The season has started for all four Grays Harbor boys soccer teams, with two of them — Aberdeen and Hoquiam — defending their league championship won in 2011.
The Bobcats see themselves in a fight with North Thurston and Tumwater for the Evergreen 2A title, while the Grizzlies, Montesano and Elma will fight each other in a tightly contested Evergreen 1A campaign.
Here are the capsules for the Grays Harbor teams. Montesano did not respond to a pre-season questionairre.
Coach: Larry Fleming (20 overall, 10 years boys soccer)
Evergreen 2A League: 16-3 overall, 11-1 in league, sixth consecutive league championship.
Returning letterwinners & varsity starters: Kyle Liscombe (2nd Team Forward), Jose Ayala (2nd Team Midfielder), Jacob Medley, Juanito Lopez (First Team Forward), Juan Oropeza (Honorable Mention Midfielder), Samuel Ruiz, Jose Tinoco, Seth Caba.
Promising newcomers: Alsi Caluamba (Mozambique) at midfield, Jose Tinoco switching to goalkeeper from midfield last season
Thoughts on the season: Putting emphasis on possession and controlling ball rather that relying on sending long balls and transitioning to move ball down field.
Coach: Fidel Sanchez (eighth year at Hoquiam)
Evergreen 1A League: 13-2 (first-ever league championship title)
Returning Players: Mac Najar, Osiel Rivera, DJ Cox, Owen Quercia, Israel Fernandez, Austin Montoure, Anthony Hernandez, Edgar Fernandez, Angel Mazariegos, Jamie Bigbie.
Promising newcomers to the varsity squad: Mario Joya, Brenner Carlstrom, Nick Nagala, Vince Tran.
Thoughts on the season: League is going to be challenging due to the fact that we play everybody three times. Our team just needs to stay focused and work on improving each and every day we step onto the field. We need to stay a focused unit throughout the season. If we are able to accomplish that, everything else will be fine.
Coach: Carson Seaberg (third year at Elma, third year overall.)
Evergreen 1A League: 6-9, 6-10.
Returning letterwinners & varsity starters: Edgar Hermenegildo (starter); Kevin Martinez (starter); Trent Escoffon (starter); Zach Vargo; Reynaldo Ayala (starter); Ty Bowe; Trevor Hann (starter); Julian Hernandez (starter).
Promising newcomers: Garrett Thomas; Juan Perez; Steven Persell.
Thoughts on the season: Looking forward to starting a new year with a great group of boys.