Playing numerous freshmen and sophomores last season, the Blanchester boys soccer team finished in the middle of the pack in the SBAAC National Division standings.
Bethel-Tate was unbeaten and league champions with Georgetown next in line. Blanchester was 5-4-1 in the league, 8-8-1 overall.
The Wildcats were clearly ahead of the Williamsburg, Clermont Northeastern and Felicity-Franklin.
Troy Ballinger, in his 11th season as head coach with a 68-78-17 record, hopes those youngsters last year are ready to step up in 2018.
“Strong junior and sophomore classes that have improved greatly since last season,” he said. “We have shifted some players to new positions that best suit the needs of the team and are working on figuring that out at the moment.”
The top returning players are Tanner Kellerman (second team All-SBAAC), Jasper Damewood, Cameron Gibson, Cameron Skidmore and Carter Stevens. Reagan Burch is the top newcomer.
Among the players who are not returning, Ballinger noted a pair of first team All-SBAAC players – Brant Bandow and Nevan Coyle. Topher Farrow was a second team player. Noah Armocida, Jake Fischer and honorable mention All-SBAAC player Hunter Miller also are not returning in 2018.
Ballinger said Bethel-Tate and Georgetown once again are the pre-season National Division favorites.