Miami County Boys Soccer Preview

TROY — Richard Phillips returns as Troy boys soccer coach.

The Trojans were 5-10-2 at year ago.

The top forwards will include Bradyn Dillow and Mitchell Davis.

Davis, a senior, had 10 goals and seven assists a year ago, while Dillow, a sophomore, had three goals and three assists.

Chris King, Tyler Malott and Nick Foran will lead the midfielders.

Malott, a junior had two goals, a year ago.

Foran, a senior and King, a junior, each had one assist.

Robert Cox and Julian Polvarini will lead the defense and Samuel Westfall will be the keeper.

Westfall, a junior, had 103 saves last season and Cox and Polvarini are both juniors as well.

Phillips hopes his team will be more competitive this year with another year’s experience and expects the MVL to be very competitive.

TIPPECANOE

Ian Porto takes over as Tippecanoe coach.

The Red Devils were 16-3-1 last season.

Returning letterwinners include Caleb Ransom, Zack Shellhammer, Mason Harding, Landon Luginbuhl, Keaton Jackson, Michael Jergens, Keegan Fowler, Landon Haas and Carson King.

Haas scores 30 points a year ago, while Jackson had 18 points and Ransom scored 17 points.

Returning starters from the 2021 season include Harding, Jackson, Haas, King, Ransom, and Michael Jergens (goalkeeper).

“The MVL is a competitive league year in and year out— it is yearly our goal to compete for a league title (league is in fourth year of existence),” Porto said. “Tipp has won in 2019, 2020, and 2021) and the goal is also to return to the regional level of competition in the state tournament (Tipp qualified for regionals every year from 2016-2020 before falling to eventual state champion Wyoming in the district final last year, including State Final appearances in 2019 and 2020 and a State Championship in 2019).”

PIQUA

Tom Wiseman returns as Piqua coach.

The Indians were 5-9-3 last year and won the Quest Cup.

Returning letterwinners include Josh Heath, Jordan Slife, Kasey Cantrell, Quintin Bachman, Ty Pettus, Collin Snyder, Costas Elliott, Nathan Buecker, Landon Lawson and Logan Thompson .

Snyder, Elliott and Bachman will lead the forwards, while Buecker, Braxton Penrod and Pettus will head up the midfielders.

Buecker, a senior, had 19 goals and eight assists a year ago.

The defense will be led by Lawson, Thompson and Slife Heath will be the goalie.

Heath, a junior, led the MVL with 249 saves a year ago.

Wiseman hopes to have a record over.500, be in the top three in the MVL, get first postseason win in a number of years and make it into the top 10 in the Miami Valley rankings.

He sees Tippecanoe and Butler as the top two teams in the MVL.

BETHEL

Bob Hamlin is ready for another successful season at Bethel after the Bees went 17-2-2 last year and won the TRC with a 5-1-2 record.

“I am very excited about the year ahead,” Hamlin said. “We graduated a dozen seniors,were TRC and District Champions, but we have some talented returning players and a good group of new players. Making the jump to Division II this year will just give us a new challenge and paint a different landscape for us. But we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.”

All state and all region selection — along with being TRC Player of the Year, Jace Houk is back at forward.

The senior had 27 goals and 15 assists a year ago.

Other top forwards include sophomore Davis Kasimov, junior Ethan Tallmadge and freshman Kamden Etmans.

Second team All-Ohio selection Kyle Brueckman is back to lead the midfielders.

The senior had eight goals and 19 assists a year ago.

Other top midfielders are junior Grant Bean, sophomore Nathan Lutz, seniors Azius Villaa and Matt Smith and freshman Kason Etmans and Ethan Wishon.

The top defenders will include seniors Elijah Rios, Colby Kiser, Austin Black, Luke Arnold and Justin Jergens; sophomore Evan Goodman and freshman Logan Newell.

Junior Noah McCanns will be the goal keeper.

”I feel as though we have had a good summer of soccer,” Hamlin said. “Everyday someone looks better than the day before. We have liked what we have seen so far. We have some very talented offensive performers and should be more dangerous on the attack. When we are composed and make good decisions on the ball, we could have a very dangerous offensive attack.

