Other Varsity Sports

Boys soccer: top 10 players to watch in the 2017 season

TOP 10 FORWARDS

1. Corbyn Howard, Carroll senior

One of the flashiest players in Wichita, Howard is a magician with the ball at his feet. He is a three-time All-State selection by the coaches, as Howard netted 20 goals for Carroll last season in leading the team to 16 victories and a third-place finish in the Class 5A tournament.

2. Blake Arndt, Northwest senior

Northwest played competitively last season, but ultimately posted a losing 6-8-3 record. But the bright spot was the play of Arndt, who led the team with 17 goals and two assists while playing the target forward role for the offense. His size makes him a dangerous threat on set pieces and he’ll be one of the top forces in the City League this season with the ball at his feet.

3. Cooper Allan, Buhler senior

Allan was Buhler’s leading scorer last season and the go-to option in big games for the Crusaders. He’s hard to keep off the ball and has a knack for goal. Back for his senior season after earning second-team All-State honors as a junior, Allan figures to be one of the state’s top goal-scorers this season.

4. Jackson Lewallen and Bryce Fimreite, Andover Central seniors

Andover Central stunned Class 4-1A last season when it upset McPherson in a regional championship game and advanced to the state semifinals. Back are 15 players from that team, as well as its top two scoring threats in Lewallen (10 goals, seven assists) and Fimreite (five goals, six assists). Cromly is the workhorse in the middle of the field and earned second team All-State honors last season.

5. Darrius Armstrong, McPherson senior

McPherson will have a huge hole to fill in Class 4A Offensive Player of the Year in Andric McGill, but coach Chris Adrian feels like the scoring role in McPherson’s offense is in good shape with Armstrong moving up top for his senior season. Last year Armstrong was an all-state defender, but his ball skills and technical ability were too tempting not to move up to the top of McPherson’s formation this season.

6. Jesus Vitela and Edgar Pantaja, North junior and senior

It’s no easy task to try to follow in the footsteps of Rene Flores, Alfredo Espino, nad Jonathon Renteria, but Vitela and Pantaja have flashed tremendous potential in limited action. They’ll be asked to up their production as they step into starting roles and should have big years as the Redskins will once again be the 6A power in the area.

7. Kwame Parry, Eisenhower senior

Parry was an explosive option for Eisenhower at the top of its attack and now armed with more options in the midfield to feed him the ball, Parry should be in for a big senior season for the much-improved Tigers.

8. Will Thompson, Maize senior

Thompson will miss the first month of the season due to injury, but he will be one of the top goal scorers in the area upon his return. He earned first-team all-league honors last season and gave Maize some much-needed offensive punch by scoring seven goals and adding four assists.

9. Tyson Ridenour, Valley Center senior

Ridenour returns as Valley Center’s go-to option at the top of its formation, as he earned second-team all-league honors last season as a junior. Another year of experience, Ridenour should become an even more dangerous threat for a Valley Center team looking to push for a winning record this season.

10. Trinidad Tackett, Campus senior

If Campus is going to reach double-digit wins this season, then Tackett will have a breakout season up top for the Colts. He delivered a steady scoring stream as a junior and earned second-team all-league honors and he figures to be one of the top threats in the AV-CTL I this season for a Campus team that returns all 11 starters.

TOP 10 MIDFIELDERS

1. Cody Benedict and Jack Barrier, Kapaun seniors

Gone is Thomas Wells, who netted 50 goals and broke every scoring record in Kapaun history, but coach Anthony Cantele isn’t worried because of the return of Benedict and Barrier. Last season both excelled in feeding Wells the ball, but this season Benedict should shoulder more of the goal-scoring duties with Barrier continuing his duties as a creative force in the midfield and become one of the most dangerous duos in Class 5A.

2. Dawson Lee, and Skyler Stuckey, Carroll seniors

Lee and Stuckey have been four-year players for Carroll and are two of the most experienced midfielders in the state. They are both workhorses in the middle of the field and allow Carroll to consistently win the possession battle. They are both second team All-State players and make Carroll one of the top teams in Class 5A.

3. Jacob Cromly, Andover Central senior

Cromly is the workhorse in the middle of the field for Andover Central, as he earned second-team All-State honors last season for the Jaguars during their run to the state semifinals. He has two great options up top to work with in Jackson Lewallen and Bryce Fimreite and should be in for a big season creating.

4. Grant Sacket and Adrian Schrage, Derby seniors

Sacket and Schrage are the two most dangerous players in the Derby attack, as Schrage is the plamaker in the middle of the field and Sacket returns up top for the Panthers. Coach Paul Burke might even pull Sacket back in the attack to get him on the ball more, but this duo promises to make an electric pairing for their senior season.

5. Alfonso Ceballos, North junior

North graduated a talented senior class and will have to reload its offensive attack, but coach Curt Wullschleger is encouraged by the play of Ceballos. He was already a creative force for the Redskins as a sophomore and should be even more dangerous this season with more time on the ball.

6. Kyle Hsaio, Andover senior

The top playmaker in the middle of the field for Andover is back, as the Trojans will lean on Hsaio as it tries to transition eight new starters to its lineup. Hsaio has a strong work rate and should be a force in the middle of the field for Andover this season.

7. Jose Rojas, Newton senior

Newton is absolutely loaded this season with the majority of its lineup returning and a huge senior class. Rojas will be among the many to make a difference in the midfield for the Railers this season, as he earned second-team all-league honors last year.

