By Eddie Mowen Jr. -

Mercedes Welcome returns to help Eaton’s girls soccer team. The Eagles reached the district semifinal last year and are looking to make another deep postseason run.

PREBLE COUNTY — The county’s soccer teams are gearing up for what they hope is a successful season.

Eaton ready to pick up where it left off last season

Last season, Eaton’s girls soccer team advanced to the district semifinal and head coach Michael Bacher is seeking that type of success again.

“We are looking to start the season right where we left off, strong,” he said.

Bacher said defensively, they are as deep as they ever have been.

Juniors Kendall Combs, Mercedes Welcome, and Trinity Eddy are back. Senior Gabrielle Petry rejoins the team and is healthy.

“We really missed her last year and excited to have her back,” Bacher said.

Sophomore, Juli Couch, is healthy again after recovering from a hip injury. She is a big strong player who can lock people up and provide a physical presence for on the back line.

Senior Whitley Baldwin will get time at both holding mid and center defense, and she will help solidify a strong back line.

Sophomore Mara Posey and junior Alaina Schaeffer look to control the midfield, and orchestrate everything the Eagles want to do.

“Both with counterattacks, change of field, and possession, but they need to connect with each other,” Bacher said.

Bacher said the team is strong on the outside with juniors Kylee Kidwell and Madison Fugate, who are able to get down and back. They will get some time at striker, as well as sophomore Rylee Ruebush.

“I think these girls will make a big jump this year,” Bacher said.

Bacher said he is very excited about the progress of sophomore Amyah Thacker has made.

“She is relentless, as soon as we think she’s out of the play, she’s back in it,” he said.

Thacker, along with freshman Claire Posey, are going to put a lot of balls in the back of the net, according to Bacher.

“Shia is our point person, and is going to allow us to get numbers forward, and a strong finisher,” Bacher said.

Senior Izzy Trader is one of those athletes Eaton will move all over the field, and very capable of putting up big numbers this year.

Junior Bella Hurd and sophomore Tiara Miles will both see time at keeper.

Junior Jenna Aukerman and freshman Morgan Imhoff will see time as well.

“We look to continue off of our 7-8-3 season from last year, and surprise some people this year,” Bacher said.

North girls progressing

Ted Thies returns for his third season as Tri:County North’s girls soccer coach.

Last season the Panthers finished 3-12-1 and return 11 players who started at some point last season.

Returning starters include: Emily Norris (Sr.), Lani Baldasare (Sr.), Micheala Manning (Sr.), Teanna Sykes (Sr.), Emelia Warnecke (Sr.), Brooke Calhoun (So.), Kenzie Lykins (So.), Lindsey Koenig (So.) Alexis Madigan (So.), Shawnee Krull (So.) and Jenna Klingenbarger (So.)

Sophomore Destiny Simon is coming off a torn ACL suffered in the first game of the season.

“We are working on getting her into game shape and if things proceed as they have been she should be ready to get into the field in late August,” Thies said.

Sophomore Mackenzie Bacher tore her ACL and meniscus the third day of conditioning.

“She has had her knee repaired and is working toward returning next season,” Thies said. “Mackenzie was a freshmen captain last season and will remain a captain for this season she was a very big part of our team last season and she is going to be missed a lot. I really look forward to her returning to the field she brings a special energy to the game that most players don’t have.”

New additions to the team are Haylee Waddle (Sr.), Hailey Haines (Jr.) and Alana Heck (Jr.).

Hailey Haines will anchor the defense at the center back position for this season.

“She is a very versatile player I can play her anywhere from goalie to forward but her speed is much need on our back line,” Thies said.

The only freshmen is Sophia Brunk.

“Sophia is a very talented player, she has shined in practice and with Mackenzie Bacher out for the season she will be called on to do most of our scoring,” Thies said. “Sophia has a lot of talent, getting her to use that talent and not be embarrassed by it is sometimes a challenge but she is starting to understand that we don’t succeed unless she does.”

Some other girls that have been standing out in practices and scrimmages are middle midfielder and senior Emily Norris.

