 Ranking: 26th


The Red Devils make the jump into the Top 25 after a strong showing towards the end of 2011. Even with the loss of five starters, head coach Martin Bell should be able to count on the scoring prowess of George Koulouris and a cast of young talent that should continuously improve throughout the season and make another strong run at the end of the year.


Head Coach: Martin Bell

Top Players: George Koulouris, Alex Cruz, Drake Kinney, Pat Gallagher, Brogan O'Daugherty, Dan Ciciora

Goalkeeper: Mitch Courtney

Final 2011 Ranking: 27th


The Porters seem to be able to compete on a yearly basis regardless of who they lose to graduation, so don't expect much to change in 2012. David Hir will lead the way on the offensive end after a top-notch sectional performance, while the likes of Dan Oldendorf, Zach Trent and a strong cast of returning talent should help Lockport get back in the mix in the SWSC and in the postseason.


Head Coach: Joe Lewandowski

Top Players: David Hir, Dan Oldendorf, Zach Trent, Alex Koch, Mark Polke, Brandon Hehl, Dan Schaack

Goalkeeper: Matt Yaeger

Final 2011 Ranking: 22nd

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