The Cumberland Valley Christian Blazers open practice Monday intent on defending their Mason-Dixon Christian Conference boys soccer title.
The Blazers got off to a slow start last year, but they ended the season on a roll, finishing with a record of 17-6-3, defeating Shalom Christian 2-1 in the MDCC semifinals and knocking off top-seeded Calvary Christian 3-0 in the league championship game. They then went on to capture the Division 3 title in the National Association of Christian Athletes (NACA) tournament in Dayton, Tenn.
“We are looking for a repeat of last season,” Blazers coach Stan Hott said. “We have the team to do it. It will depend on their desire to get better.”
The Blazers return nine starters from last year’s team. The one who is missing, though, is Kenneth Hott, who ended his career with more than 100 goals and 100 assists.
“Our biggest and only hole to fill will be Ken’s spot,” Stan Hott said. “We have several promising players looking to step into that role.”
Returning starters are seniors Caleb Eckert, Blaine Minnier, Elijah Randolph, Noah Randolph, Isaac Kauffeldt and Ryan Winters, and juniors Max Crawford (the MDCC tournament MVP), Josh Rowe and Felix Kauffeldt.
“We should have a very strong defense with Caleb, Blaine, Noah, and Felix,” Hott said. “Our midfield should be strongly led by Josh. He has been working out every day this summer getting faster and stronger.”
As far as replacing Kenneth Hott’s scoring, Stan Hott said, “Mario Wiesman will be one of those players looking to fill that spot. Mario had nine goals and four assists as an eighth-grader. Two of the goals came in the semifinal game at nationals. Mario will be the player other teams will be afraid of in the future. He has a great cast of players to get him the ball and make him successful.”