The Seymour boys’ and girls’ soccer teams will kick off their schedules Saturday with the boys home against Jasper, and the girls traveling to Batesville.
Seymour boys coach Matt Dennis is hoping his team can reverse last fall’s 3-10-4 record.
“This year we’ll be a better team,” Dennis said. “We play well together. Our defensive organization looks better and we will be faster in many positions than we were last year.”
Returning veterans are seniors Cameron Cox, Carter Hendrix, and Isaac Schafer, and juniors Casey Regruth, Donovyn Thomas, Tsubasa Kato, Avery Penegar, Gabe Baker and Luke Reasoner, plus sophomore William Smith.
[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]
“With so many guys returning we will be more mature,” Dennis said. “We had five sophomores that started last year. They will be better prepared this year and will have learned a lot.”
Greg Musser coached the Seymour girls to a record of 11-7-2 last season and with eight starters, plus six other lettermen to form the nucleus of the team, he said “expectations for this year are very high in our minds.
“We fully expect to be playing for a conference and sectional title this season. We should be in every game and competing for victories. We have a lot of very talented opponents on our schedule, many of them ranked and I feel like we will compete with all of them.”
The senior veterans are Mallory Moore, Alyssa Perry, and Haley Westfall, the juniors are Camryn Sterling, Lillie Wessel and Eliza Cash, and the sophomore starters back are Brooke Trinkle and Nicole Rebber.
Other returning lettermen are seniors Addi Chandler, Jimena Leal, Kylee Nowling, Sydney Musgrave and Ellie Cornn and junior Ellen Zabor.
“We are a very close team,” Musser said. “We will play for each other every minute of every game. We are a veteran team, we have a lot of experience and leadership. These girls have put in a lot of work to develop first touch and possession abilities in the run of play.”
Trinity girls coach Thom Hayes is counting on strong senior leadership from Flossie Cooper, Erin Enzinger and Genesis Munoz. Other veterans are juniors Sarah Lemming, Kailene Cockerham and Riley Lawles, and the sophomores are Emma Myers, Kathryn Whitmore and Samantha Enzinger.
The Trinity girls will open its schedule Monday at Providence at 6 p.m., and the boys will be home versus Greenwood Christian Academy Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
“We lost some good seniors, but the returning players have improved," Musser said, "certainly since the beginning of last year, and I’m counting on them for sure. I also like the talent we got from the new players. I know Kailene coming back will definitely produce some results on offense.”
New juniors Hayes is counting on are Kayla Goecker, Paige Lawrence and Mya Lindroth. Hayes said he expect all three girls to see a lot of playing time and be major contributors.
“We want at least to repeat what we did last year, and have a winning season (9-7)," Hayes said. "We would like to get some of the teams that got us last year. I definitely believe we have a chance to do that.”
Trinity boys coach Joe Doggett has 20 names on the roster, including 11 veterans.
“We have a lot of experience and we have a lot of new, young talent," he said. "We have a great freshman (7) class. It’s nice to have 20 players this year and we’ll be able to platoon and have good stamina and be able to win in the (last 20 minutes of the second half) which we haven’t been able to do in previous years.”
Senior veterans are Noah Mensendiek, Kash Siefker, Caleb Probst, Zephyr Wilson, and Ethan Myers. Juniors who lettered last year are Jacob Sabotin, Connor Sims, and Preston Kovener, plus sophomores Andrew Bell, Adam Everroad and Pradel Kiel lettered last fall.
“I think our outlook is pretty good,” Doggett said. “Most of them know each other and we’ve been playing for quite a while now so we expect pretty good play on the field. I think we’ll play well.”
Peyton Pollert will be in goal for the Cougars.
Seymour and Trinity Lutheran have new head coaches for their boys’ tennis programs this fall with Sharon Wood coaching the Owls and Kable Walton coaching the Cougars.
Wood replaces Brad Emerson at the helm of the Owls and has two varsity regulars returning for an 18-3 team that won a sectional last fall. The two regulars back are senior Brandon Hubbard, who was at No. 1 doubles last year, and junior Andrew Levine, who was at No. 2 doubles.
Eli Meyer and Hunter Heckman, both sophomores, saw limited varsity action last fall.
Wood said she previously coached a majority of the 23 players when they were in middle school.
“I was a volunteer assistant for girls high school, and coached middle school for many, many years," Wood said. "I’ve been involved in the high school program as a parent, so I’ve been around the tennis world for a long, long time."
The Owls are youthful, though.
“We are a young team," she said. "We’ve only got a few returning players at the varsity level. At this point we do have a lot of tennis experience. We’ve got kids who have played in the off-season. We’ve got kids who played either for Immanuel Lutheran School team or Seymour Middle School team."
Wood is still trying to pick her lineup.
“We’re currently having challenge matches so none of our positions are determined at this point,” she said. “We have 11 players of the 19 still battling hard for the seven varsity spots. Our depth is very good. We’ve got a lot of consistency, we’ve got a lot of people who can be mixed between singles and doubles, so that gives us a lot of versatility to play some different line ups.
Mitch Taylor is working with a veteran squad at Brownstown Central with five varsity regulars returning.
That includes Ethan Isaacs back at No. 1 singles, Ethan Davis at No. 2 singles, Reece Carlin and Griffin Stidam at No. 1 doubles, and Cole Shasteen at No. 2 doubles.
“Isaacs will start the year at No. 1 singles, but guys have improved over the last month-and-a-half,” Taylor said. “I don’t expect to have the same lineup night after night out. We have 18 guys on our roster and about 10 of those will be competing for varsity lineup positions all year.
“I think a big strength of ours will be experience and knowledge of the game. The senior class this year are guys I’ve had since they were freshmen. They know what to expect coming into practice, coming into match day, and I feel like they’re well suited and prepared to play their best night in and night out."
He thinks he has a very solid group.
“Our biggest thing is to key in on every match will be focus and execution," Taylor said. "My guys have high expectations and standards. They’ve prepared themselves and gotten into shape. Now they’ve got to sharpen their minds. They’ve got to be ready to win the mental side of every match in order for us to be successful this year.”
Walton, who played at Columbus North, said Cameron Gruenwald and Ryan Klemen will battle for No. 1 singles at Trinity.
Gruenwald was a regular at No. 1 doubles last fall. Other returning veterans are Luke Pollert, who was at No. 2 doubles last season, and Jerry Jiang, who played No. 3 singles last season.
“They are probably stronger with their ground strokes than they are with net play,” Walton said. “Overall I think it’s a rebuilding season for them. I know we have a lot of hard work ahead.”