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boys soccer previews: Farragut, SoccerDawgs ‘rebuilding’
Defense, midfield Admirals strengths

Wallie’s world of Farragut High School boys soccer in 2009 will be a lot younger than recent editions that have won or seriously competed for state championships.

“We’re a terrifically young team,” said FHS head coach Wallie Culbreth, entering his eighth season as Admirals skipper (three Class AAA state titles, one national championship). Culbreth emphasized among his two seniors with crunch-time playing experience “only one is a returning starter [midfielder Trevor Grieco].

“This is a rebuilding year.”

Team strengths and concerns? “We’re very good in the midfield and at defender,” Culbreth said. “I’m not confident in our scoring ability,” although in scrimmage shutout victories “we scored three goals on C-A-K and Catholic.

“My biggest concern is still our ability to generate offense.”

Also in the midfield is senior Kellen Catani. “Trevor Grieco and Kellen are really valuable seniors,” Culbreth said, adding Ryan Stinton, a center midfielder “is a great one” and labeling the threesome “probably my top players right now.”

Nicholas Muth also will start in the midfield.

Sweeper is Nic Petersen. As for other starting defenders, the FHS said he “probably will commit to Marshal Ishmael in the back.”

Up top, Culbreth said he’s got “two stars” at forward who at the beginning of the week still were occupied with basketball: senior John Jester, plagued by a series of ankle injuries throughout his high school soccer career, and junior Wayman McLaughlin.

Sam Eddy is a solid starter at forward, while David Jordan will play offensive halfback.

As for goalkeeping duties, “I’ve got a senior and a junior battling it out,” Culbreth said of junior Steven Matlock, a part-time starter last season, and senior Shea Beltran. “This is Shea’s senior year, and he has worked awfully hard to be the starter.

“A lot of the other [starters] are still up in the air,” Culbreth added. “I’ve got a lot of even talent. It’s kinda a rebuilding year because I have so many juniors.”

Other Ads looking to contribute are Carlos Ramos, Ian Templeton, Angus MacLellen, Adam Prosise, Andrew Hale, Will Dallery, Kendrick Schuettler, Brandon Klarner and Miles Bergin.

Goals? “We’re going to take it a quarter [of a season] at a time,” he said. “Our first goal is to get through the Bearden tournament [March 27-29] undefeated and go to South Carolina [Palmetto Cup April 8-11] and go undefeated.”

“Overall, I would say this is going to be a very good year,” he added. “Will it be a great year? We’ll have to wait and see how things come together.”

FHS opens at South-Doyle, 6 p.m., Monday, March 9, then at McMinn Co., 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, then at Oak Ridge, 7 p.m., Thursday, March 12.


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