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2016 Boys' Season Preview         

By Aaron Brown

February 2016

 

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Lyons put together an impressive postseason run to claim the state title in 2015. Can the Lions reload quickly enough to defend their title? Or will a number of challengers like Stevenson, Naperville Central, Fenwick, St Ignatius, New Trier or anyone else shake things up and claim the throne in 2016?

 

Let's take a closer look at some of the top teams in the state of Illinois on the boys' side in 2016:


1. STEVENSON

Head Coach: Sean Wimer

Key Players: Alex Kapecki, Andrew Shashin, Collin Kapecki, Cris Tomasetti, Dan Maleski, Kurt Holzer

Players to Watch: Ben Lauter, Rahul Arun

Goalkeeper: Charlie Day

Final 2015 Ranking: 2nd

 

First Contest: March 8 vs GBN

Key Tournaments: DeSmet, Fenwick, Stevenson x 3

 

2015 Verdict: The Patriots (28-7) won the Buffalo Grove Sectional and earned a runner-up finish at the state tournament after beating Fenwick and St Ignatius at the event.


2. LYONS

Head Coach: Doug Eichstaedt

Key Players: Adam Cardone, Anthony Berley, George Lundgren, Michael Zahorik, Sam Szczepaniak

Players to Watch: Ben Eszias, Brendan Huddleston, David Furlan, Tommy Eckert, Victor Perez

Goalkeeper: Nick Rosenberger

Final 2015 Ranking: 1st

 

First Contest: March 10 at Hinsdale South

Key Tournaments: Fenwick, Lyons, Stevenson, WSC, York

 

2015 Verdict: The Lions posted a 31-4 record and won their own sectional before beating Naperville Central, St Ignatius and Stevenson to win the IHSA state title last season.


3. NAPERVILLE CENTRAL

Head Coach: Bill Salentine

Key Players: Brian Calabrese, Eric Stablein, Jimmy Fox, Kyle Jackson, Nick Walker, Phillip Emden

Players to Watch: Kyle Mallen, Matt Reagan, Mike Stern, Nolan Vaughan, Scott Piper

Goalkeeper: Kent Emden

Final 2015 Ranking: 4th

 

First Contest: March 11 at Neuqua Tournament

Key Tournaments: Fenwick, Mundelein, Naperville Central, Neuqua, Stevenson x 2

 

2015 Verdict: The Redhawks (29-3) won the Neuqua Valley Sectional before bowing out of the state tournament in the quarterfinal round after a 13-11 loss to the eventual state champions (Lyons).


4. FENWICK

Head Coach: Kyle Perry

Key Players: Aaron Ramirez, Chez Daggs, Mickey McGuire, Noah Groll, Ryan McHugh, Tommy Martino

Players to Watch: David Medina, Emmett Jenkins, Ivan Soto, Kyle Poland, Luis Murphy, Ramses Flores

Goalkeeper: David Francisco

Final 2015 Ranking: 3rd

 

First Contest: March 9 vs Loyola

Key Tournaments: DeSmet, Fenwick, MCAC, Stevenson, York

 

2015 Verdict: Fenwick finished the previous campaign with a 33-2 record and a third-place trophy after winning their own sectional and beating St Ignatius in the third-place game at state. The Friars lost 8-7 to Stevenson in the state semifinals before ending the season with a win.


5. ST IGNATIUS

Head Coach: Luis Martinez

Key Players: Andreas Christy, Enrique Leon, Jack Dunn, Jalen Woods, Shane Hughes, Theo Mossman

Players to Watch: Casey Nurnberger, Finn Connors

Goalkeeper: Sam Enger

Final 2015 Ranking: 5th

 

First Contest: March 11 at Palatine Tournament

Key Tournaments: Fenwick, Lyons, MCAC, Palatine, York

 

2015 Verdict: The Wolfpack (21-14) won their own sectional and earned a state quarterfinal round win over New Trier; they hoisted a fourth-place trophy at state after losses to Fenwick and Lyons in the final day of the season.


6. NEW TRIER

Head Coach: Dave Rafferty-Flatter

Key Players: Charlie Ryan, Henry Yavitt, Mason McQuet, Michael Krueger, Sam Yavitt, Will Kohr

Players to Watch: Alex Holme, Danilo Skecic, Patrick Drake

Goalkeeper: Piers Braunrot

Final 2015 Ranking: 7th

 

First Contest: March 11 at Palatine Tournament

Key Tournaments: CSL, GBS, Mundelein, Naperville North, Palatine, Stevenson, York

 

2015 Verdict: New Trier (23-10-1) knocked off the defending champions (Loyola) to win the Glenbrook North Sectional before losing to St Ignatius in the state quarterfinal round.


