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High school boys soccer preview

 High school boys soccer has new district assignments this fall and also a new class.

Missouri now has four classes instead of three as the member schools of the Missouri State High School Activities Association voted on the annual ballot to add a fourth classification to boys and girls soccer.

The MSHSAA is dividing Classes 2, 3 and 4 evenly with 64 teams in each classification. Class 1 has the remaining teams. As a result, there will be 16 district tournaments across the state in Classes 2, 3 and 4. Class 1 will have only eight district tournaments.

 That means some changes for schools.

 Parkway West jumps from Class 2 to Class 4 this fall. Westminster Christian Academy moves up to join Class 4. Whitfield and Kennedy now are in Class 2.

 The Suburban West and South conferences are no more and new realignments have been made.

 Eureka, now in Class 4, reached the Class 3 quarterfinals last season. Coach Gary Schneider has four starters back from that team.

 Marquette coach Chris Kenney has two starters back from last year’s Suburban West Conference championship squad.

 CBC coach Terry Michler enters his 44th season with the Cadets and Mike Gauvain begins No. 27 at Chaminade.

 There are several new coaches this fall.

 Josh Klein takes over at De Smet Jesuit Jesuit, where he replaces Greg Vitello, who held the job for 46 years as the only coach ever for the Spartans. Klein is a De Smet Jesuit Jesuit grad.

 Bob O’Connell is the new coach at Kennedy. He replaces Tom Rapp, who began his tenure at Kennedy in 1984.

 Brian Adam takes over at Parkway Central. He had eight starters back from last year’s squad. Adam takes over for John Theobald, who moved up to become the athletic director at Parkway Central.

 Kip Keller is the new coach at Principia. He replaces Travis Brantingham, who became the principal at Principia.

 Below is a look at each team in alphabetical order, with input from the respective coaches:

CBC Cadets

2013 record: 13-10. Won district. Lost in overtime to St. Louis University High in sectional.

Coach: Terry Michler. Entering 44th year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Glenn Zipfel and Kevin Whalen.

Returning number of starters: 5.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior MF Adam Smith, senior F Jake Meyerkord, senior F Ethan Dague, senior F Jake Bell, senior F Drew Greaser, senior F Trey Michler, senior D Kurt Gerteisen, senior D Dominic Lombardo, senior G Connor Robinson, senior Jake McFerron, junior MF Niko Karidis, junior G John Huber, sophomore Sam Leach, sophomore Brendan Hennessy.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshman Nick Dempster.

Captains: Adam Smith and Niko Karidis.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Good speed.

Goals: Our goal is always to win the last game of the year.

Metro Catholic Conference teams: CBC, Chaminade, De Smet Jesuit Jesuit, St. Louis University High, Vianney.

Class 4 District 5 teams: CBC, De Smet Jesuit Jesuit, Marquette, Parkway North.

Quote: “The possibility of having a good team and doing well at the end of the year is exciting,” Michler said. “We plan to work hard, play smart and find a way to win.”

Chaminade Red Devils

2013 record: 21-7-1.

Coach: Mike Gauvain. Entering 27th year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Kim Sartoria, Joe Morgan.

Returning number of starters: 6.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior F Ken Massa, senior MF Jake Pesek, senior MF Ryan Ebert, junior MF AJ Anton, senior D Ingram Coller, junior D Tim Steele.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Lot of juniors and seniors back and looking for them to step up.

Captains: Jake Pesek, Ryan Ebert.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: We’ll be able to score some goals, have a good attack.

Goals: Win the conference, get through districts and advance through the playoffs.

Metro Catholic Conference teams: CBC, Chaminade, De Smet Jesuit, St. Louis University High, Vianney.

Favorites to win the conference: Vianney, CBC.

Class 4 District 4 teams: Chaminade, McCluer North, Ritenour, St. Louis University High School.

Quote: “They are working really hard to get ready,” Gauvain said. “If we continue to work hard and improve, we can have a really good season.”

