Eagles Look To Spread Their Wings On?Field
The Magnolia Blue Eagle Boys’ Soccer Team has a new sheriff in town, as Clinton Bruck takes over the helm for the 2012 season.
The Eagles lost six starters to graduation, including top scorer Michael Jones. Magnolia also lost defenders Chase Croasmun, Andrew Stackpole, and James Long, plus mid-fielders Evan Heslop and Joey Culley.
Leadership for the Blue Eagles won’t be a factor this year, as seniors Alex Pancake, Mike Winters, Trevor Long and Eric Piekarski each have plenty of experience.
Pancake tweaked his ankle during the first week of practice and is recovering by leaps and bounds to pace the Eagle attack on defense. Winters will try to keep soccer balls from making it into the twine. Long will give the Eagles’ senior leadership at the midfield, while Piekarski moves into the starting role on defense to give the Blue Eagles three solid players around the net. In reserve is freshman Alex Glover.
Junior defender Drew Estep, along with sophomore Jacob Pancake and freshmen Mikey Dantrassy, JT Stillwagoner and Tyler Kazlman, who will also see time on defense.
Midfield is controlled by sophomore Oscar Celedon, who was also the Eagles’ second leading scorer a season ago, while Long will team at midfield with Kyle Goddard, Troy Boughner, Jesse Long, and Frankie Grilli.
At striker, Soren Shade, Caleb McCune will give Bruck some experience, while newcomer Alex Anderson is learning fast.
In his third season as the Blue Eagle goal keeper is 6’4 Mike Winters, who has learned a lot and will give the defense a shot in the arm with his aggressive style of play.
Along with with his height advantage, it looks like the defense will be the strong point of the team this season.
Bruck will have his troops in tip-top shape and ready for action during the two 40-minute halves. You can look for spirited and enthusiastic play from the players — and coaching staff.
An experienced bench is a plus, and, with 18 players, you must add new blood to the mix. The Big Blue has that and more. The Blue Eagles surely will be flying high and controlling the field with exciting and terrific play.
“Our goal is to get better every game,” said Bruck. “We have strong lettermen and leadership, as well as a strong booster club.”
Bruck went on to add, “We have quality starters returning on offense, midfield and defense that I believe will translate into a deeper and stronger team. We need to be able to pass better and play better team ball than we have in the past.”
Continuing, “Our defense is our strong point, and, if our offense can score a few goals, we should have a good season.”
This team has a lot of potential and should be very exciting to watch. The players seem to be more unified and motivated on the field than in the past and they appear ready to make some noise in 2012.
The Magnolia boys’ and girls’ soccer teams play all their home games at Howard Jeffers Drive, across from Wal-Mart.
The boys will open their season with a home game against Oak Glen, Aug. 21 at 7 p.m.