Boys soccer preview:

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

The Husky boys soccer team is hoping to build on last year?s successes.

The team finished just shy of a winning record last year, and with their experience, Coach Karl Schmidtman thinks his players could break that mark.

The goal this year is to finish among the top four teams in the league and potentially even win a spot in the state playoffs.

?We should be a pretty exciting team this year,? Schmidtman said. ?We will score some goals.?

The boys finished 5-6-2 in 2004, Schmidtman said. ?We look to build on that.?

Despite the loss of Heath Belknap, Kellen Petersen and Mark Lewis, the Huskies should field their best passing team ever, Schmidtman said. This year?s team is going to focus on ball control, attempting to retain possession of the ball longer than opponents. That way, the Huskies can dictate the pace of the game to suit their needs.

?We have a leadership void, but we have a bunch of seniors that have filled that better than my expectations,? Schmidtman said.

Schmidtman said there are no teams that look like they will really stand out this year in the league. ?There?s a lot of parity. We definitely have a chance to finish in the top four.?

Cottage Grove is probably the favorite, Schmidtman said. The team was league champion last year and returns the league player of the year. Junction City is a favorite also.

The Huskies face some tough games, Schmidtman said. Sweet Home?s toughest opponents will be Marist, Cottage Grove, Sisters and Junction City. To breach the top four, the Huskies will need to beat at least one of those teams.

Returning players include seniors Sean McGuyre, Ben Schmidt, Nic Wirth, Travis Walker, Tom Helfrich and Isaac Villarreal; juniors Jason Long and Rob Helfrich; and sophomore Brandon Elliott.

Joining the team are senior Brandon Smith, juniors Kevin Young and KC Hanscam and sophomore Michael Bolduc.

Smith, ?a first-year soccer player, is really impressive so far,? Schmidtman said. He will fill the goalie position, succeeding Petersen.

Schmidt and McGuyre will work midfield, running both offensive and defensive ends and helping maintain possession, Schmidtman said. Their role is something like the point guard in basketball.

Villarreal and Elliott will play forward, Schmidtman said. The forwards make things happen on offense and are the prime weapons for shots on goal. Villarreal can shoot the ball with either foot, an accomplishment for any player at the high school level. Elliott is doing well and has a quick first step.

Defensively, Wirth will work the sweeper position, Schmidtman said. He communicates well and makes sure people are where they are supposed to be.

Walker will player center defender, Schmidtman said. Outside defenders will be Buldoc and Long. They both are more than 6 feet tall. Tom Helfrich also will start at outside defender.

The program has a total of 24 boys out, Schmidtman said. It will also field a junior varsity team, and some members will swing varsity.

The junior varsity roster includes CJ Allyn, Chris Farris, Sebas Mauer, Alex Moser, Caid Sanders, Jered Severns, Trevor Shipp, Aris Somatis and Cameron Vasseur.

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Sweet Home High School Boys Soccer Schedule 2005

Date Team Opponent Site Time

9/6 V/JV Molalla Away 5 p.m.

9/8 V East Linn Chr. Away 4 p.m.

9/10 V Cascade Jamboree Away 7 p.m.

9/12 V/JV Lebanon Away 4:30 p.m.

9/15 V/JV Taft Home 4 p.m.

9/20 V/JV North Marion Home 4:30 p.m.

9/27 V/JV Marist Home 3 p.m.

9/30 V/JV Sisters Away 4:30 p.m.

10/4 V/JV Pleasant Hill Away 4:30 p.m.

10/6 V/JV Elmira Home 4:30 p.m.

10/11 V/JV Cottage Grove Away 4:30 p.m.

10/13 V/JV Junction City Away 4:30 p.m.

10/18 V/JV Cascade Home 4:30 p.m.

10/20 V/JV Stayton Home 3:30 p.m.

11/6 State ? First Round