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Boys soccer teams ready to get their kicks

Kaneland's Tucker Jahns (21) moves the ball up the pitch against Morris in Maple Park Sept. 6 2018.
Kaneland's Tucker Jahns (21) moves the ball up the pitch against Morris in Maple Park Sept. 6 2018.

The boys soccer season starts next week, as teams begin their push to the Class 2A and Class 3A state finals in Hoffman Estates. Here is a preview of teams from around the Kane County Chronicle Coverage area.

BATAVIA BULLDOGS

Coach: Mark Gianfrancesco

2018 record: 5-11-4

Top Returners

Name Year Pos.

Austin Saenz sr. D

Hector Rosales sr. D

Isaac Hagar sr. F

Outlook: The Bulldogs graduated a whopping 16 seniors – so it'll look almost entirely different this coming season roster-wise. Austin Saenz and Hector Rosales highlight the returners while junior forwards Kyle Nicely and Mark Lillig are players to watch for newcomers.

"We are looking to get some experience as the season progresses while creating chemistry and building relationships to perform on the pitch," Gianfrancesco said.

BURLINGTON CENTRAL ROCKETS

Coach: Mick Galeski

2018 record: 7-8-4

Top Returners

Name Year Pos.

Tristan Samuelian jr. GK

Josh Madsen jr. M

Samy Awad jr. M/F

Outlook: As they join the Fox Valley Conference. the Rockets return one of the area's best goalies in Samuelian, who made 132 saves in 16 games started last season. Coming off a regional semifinals apperance, Burlington Central will be looking to go farther. Garret Kollhoff is the lone freshman to make varsity and exhibits "great athletism and an even better attitude." 

"We have lost a lot of players the last couple of years," Galeski said. "We have reloaded and as a coaching staff we are looking forward to working with a settled squad the next few years. We have a lot of good young attacking talent that we are excited to see develop."

GENEVA VIKINGS

Coach: Jason Bhatta

2018 record: 4-12-3

Top Returners

Name Year Pos.

Ethan Hipp sr. M

Joe Carli jr. M

Outlook: The Vikings had a difficult season last year, but the good news is they have 12 returners who got regular starting experience. Senior midfielder Shun Yonehara and senior goalie Osten Lockner highlight some new coming talent.

"We are looking to battle in the strong DuKane Conference, which had three regional champions and a state finalist," Bhatta said, "as well as make a deep playoff run, which we know we can make if we come together as a team and play the way we should."

KANELAND KNIGHTS

Coach: Scott Parillo

2018 ecord: 12-9-1

Top Players

Name Year Pos.

Tucker Jahns sr. F

Gavin Cano sr. D

Tyler Chapman sr. D

Outlook: Kaneland will be well-positioned for success this season, as it returns a number of experienced players. Led by Jahns, a Kane County Chronicle All-Area selection last season, the Knights should be dangerous all over the field. Jahns last season set the school record for goals in a season with 31.

"The Knights have a very tough schedule, but are excited for the challenge," Parillo said. "We have lots of returning players and should have an opportunity to compete against some top teams in the area."

MARMION CADETS

Coach: James Romano

2018 record: 13-6-2

Top Returners

Name Year Pos.

CJ Sowers sr. M

TJ Laurich sr. D

Ian Swindle sr. M

Outlook: The Cadets had a magical run to supersectionals last season and they will vie to do so again. Marmion graduated Chronicle Player of the Year, James Serrano, who punched in 31 goals and eight assists, so it will be a big hole to fill.

"We're returning five starters, have great senior leadership, and have new players who will contribute immediately," Romano said.  

ST. CHARLES EAST SAINTS

Coach: Vince DiNuzzo

2018 record: 13-8

Top Returners

Name Year Pos.

Brendan Adams sr. M

Sebastian Carranza so. F

Geoff Unterberg sr. D

Outlook: The Saints return a bulk of their starting lineup – seven out of 11 – from last year and could expect to be a top contender in the DuKane Conference. Sebastian Carranza broke the St. Charles East freshman scoring mark last year and highlights the many returners.

"We hope our seniors can be good examples for our younger players in the program," DiNuzzo said. "We hope to be prepared for every opponent and do our best to improve throughout the season."

ST. CHARLES NORTH NORTH STARS

Coach: Eric Willson

2018 record: 12-6-1

Top Returners

Name Year Pos.

Bob Curran sr. GK

Faizan Mohiuddin sr. M

Gabriel D'Amico sr. M

Outlook: The North Stars lost in the regional finals to crosstown rival, St. Charles East, last year. North returns a number of experienced players, highlighted by Wisconsin-Whitewater commit, Faizan Mohiuddin, and should expect to compete for a deep postseason run.

"Our goal will be to be as prepared as we can in order to compete in a tough conference top to bottom," Willson said.

ST. FRANCIS SPARTANS

Coach: Kevin Ward

2018 record: 7-11-3

Top Returners

Name Year Pos.

Jack Crabtree sr. D

Nathan Corrigan sr. D

Michael Fasana sr. M

Outlook: A major loss from last season's team is Nicholas Gulli. Gulli, a Metro Suburban All Conference selection, finished his career with 14 goals and 21 assists after a six-goal, nine-assist senior season. Sean Conley, also all conference, is another piece to replace. The Spartans lost in the regional semifinals last season, so they should expect a deeper run.

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