De Smet Jesuit Spartans

2013 record: 13-10-1. Lost to CBC in district semifinal.

Coach: Josh Klein. Entering first year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Josh Aranda, who is entering fourth year as varsity assistant; John Benoist, entering second year as varsity assistant goalkeepers.

Returning number of starters: 6

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior G Ben Yeager, senior MF John Russo, senior B Dan Walters, junior MF Nick Hanson, sophomore B Sam Grass.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Senior F Callahan Riley, junior MF Griffin Morgan, junior F Gavyn Brand, sophomore B Austin Blom.

Captains: John Russo, Dan Walters, Ben Yeager.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: Ben Yeager has verbally committed to Saint Louis University.

Team strengths: Our strength will be in the middle of the field, both in the midfield and in the back. Our goalkeeping should compete for best in the state. Based off pre-season scrimmaging, we’re finding multiple channels of attack and we expect several of our players to be multiple game goal scorers. Most importantly, De Smet Jesuit soccer has always been strong at producing men of character, sportsmanship, and mental toughness.

Goals: Play disciplined, pretty soccer.  Finish first in the MCC and go far in the postseason.

Metro Catholic Conference teams: CBC, Chaminade, De Smet Jesuit, St. Louis University High, Vianney.

Favorites to win the conference: The MCC is one of the toughest conferences in the country. We’re all favorites to win it. Class 4 District 5 teams: CBC, De Smet Jesuit, Marquette, Parkway North.

Quote: “Taking over a program with such a storied tradition certainly presents its challenges, but I’m extremely excited and proud to have the opportunity to get De Smet Jesuit Soccer to that next level of excellence, both on the field and in the classroom.  We’ve got a great combination of new and returning players to the team, combined with energetic, inspired coaching from alums John Benoist (1996) and Josh Aranda (2006),” said Klein, also a De Smet Jesuit alum. “I couldn’t be more blessed with a better group of young men (and coaching staff) to kick start this new era of soccer success. We play an incredibly tough schedule, both in-state and out, and I’m hoping we’ll turn a few heads while doing so.”

Eureka Wildcats

2013 record:  19-7-1. Reached Class 3 quarterfinals losing to St. Louis University High in penalty kicks.

Coach: Gary Schneider. Entering fifth year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Mike Hanna, Terry Vowell, Matt Strickland.

Returning number of starters: 4.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior F Justin Armfield, senior M Daniel Eberle, senior GK Sam Peterson, senior D Michael York, senior senior D Brian Hoff, senior F Jarod Jackson

Newcomers expected to contribute: Junior D Drew Albert, sophomore M Matt Lockwood, junior M Joey Rouff, senior M Kurt Prunty, senior D Brett Pahl.

Captains: Not named yet.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: We have great chemistry and really working towards a common goal. We feel we have a lot to prove to ourselves this season. We have 12 seniors on this year’s team all with different levels of varsity experience. Hopefully with all of that leadership we can really have a successful year.

Goals: We are just trying to get better each day and our major goal is to be playing the best soccer at the end of October.

Suburban West Conference American Division: Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Parkway South. National Division: Fox, Mehlville and Northwest, Oakville, Seckman.

Favorites to win the conference: At this point I think anyone can do it. We lost a lot last year and I know we’re not the only one. Whoever can get the new guys to varsity to adapt quickest will be the most successful.

Class 4, District 1 teams: Eureka, Jackson, Northwest, Seckman.

Quote: “As of now I really like how hard the team is working and trying to bring our less experienced guys’ comfort level up as quickly as possible,” Schneider said. “We’re really coming together as a team and I hope we can just put it together on the field.”

Kennedy Celts

2013 record: 13-13-1. Reached Class 1 quaterfinals.

Coach: Bob O’Connell. Entering first year as head coach.

Assistant coaches:  Rob Madison, Dan Kotsis, Mike Wehking.

Returning number of starters: 6.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Forward Adam Smith, back Andrew Rogers, goalkeeper Matt Esserman.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Freshmen midfielder Nick Sippel.

Captains: Not named yet.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Hard working, organized.

