They are younger, that’s for sure.
But that doesn’t mean the Holy Trinity boys soccer team isn’t capable of winning what would be a fifth consecutive district championship or getting back to the regional final.
“I think we’ve got a good chance to do something well this year,” Tigers coach Adrian Moreno said. “Right now, the boys set their sights on wanting to win districts and get to that regional semifinal and hopefully get as far as the team did last year.
“There was a realignment again in our region, so … it will be a little more difficult than it was last year to get there.”
While Holy Trinity returns some key veterans, including senior Reef LaGala, junior Aidan Bovelsky and sophomores Jake Wells and Keegan Harrison, there are a lot of younger players who have moved into key spots.
That includes sophomore goalkeeper Finn Werder, freshman defender Duncan MacKenzie and eighth-grade midfielder Nathan Combs, who has already drawn praise from both his coaches and teammates.
“I think it’s pretty good(now), but this team is going to be very good in a couple of years,” LaGala said of the team’s outlook.
“I think when Keegan is a senior, they’re going to be very good because they’re going to be used to playing with each other on the varsity level for so long.
“Everything’s new now. They’ve never been to the district finals, the play offs or anything. We’ll see how it goes.”
When Holy Trinity took on Titusville in its second game of the season last month, the Tigers had a lineup that featured Werder in goal with Mackenzie and Bovelsky in the back along with senior Giancarlo Valdivia and junior Brayden Seitz.
Junior Andrew Turner was in the middle with Combs and Harrison. LaGala was up top with Wells and junior Grant Shoultz on either side of him.
Senior Hayden VanKramer also brings plenty of experience to the back end.
Other key players include senior Dylan Gibson, junior John Alzate, sophomores Vikram Sabapathy, Parker Duran, Aayan Shah and Ramel Hernandez along with freshmen Cooper Euziere, Cathan Gillin, Grady Houston and Aiden Holtcamp.
As well as the Tigers were playing at the start of the season — they were off to a3-0 start — they only figure to get better as they keep getting used to playing with each other and improving their game.
“It’s probably going to get better every game,” Harrison said. “… I think communication (needs to improve). Obviously, we have some younger guys that are still molding into the lineup. Players like me and Reef need to help them know their role.”
And as LaGala added, “Confidence runs parallel to that.”
With such a young lineup, Moreno said he is looking for his team to possess the ball more than it has in the past.
“Patience is the biggest thing I’m pressing this year —patience on the ball, patience going forward,” he said. “We don’t have to go every single time. We can swing the ball around and do what we need to do. “There is certainly no arguing with Holy Trinity success through the years, particularly when it comes to district titles. This year is no different. The Tigers would like nothing better than to win another one. “We want it bad,” Harrison said.