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Oldham County Lady Colonels
Last year: The Lady Colonels went 16-4-2 and fell to SOHS 3-0 in the regional championship just a week after beating the Lady Dragons 2-1 in the district championship.
Key losses: Baileigh Frantz, Sara Ingle, Maddie Moore, Brooke Radcliffe and Danielle Irwin.
Key returns: Maggie Cohen, Lauren Boyd, Liz Sherry, Ashley Boyd, Kayla McGrath, Natalie Motyka, Whitney Rumsey and Michelle Martinez.
Newcomers to watch: Goalie Lindsey Hammrock, freshmen Emily Houk and Emily Daley.
Bottom line: The Lady Colonels return plenty of offensive firepower with Lauren Boyd, Maggie Cohen and Kayla McGrath back.
Boyd scored 16 goals, Cohen 11 and McGrath seven goals last season, helping OCHS replace the loss of seniors Baileigh Frantz and Sarah Ingle.
“I think we will be a balanced team once this bunch learns to play together,” OCHS coach Dan Schulz said. “They are a pretty aggressive, offensive-minded bunch. Most of our frontline are all good scorers in their own right, the big key will be to get them to play together.”
While the offense looks to be strong, Schulz said the defense, anchored by first-year starting goalie Lindsey Hammrock will have to come together.
Fullbacks Natalie Motyka and Liz Sherry are back to aid Hammrock.
“We have some good athletes for those sports, just not a lot of varsity game experience,” Schulz said. “We will get some bumps and bruises back there early. How they react to that will be a big part of our success or lack of success.”
An early lack of depth is a concern.
“To win we are going to have to have some depth and that is going to take some time,” Schulz said.
South Oldham Lady Dragons
Last year: The Lady Dragons went 16-5-3 last year and won the regional championship before falling to Sacred Heart 4-0 in the first round of the state tournament.
Key losses: Anna Brewer and Katie Ferriell.
Key returns: Alexis Faller, Mariah Willard, Shelby Thompson, Hannah Kellogg, Alex Shaffer, Marissa Williams, Megan Williams, Virginia White, Emma Abney and Meredith Miles.
Newcomers to watch: Molly Fiser, Alex Shaffer and Haddie Dehart.
Bottom line: The Lady Dragons maintained their traditional dominance over the rest of the region last season and return enough key players to have earned a No. 12 ranking in the first coaches poll. With top guns Shelby Thompson with 11 goals and Marissa Williams with 15 goals back along with Hannah Kellogg and her 10 assists, SOHS has plenty of offense. The Lady Dragons will use that firepower in a new look.
“We’re going to change our style a little bit and be a little more control of tempo oriented than so frenetic,” SOHS coach Cy Tucker said. “The girls seem to be enjoying it because it gets more of them involved rather than waiting on a few people to come up with a big play.”
The Lady Dragons should be solid defensively led by goalie Meredith Miles along with Mariah Willard, Megan Wlliams and Emma Abney.
The team is employing its “Positive culture” outlook for the players and parents in the program. Tucker said it stresses an upbeat attitude in which negative comments and behavior are not tolerated and that it has had a “huge impact” on helping the players.
To add depth, juniors Molly Fiser, Alex Shaffer and Haddie Dehart have had good preseasons.
“We’ve got the tools,” Tucker said. “It’s just early right now. It will be interesting to see if we can maintain the new style when someone wants to play us very vertical.”
North Oldham Lady Mustangs
Last year: The Lady Mustangs went 11-5-6 last season losing to SOHS 1-0 in the opening round of the district.
Key losses: Morgan Burkley, Lauren Richards, Brianna Simmons, Kristina Russo and Kendra Wallace.
Key returns: Devan Costelle, Allyson Cottrell, Kayla Martorana, Erin Ottman and Megan Klyczek.
Newcomers to watch: Sloane Costelle, Jordan Major and Emily McLellan.
Bottom line: The Lady Mustangs lost 10 solid seniors off last year’s team that fought through injuries and a tough schedule to win 11 games.
Seniors Allyson Cottrell and Devan Costelle are both top-flight scoring threats and will be joined up front by midfielders Kayla Martorana and Jordan Major.
“We have a lot of very young players this year and hopefully they are ready to step up,” NOHS coach Ann Revell said.
The Lady Mustangs could field one of the best young defenses in the area led by returning sophomore goalie Erin Ottman and freshman keeper Sloane Costelle. Also back is Megan Klyczek joined by sophomore Emily McLellan who will also play forward.
Revell said the team needs to improve on its ability to finish scoring opportunities to be
“We lost some seniors who we got used to making big plays for us,” Revell said. “We won’t have them around this year to wait on to do that.”