7. NAPERVILLE NORTH

Head Coach: Martin Bell

Key Players: Cole Jacobs, Jon Jon Pettinger, Matt Magee, Reilly McDonnell, Spencer Wallace

Players to Watch: Brendan Morrow, Brian Lapham, Charlie Calvo, Charlie Ovens, Nick Zillier

Goalkeeper: Jack Roche

Final 2015 Ranking: 10th

 

First Contest: March 8 at York

Key Tournaments: Fenwick, GBS, Naperville Central, Naperville North, Neuqua

 

2015 Verdict: The Huskies (18-12-1) earned a sectional quarterfinal round victory over STC East but lost a 10-9 heartbreaker to Neuqua Valley in the semifinals last season.


8. LOYOLA

Head Coach: Dan Hengelmann

Key Players: Chris Jovanovich, Kevin Manna, Max Ashurst, Matt Merucci, Michael Considine

Players to Watch: Drew Lantz, Noah Conley, Quinn Carr, Peter Naughton, Zach Holocek

Goalkeeper: Walter Haracz

Final 2015 Ranking: 8th

 

First Contest: March 7 vs St Rita

Key Tournaments: Lyons, MCAC, Palatine, Stevenson, York

 

2015 Verdict: Loyola posted a 22-11 mark last season and earned sectional victories over Maine West and Niles West before being eliminated by New Trier in the sectional finals at GBN.


9. NEUQUA VALLEY

Head Coach: Adam Hoffer

Key Players: Adam McGovern, Brandon Gorski, Joey Dalesandro, JP Leshock, Troy Salafatinos

Players to Watch: Jack Walsh, Jack Hiss, Jacob Cunningham, Kyle Geekie

Goalkeeper: Jordan Beck

Final 2015 Ranking: 6th

 

First Contest: March 8 at Barrington

Key Tournaments: Conant, Fenwick, Neuqua x 2, Stevenson

 

2015 Verdict: The Huskies (17-15) defeated Hinsdale Central and Naperville North before falling 12-9 to Naperville Central in the sectional final round.


10. BROTHER RICE

Head Coach: Tony Cichowicz

Key Players: Andrew Szczepaniak, James Ryan, Luke Healy, Peter Gurka, Tommy McMahon

Players to Watch: Matt Seifried, Nate Turcich, Noah Figus

Goalkeeper: Patrick Cunningham

Final 2015 Ranking: 17th

 

First Contest: March 7 at Mt Carmel

Key Tournaments: Brother Rice, Fenwick, MCAC, St Patrick, Stevenson

 

2015 Verdict: Brother Rice finished the previous campaign with a 15-13 mark and earned wins over Argo and St Rita before losing to Lyons in the sectional final round.


11. ST PATRICK

Head Coach: Marty Gibson

Key Players: Gabriel Bueno, Joseph Gibson, Luke Tomzik, Mark Auger, Mike Taylor, Patrick Byrne

Players to Watch: Edward Plascencia, Oscar DeLeon

Goalkeeper: Eric Arroyo

Final 2015 Ranking: 13th

 

First Contest: March 9 at St Viator

Key Tournaments: Brother Rice, Fenwick, Lindbergh, MCAC, St Patrick

 

2015 Verdict: The Shamrocks (20-9) knocked off Morton in the sectional quarterfinals at Fenwick but were eliminated in the semifinal round by Curie.


12. GLENBROOK SOUTH

Head Coach: Dave Lieberman

Key Players: Brendan Chang, Peter Dales, Richard Poma, Tommy Hagerty

Players to Watch: Nick Shechtman, PJ Thoelecke

Goalkeeper: Brian Johnson

Final 2015 Ranking: 21st

 

First Contest: March 12 at Conant Tournament

Key Tournaments: Conant, CSL, Evanston, GBS x 2, Naperville Central

 

2015 Verdict: The Titans (21-7-2) secured a sectional quarterfinal round win over Maine South before getting knocked off by the eventual sectional winners (New Trier) in the semifinals.


