×

High school soccer preview for 2021 winter/spring season

By Richard Walker

Preview capsules, by conference, for local high school soccer for the 2021 winter/spring season with a composite schedule at bottom:

BIG SOUTH 3A CONFERENCE

Ashbrook
Head coach: Tino Mantecon (3rd year, 29-8-4)
Last season: 12-4-3 overall, 9-2 conference
Assistant coach: Isidro Hernandez
Returning players: Nick Allen, Jesse Coleman, Daniel Hines, Jayden Dixon, Bailey Wilcox
Top newcomers: Sergio Gonzalez, Nash Heavner
Comment: Seeks third straight postseason appearance and 18th in last 20 years.

Cramer
Head coach: Matthew Robertson (8th year, 45-104-3)
Last season: 9-10-1 overall, 6-6 conference
Assistant coaches: Gil Aguirre, Hathm Hamam
Returning players: Layton Miller, Drew Hooks, Jaymon Mack
Top newcomer: Joseph Bravo
Comment: A veteran team that had the school’s second-best league record last season will pursue a first-ever postseason appearance.

Crest
Head coach: Will Manning (3rd year, 11-25-1)
Last season: 4-15-1 overall, 3-9 conference
Assistant coaches: no information submitted
Returning players: no information submitted
Top newcomers: no information submitted
Comment: Chargers seek to make postseason for the first time since 2016.

Forestview
Head coach: Stan Janik (3rd year, 29-10-3)
Last season: 13-5-2 overall, 11-1 conference
Assistant coaches: Eric Neely, Chris Vargas
Returning player: Evan Friday
Top newcomer: John Albright
Comment: After second league championship in three years, Jaguars will seek to extend playoff streak to 22 seasons.

Huss
Head coach: no information submitted
Last season: 6-8 overall, 5-6 conference
Assistant coaches: no information submitted
Returning players: no information submitted
Top newcomers: no information submitted
Comment: After missing playoffs in 2019, Huskies seek a return to the postseason.

Kings Mountain
Head coach: Dillion Richards (1st year)
Last season: 6-13 overall, 6-6 conference
Assistant coaches: none
Returning players: Riley Washburn, Alex Nivens, Dylan Platt, Dillon Messenger
Top newcomers: Even Briggs, Devon Dorsey, Anthony Anselmo, Brayden Garris, Cameron Petti, Chandler Dodgen
Comment: Mountaineers missed postseason for first time since 2012 last year so they’ll be motivated to make a return.

North Gaston
Head coach: John Sullivan (7th year, 50-78-2)
Last season: 2-16 overall, 1-11 conference
Assistant coaches: Bobby Cronland, Yerson Romero, Matt Galpert
Returning players: Sebastian Nicasio, Isaac Ayala, Braydon Johnson, Cam Lewis, Blake Hughes, Dilan Altamar, Eden Vargas
Top newcomers: Bryan Gomez, Luke Wally
Comment: Wildcats expect to show improvement and possibly compete for the school’s first playoff appearance since 2017.

SOUTHWESTERN 2A CONFERENCE

Burns
Head coach: Jamie Lee (4th year, 11-52)
Last season: 6-14 overall, 1-11 conference
Assistant coaches: no information submitted
Returning players: no information submitted
Top newcomers: no information submitted
Comment: Bulldogs snapped their two-year league losing streak last season and seek more improvement this season.

East Gaston
Head coach: River Hawkins (2nd year, 5-14-1)
Last season: 5-14-1, 5-7 conference
Assistant coach: Jayce Bass
Returning players: Diego Rodriguez, Deshaun Corry, Caleb Cassada
Top newcomers: Dylan Medcalf, Yahir Gonzalez, Tate Hawkins
Comment: After seeing a three-year playoff streak end last season, Warriors will look to get back into the postseason.

Shelby
Head coach: David Steeves (27th year)
Last season: 22-1-2 overall, 12-0 conference
Assistant coach: Charlie Ruff
Returning players: Ian Greene, Liston Brooks
Top newcomers: none listed
Comment: Golden Lions will look to extend their league dominance – three straight unbeaten league records – and playoff streak to 20 seasons

South Point
Head coach: Chris Baity (3rd year, 26-14-1)
Last season: 14-6-1 overall, 10-2 conference
Assistant coach: Mike Arabie
Returning players: none listed
Top newcomers: none listed
Comment: Red Raiders will look to make a fifth straight postseason appearance.

