For the Fleetwood High Schoo boys’ soccer team, division titles is the norm. Last year the Tigers finished 9-1 in Division 2 to capture its fourth division championship in the last five years.
Winning is expected from this team. This year the team has lost a lot of key starters from the 2012 team, but that doesn’t lower the expectations for the 2013 team.
“We feel that we can compete for the Division 2 and county titles, as well as put ourselves in position to do well in districts and states.”
The 2012 season ended in a disappointing way. After winning nine of the ten league games, the Tigers lost to Daniel Boone in the quarterfinals of the Berks League playoffs, 2-1. They followed that by winning the first round of the district tournament, but ended the season in the next round when they lost to Pequea Valley, 1-0.
The bad news is that the Tigers have lost their top two scorers from the 2012 season to graduation - Aaron Nelson and Carlos Zavala.
The good news is that goalkeeper Keaton Moyer is one of the four returning starters. He is a solid goalkeeper for Fleetwood and should keep the team in all of its games.
Austin Young is also back for his junior season, after placing third on the team in scoring as a sophomore with five goals and one assist.
Tyler Rapposelli and Mitch Kinek are also juniors who started on last year’s team. Rapposelli was fourth on the team in scoring in 2012 with four goals and two assists..
Doug Karpuek, Ceasar Avila and Alec Leibensperger are all seniors who saw significant playing time last year, as did Isaac Cook who is back as a sophomore. Matt Schlegell and Greg Kambakis are two sophomores who head coach Keith Schlegel believes will make heavy contributions this year.
Karpuek, Matt Hook, Seam Gisler and Wyatt Pennsinger will run the defense for Fleetwood.
“We need to gel as a team,” said Coach Schlegel. “We have some experience returning, but we need to have others win positions and make it their own.
“We are having a lot of competition for positions which is a good thing,” said Schlegel. “Our depth should be a strength for us in our up-tempo schemes of moving the ball. We have talent, but we must work extremely hard. Success will not come unless the work is put in. I feel we should have a strong season.”
Can this team win another division championship? With only four returning starters, it will be a challenge for the Tigers. The younger players will have to develop quickly and the team will have to start playing as a team just as quickly.
One thing is for sure, the Tigers will be contenders. The only question is will they end up on top.