GRATIS — A change is in the works at Preble Shawnee, as the boys soccer team welcomes Coach Jeff Clevenger to lead the team for the 2016 season.
Last year, the Arrows went 3-11-2, and they hope to make strides in order to compete for the SWBL Buckeye Division title.
“We are looking for a total culture change in our program this year,” Clevenger said. “We are asking the kids for commitment and for the kids to buy into the values in the game. We have had some kids stick their heads up and take charge of the leadership, and not just the seniors. The kids are upbeat and are eager to show what they can do.”
Dwight Wilt is a returning senior for the Arrows. “I just started playing soccer last year, and found how just how much I love the sport,” he said. “I want to have the best season I can and for the team to get better.”
“I’ve played for as long as I can remember,” junior Luke Feck said. “I was the team offensive MVP last year, but I can still improve my game.”
“Last year, I was the JV keeper,” junior Austin Fields said. “I’ve only played two years in soccer, so I still have much to learn. I hope that we do better than last year and hope we do well,” he added.
Rounding out the upperclassmen on the team are seniors Tyler Blankenship, Logan Carter, Kage Worley, Trevor Dunn, Nick Schrab, and Cameron Neal. Juniors include Austin Carter, Hayden Brown, John Williams, and Drew Combs.
Wrapping up the varsity lineup are sophomores Cody Clevenger and freshman Carter Roell.
“Carter Roell is a freshman who has shown just an incredible amount of enthusiasm to the team,” said coach Clevenger. “He’s kept up with everyone, and he plays his heart out, so he’s deserved to be on the varsity roster.”
“We have to be a team,” Clevenger said. “We must make good decisions for ourselves and for the team. The team just needs to get better and the kids need to be fully aware of the extra work needed to start winning.
“It’s going to be tough,” he added. “We are being hard on them like they haven’t seen a long time, so we are going to continue to demand the best out of them. I like to focus on all of the players. I ask the younger players to step-up to the level of the returning players, while I ask the upperclassmen to step up even higher.”
Preble Shawnee starts off the regular season on Thursday, Aug. 25, with a conference showdown against neighboring SWBL foe Eaton at 7:15 p.m.
Reach Oliver Sanders at 937-683-4062 or on Twiter @osanders_RH.