“Emily played goalie last year and she did a wonderful job, goalie was not where I wanted to play her but rather where we needed to play her last season. I look forward to watching her up on the field and I expect good things from her,” Thies said.

Thies said Lykins will be in goal this season.

“Kenzie has improved a lot since last season, she’s now diving for balls, talking to the Defense and overall is doing a better job of catching the ball and protecting the goal,” Thies said.

Thies said Krull has been a bright spot on defense in practices and scrimmages. She will play an outside back this season.

“She is doing a really good job this fall of keeping position and making strong tackles,” Thies said.

He said the team has been progressing nicely.

“Overall, I’m happy with they way we have been practicing hopefully we keep progressing and stay healthy as the season goes forward,” Thies said.

South girls return 9 starters

With nine returning starters Twin Valley South’s girls soccer team expects to improve on last season’s 7-6-4 record.

Eric Peterson enters his first season as head coach.

Returning for the Panthers are Makiah Newport (So.), Striker, Madi Hundley (So. Captain), Midfield, Sydney Aldrich (So.), Midfield, Jasie Sarver (Jr.), Wing, Allison Bassler (Jr.), Wing, Taylor Clark (Jr. Captain) Back, Kailee Burkett (Jr. Captain) Back, Angelica McKee (Jr.) – Back, and Abby Utsinger (Jr.) Goalie.

Other key players returning include Heather Janecek (So.), Wing and Pearle Rollyson (So.), Back.

Newcomers include five freshmen Danielle Denlinger, Lily Marker, Skyelur Weber, Amelia Wharton, Brooke White

“(With) nine returning starters and several new playmakers suggests we have the potential to improve upon last years record,” Peterson said. “We’re optimistic about our potential as our players are coming together well and as a young team with no seniors we have two years to build this team together.”

North boys young despite returning 11

Despite having 11 returning players Tri-County North boys soccer coach Dylan Hemmerich said his team still has a lot of learning to do.

“The biggest challenge for us this season is our numbers and our age. We have 15 players and the 11 returners we do have only have one season under their belts,” he said. “We have a lot of learning to do still and have to grow up quickly, but I know this team will do so. The effort this team gives everyday is something I am not used to. In practice and in scrimmages they never quit and constantly push.”

This year’s team includes: Aaron Foster (Jr.), Nathan Lefeld (Jr.), Captain, Hunter Harry (So.) Captain: 3rd team All:District, Lane Kerby (So.) Captain: Goalkeeper, Alex Meyer (So.), Dalton Adkins (So.), Jackson Isaacs (So.), Conner Evans (So.), Ethan Delong (So.), Walker McPeck (So.) and Cole Stump (So.)

Returning Player Highlights:

Nathan Lefeld: Returning Captain, he is the glue that keeps the team together. Nathan’s positive attitude and drive pushes the entire team to step their game up. We are lucky to have Nathan.

Hunter Harry: First season as Captain, Hunter’s efforts pushed the team last season and earned him 3rd Team All: District. We have moved Hunter from the left side defender to the center defender. The center position is more challenging but I know he will rise to the expectations.

Lane Kerby: First season as Captain, Lane took a beating last year from concussions, to a broke jaw, to shots after shots being taken at him. Lane put up a stellar performance last season and hopes to improve this season. We are expecting big things from Lane Kerby this season.

New player Highlights:

Cooper Cole: Jr. : Cooper is new to soccer all together. This is his first season ever playing soccer but Cooper is an athlete and has adjusted accordingly. Cooper is the big body presence we were looking for on defense. He is a natural born leader and with the help from Hunter Harry on the back line, I hope to see him get better every day!

Levi Pahl: Fr.: Levi is the only freshman on the roster this season but has earned a starting spot on defense. Levi typically is a midfielder but with the lack of defensive players this season he has made the transition. Levi’s soccer knowledge will be the guiding force in his switch. He is a smart player and will be a very big piece for our program for years to come.

TVS boys seeking double:digit wins

Double digit wins is the goal for Twin Valley South’s boys soccer team.

