Soccer team undergoes major renovation

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By: Jon Haslam <jhaslam@hilite.org>

It is no surprise that the men’s soccer team has had some major changes between this season and last. The team returned this year after completing an undefeated season and earning a State Championship – its first in 15 years – along with a ranking of third best team in the nation.

But after losing 13 former seniors, many of whom went on to play at the college level, along with former Head Coach Dan Kapsalis, Shane Schmidt, former assistant coach and now head coach, has his work cut out for him.

The players who remain, though, said the transition hasn’t been as difficult as it could’ve been.

“I’m glad that we didn’t get a completely new head coach. It’s good to see a familiar face and someone we know,” said midfielder and junior Dean Weaver, who enters his third year on the team. “Losing so many experienced players is both good and bad. It’s good for me because it gives me a chance to step up and be more of a leader. The bad part, though, is it will be really hard to fill their shoes.”

Schmidt said the players are getting equal playing time and are playing well.

Schmidt said he felt that the team played well against Warren Central. Winning 9-0, Schmidt said that he is proud of how the team possessed the ball along with a good overall defensive game.

Weaver said, “I know that while it might be hard to duplicate what last year’s team did, I think we still have a shot. Our team looks good, and we can only go up from here.”

While the team has clearly changed, players and fans said they remain optimistic about this year’s squad.

“Drastic is probably a good word to describe the changes of our team,” Weaver said. “Potential is what I see.”

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