Goals: Improve every match. Be prepared to win districts.

Teams in Archdiocesan Athletic Conference Small Division: Cardinal Ritter, Kennedy, Lutheran St. Charles, O’Fallon Christian and Trinity.

Class 2 District 4 teams: John Burroughs, Kennedy, Maplewood, Whitfield.

Quote: “This group has bought into everything we have been preaching,” O’Connell said. “Their work rate has been great. I hope the group is rewarded with the results they are looking for. My goal is to simply improve with each match and put the boys in the best position possible for the district tournament.”

Lafayette Lancers 

2013 record: 16-10.

Coach: Tim Walters. Entering 21st year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Kelly Carmody.

Returning number of starters: 8.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior G Brendan Carnahan, senior G Adam Ritcher, senior C/MF Connor Schene, senior D Nick Wesner, senior D Pete Wesner, senior D Joe Martens, senior D Brian Flannery, junior F Matthew Scharf, senior MF Nico Underwood, senior MF Justin Zadoks.

Newcomers expected to contribute: None.

Captains: Nick Wesner, Pete Wesner, Connor Shene.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Defense. Have decent depth.

Goals: We haven’t done very well in conference lately so we’d like to do well, play in district finals.

Suburban West Conference American Division: Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Parkway South. National Division: Fox, Mehlville and Northwest, Oakville, Seckman.

Class 4 District 3 teams: Kirkwood, Lafayette, Parkway South, Vianney.

Quote: “Scoring goals will be interesting for us this season,” Walters said. “We don’t have a game-changer at this point. We will have to manufacture goals. I have 16 or 17 starters and the key is coming off the bench and playing well. We want guys coming off the bench to play like a starter.”

Marquette Mustangs

2013 record: 19-4-1. Won Suburban West Conference championship.

Coach: Chris Kenny. Entering sixth year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Steve Conway, Brendan Taylor, Blake Johnson.

Returning number of starters: 2.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior Logan Glaser, senior MF Matt Wagoner, senior D Jacob Krupp, senior MF JP Morray, senior G Nick Bertich.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Have six sophomores and four juniors who are new to the varsity.

Captains: Not named yet.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Strengths will be hard work, solid players throughout.

Goals: Compete for Suburban West Conference and win the district

Suburban West Conference American Division: Eureka, Lafayette, Lindbergh, Marquette, Parkway South. National Division: Fox, Mehlville and Northwest, Oakville, Seckman.

Favorites to win the conference: Our conference will be very competitive, with every game being a challenge.

Class 4 District 5 teams: CBC, De Smet Jesuit, Marquette, Parkway North.

Quote: “I’m excited to see how we compete and improve throughout the season,” Kenny said.

MICDS Rams

2013 record: 8-11. Lost in district semifinals to Clayton on seventh kick of penalty kicks.

Coach: Terry Murray. Entering 13th year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Bill Merello, Jim Taylor, Dan Burstein, goalies.

Returning number of starters: 8.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior MF Constantine Veronikas, senior F Stephen Mattingly, senior MF Tilman Bartelsmeyer, senior D Peter Brown, senior D Adrian Bianco, senior D Mark Hoeman.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Senior Mason Bohlmann, senior John Bozesky, sophomore Teddy Fister, sophomore Robby Morris.

Captains: Not named yet.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Should be strong in the back, have a senior heavy team, and a good bench.

Goals: Do well in league play and get to the district final.

Teams in Metro League: John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, MICDS, Principia, Priory, Westminster Christian Academy.

Favorites to win the conference: League will be strong. All game are always close. Priory, John Burroughs and Lutheran South should be very strong.

Class 3 District 5 teams: Clayton, Ladue, MICDS, University City.

Quote: “We are excited about our team,” Murray said. “We had big numbers come out for soccer again this year. We have scheduled a difficult schedule so hopefully we will be able to create some good experience and grow strong throughout the season.”

Parkway Central Colts 

2013 record: 11-14-1.

