Green Hope won the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A championship in 2011, but coach Andrew Chadwick has retired and none of last year’s starters are playing in the program, either because of graduation or because they are playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
U.S. Soccer has started a 10-month training program for players in its Development Academy program, which includes the teams in the Capital Area Soccer League’s Chelsea FC Academy. Players in the academy program cannot play interscholastic soccer. The Development Academy program is designed to produce players for the National Team.
Richard Huxford is replacing Chadwick, who was the national high school soccer coach of the year in 2011. Tyler Holly is the only player back who had significant playing time in 2011.
“The only similar thing about this year’s team and last year is the name – Green Hope,” Huxford said.
The Falcons are very young with four juniors and a pair of seniors.
“Our key is to develop players and progress,” Huxford said. “The team is working hard and giving a great effort.”
Teams to watch
Apex: The Cougars may be the preseason pick in the Tri-Nine. Seven starters return, including Anthony Miracola and junior defender Sean Bowman.
Fuquay-Varina: The Bengals have a new coach after James Mountford was named as the school’s athletic director. Todd Dowler takes over the program. Fuquay will be looking for scoring punch after graduating most of their best scorers.
Cardinal Gibbons: The Crusaders are two-time defending NCHSAA 3A championships, but have few veterans.
Heritage: The Huskies were 6-11-4 in 2011, but return 10 starters. Gage Novaria and Tyler Van Hall were all-region selections and Ricky Chevez was an all-Cap Eight pick.
Leesville Road: Pride coach Paul Dinkenor has 649 boys soccer coaching victories, but has few veterans from last year’s 16-5-1 club. Adam Subasic and Justin Arostegui are back in the field. Sam Griffin and Chris Zappia will share keeping duties.
Ravenscroft: The Ravens graduated four players from a 12-7-1 club that won the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Association title in 2011. Alex Cooley and Matthew Quesenberry were all-regional selections.
Broughton: Broughton, a traditional soccer power, was 7-10-4 in 2011. Coach Nick Wheeler still is rebuilding with only a handful of returning starters.
Athens Drive: The Jaguars made it to the playoffs last year. The Jaguars return five starters, including junior midfielder Mac Garrett..
Wakefield: New coach Eric Mason has three starters back from a 5-14-1 club.
Corinth Holders: Corinth went 13-5-3 in 2011 and has all of its starters back. Nick Burton, Kevin Rosales, Melesco Rubio-Villagran and Brock Waynik were all conference picks.