Patrick Z. McGavin’s preseason top 10 boys soccer teams
1. Warren: Coach Jason Ahonen has five starters and 12 returning players from last year’s 21-5-3 Class 3A state championship team. Reinforcements arrive in the form of three talented players back from a year of playing club soccer. Keeper RJ Hill is a superstar.
2. Hinsdale Central: All-area forward Christian Meyer keys a list of six returning starters from the 18-win squad went undefeated in the West Suburban Silver. Others to watch are Christian’s twin brother, Josh, defenders Max Krohn and Evan Floersch and midfielders TJ Schmidt and Jack Niestrom.
3. Lyons: The perennial power returns seven starters and 15 players from last year’s 18-4-1 team that captured the Pepsi Showdown. Sophomore forward Cristian Sanchez is an elite scorer. Frankie Kocimski is another offensive threat and Joe Lupono solidifies the backline.
4. Libertyville: Coach Andy Bitta returns five starters from last year’s 17-3-1 sectional finalist. Star senior forward Lloyd Chatfield is a three-year starter, while Carlos Schultz is the best of four top players returning to the team after a year playing club.
5. Morton: The Mustangs have seven returning starters from last year’s 23-2 squad, including six players who saw action for the 2011 Class 3A state champion team. Ian Chacon is one of the state’s top keepers. He is joined by defender Abdon Delgado, and midfielders Edgar Garcia and Mario Romero.
6. Naperville Central: The two-time Class 3A state runner-up graduated stars Patrick Flynn and Mike Pavliga. Coach Troy Adams looks to rebuild around four-year starting forward Sam Reskala, midfielders Jay Tegge, Drake Swope and Devon Amoo-Mensah. Also watch forwards David Murphy and Jordi Heeneman.
7. St. Charles East: Despite losing star T.C. Hull (31 goals last year) to a torn ACL, the Saints remain formidable with seven returning starters from last year’s 20-3-1 supersectional qualifier. Kevin Heinrich is an elite defender.
8. Naperville North: After winning back-to-back Class 3A girls’ titles, Steve Goletz takes over the program. The Huskies return seven starters from a 15-4 team that beat rival Naperville Central during the year. Three-year starting forward Zach Peterson is the team’s top offensive threat, with support from Brandon Hipp and Grant Borg.
9. Sandburg: The defending Class 3A third-place team returns four starters from the 19-win group, led by elite senior defender Patrick Russell. Coach Desi Vuillaume said the team’s offense is bolstered by the return from club play of Preshemislav Tylka, Joe Labriola and Kyle Kroll.
10. Benet: Coach Sean Wesley gets back five returning starters from an 18-4-1 team that was undefeated in East Suburban Catholic play. All-conference stars Sam Knapke and Paddy Lawler form a strong 1-2 scoring punch. Wesley is looking for a breakout offensive season from junior Kyle Kenagy.
Others: Glenbrook North, St. Viator, Highland Park, Barrington, Lane, Lincoln-Way East, Wheaton Academy, Palatine, East Aurora, Metea Valley.