13. LINCOLN-WAY CENTRAL


Head Coach: Jim Lock

Key Players: Andrew Smith, Cody Kolbus, Cody Torres, Matt Klock, Ryan Gustafson

Players to Watch: Ryan Burke

Goalkeeper: Jake Burke

Final 2015 Ranking: 16th

 

First Contest: March 9 vs Bremen

Key Tournaments: Conant, LWN, Naperville Central, Stevenson

 

2015 Verdict: The Knights (21-10) beat Andrew, LWN and Sandburg to win the LWN Sectional as the #4 seed to advance to the state tournament; they lost to Stevenson in the state quarterfinals.


14. SANDBURG

Head Coach: Jim Caliendo

Key Players: Alex Serrano, Ben Mars, Cobie Fritsch, Jake Grella, Joey Jenkot, Tino Pappas

Players to Watch: Cam Grecek, Marty Blake, Mike Manuel

Goalkeeper: Nick Jackson

Final 2015 Ranking: 19th

 

First Contest: March 15 at Bremen

Key Tournaments: Conant, Naperville North, Sandburg

 

2015 Verdict: Sandburg (20-12-1) got past H-F and LWW at sectionals before dropping an 8-6 decision to Lincoln-Way Central in the sectional finals at LWN.


15. STAGG


Head Coach: Matt Niemeier

Key Players: Gabe Jezierski, Jakob Russo, Konrad Witek, Olaf Wrzesinski, Tommy Witek

Players to Watch: Michael Domasik, Robert Dobrowolski, Steven Walsh

Goalkeeper: Lane Holin

Final 2015 Ranking: 9th

 

First Contest: March 9 vs Shepard

Key Tournaments: Naperville North, Stagg

 

2015 Verdict: Stagg went undefeated in the SWSC as part of stellar 29-3 campaign; the Chargers beat Morgan Park in the sectional quarterfinals before being knocked out of the playoffs by the eventual state champions (Lyons).


16. LOCKPORT

Head Coach: Joe Lewandowski

Key Players: Eric Krawcyzk, Ian Greenway, Matt Zajac, Jeremy Luczak, Matt Stogsdill

Players to Watch: Erik Firganek, Joe Layman, Fidel Herrera, Pat Guros

Goalkeepers: Connor Hecker, Matt Hinchley

Final 2015 Ranking: 11th

 

First Contest: March 14 at Metea

Key Tournaments: Brother Rice, Mundelein

 

2015 Verdict: Lockport (21-8) secured another 20+ win season and racked up a sectional quarterfinal round victory over STC North before being eliminated from the postseason by Naperville Central.


17. BARRINGTON


Head Coach: Rob Emary

Key Players: John Fischer, Kamil Jerominski, Mitch Gavars, Riley Lehmann, Tom Derkin

Players to Watch: Colin O'Leary, Nathan Mathias, Spencer Lehmann

Goalkeeper: Jack Krieps

Final 2015 Ranking: 15th

 

First Contest: March 8 vs Neuqua

Key Tournaments: Barrington, Highland Park, Metea, MSL, Vernon Hills

 

2015 Verdict: The Broncos (29-3) capped off a perfect season in the MSL by winning the Schaumburg Sectional to advance to the state tournament for the first time in team history. Barrington lost in the state quarterfinals to Fenwick.


18. CURIE

Head Coach: Victor Sanchez

Key Players: Adrian Lemus, Christian Campos, Dylan Franco, Omar Pantoja, Oscar Hernandez

Players to Watch: Jose Servin

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2015 Ranking: 12th

 

First Contest: March 7 at Young

Key Tournaments: Brother Rice, CPS, Fenwick, Palatine

 

2015 Verdict: Curie went 13-7, claimed the CPS title, and earned sectional playoff victories over St Patrick and York before losing in the sectional finals to the tournament hosts (Fenwick).


19. DE LA SALLE


Head Coach: Beto Garcia

Key Players: Gilbert Moreno, Lucas Gawron, Shane Nagel

Players to Watch: Alex Cruz, Rodrigo Gonzalez

Goalkeeper: Eder Rebollar

Final 2015 Ranking: 14th

 

First Contest: March 7 vs St Viator

Key Tournaments: Brother Rice, DeSmet, MCAC, Niles West

 

2015 Verdict: The Meteors (16-11) earned postseason wins over Jones-Payton and Latin before falling to St Ignatius in the sectional final round.


