It’s a new year with new possibilities for the Hutchinson/Glencoe-Silver Lake boys soccer team.
After a season of changes last year as Hutchinson joined GSL as a co-op for the first year, the Tigers are once again experiencing changes for the 2021 season. Not the least of which will be changes to their roster. Although the Tigers only lost five players to graduation last year, they left some key holes to fill, including at goalie, where newcomer Leo Gil will start.
With only a few players gone from last season, the Tigers should have a more experienced squad back aiming to improve on last year’s 3-6-2 overall record. Among the group of returners are senior captains Ben Wehseler and Cole Forcier. Wehseler will float between center, outside back and outside mid, while Forcier will be the team’s lone striker. Other returners with varsity experience are Treyton Card, Eddie Tristan and Simon Schmitz.
Joining the returners are other up-and-comers to varsity such as Riley Sperl, who will play outside back and help at midfield; Owen Koenen and Will Byron, who fill in at center back; and Rodrigo Aguiniga and Edgar Munguia.
“I think they will be a tight team, but they will have very few numbers,” said head coach Richard Appleby, who is starting his third year managing the Tigers. “So staying fit and pushing through fatigue will be big obstacles to look for.”
The roster isn’t the only thing new for the Tigers. The Wright County Conference also looks new now that Orono and Waconia, the top two teams last year, are gone, as well as New Prague. Joining the conference is Rockford, Jordan and Southwest Christian, keeping it at eight teams. The Tigers finished 2-5-1 for sixth place in the WCC standings last year, a mark they would like to see improve.
Lastly, things will look different in the playoffs this year as a third class was added to boys soccer. That means Hutchinson will face new teams and a smaller section of only eight competitors. They’ll still their work cut out for them playing Jordan, Marshall, New Prague, New Ulm, Worthington, Mankato East and Mankato West.
“They will have to work unbelievably to hit their goals,” Appleby said. “I’m looking forward to seeing if they have it in them.”