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  2013 Boys' Season Preview    

  By Aaron Brown

  February 2013

 

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THE SLEEPER TEAMS: BOYS

 

There are several teams on the rise and others who lost a ton of production to graduation but could reload quickly in order to make an impact during the 2013 season. Let's take a closer look at ten teams considered 'Sleepers' this season:

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31. LIBERTYVILLE


The Wildcats gain a lot and lose a lot, which means they should be quite an interesting team to watch this season. Most notably, they will need to replace the production of leading scorer Tommy Keefe and the defensive leadership of goaltender Clayton Kullander, but they seem to have enough speed and experience returning to Ivan Munoz' squad to make a run at the North Suburban Conference title and early-season appearance in the Top 25. Adam King, Eric Boynton and Justin Ronne should increase their scoring output this year after all three made significant contributions last season, while Alex Wang and Pat King will likely help fill out the starting lineup and give Libertyville a chance at redemption after a sectional quarterfinal overtime loss to Lake Forest ended their season prematurely.


Head Coach: Ivan Munoz

2012 Record: 17-14

Key Losses: G Clayton Kullander, Matt King, Noah Marcus, Tommy Keefe


32. MUNDELEIN


The Mustangs have a new facility, a regular practice schedule, and home games this year. That ought to be worth a few additional wins alone, but head coach Rahul Sethna also has most of his squad back as they look to move a major move up the rankings in 2013. Art Kasemets, Jason Rehor and Mark Begrowicz return to the starting lineup, while Connor Black is back for his senior season after a year away from the game and should have an instant impact. Chris Starck and John Brueckbauer add size and strength to the lineup, while sophomore goaltender Matt Angelback takes over in goal after Jakub Sierzputowski graduated. Expect Jude Krauss, Mark Betti and Paul Vysotsk to play valuable minutes for the Mustangs.


Head Coach: Rahul Sethna

2012 Record: 5-27

Key Losses: G Jakub Sierzputowski


33. SCHAUMBURG


The Saxons have some work to do after losing eleven seniors to graduation. LJ Peterson will be called upon to lead the offense, while Schaumburg should be in good shape defensively with goaltender Marty Faleni returning to hold things down on the defensive end. The key for second-year head coach Brian Ragano will be finding several replacements for the likes of Randy Carr, Marty Kwiatkowski, and Matt McMullen; he could look to Dylan Giesel, John Mast, Justin Hayes, and James Birriel to do just that for the Saxons' offense.


Head Coach: Brian Ragano

2012 Record: 18-8

Key Losses: David Nytko, Marty Kwiatkowski, Matt McMullen, Randy Carr


34. DE LA SALLE


Look out for De La Salle in 2013. Sixteen of seventeen players return for head coach Beto Garcia, who saw his squad improve from 4-10 to 11-9 in just one season. Talented sophomore Roberto Rodriguez leads the way on the offensive end, while juniors Angelo Behena, Danny Pedro and Vinny Scalise should continue to provide a considerable amount of output for the Meteors. The rest of the lineup is spearheaded by Angelo Espinoza and Dominic Quigley, while goalies Aaron Shariq and Daniel Leon are both back in the fold for the Catholic League upstarts, who won their first-ever sectional game last year by knocking off Whitney Young in the quarterfinal round at UIC before getting eliminated from the playoffs by St Ignatius.


Head Coach: Beto Garcia

2012 Record: 11-9

Key Losses: Austin Siegel


35. ST CHARLES EAST

The Saints begin the season with a handful of fresh faces and a new head coach, but they could pick up right where they left off as they will feature an 11-member senior class that have been waiting for their chance to shine. Leading scorer Mitch Phelps returns to carry the offense after a 97-goal performance last year, but the rest of the seniors will have to make up for the combined 143-goal output the team lost when Stephen Mason and Shaun Seuschek graduated. Attempting to pick up the slack will be Ian Salveson,
Jason Obrecht, Max Schmitt, TJ Bindseil, Will Shanel and four other promising seniors. On the other end, Nick Fagen returns between the posts to anchor the defense after a 300+ save season for a team that fell just one win shy of 20 victories in 2012.