Coach: Brian Adam. Entering first year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Ryan Crowley and David Comens.

Returning number of starters: 8.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior MF Luca Vezin, who has started since his sophomore year and was a first team all-conference player. W/MF Austin Mischel and Tyler Kendrick have the tools to consistently put the ball in the back of the net. Our defense is anchored by returning junior starter Josh Rembold who learned on the job a lot last year. Returning junior G Michael Rembold won the starting keeper job, but can’t rest because he is being pushed and challenged for the job every practice.

Newcomers expected to contribute: We didn’t add many new players to this year’s team, but we do have a lot of returning juniors and sophomores that want to make a bigger impact in their second season. The team has done a nice job of welcoming a foreign exchange student from Denmark that has fit right in with our style of play.

Captains: Luca Vezin, Austin Mischel, Michael Rembold, Josh Konecek.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None

Team strengths: This team has shown a great desire and ability, early in the preseason, to be able to pass the ball. The positive battles for each position has led to a competitive team that projects to have a lot of depth.

Goals: We go into every season with an emphasis on conference and tournament games while learning what we can about ourselves while playing as many different teams as possible in the non-conference games.

Suburban Central Conference National Division: Clayton, University City, Ladue, Parkway West and Parkway Central. American Division: Maplewood, McCluer South-Berkeley, Jennings, Affton and Normandy.

Favorites to win the conference: I am going to show my bias and give the edge to one of the teams that we were in conference with over the past few years.  It was an extremely competitive conference that brought out a lot of emotion in players and coaches. I think that type of pressure will be a new experience for the teams that we are blending with.

Class 4 District 6 teams: Parkway Central, Parkway West, Priory, Westminster Christian Academy.

Quote: “We have been working together quite well and this team reminds me of some of our more successful teams in our recent past,” Adam said. “We have some quality leadership and a few players from each grade that we expect to make a difference.”

Parkway North Vikings

2013 record: 10-13.

Coach: Jeff Church. Entering third year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Wendy Freebersyser.

Returning number of starters: 5.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Yossi Moges, Clayton Fry, Matt Schnell.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Ian Clendenin, Duncan Bryan, Nick Lucchesi.

Captains: Yossi Moges, Ian Hollander, Mike Ebert.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None

Team strengths: Quick play and passing.

Goals: Challenge each team. Compete in the conference. Finish over 500.

Suburban XII Conference North Division: Hazelwood Central, Hazelwood East, Hazelwood West, McCluer, McCluer North, Riverview Gardens. South Division: Kirkwood, Parkway North, Pattonville, Ritenour, Summit, Webster Groves.

Favorites to win the conference: Kirkwood, Summit, Webster Groves.

Class 4 District 5 teams: CBC, De Smet Jesuit, Marquette, Parkway North.

Quote: “We typically graduate a starting lineup each year, so we always feel like we are rebuilding,” Church said. “This year we will have a young team again, but a good amount of talent and very positive attitudes. The guys have been working hard to learn the new system. I think it plays to our strengths. We’ve learned that success will come when we work hard.”

Parkway West Longhorns

2013 record: 17-8. Won the Class 2 District 6 District Championship in overtime against Priory.

Coach: Michael Skordos. Entering seventh year as head coach at Parkway West with an 80-70-5 record. Overall coaching record is 163-118-7.

Returning number of starters: 4.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior F Tucker Watts, senior F Hadyn Vance, sophomore MF Charlie Hummel, junior MF Matt Pilgrim, senior MF Jon Roh, junior D Collin Basler, junior D Tommy Stimac.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Senior F Kyle Bernstein, senior F Nick Nazzoli, junior F Jack Snyder, junior F Jack Galkowski, junior MF Jeremy Gibson, sophomore MF Connor Basler, junior D Spencer Reeves, senior Matt Hall, junior D Jack Stiegemeyer, junior D Alex Karrenbrock, junior G Wyatt Harlan.

Team strengths: Continue to compete with every team in our new conference.

Goals: Our goal is to make a run at the conference title, and be ready when districts come around in November.