8. Nathan Truong, Maize South senior

Maize South will have a strong midfield this season and Truong figures to be the team’s top one this season. He earned second-team all-league honors and remains the team’s best creator in the midfield and has also shown the ability to step up and take shots from distance.

9. Ian Young and Ethan Doud, Eisenhower junior and sophomore

Eisenhower is off to a dominant start to the season and its improve play has been partly the result of the work Young and Doud are doing in a revamped midfield for the Tigers. They have been creative on the ball and are making Eisenhower look like one of the top scoring teams in the area.

10. Rowan Heick, Goddard senior

Goddard’s offense should be in good shape this season with three of its top offensive weapons returning with Heick back as the team’s playmaker in the middle of the field. He’ll have two good options to look at in Josh Martinez and Eian Haislett.

TOP 10 DEFENDERS

1. Alec Bevis and Ryan Griffin, Carroll senior

Bevis and Griffin have been the foundation of Carroll’s defense for three years running now, as they have actually both played varsity for all four years of their career. They have the most experience of anybody on this list and both have earned multiple All-State selections for their defensive work.

2. Alejandro Orona, North senior

Orona might be the most skilled player at North, but coach Curt Wullschleger loves having the confidence in him manning the back line for the Redskins. He has the pace to chase down any ball and the ability to read the game to cut off runs by forwards. His experience should solidify North’s back line and make the team a contender once again in Class 6A.

3. Devin Cape, McPherson senior

Cape has been a reliable defender for McPherson coach Chris Adrian for some time now and returns for his final season on the back line after earning All-State honors last season. Cape possesses all of the tools of an elite defender and will once again be the lock-down defender for a McPherson team coming off a 13-win season.

4. Max Fields, Valley Center junior

Fields began to make a name for himself last season as a sophomore, earning first-team all-league honors on Valley Center’s back line. If the Hornets are going to make a jump this season, then Fields will play a major role with his work anchoring the back line.

5. Kaden Quint, Buhler junior

Quint became a full-time starter on Buhler’s midfield last season and became an instant success, as he earned first-team all-league honors and second-team All-State honors. He will move to the back line this season and should bolster the Crusaders’ defense this seaosn.

6. Jose Moreno, Newton junior

Newton’s defense will once again be solid with most of its backline returning. Last season Moreno was Newton’s top defender on its back line, as he earned second-team all-league honors as a sophomore. Back with another year of experience, Moreno should ascend to be one of the top defenders in Class 5A this season.

7. Dalton Rogers, Campus senior

Campus experienced a turnaround last season by posting its first winning record, at 9-7-1, in a long time. The Colts have 11 starters returning, headlined by Rogers, a first-team all-league pick a year ago. He gives Campus one of the best defensive holding midfielders around and should help the Colts exceed their win total from last season.

8. Aaron Quezada, East senior

East loses a lot to graduation from its 10-win team from a year ago, but Quezada is the top returner and will anchor the Blue Aces’ back line this season.

9. Ryan McCully, Kapaun senior

Kapaun will have to replace much of its back line after a 15-win campaign last season, but it has a solid foundation to begin with in McCully. He earned second-team All-State honors as a junior and coach Anthony Cantele is excited to see McCully elevate his leadership and game for his senior season.

10. Kaleb Liu, Derby senior

Liu earned second team all-league honors last season and returns as the team’s foundation on the back line at centerback. His size makes him a strong presence in the back and Liu will be a crucial piece to Derby’s defense this season.

TOP 7 GOALKEEPERS

1. Joe Chessmore, Kapaun senior

Chessmore was excellent for Kapaun during its 15-win season that ended in the state quarterfinals. He earned second team all-league honors, as well as second team All-State honors. He’s back for his senior season and should give Kapaun a rock in goal, as it attempts to rebuild its back line.

2. Davis Joseph, Andover Central junior

Joseph was thrown into the fire as a sophomore on a team with high expectations playing a difficult schedule. Joseph responded to the challenge with six clean sheets and was crucial in Andover Central’s run to the Class 4-1A semifinals, as he earned second team All-State honors.

3. Braeden Huslig, Carroll junior

Huslig didn’t start last season in goal for Carroll, but stepped in halfway through the season and finished the year out as Carrroll’s top keeper. He did so as just a sophomore and that postseason experience should be valuable, as Huslig will have one of the best back lines in Class 5A working in front of him.

4. Rylan Walter, Campus junior

Asked to step into goal as just a sophomore, Walter responded with a strong season for a debut. He’s back with another year of experience and will be counted on once again in goal for a team that will push to reach double-digit wins this season.

5. Paul Mode, Heights senior

Mode excelled in his junior season at Heights, as he earned honorable mention all-league honors and actually led the City League in saves. With a better defense in 2017, Mode shouldn’t have to make as many saves and could be in line for an even better year.

6. Colby Swift, Valley Center junior

Swift excelled in goal as a sophomore, starting in his first season for the Hornets and earning honorable mention all-league honors. He’s even stronger now as a junior and has a solid back line in front of him to make up what should be a strong Hornet defense.

7. Caleb Page, Circle senior

Circle struggled through a two-win campaign last season, but a bright spot was the play of Page in goal. While Page was put to the task more times than most goalkeepers, he routinely came up with big saves and helped keep the Thunderbirds in games with his play in goal.

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