LowcoSports HS Boys Soccer Preview

Hilton Head Christian Academy and Beaufort Academy’s bids to repeat as state champions lead the list of storylines surrounding area boys’ soccer teams in 2018.

HHCA (SCISA 2A) and BA (SCISA 1A) both begin the season ranked first in the state in their classifications.

Region 8-3A shapes up to be a powerful region, as well, with defending state runner-up Bluffton ranked second and May River ranked 10th and off to an impressive start. The Bobcats will boast a dominant back line with all-state defenders Evan Ventrice and Jorge Nunez back, while the Sharks have one of the area’s most electric offensive players returning in all-state midfielder Mikey Chappelear.

BATTERY CREEK

Coach: Nicole Smalley (1st season)

2017 playoff results: Class 3A first round

Returning starters: 8

Top returners: Jordan Gwyn, Brandon Benke, Alex Cruz, Kenny Diaz, Sonny Quintanilla, Tristin Creekmoore, Bradley Moody, Justin Kizer

Key newcomers: Camden Vuocolo, Ty’Zah White, Braden Beck

Coach’s outlook: During preseason we have already seen a huge change compared to last year. We are more skilled, determined, and motivated to become better every day. I am looking forward to the progress that we will see as the season goes on.

BEAUFORT ACADEMY

Coach: Bill Dalton (17th season)

2017 record: 8-5

2017 playoff results: SCISA 1A state champions

Returning starters: 7

Top returners: David Mathai, Thomas Holladay, Dawson Coleman, William Tumlin, Charlie Weeden

Key losses: Ryan Muniz

Key newcomers: Ben Trask

Coach’s outlook: After winning three consecutive SCISA 2A state titles, BA won its first-ever SCISA 1A state title last spring and hopes to repeat the feat this year.

HILTON HEAD PREP

Coach: Joseph Almeida (1st season)

2017 playoff results: SCISA 2A semifinals

Coach’s outlook: We are a young, hard-working and energetic team with high expectations. We will demand the best out of ourselves at every practice and game.  Our goal is to become a better team each day and take the season one game at a time.

JOHN PAUL II

Coach: Matt Dakolios (3rd season)

2017 record: 13-8

2017 playoff results: SCISA 1A semifinals

Returning starters: 8

Top returners: Ben Richardson, Gabe Orta-Cariilo, Sebastian Laverde, Elijah Moreno

Key losses: Karl Johnson

Key newcomers: Jonathan Field, Nic Richardson, Noah Brock, Derek Medina

Coach’s outlook: This is a team with high hopes, and high character. If they can play for each other and stay positive, they could make a playoff run. We have several non-soccer team activities and community service days that will help us serve our greater purpose and play selflessly. Making the playoffs is always our first goal, and hopefully setting ourselves up for a playoff run.

MAY RIVER

Coach: Misael Garzón (2nd season)

2017 record: 9-7

2017 playoff results: Class 3A second round

Returning starters: 6

Top returners: Mikey Chappelear, Kevin Menjivar, AJ Kestler, Tony Rodriguez

Key losses: Juan Zuñiga, Luis Villarreal

Key newcomers: Conner Golden, Chris Hernandez

Coach’s outlook: We had a great inaugural season, advancing to the second round and finishing ranked in the top 10. We look to build on that success and fight for the region crown and go deeper in the playoffs. We look for our new starters and role players to offset losing our top scorer.

Editor’s note: If a team’s information is not included, it is because the coach did not respond to a request for season preview information.

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