20. CONANT

Head Coach: Tim Daniel

Key Players: Alec Burke, Braden LaMore, Mihir Patel, Jack Banahan, Tyler Goehrke

Players to Watch: Cory Pedro, Kamil Sak

Goalkeeper: Harris Dibek

Final 2015 Ranking: 18th

 

First Contest: March 9 vs Wheeling

Key Tournaments: Conant x 2, GBS, Mundelein, MSL, Vernon Hills

 

2015 Verdict: The Cougars (27-6) secured postseason wins over Schaumburg and St Viator and made a serious threat to return to the state tournament before being outlasted by Barrington in the sectional final round.


21. ANDREW


Head Coach: Jeff Hofer

Key Players: Anthony Bartolotta, Brett Hofer, Eric Villasenor, Jake Grimes, Nick Osty, Ronnie Cope

Players to Watch: Brendan Reilly, Josh Stanek, Justin Hovorka, Ronnie Fiala

Goalkeeper: Connor Flanagan, Seamus Tunney

Final 2015 Ranking: 20th

 

First Contest: March 16 at Shepard

Key Tournaments: Elk Grove, Hinsdale South, Sandburg

 

2015 Verdict: Andrew posted a 23-6 mark and finished atop the SWSC Red division; the T-Bolts also beat Bremen in the sectional quarterfinals before getting tripped up by LWC in the semifinals.


22. HOMEWOOD-FLOSSMOOR

Head Coach: Tim Caldwell

Key Players: Henry Kreis, Johnnie Schmidt, Michael Bonthron, Travis Tanner

Players to Watch: John Weeks, Max Dunlavy

Goalkeeper: Lucas Santefort

Final 2015 Ranking: 22nd

 

First Contest: March 8 vs Hinsdale South

Key Tournaments: Fenwick, Mundelein, Palatine, St Patrick

 

2015 Verdict: The Vikings (14-17) got past Lincoln-Way East in the sectional quarterfinals before being eliminated from the postseason by Sandburg in the semifinal round at LWN.


23. ST CHARLES NORTH

Head Coach: Chris Cloy

Key Players: John Quinn, Nathan Bawolek, Sam Lilly, Zach Smith

Players to Watch: Jack Williams, Kieran Murphy

Goalkeeper: Garrett Allamian

Final 2015 Ranking: 23rd

 

First Contest: March 12 at Conant Tournament

Key Tournaments: Conant, Fremd, LWN, Naperville North, Sandburg, STC North

 

2015 Verdict: The North Stars (16-14-1) lost a quarterfinal round contest with Naperville North at the Neuqua Valley Sectional.


24. FREMD

Head Coach: Brian Newby

Key Players: Alex Nicholas, Dylan Assmann, John Tuzzolino, Nate Jordan, Robert DePau, Ryan Dudar

Players to Watch: Jason Park, Mike Kochanski, Tarun Pothanker

Goalkeeper: Zak Keper

Final 2015 Ranking: 26th

 

First Contest: March 9 vs BG

Key Tournaments: Fremd, MSL, Niles West, Stevenson

 

2015 Verdict: Fremd went 13-9 and kicked off the postseason with a sectional quarterfinal round win over Prospect; the Vikings could not get past the sectional winners (Barrington) in the semifinals.


24. MUNDELEIN


Head Coach: Russ Gates

Key Players: Eric Nielsen, Matt Schaedel, Mike Ward, Nick Oleinik, Will Garcia

Players to Watch: Duncan Black

Goalkeeper: Jeremiah Lam

Final 2015 Ranking: 31st

 

First Contest: March 11 at Palatine Tournament

Key Tournaments: Mundelein x 2, Naperville Central, Palatine, York

 

2015 Verdict: The Mustangs (19-13-1) opened the postseason with a convincing win over Highland Park before being eliminated in a one-goal thriller by Wheeling in the BG Sectional semifinals.


24. WHEELING


Head Coach: John Means

Key Players: Dan Levy, Jake Noel, Jorge Figueroa, Kyle Noel, Nate Reiff, Tristan Pink

Players to Watch: Dylan Mader, Jordan Butler

Goalkeeper: Nik Bisquick

Final 2015 Ranking: 29th

 

First Contest: March 7 vs Maine East

Key Tournaments: MSL, Schaumburg, Stevenson

 

2015 Verdict: The Wildcats (16-14) went undefeated in the MSL East and put together three straight postseason wins (Deerfield, Lake Forest, Mundelein) before falling to Stevenson in the sectional finals.


 

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