Five members of the Wilmington High School boys soccer team who earned All-SBAAC honors have graduated. The American Division champs must reload.
The good thing for WHS is only two underclassmen who earned first team accolades — Drew Kendrick of Batavia and Marty Kreider of Massie — are slated to be back this season.
Likewise, National Division defending champion Georgetown lost three of its top players but the G-Men had five underclassmen honored.
Bethel-Tate, however, was right on Georgetown’s heels last season and defeated American champion Wilmington in the post-season tournament.
The G-Men’s title ended a run of four straight National crowns for the Tigers.
Kyle Hamilton returns to the Blanchester boys soccer program as the first-year head coach.
He was an assistant from 2012-15. Tanner Kellermann will assist Hamilton this season.
In 2020, the Wildcats started with six straight losses under first-year head coach Benny Spirk, who is now an assistant coach at D’Youville College in Buffalo, N.Y.
Blanchester, though, began to turn things around toward the end of the season and went 3-4-2 in the last nine regular season matches.
Carter Stevens was a first-teamer last season but graduated. Reagan Burch had 12 goals in seven games as a junior for BHS.
The Wildcats have a quirky schedule set-up as the season is set to begin. Blanchester has one home match among the first 11 contests then finishes the season with six straight at Barbour Memorial Field.
There are five starters returning to the pitch for the Wildcats, including Aaron Abirached who was second team All-SBAAC National Division in 2020.
“Guys have worked hard this summer to improve,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton added it may take time for him to get to know the players and the players to get to know their new roles on the team. In the end, the first-year head coach believes a healthy, hard working team that wins closes games can contend with the best in the National Division.
The Falcons had 10 seniors on last year’s roster but also eight sophomores, including Marty Kreider who was a first-team All-SBAAC player.
Massie won the American crown in 2019. The Falcons won a tournament match last year, defeating Norwood before losing to Summit Country Day.
The Falcons’ 4-8-3 record last year could have been much better had the three ties and two one-goal losses gone a different way.
Sam Binau and Donnie Brewer were both second team all-league picks but graduated in the spring. Logan Meyers also graduated and was given honorable mention.
The depth of the Hurricane boys soccer program will be tested in 2021.
Wilmington won the American title last season but player of the year Brady Vilvens along with fellow first teamers Jacob Romer, Collin Webber and Matt Butcher have graduated.
Avery Warix, Caleb Reed and Caleb Macias (SBAAC leader in assists in 2020 with 14) return and they received SBAAC honors last season.
Vilvens was a scoring machine for the Hurricane, tallying 35 goals last season and 73 in his 46-game varsity career. He also had 22 assists.
Webber was the back line of defense, recording nine shutouts in the orange and black in 2020.
The WHS season ended with a 3-2 loss to Bethel-Tate in the post-season tournament.