Head Coach: Jaclyn Weber

2012 Record: 19-8

Key Losses: Matt Ballweg, Matt VanGyseghem, Sam Schultz, Shaun Seuschek, Stephen Mason


36. NILES WEST


The Wolves have been on an upward trajectory since joining the water polo ranks a few years ago; the 2013 season should be no different for head coach John Przekota's team as they return a handful of key players to a unit that finished the previous year with an impressive 17-14 mark. Max Romanelli made the transition from goalie to the field last year and has emerged as the team's main scoring option. Nick Opfer replaced Romanelli in goal and should continue to lead the way on the defensive end. Meanwhile, Andrew Mudreac, Eric Himmler and Steven Renko are amongst a handful of players that could help the Wolves improve upon their fifth-place finish in the Central Suburban League.


Head Coach: John Przekota

2012 Record: 17-14

Key Losses: Filip Zivkovic, Nick Giffen, Ryan Miller


37. STAGG


The Chargers are coming off a 23-win season that saw them fall one game shy of a state tournament berth. They'll have there work cut out for them if they hope to return to that level again after losing six starters to graduation, but a handful of players with a ton of potential could help Wes Gonzalez' team prosper and possibly repeat as SouthWest Suburban Red division champions. Ryan Peterson is the lone starter returning, so his experience and versatility will be an important factor for the Chargers. Fellow senior Andrew Homan and juniors Connor Kaufmann, Filip Patrick and Harlan Long will be counted on to play valuable minutes after waiting in the wings for their chance last season. The Varsity newcomers will also have a chance to shine, as Evan Johnson, Nick Amendola and Zack Amendola were solid JV players who could get significant playing time. Meanwhile, Peter Krivanec replaces Jihad Ramadan in goal and should help the defense continue to impress.


Head Coach: Wes Gonzalez

2012 Record: 23-10

Key Losses: Brandon Hadhazy, Fred Jerevicius, G Jihad Ramadan, Juan Valdez, Spencer Krivanec


38. BREMEN


The Red Jaguars would love to carry their momentum over from last year's postseason run, which saw them knock off Andrew in the sectional quarterfinals at Lincoln-Way Central en route to a 17-win season. They could do just that behind the leadership of senior Quinn Johnson, the team's top returning scorer and a talented playmaker to boot. Elliot Peralta emerged as an important threat on the offensive end and will be joined by Gabe Rojas-Stein as they try to quickly make up for the loss of the departed Kris Arnold. Meanwhile, head coach Craig Cappel will likely depend on goaltender Tony Zdanavicius to hold things down on the defensive end.


Head Coach: Craig Cappel

2012 Record: 17-10

Key Losses: Kris Arnold


39. WHEELING


The Wildcats have a lot of production to make up for after losing five starters and a few bench players from last year's impressive 22-8 campaign. The future looks bright for head coach John Means, who will attempt to blend the experience of the remaining starters with a handful of promising replacements as they seek to stay atop the Mid-Suburban League East standings in 2013. Lukasz Szcepaniec is the lone field player back in the fold, so his versatility and improved scoring could be a major factor for the Wildcats. He will likely be joined by fellow senior Igor Drab, junior Mike Godley and freshman Nate Reiff in trying to handle the bulk of the scoring. Dave Modlin will likely step in on the defensive end in front of returning goaltender Noah Ihde, whose experience should prove vital for Wheeling. Look for sophomore Landon Lockwood and a pair of quick freshmen in Jake and Kyle Noel to make an instant impact for the Wildcats as well.


Head Coach: John Means

2012 Record: 22-8

Key Losses: Austin Ihde, Ben Reiff, Cory Perlman, Dan Shriber, Ethan Rosengarden, Mike Boom


40. BARRINGTON


2013 could be a major turning point for the Broncos' program. They have a promising sophomore who made a big impact last year in Chase Lesniak, the hard-working Sam Miseyka, the speedy Brandon Baranowski, and Sean McCarthy returning in goal to anchor the defense. If head coach Adam Steffen can find replacements for the large cast of seniors like Alec Fricke and Alex Seizovic that were lost to graduation, Barrington could double last season's win total and make a major push in the hyper-competitive Mid-Suburban League West division.


Head Coach: Adam Steffen

2012 Record: 7-22

Key Losses: Alec Fricke, Alex Aspell, Alex Seizovic, Andrew Majzan, Joe Lagoni, Tom West


 

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