Suburban Central Conference National Division: Clayton, University City, Ladue, Parkway West and Parkway Central. American Division: Maplewood, McCluer South-Berkeley, Jennings, Affton and Normandy.

Favorites to win conference: Parkway Central, Ladue, Clayton, Parkway West.

Class 4 District 6 teams: Parkway Central, Parkway West, Priory, Westminster Christian Academy.

Quote: “We have a young core of returning varsity players,” Skordos said. “We look forward to a successful and exciting season of soccer.”

Principia Panthers

2013 record: 15-5-1.

Coach: Kipp Keller. Entering first year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Nick Barron. Entering first year as assistant coach. Former Principia Upper School graduate (played soccer) who went to Bates College and was a two-sport athlete (soccer & track). Nick spent the last year in Kimberley, South Africa doing an internship with Grassroots Soccer.

Returning number of starters: 3.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior F August Kreutz, senior CB Nick Klusmeyer, senior G Corbitt Grow.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Junior CB Cameron Sellers, sophomore MF Kaleb Keller.

Captains: August Kreutz, Nick Klusmeyer, Corbitt Grow.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Our ability to play within the team concept, if we can accomplish it.

Goals: Improve our team as best we can through mid-October so that we are playing our best soccer for districts.

Teams in Metro League: John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, MICDS, Principia, Priory, Westminster Christian Academy.

Favorites to win the conference: Priory and John Burroughs.

Class 1 District 2 teams: Brentwood, Crossroads College Preparatory High, Principia, Valley Park.

Quote: “My goal for this young team is just to unify their focus and develop character in each individual, ultimately helping them mature as a team and preparing them for districts, as well as just instilling a passion for soccer,” Keller said. “I’m not sure what our final record will be. My focus is just making sure we work hard, play as a team, and do the best we can.”

Westminster Christian Academy Wildcats

2013 record: 7-16-1. Lost to Priory in district semifinal.

Coach: Dan Legters. Entering 14th year as head coach.

Assistant coaches: Warren Smith, Gerry Appelbaum.

Returning number of starters: 6.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior F Sean Appelbaum, senior F Sam Dunne, senior MF Carl Simakoff, senior G Jacob Chimento.

Newcomers expected to contribute: Sophomore D Teddy Bacon, sophomore D Connor Dolan.

Captains: Sean Appelbaum, Carl Simakoff.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Our strength will be in the middle, but we have some fresh faces that will add depth to the squad.

Goals: Win conference title, get to district final, have a team grade point average of 3.3 or higher, have a winning record.

Teams in Metro League: John Burroughs, Lutheran North, Lutheran South, MICDS, Principia, Priory, Westminster Christian Academy.

Favorites to win the conference: Priory.

Class 4 District 6 teams: Parkway Central, Parkway West, Priory, Westminster Christian Academy.

Quote: “We have a good balance of strong leadership and core returning players but we’ve added some depth with some younger players who will contribute right off the bat,” Legters said. “We’re working hard to shore up our defensive position while we have a strong attacking unit that hopefully will win the close games for us this year.”

Whitfield Warriors 

2013 record: 9-15-1. Won district. Lost 1-0 in sectional to John Burroughs.

Coach: Bill Daus.

Assistant coaches: Mike Quante, Jeff Cacciatore, Luke Cano, Tom Brannan.

Returning number of starters: 4.

Players on team to watch for this fall: Senior D T.J. Chulick, junior defender Sam Bell, senior D Yasser Naushad, junior G Ethan Bradley.

Captains: None named.

Players who have signed or committed to a college: None.

Team strengths: Hopefully, we will have a balanced team between defending as a unit and attacking with speed and precision

Goals: Keep improving as a team as we progress through the season.

Teams in conference: Independent.

Class 2 District 4 teams: John Burroughs, Kennedy, Maplewood, Whitfield.

Quote: “The players have been working with a determined effort throughout preseason training sessions,” Daus said. “Our system will present an opportunity for our players to expand and grow as players and people.”

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