Soccer Preview: Teams look to build on past year’s success
Teams in Hartselle and Morgan County experienced a great deal of success in 2021, and their chance to reprise that success is coming, as the season approaches. Three teams advanced to the first round of the state tournament, while two others advanced to the second round for the first time in school history.
The Tigers are coming off a historic season after advancing to the second round of the state tournament for the first time. They won the area championship and then defeated Springville 2-1 before falling to Randolph in the second round.
Hartselle is returning five starters: Chipper Johnson, Slate Gargus, Eli Moore, Nick Vaughn and Owen Bennich.
Several new players have joined the team and are expected to contribute to the program’s continued success.
The Lady Tigers have seven starters returning from the past season. In addition, they have added several newcomers to the roster, including Sam Watson, Cara Beth Nelson and Katelyn Dolbeer.
Two seniors, Alleigh Williams and Lyndsey Crouch, have stepped into leadership roles as captains this year, and coaches said they are great examples of hard work and discipline for the underclassmen.
Hartselle is boasting a young-but-eager roster with an incredible amount of potential this season. According to their coaches, the girls have been working very hard to find their chemistry as a young team and believe they will see this come through on the field this season.
The Hawks are coming off an area championship and a trip to the state tournament in 2021.
This year’s team returns eight seniors and four juniors and welcomes several new players joining the roster to help keep the winning tradition for the Hawks.
Look for senior Justin Hanline to have a big year for Danville. He led the team in goals and assists this past season and has already tallied multiple goals in two games this season. He has also received multiple collegiate offers but is uncommitted, still deciding which collegiate soccer direction he would like to take.
Senior Martin Lopez and his brother, junior Ever Lopez, give the Hawks a formidable trio of offensive players.
The Patriots advanced to the state tournament in 2021 after finishing runner-up in their area.
They have 14 returning players.
Brewer is looking to build off a playoff berth this past season and continue to grow and play together to sharpen their weaknesses and increase team leadership within a core group of returning players.
This season, the Bulldogs are looking for a playoff berth with a veteran lineup that includes 11 seniors. Returning for Priceville are All-State honorable mentions Carson Taylor and Elijah Hopkins, joined by Cody Kennedy, Dylan Thompson, Levi Davis, Joey Lubisco and Isaac Sivley.
The Bulldogs will count on heavy minutes from sophomores Maclain Lawson, Diego Quintero, Asher Beidleman and Hayden Denson, as well as juniors Brayden Warren and Skylar Estes.
Their focus is setting a standard for who they are, committing to that standard and holding to it regardless what happens around them.