“At times this summer we have just gotten into too much of a rush and were impatient. Defensively is where we must improve the quickest. We only have one returning starter in the back and we are breaking in new keeper, after losing a four-year starter in the net. They have been working hard and I love the lunch pail mentality they bring to each and every practice. So, I am eagerly awaiting the regular season to begin.”

Hamlin expects another strong year for the TRC.

“As I said before, in the TRC, it is going to be a battle every night,” he said. “Playing everyone twice is brutal but if you survive, it definitely prepares you for the post season. It is going to be fun.”

LEHMAN CATHOLIC

The Lehman Catholic boys soccer team finished 4-11-1 overall a year ago and 0-8 in the TRC.

The team includes seniors Ryan Armstrong, Thomas Schmiesing, Brandon Jones, Mark Moloney II and Samuel LaForme; juniors John Moloney and Gus Schmiesing; sophomores Cole Bostick, Jeremiah LaForme, Luke Courtad, Daniel Carlisle, Collin Potts, Zen Wagner, Alvara Rosello, Javier Bayon, Alex Lundy and Bennen Potts and freshman Carter Rigel and Jack Sedlack.

MIAMI EAST

The Miami East boys soccer team finished 9-3-3 overall and 5-2-1 in the TRC.

The team includes seniors Dylan Barnes, Caleb Stone, Trenton Maxson, Ethan Gudorf, Colin McEldowney and Ethan Paulus; juniors Kayden Weldy, Tayden Gross, Luke Haymaker, Evan Noll, Cameron Monnin and Jakob Marker and sophomore Evan Demmitt.

MILTON-UNION

Todd Winchester returns as coach.

The Bulldogs were 10-7-1 a year ago.

Returning letterwinners include Mason Grudich, Carson Brown, Luke Daum, Braden Schauer, Logan Bessecker, Nathan Barker, Mitchell Madewell, Logan Keys, Titus Copp and Tyler Combs.

Grudich and Brown will lead the forwards, while the top midfielders will be Daum, Besecker, Copp and Keys.

The defense will be led by Schauer, Combs and Barker.

“We are young with only six seniors, one junior, eight Sophomores and four freshmen, but we are looking to improve on our fourth place finish in the league last year and get into position to make a good postseason run,” Winchester said.

He said the conference will be as strong as always.

”The TRC conference will be very competitive this year,” he said. “Bethel is the returning champion and is well coached and always tough to beat. It will be interesting to see how Bethel does in the D-II postseason. Troy Christian and Miami East look very good early and I expect them to battle it out for first place in the league, with each making deep runs in the postseason.

”Lehman Catholic is always tough and it will be interesting to see how they respond to their new coach. Last year, four of five teams in the league had players recognized at the district, area and state levels and I expect that will be the case this year. The league title will most likely come down to the last week of the season, it’s going to be a dogfight for sure.”

TROY CHRISTIAN

Ryan Zeman returns as the Troy Christian coach.

The Eagles were 9-6-4 last year, while playing one of the toughest D-III schedules in Ohio.

The Eagles return 17 letterwinners.

Evan Murphy, Alex Free, Miles Gordon and James Swartz will lead the forwards, while the top midfielders will be Aidan Barnishin, Max Barnishin, Braden Chambers and Connor Bollinger.

Tanner Conklin is back in goal and the defense will be led by Parker Penrod, Matthew Wynne, Dylan Hagstrom and Brayden Sawyer.

Zeman hopes to win a fifth district title in seven years and win the TRC.

NEWTON

Jeff Armentrout returns as coach.

The Indians were 8-8-2 last year.

Returning letterwinners include Josh Fisher, Dan Fisher, Mason Brumbaugh, Noah Brush, Dustin Butts, Blake Reish, and Aiden Kelley.

“I am expecting good output from Noah Brush and Dustin Butts at the forward position and Josh Fisher will be in my ten position this year to handle the ball disbursement,” Armentrout said. “The defensive line is being led by senior Mason Brumbaugh and senior goalie Blake Reish.”

Armentrout likes the makeup of his team.

“Numbers are down this season, but the guys that are out have a great work ethic and attitude,” he said. “We have a very tough non-league schedule this season, but there is not a game that I don’t think we can win. I think our conference is completely up for grabs. My current concern is that the WOAC recognize boys soccer this season as there is a possibility of the conference being down a team due to a lack of players.”

Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]