The Archbold boys soccer team looks to return to prominence with a host of all-league and all-district performers back for the 2021 campaign.
“We are optimistic going into the season. The boys have formed a close bond and are working hard,” said second-year coach Stewart Rodger of his team. “They are a very coachable group so (they) will continue to improve throughout the season.”
A lead returnee for the Blue Streaks this season is Krayton Kern, a midfielder who made first team All-Northwest Ohio Athletic League and honorable mention All-Northwest District a season ago.
Also returning are defender Karson Rufenacht (second team all-league, honorable mention all-district), goalkeeper Kyler Boulton (honorable mention all-league, honorable mention all-district), midfielder Brodie Dominique (honorable mention all-league), striker Dane Riley (honorable mention all-league), striker Ethan Stuckey (honorable mention all-league), defender Colten Beaverson, midfielder Lance Ramirez, striker Devon Apt, defender Tyler Apt, defender Gabe Short, midfielder Wyat Fryman, defender Ben Dowdy and striker Kaden Rufenacht.
Newcomers to the squad are defender Ashton Kammeyer, midfielder Madden Valentine, and striker Jay Riley.
“A very close-knit group with good speed and physical strength that will have benefitted from all the game time and experience they received last year,” said Rodger of his team’s strengths this season.
A notable loss for the Streaks was striker Trey Theobald. He was the NWOAL Player of the Year and was first team all-district in Division III a year ago.
They also have to replace defender Levi Tilse, defender Parker Vondeylen, midfielder Miles Rupp, midfielder Sean Hageman, midfielder Daniel Oyer and keeper Kenny Williams.
Coach Rodger will be breaking in a new defense with his boys this season. That could be a weakness, as they will need time to adjust to the change.
However, they can only hope it happens as soon as possible, because when the league slate begins there will be no room for error.
“Our league, the NWOAL looks extremely competitive across the board this season,” said Rodger. “Defending champions Wauseon will be the team to beat but I expect ourselves, Evergreen and Bryan to provide stiff opposition. In addition Delta are well-coached and can be a handful for anyone on their day.”
Archbold hosts Bryan to begin the season on Tuesday, Aug. 24 at 5 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.