2022 area boys soccer preview: Sidney hopes to improve with 11 returnees


Jackson Center looking for improvement with 11 returning letterwinners

By Bryant Billing - [email protected]



Sidney’s Connor Simpson makes a flying kick in front of Piqua’s Landon Lawson during a Miami Valley League crossover game on Aug. 31, 2021 at Wertz Stadium in Piqua. Simpson is one of seven returning starters for the Yellow Jackets, which finished 6-9-2 overall last year. Simpson scored 12 goals and had five assists last year.

Sidney’s Connor Simpson makes a flying kick in front of Piqua’s Landon Lawson during a Miami Valley League crossover game on Aug. 31, 2021 at Wertz Stadium in Piqua. Simpson is one of seven returning starters for the Yellow Jackets, which finished 6-9-2 overall last year. Simpson scored 12 goals and had five assists last year.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

After two above-.500 seasons in the first two years of the Miami Valley Conference, Sidney’s boys soccer squad struggled in the middle of last year. The squad lost six consecutive matches in September and finished 6-9-2 overall.

But with 11 returning players and seven returning starters, the Yellow Jackets are looking for a better season.

“I think if we play our game, we should be competitive with all our opponents,” Sidney coach Jamie Fridley, who is entering his sixth season, said. “If the young players can adjust to the speed, then we will be fine.

“Our strength will be our backline and midfield. We really rely on them holding down the middle of the field. Our attack should be strong this season; we feel we should improve on our goal production.”

Seven starters return for the Yellow Jackets, including senior midfielder Connor Simpson, who scored 12 goals and had five assists last year. Junior attacker Nick Fenton (5 goals, 3 assists), and sophomore attacker Brayden Kennedy (2 goals) are also returning.

Also back is junior Graham VanTilburgh, who scored four goals and had seven assists.

Senior defender Owen Karn, sophomore defender Gilbert Quaintance and sophomore midfielder Ashton Macy also return.

“All seven players will play a huge part in our success this season,” Fridley said.

Key newcomers include junior defender Brady Hagan, junior goalkeeper Joey Flynn, junior attacker Christ Diomande and sophomore defender Christian Loaiza.

“Joey Flynn is an open enrollment player from Anna and will be our starting keeper this season,” Fridley said. “Joey comes to us with a ton of experience at goalie, from camps and club level. …Brady and Christ both come from the JV side and have made great strides since last season. …Christian is another player coming from JV but has worked his tail off to play varsity.”

Senior Cruz Hernadez, sophomore Mason Dohner, freshman Jaden Danklefsen, junior Isaiah Loaiza, sophomore Cory Blackford and sophomore Carter Wooddell round out the roster.

“We had a great camp at Ashland. Our coaching staff got to see a lot of our players, which led to great chemistry,” Fridley said. “…We played a lot of great teams at Ashland, so that should give us some confidence heading entering the season.”

Fridley said the team’s goals are to win the MVL Valley Division, challenge for the overall MVL title and make a deep tournament run.

JACKSON CENTER

The Tigers have 12 returning letterwinners and nine returning starters from a 7-8-2 campaign and are looking for improvement this season.

Among the returning starters is junior midfielder/striker Trever Huber. He scored 13 goals and had six assists last season. Also back is sophomore Lucas Heitkamp, who scored seven goals and had one assist last year.

Senior midfielder Bryson Roberts (5 goals, 12 assists) senior defender/midfielder Camdyn Reese (5, 2) and junior forward/midfielder Jonas Martin (4, 1) are also returning starters. Huber, Roberts and Reese were both first team all-Western Ohio Soccer League selections last year.

Senior goalkeeper Candon Calhoun, who was a second team all-WOSL selection, returns after having made 141 saves last year. Senior keeper/defender Jace Mullenhour, senior midfielder Grant Elchert and junior midfielder/defender Xavier Lowe are also returning starters.

Senior defender Mason Gross, junior midfielder Gavin McCintock and junior defender Lucas Davidson are returning letterwinners.

“We have six seniors this season, all with plenty of playing time the last three seasons,” fifth-year coach Jason Huber said. “Six freshman boys have joined the team this year. They will contribute in many ways this year and in the future of our program. The freshman class has experience playing soccer in their youth. They have passion for the game.”

BOTKINS

The Trojans put together another successful campaign last year, as they finished 14-3-2 overall and won the WOSL title for the seventh consecutive season.

Kevin Lynch returns as coach.

The squad lost five players to graduation.

No information on this year’s team was submitted.

LEHMAN CATHOLIC

The Cavaliers finished 4-11-1 overall a year ago and 0-8 in the Three Rivers Conference.

Eric Courtad takes over as the program’s coach.

According the TRC website, 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.

No information on this year’s team was submitted.

FAIRLAWN

No information was submitted.

Sidney’s Connor Simpson makes a flying kick in front of Piqua’s Landon Lawson during a Miami Valley League crossover game on Aug. 31, 2021 at Wertz Stadium in Piqua. Simpson is one of seven returning starters for the Yellow Jackets, which finished 6-9-2 overall last year. Simpson scored 12 goals and had five assists last year.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/08/web1_DSC_4738.jpgSidney’s Connor Simpson makes a flying kick in front of Piqua’s Landon Lawson during a Miami Valley League crossover game on Aug. 31, 2021 at Wertz Stadium in Piqua. Simpson is one of seven returning starters for the Yellow Jackets, which finished 6-9-2 overall last year. Simpson scored 12 goals and had five assists last year. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News
Jackson Center looking for improvement with 11 returning letterwinners

By Bryant Billing

[email protected]

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.