ST. CLAIR TWP. — The Edgewood High boys soccer team may be one man down in 2019, but it’s the seven other returning starters that could give the Cougars a sense of optimism.
“We are very excited for this season,” said Edgewood coach Brad Specht, who is entering his sixth season at the helm. “We expect to compete each game and to compete for a chance at a Southwest Ohio Conference title.”
The Cougars, who went 4-8-5 after starting off 0-4-2 a season ago, fell to the unfortunate injury bug early.
Specht said sophomore forward Casey Fields suffered a tibia/fibula fracture during the recent Mason Pre-Season Classic and will be out for the entire season.
“But these young men have been working very hard throughout the off-season and are poised for a successful year,” Specht said.
Edgewood, which fell to Loveland 8-0 in last year’s opening round of postseason play, returns senior midfielder Devin Weist, senior defender Matt Lairson, senior midfielder Isaac Caudill, senior goalkeeper Nathan Tauber, junior defender Caleb Osborne, junior midfielder Noah Richards and sophomore midfielder Tristen Strode.
Weist, who received SWOC honorable mention honors, tallied nine goals and had two assists to pace the Cougars.
Giving Edgewood some upperclassmen depth are seniors Eyan Berlepsch (midfielder), and Gabe Current (defender).
Juniors Logan Ritter (midfielder), Nate Staton (midfielder), Jacob Schenck (defender) and Dustan Turner (defender), along with sophomores Michael Began (midfielder), Kyle Clements (forward), Braydon Grooms (defender), Canaan Kuykendoll (defender), Branson Paulsen (midfielder), Ryan Puthoff (defender) and Chase Schwatalski (goalkeeper) could see some playing time as well.
Rounding out the roster are freshmen Gavin Arellano (midfielder), Devon Began (defender), Ashton Benner (midfielder), Rylan Brown (defender), Jacob Crowthers (defender), Jose Garcia (defender), Alex Goodwin (defender), Evan Hasler (midfielder), Elijah Marsh (forward), Carson Murphy (midfielder), Tyler Street (forward) and Ryan Wirtley (defender).
Edgewood kicks off the season at home against Fairborn on Friday, Aug. 16.