“I think I say this every year, but I believe we could be a 10:win team this year,” South coach Clay Young said. “I have three seniors that are all really good players, and I have a core group of juniors, with a couple sophomores and a great group of incoming freshmen. I think we have enough talent to have a very successful season, but it all depends on how hard the boys want to work and if we can come together as a unit and play together as a team. If we can put it all together, I think we could crack the top 10 in the Miami Valley Coaches poll this season.”

The Panthers are coming off a 5:9:2 season and return several players.

Brayden Marker, JR – Brayden is a two:time 2nd team All:Miami Valley West. He is our leading scorer. He has 17 goals through his freshman and sophomore seasons. He will be my only junior captain this year.

Chris Keener, SR – He will be another captain this year. He is a 4:year varsity starter. He will play CB for us this year and we be a leader on the defensive side of the ball. He was third team all Miami Valley West last season.

Aaron Clark, SR – Aaron will be a 4:year varsity letterman. He was also third team all Miami Valley West last season. Aaron lead the team in assist last season and was second in the team in the goals. He plays center midfield and is a great leader on and off the field.

Logan Davis, JR – Logan was a starter last season in the central midfield. He does a great job of possessing the ball and keeping control of the ball for our team. He is great about switching the field and is a great player and teammate.

Aidan London, JR – Aidan London is 1 of 2 of my juniors that will be 4-year letterman’s as seniors. Aidan is extremely quick to the ball, and he always gives 110 percent. Aidan is a great asset to the team. He is a utility player that can play anywhere on the field.

Will Jerdon, SO – Will started for us in goal as a freshman last season. I expect big things for Will this upcoming season. I think he can be one of the top goal keepers in the area. He is extremely talented and extremely hard working and we are lucky to have him back between the pipes again.

Luke Petersen, JR – Luke is a junior forward. Last season he was our 3rd leading scorer. Luke does a great job of possessing the ball and putting himself in the right position at the right time. Luke will be a prime part of our attack this season.

Logan White, SR – Logan was one of my starting defensive backs last season. He will be a captain this year along with Brayden and my 2 other seniors. Logan is an extremely hard:working player. He has progress so much since he came to the program as a sophomore 2 years ago.

Stetson Raybourn, JR – Stetson will be a starter on the defense this season. Stetson really made strides and has worked hard on his game. I am so proud of the progress that he has made since his freshman season. He plays hard and is very physical and I think that will help us out a lot in the back.

Justin Evans, JR – Justin is another utility player that has made enormous strides over the past year. He has worked very hard and attended almost every conditioning and open field that we held. Justin will primarily play outside mid and an outside defensive back.

Zander Hale, SO – Zander is an outside mid. Zander got some varsity playing time as a freshman last year. We expect Zander to continue to improve and be a big part of the program moving forward.

Newcomers include:

Jake Sarver, FR – Jake Sarver will be a freshman this year. He is very quick and has excellent foot skills for a freshman. So far through our summer tournaments and scrimmages I feel like he has adjusted to the varsity level quickly and should help us out a lot in the midfield and at forward this season.

Easton Kurtz, FR – Easton will be a freshman this year. He is an extremely hard worker and the kid will do anything you ask him to do. He is a team player and always puts his team above himself. He is always looking for ways to improve his game. I think he will play a lot of midfield and maybe some forward this season for us. I expect big things from Easton this season.

Mason Hundley, FR — Mason will be a freshman this upcoming season. The thing we love about Mason is that he is left footed, and I believe he is the only left footed player we have in the program right now. Mason plays very physical for his size and only being a freshman. I love his aggressiveness that he plays with. He is very fundamentally sound and has great sense of where to be at on the field.

“We will have the first ever Twin Valley South Boys JV soccer team this season. We will play a shortened schedule of only five games, but this is encouraging for our program,” Young said. “It gives us hope that we are moving the program in the right direction and we can continue to have success for years to come.”

Mercedes Welcome returns to help Eaton’s girls soccer team. The Eagles reached the district semifinal last year and are looking to make another deep postseason run. Welcome returns to help Eaton’s girls soccer team. The Eagles reached the district semifinal last year and are looking to make another deep postseason run.

By Eddie Mowen Jr.

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Tiwtter @emowen_RH

Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Tiwtter @emowen_RH