Thomas Meeks will be making a return to coach at Woodstock. Meeks previously coached the boys program for two years before taking over the girls program for two seasons. After a brief retirement from coaching, he returned when the program couldn’t find another leader.
Meeks said he has a big group returning, despite graduating the 2012 Cherokee Tribune Boys Soccer Player of the Year in Zack McWhorter.
“We are going to have a strong team overall,” said Meeks, who said each of his players would be key this season.
The Wolverines will return junior midfielder Thomas Wiener, senior defender Erick Cervantes and senior goalie Nate Brown. Senior Miguel Gomez, who played just a couple games last season before breaking his leg, should also be an impact player.
Junior Beltran will be the lone freshman on the team.
“He can potentially start filling the program up down the road,” said Meeks of the ninth-grader.
The coach expects the Wolverines to fair well in the Region 5AAAAAA.
“I feel like we will be a contender,” said Meeks. “I think we can get into the playoffs again and see where it goes from there.”
Cherokee will be replacing all-county goalkeeper Jalen Champ, who allowed an average of just 1.52 goals per game last season, and midfielder Jordan Comer.
Creekview will be challenged in Region 7AAAAA playing along side some of the top of the top teams in the state.
The Grizzlies return a crop of seniors including midfielders Tony Alvarez, Anil Ayden and Connor Fraser, striker Tyler Hester and goalie Stephen Carse.
Coach Shawn McClellan said the team will also be supposed by a large class of quality juniors as well as some sophomores and freshmen.
“We’ve always struggled with depth, however this may be the deepest our team has been in quite some time,” said McClellan.
Sequoyah, also playing in Region 7AAAAA, returns eight starters from last season, which has coach John Zonin feeling good about the team’s prospects.
“I feel that we could finish in the top half of the region,” said Zonin.
Among the top returning players are senior Kostya Benton, junior Nelson Ferrufino and sophomores Diego Ruiz and Victor Rivera. Freshmen Dylan Calder and Maxx Hollingsworth will be joining the team.
Etowah returns 13 players from a team that went 10-7-1 last season. The Eagles play in one of the toughest regions in the state, but coach Chris Stahler thinks they will be competitive.
Returning players include seniors Spencer Marks, Nick Sherry, Nick Arce, juniors Jose Monroy, Alex Garcia and sophomore Noah Webber.
Freshman Jairus Romano is also expected to contribute.
River Ridge, which moved up to Class AAAA since last season, will feature seniors for the first time. The Knights will be led by junior forward Brennan Ross.