 

SOUTH FORK 2A CONFERENCE

East Lincoln
Head coach: Billy Howell (3rd year, 49-5)
Last season: 27-1 overall, 14-0 conference
Assistant coach: Max Fletcher
Returning players: Will White, Chase Lynch, Aaron Singletary, Caleb Anderson, Luke Felts, Connor Henderson, Landon Graden, Blake Swanson, Christian Hart, Conner Dallin, Evan Montanari, Carter Muir, Jackson Thrap
Top newcomers: Eli Perez, Christopher Mileta, Helmut Rojas, Jason Gonzalez, Brandon LeFevers, Mason Rodgers, Beckham Barnes, Thomas Maillet, Daniel Espinal
Comment: After advancing to the N.C. 2A soccer state finals a year ago, the Mustangs will have to do some rebuilding, particularly on their high-scoring offense that scored 173 goals a year ago.

Lincolnton
Head coach: Brad Bagan (1st year)
Last season: 12-8 overall, 8-6 conference
Assistant coaches: Chase Cockerham, Trent Teague
Returning players: Jose “Sito” Garcia, Kevin Calvo, Zach Zagorski, Zander Harrison, Silbestre Martinez
Top newcomers: Alvaro Rodriguez, Payton Rangel, Jarett Trejo, Aaron Lail
Comment: Wolves have made postseason every year since 2003.

North Lincoln
Head coach: Carlos Arias (3rd year, 23-22-4)
Last season: 14-9-2 overall, 8-6 conference
Assistant coaches: no information submitted
Returning players: no information submitted
Top newcomers: no information submitted
Comment: Knights will seek their third straight state playoff appearance.

SOUTHERN PIEDMONT 1A CONFERENCE

Bessemer City
Head coach: Brendan Vickers (3rd year, 2-26-1)
Last season: 0-18 overall, 0-12 conference
Assistant coaches: no information submitted
Returning players: no information submitted
Top newcomers: no information submitted
Comment: Yellow Jackets still building a young program that enters its third season.

Cherryville
Head coach: Jonathan Reed (4th year, 10-49-2)
Last season: 6-15 overall, 2-10 conference
Assistant coaches: no information submitted
Returning players: no information submitted
Top newcomers: no information submitted
Comment: Ironmen seek their first postseason appearance since 2016.

Highland Tech
Head coach: Dakota Null (1st year)
Last season: 12-8-2 overall, 7-5 conference
Assistant coaches: no information submitted
Returning players: no information submitted
Top newcomers: no information submitted
Comment: Rams will seek to extend their postseason streak to nine seasons.

Lincoln Charter
Head coach: Luis Soto (3rd year, 27-17-2)
Last season: 14-9-1 overall, 7-5 conference
Assistant coach: Dave Fuller
Returning players: none listed
Top newcomers: none listed
Comment: Eagles will seek to extend their postseason streak to eight seasons.

Piedmont Community Charter
Head coach: Javier Mendoza (4th year, 16-36-1)
Last season: 8-11 overall, 4-8 conference
Assistant coaches: no information submitted
Returning players: no information submitted
Top newcomers: no information submitted
Comment: Patriots will to at least repeat last year’s first-ever state playoff appearance.

PAC 7 1A CONFERENCE

Mountain Island Charter
Head coach: Ted Perna (7th year, 42-70-6)
Last season: 12-11 overall, 8-6 conference
Assistant coaches: no information submitted
Returning players: no information submitted
Top newcomers: no information submitted
Comment: Raptors have made playoffs four straight seasons and recorded a victory in three of those four appearances.

 

Day-by-day high school soccer schedules:

Monday, Jan. 25
Christ the King at Piedmont Community Charter
Cramer at Kings Mountain
East Lincoln at Lake Norman Charter

Tuesday, Jan. 26
Chase at Cherryville
Forestview at Crest
North Gaston at Huss
Shelby at East Gaston
South Point at Burns
Thomas Jefferson at Lincoln Charter

Wednesday, Jan. 27
Ashbrook at Forestview
Chase at Burns
East Gaston at South Point
East Lincoln at Lincolnton
Lake Norman Charter at North Lincoln
Lincoln Charter at Highland Tech
R-S Central at Shelby

Thursday, Jan. 28
Cherryville at Bessemer City
Crest at Cramer
Kings Mountain at North Gaston

Friday, Jan. 29
Newton-Conover at Lincolnton

Monday, Feb. 1
Ashbrook at Crest
Burns at East Rutherford
East Gaston at R-S Central
Highland Tech at Cherryville
Huss at Kings Mountain
Lincoln Charter at Christ the King
Lincolnton at Bandys
North Gaston at Forestview
North Lincoln at East Lincoln
Shelby at Chase
South Point at Cramer

Wednesday, Feb. 3
Bessemer City at Thomas Jefferson
Bradford Prep at Mountain Island Charter
Burns at Shelby
Cherryville at Lincoln Charter
East Gaston at Chase
East Lincoln at Bandys
East Rutherford at South Point
North Lincoln at Maiden

