The Chambersburg boys soccer team has had a pretty good run of winning seasons and playoff appearances, but that consistency may be tested this fall.
The Trojans, who were 11-5-2 last year, return only four starters.
“It’s definitely a rebuilding year,” Chambersburg coach Corey Grove said. “There is a lot of youth and the kids need to get used to playing at the faster varsity level of play. We do have good players; the coaches just need to figure out the best ways to use them. We need to figure out who will fit in where.”
The most positive thing the Trojans have going for them is the return of senior Aaron Maynard, who was a Mid Penn Commonwealth first-team all-star last fall. He will likely run the field from his defensive midfield spot.
Grove said, “I think he’s one of the best, if not the best, player in the Mid Penn. He is so smooth on the ball and we’ll need him to be pushing up.”
The other returning starters are junior goalkeeper Garrett Carter, who was a part of seven shutouts last year, senior Mikey Williams, who is moving from outside back to an attacking player, and senior Caleb Gayman, who is in his third year of starting on defense.
“The spine of the team looks solid,” Grove said.
He also said that Carter is being heavily pushed by Noah Smith in the goal.
“Honestly, we haven’t decided yet which of them is starting Friday (when the Trojans host Gettysburg in a 4 p.m. opener at Trojan Stadium). Carter played most of last year, but Smith has looked really good.”
Gayman’s running mate at center back will be junior Tanner Luther (2 goals, 1 assist last year). The outside backs will come from a rotation of Colin Castro and Austin Stapleton, both juniors, on the right, and senior Logan Drawbaugh and junior Braden Chapman on the left.
With Maynard (6, 2) and Williams patrolling the center of midfield, it’ll be up to sophomore Andrew Quach (3, 1) junior Kenan Korkutovich (3 goals) to handle the wings. Both received plenty of playing time last year, although Korkutovich may miss the first two games with an injury.
Other attacking players will include senior Jose Morales (1 goal), juniors Luke Mason (1 goal) and Logan Stapleton, sophomores Calvin Carlin and Cole Myers and freshman Cohen Redding.
“We’ve had some good seasons,” Grove said. “This year the boys might have to handle some real adversity, and I’m anxious to see how they respond.
“Our goal is always to make the playoffs, so we’re shooting for at least 10 wins — that should be enough.”
NOTES: Chambersburg was upset 2-1 by Dallastown in the first round of the District 3 tournament last year after gaining the No. 6 seed … Grove plans to use a 4-1-4-1 formation … Paul Unruh is the Trojans’ assistant coach … Chambersburg plays state caliber teams on the road (Lower Dauphin, Hempfield) back-to-back in early September.