The Appo Jaguars boys’ soccer team has seen plenty of success on the pitch over the past few seasons, and 2014 was no different. The Jags went undefeated last season, posting a 15-0 while and reaching the semifinals of the Division I playoffs.
Even after losing nine seniors from a year ago, including standouts Ryan Moore and Sam Jester, the Jags have a solid lineup returning. Defender Matt Dina and Midfielder Stephane Ratsimbazafy both return as team captains, alongside midfielders Travis Ramano, Noah Cicogna, Hadi Basma, forward Joey Scarpinato, and defender Lance Ksiazek.
Head Coach Adam Bear believes that his team has the talent to once again compete at a very high level within the state.
“(We’re) 33-3 over the last two seasons including playoffs,” said Bear. “(Our biggest challenges) are finishing on the opportunities we create and staying healthy.”
Appo opens their season on Sept. 12 against Milford at the DAAD Upstate/Downstate Challenge held at Dover High School starting at 11:30 a.m.
Last season, the Middletown Cavaliers boys’ soccer squad made some positive strides, finishing with a winning record of 8-6-1. While that wasn’t good enough to earn them a post-season berth, it was the Cavaliers second straight winning season after a 5-10 mark two years ago.
The Cavs were largely a young team in 2014, as they part ways with just three seniors from last year’s club along with Chad Poarch who relocated to Pennsylvania. Returning for Middletown are goalkeeper Tyler Bierlein, forwards Geovanni Garcia, Ricardo Garcia, and defenders Donny Sniadecki and Daniel Tovar.
In his 22nd year as a coach, Brian Derrickson has his team focused on taking the season one game at a time, no matter if that’s cliché or not.
“Nothing expected but competitive play from the team,” said Derrickson. “No goals other than the first game and playing well and within our system of play. (We want to play) one game at a time and represent Middletown High School as a competitive, hard-nosed team that also will show good sportsmanship throughout the season.”
Middletown opens their schedule on Sept. 12 against Polytech in the DAAD Upstate/Downstate Challenge at Dover starting at 3:30 p.m.
St. Georges Tech Hawks
The St. Georges Tech Hawks are coming off an impressive 11-3-1 record a year ago that saw them advance to the DII playoffs. While they weren’t able to get out of the first round of post-season play, the Hawks hope they can build off last year’s success and translate that into another playoff berth.
The Hawks will lose seven seniors from last year’s squad, but return a solid core of players this season. Returning this season are midfielders Josh Moody, Matt Mitchell, Xavier Jamieson, and David Angulo, along with defender Vito Montgomery, and striker Mitch Moran.
While Head Coach Justin Null is confident his team will contend at a high level this season, he states the team is in a unique situation this year as they’ll have a mix of experience returnees alongside some newcomers who will get playing time.
“Our team is a unique blend of experience and youth,” said Null. “We’ll start five to six seniors along with five to six freshman and sophomores. Our biggest challenge is replacing six starters and all of our team captains.”
The Hawks open their season on Sept. 11 at Tatnall starting at 3:45 p.m.