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  2015 Boys' Season Preview         

  By Aaron Brown

 

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THE UNDERDOGS: BOYS

 

Several teams have good reason to be optimistic in 2015. Some have gone through the rebuilding process while others are finally putting things together to make a run at their best season in team history. Let's take a closer look at the teams that could be considered 'The Underdogs' this season:


41. MCHENRY

Head Coach: Craig Fowles

Key Players: Alex Becker, Garrett Floden, Jackson Smith, Josh Frost, Kevin Braun, Rebecca Dabrowski

Players to Watch: Gavin Dunn, Teddy Pitzen

Goalkeeper: Gino Barry

Final 2014 Ranking: 44th

 

2014 Verdict: The Warriors fell at the hands of Barrington in the sectional quarterfinal round last May. They ended the previous campaign with an 8-15 record.

 

Outlook: The Warriors could return to their winning ways as they have several familiar faces back to try and turn their record around after a five-win season in 2014.


42. MAINE EAST

Head Coach: Peter Przekota

Key Players: Feran Erfani, Mateo Kozomara, Michael Lee, Tyler Vonderheide, Victor Ponzio

Players to Watch: Daniel Stefaniak, Eric Nguyen

Goalkeeper: Owen Trier

Final 2014 Ranking: 41st

 

2014 Verdict: Maine East defeated Maine West in the opening round of the GBS Sectional before falling to the eventual state champions in the quarterfinal round. Nonetheless, the Blue Demons finished with a much-improved 16-16 record in 2014.

 

Outlook: The Blue Demons' program continues to make dramatic improvements each year, so expect nothing different from a talented roster of returning players in 2015.


43. EVANSTON


Head Coach: Kevin Auger

Key Players: Brandon Botas, Chase Bailey, John Muyres, Liam O'Connor, Sean Finn-Samuels

Players to Watch: Richard Alonso, Thomas Fies

Goalkeeper: Kane Kulman

Final 2014 Ranking: 46th

 

2014 Verdict: Evanston topped Deerfield in the first round of the GBS Sectional before a loss to the sectional hosts in the quarterfinals. The Wildkits went 10-17 in 2014.

 

Outlook: The Wildkits are loaded with potential entering the new year and could surprise a few teams during the 2015 season, especially in the stacked CSL South division.


44. WHITNEY YOUNG


Head Coach: Carlos Solis

Key Players: Benjamin Liu, Duncan McDonald, Leo Shapiro, Oscar Herrera, Piotr Lewczykowski

Players to Watch: Mitchell Moore, Spencer Stoneberg

Goalkeeper: Matt Gonzales

Final 2014 Ranking: 48th

 

2014 Verdict: The Dolphins advanced to the CPS title game before losing to Curie and lost by just one goal to Latin in the quarterfinal round of the UIC Sectional. Whitney Young posted a 12-16 mark at the end of the previous season.

 

Outlook: Whitney Young has several impact players returning from last season's roster that should have them primed and ready to challenge the best of the CPS teams in 2015.


45. LINCOLN-WAY EAST


Head Coach: Mike Cremieux

Key Players: Andrew Culver, Bryan McNitt, Nate Drewes, Nick Drewes, Eric Mueller, Tanner Jach

Player to Watch: Jacob Parkinson, Patrick Hackett

Goalkeeper: Jacob Culver/Joe DiGiovanni

Final 2014 Ranking: Unranked

 

2014 Verdict: Despite finishing just 2-24 in 2014, the Griffins ended their season on a high note after earning an upset win over LWW in overtime of the LWC Sectional's first round. They bowed out of the competition in the quarterfinals to the eventual sectional winners (Sandburg).

 

Outlook: The Griffins return the nucleus of last year's rebuilding effort, which culminated in a big playoff win over Lincoln-Way West last May.


46. HINSDALE CENTRAL

Head Coach: Christina Brodell

Key Players: Brian Portland, Donald Kwasigroch, Jimmy Lee, Jonah Lillioja, Matt Saunders, Wes Berger

Players to Watch: Michael Johns, Steve Mungovan

Goalkeeper: Emmett Ferguson/Jack Duggan

Final 2014 Ranking: Unranked

 

2014 Verdict: The Red Devils ended a rebuilding year with a win over Hinsdale South in the first round of the Metea Valley Sectional and posted a 7-25 record.

 

Outlook: Hinsdale Central seemed to turn the corner late in the 2014 season after earning a playoff win over their rivals. That should serve as a sign of positive things to come, as the nucleus of their lineup is back for new head coach Christina Brodell.


47. LAKE FOREST


Head Coach: Tom Saleh

Key Players: Alex Sorsen, David Nelson, Jay Baker, Jeff Stevens, Nico Demet, Spencer Moore

Player to Watch: Michael Hambleton, Thomas Condon

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2014 Ranking: 45th

 

2014 Verdict: Lake Forest knocked off Buffalo Grove in the opening round of the Mundelein Sectional before losing to Stevenson in the quarterfinals. They ended the 2014 campaign with a 5-15 record.

 

Outlook: The Scouts head into the new campaign hoping to build off last May's sectional quarterfinal win and will look to flip around their record after a five-win season.


48. LANE


Head Coach: Geoffrey Schott

Key Players: Ben Martinez, Israel Valle, Mark Gullickson, Max Boettcher, Peter Proctor

Player to Watch: Adam Ruiz, Justin Trieu

Goalkeeper: Raul Espana

Final 2014 Ranking: Unranked

 

2014 Verdict: Lane posted a 7-20 record in 2014 and lost to Northside Prep in the quarterfinal round of the UIC Sectional last May.

 

Outlook: The Indians are in position to make some definite noise in the CPS this season, as they return several starters from a young team that could help them more than double their win total in 2015.


49. STC EAST


Head Coach: Tim O'Grady

Key Players: Dustin Differding, Ethan Braham, Jack Sweeney, Sean Sweeney

Player to Watch: Ethan Sellers

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2014 Ranking: Unranked

 

2014 Verdict: The Saints lost to the hosts in the opening round of the Metea Valley Sectional and ended the season with a 5-14 record.

 

Outlook: Things are looking up for East this season, as they return several starters and have several younger players hoping to make a big impact.


50. WHEELING


Head Coach: John Means

Key Players: Eddie Popa, Jake Noel, Kyle Noel, Nate Reiff

Player to Watch: Daniel Levy

Goalkeeper: TBA

Final 2014 Ranking: 50th

 

2014 Verdict: The Wildcats could not get past Libertyville in the sectional quarterfinals at Mundelein last May and ended their season with a 12-18 mark.

 

Outlook: The Wildcats are looking strong as they head into the new season, as they hope to follow up a 12-win season by challenging for a title in the wide open MSL East division.


 

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