Thursday, Feb. 4
Ashbrook at Kings Mountain
Cramer at North Gaston
Crest at Huss

Monday, Feb. 8
Burns at East Gaston
Christ the King at Bessemer City
Cramer at Ashbrook
Forestview at Huss
Lincolnton at Lake Norman Charter
Maiden at East Lincoln
Mountain Island Charter at Union Academy
Newton-Conover at North Lincoln
North Gaston at Crest
Piedmont Community Charter at Cherryville
South Point at R-S Central
Thomas Jefferson at Highland Tech

Tuesday, Feb. 9
Kings Mountain at Burns

Wednesday, Feb. 10
Burns at East Rutherford
Cherryville at Thomas Jefferson
Highland Tech at Christ the King
Lincoln Charter at Piedmont Community Charter
Mountain Island Charter at Queen’s Grant
North Lincoln at Lincolnton
Shelby at South Point

Thursday, Feb. 11
Ashbrook at North Gaston
Huss at Cramer
Kings Mountain at Forestview

Friday, Feb. 12
Crest at Shelby

Monday, Feb. 15
Bandys at North Lincoln
Chase at South Point
Christ the King at Cherryville
Crest at Kings Mountain
East Rutherford at Shelby
Forestview at Cramer
Huss at Ashbrook
Lincoln Charter at Highland Tech
Lincolnton at Maiden
Newton-Conover at East Lincoln
North Gaston at East Gaston
Piedmont Community Charter at Thomas Jefferson
Pine Lake Prep at Mountain Island Charter
R-S Central at Burns

Wednesday, Feb. 17
Burns at South Point
Cherryville at Chase
East Gaston at Shelby
Lake Norman Charter at East Lincoln
Lincoln Charter at Bessemer City
Lincoln Charter at Thomas Jefferson
Lincolnton at Newton-Conover
Piedmont Community Charter at Christ the King

Thursday, Feb. 18
Crest at Forestview
Huss at North Gaston
Kings Mountain at Cramer

Monday, Feb. 22
Bessemer City at Cherryville
Burns at Chase
Cramer at Crest
Forestview at Ashbrook
Lincoln Charter at Thomas Jefferson
Lincolnton at East Lincoln
North Gaston at Kings Mountain
North Lincoln at Lake Norman Charter
Shelby at R-S Central
South Point at East Gaston

Tuesday, Feb. 23
Crest at Ashbrook

Wednesday, Feb. 24
Bandys at Lincolnton
Chase at Shelby
Christ the King at Lincoln Charter
Cramer at South Point
East Lincoln at North Lincoln
East Rutherford at Burns
R-S Central at East Gaston

Thursday, Feb. 25
Cherryville at Highland Tech
Kings Mountain at Huss

Friday, Feb. 26
Forestview at North Gaston

Monday, March 1
Bandys at East Lincoln
Chase at East Gaston
Forestview at Hickory
Huss at Crest
Kings Mountain at Ashbrook
Lincoln Charter at Cherryville
Maiden at North Lincoln
Mountain Island Charter at Bradford Prep
North Gaston at Cramer
Shelby at Burns
South Point at East Rutherford
Thomas Jefferson at Bessemer City

Wednesday, March 3
Bessemer City at Christ the King
Cherryville at Piedmont Community Charter
East Gaston at Burns
Highland Tech at Thomas Jefferson
Lake Norman Charter at Lincolnton
North Lincoln at Newton-Conover
R-S Central at South Point
Shelby at Kings Mountain
Union Academy at Mountain Island Charter

Thursday, March 4
Ashbrook at Cramer
Crest at North Gaston
East Lincoln at Maiden
Huss at Forestview

Monday, March 8
Burns at Crest
Christ the King at Highland Tech
Cramer at Huss
East Rutherford at East Gaston
Forestview at Kings Mountain
Lincolnton at North Lincoln
North Gaston at Ashbrook
Queen’s Grant at Mountain Island Charter
South Point at Shelby
Thomas Jefferson at Cherryville

Wednesday, March 10
Bessemer City at Lincoln Charter
Burns at R-S Central
Cherryville at Christ the King
East Lincoln at Newton-Conover
Kings Mountain at Crest
Maiden at Lincolnton
North Lincoln at Bandys
Shelby at Chase
Thomas Jefferson at Piedmont Community Charter

Thursday, March 11
Ashbrook at Huss
Cramer at Forestview
Mountain Island Charter at Pine Lake Prep
Shelby at East Rutherford

Friday, March 12
East Gaston at North Gaston

Playoffs March 16, 18, 20, 23, 27