While they are young, the Lady Mustangs have been able to rally around each other in the preseason workouts.
“Right now the best thing we have going for us is very good team chemistry for this early in the year,” Revell said. “That’s going to help us as we figure out what kind of team we are going to be.”
Oldham County Colonels
Last year: The Colonels went 20-5-1 last year, losing to eventual state champion St. X in the second round of the state tournament.
Key losses: Jacob Kemper, Shawn Parker, Michael Carroll, Mike Gasser and head coach Mark Robson.
Key returns: Kyle Krauss, Bryan Worthington and Chase Bryant.
Newcomers to watch: Dallas Moore.
Bottom line: The Colonels won a sixth straight regional title last year and must replace all-staters Jacob Kemper and Shawn Parker along with head coach Mark Robson.
JV coach Brian Durbin replaces Robson and returns just three full-time starters from a team that won 20 games last season.
Durbin will count on midfielder Kyle Kraus and defenders Chase Bryant and Bryan Worthington early as the team’s trio of returning starters.
“We were very senior heavy last year in our lineup,” Durbin said. “We will be kind of looking for a new identity this year because guys like Parker and Kemper and Carroll were three-year starters and have left some big shoes to fill.”
Durbin said sophomore Dallas Moore will likely become an offensive threat.
“He has done really well in the preseason and hopefully can score some goals for us this year,” Durbin said.
The Colonels have been battling some injuries in the preseason. Anchoring the defense in goal will be either Evan Gallagher or Josh Gonzalez who will join the team this week after nursing a knee injury.
“We’re young and we’ve got a lot of work to do between now and the time we start next week,” Durbin said.
South Oldham Dragons
Last year: The Dragons went 14-5 last year, losing to Oldham County in the district.
Key losses: Josh Owens, Doug Ginthum, Jacob Fults, Cullen Hall and John Vitalis.
Key returns: Will Vitalis and John Cantrell.
Newcomers to watch: Brycen Howard and Jackson Cantrell.
Bottom line: The Dragons were a senior-dominated team that opened the year with an 11-1 record before slowing down during the stretch.
Back is senior John Cantrell who scored two goals last year to go with eight assists.
Cantrell’s sharp passing skills will come in handy as the Dragons get senior Will Vitalis back from an injury.
Vitalis scored eight goals in just four games last year before a foot injury sidelined him.
SOHS also welcomes back junior Brycen Howard. Howard has been playing for a prep school in Minnesota the past two years and is expected to add instant offense to the SOHS attack.
“He’s the real deal,” SOHS coach Denis Beall said. “He is likely one of the top five juniors in the state.”
Also joining the offense is sophomore midfielder Jackson Cantrell.
“With Will, Brycen and John we think we are going to be able to score a lot of goals this year,” Beall said.
SOHS’ big questions are on defense and at goalie where Dustin Jones and a pair of basketball players, 6-foot-3 Charlie Malueg and Dylan Gordon are fighting for the position.
“We will take the best one and put them in there,” Beall said. “We have a lot of young guys who are going to have to move into varsity positions and play well.”
North Oldham Mustangs
Last year: The Mustangs went 11-3-5 last year, losing to Shelby County in the district.
Key losses: Paul Althoff and Jordan Althoff.
Key returns: Brandon Causey, Connor Powell, Blake Ehret, Drew Roberts, Sam Johnson and Colin Ash.
Newcomers to watch: Ryan Beckner, Jacob Causey and Zach Lancaster.
Bottom line: The Mustangs lost 12 seniors off last year’s club that reached a No. 12 ranking in the state against a killer schedule.
NOHS will build around a trio of senior captains in center/forwards Brandon Causey and Connor Powell and midfielder Blake Ehret. Causey and Powell spent the summer playing for the Javanon ‘92 team that reached the national tournament for the second year in a row and are proven offensive threats.
Junior goalie Colin Ash is back after starting as a sophomore along with fullbacks Drew Roberts and Sam Johnson.
They will be expected to carry the field until a talented group of sophomores can gain experience.
“We are very strong up the center and have a lot of speed and quickness on the outside without much size though,” NOHS coach Alan Morel said. “Hopefully we can make that combination work to our advantage.”
Morel said the Mustangs will likely use every member of a strong 13-man sophomore class during the varsity season to help them gain the needed experience.
“The sophomores are very talented, they just need to eat a few more meals right now,” Morel said.
With the lack of physical size, the Mustangs are changing their philosophy a bit to take advantage of the speed and quickness the team does have.
“We will be a little bit more ball-control oriented,” Morel said. “We have good first touch players. It will be a rebuilding year but we think we can match what we did last season at the least.”