20190516_WesleyanBoys_Soccer_Whitefield-19.JPG

Wesleyan’s Jonathan Lopez (14) moves the ball during the second half of the 2019 Class A boys soccer state championship match at McEachern High School in Powder Springs.

Region 8-AAAAAAA

Archer

Coach: Colin Connors

2019 record: 9-7-2, first round of state

Returning starters: MF/DEF Russell Young; F Caleb Busboom; F Jacob Cundey; DEF Harmony Young; MF Amari Williams; MF Ivan Ivastanin; MF Tyler Hutzell; MF Tobi Bakare

Other key players/newcomers: GK Plange Adjei

Outlook: Archer made history with its 2019 season, finishing an all-time best second in the region and falling in the first round of state on penalty kicks. The Tigers want to win their first region championship and first state playoff game this season, and are equipped well for that goal with 10 seniors (eight returning starters) back. Those returning players include versatile Young, who has made an impact in the central midfield and central defense, as well as Busboom (school-record 14 goals in 2019) and Cundey (10 goals, five assists).

Grayson

Coach: Lee Duggan

2019 record: 6-9-1, first round of state

Returning starters: Satchel Hart, Sr.; Adrian Murillo, Sr.; Chris Clark, Sr.; Jonathan Sandoval, Sr.; Josh Howard, Sr.; Justin Rose, Sr.; Faith-Loic Djidjonou, Sr.; Marco Rosa-Exiquio, Jr.; Alexandro Garcia-Villegas, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: Andru Ghuita-Florea, Jr.; Robel Teshome, Jr.; Stefan Mijatovic, Jr.; Samuel Mwinami, Jr.; Jearrod Johnson, Jr.; Jason Walker, Jr.; Douglas Asante, Soph.; Mathieu Rose, Soph.; Ervin Alic, Fr.

Outlook: Grayson’s goal is building off last season’s rebuilding effort, which still featured a state playoff appearance. Duggan feels his team has the ability to compete for a region title this season.

Shiloh

Coach: Laura Demby

2019 record: 3-13

Returning starters: MF Damien Miranda, Sr.; DEF Edgar Soto, Sr.; MF Levy Cruz, Sr.; DEF Josh Castaneda, Sr.; MF Erick Quiquivix, Soph.; MF Noad Marhay, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: MF/DEF Barzee Blama, Fr.

Outlook: The Generals look to improve after building some momentum in region play with victories over Archer and Newton. The young team will rely heavily on four senior returning starters in Miranda, Soto, Cruz and Castaneda.

South Gwinnett

Coach: Chad Riley

2019 record: 10-4-2, first round of state

Returning starters: GK Sebastian Farias, Sr.; MF Christian Hay, Sr.; DEF Justin Theus, Sr.; F Kadeem Agard, Jr.; MF Sekou Agard, Jr.; MF Adrian Cuenca, Jr.; DEF Kevin Portillo-Jimenez, Jr.; MF Tyler Tott, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: MF Tresor Ngoga, Jr.; MF Robel Abesolom, Fr.; DEF Jorge Evan Remigio, Fr.

Outlook: South has been surging as a program in recent seasons, reaching the state quarterfinals in 2018 and winning the 8-AAAAAAA championship last spring. The Comets were disappointed with their early playoff exit, and hope to avenge that this season with a talented lineup featuring last year’s region forward of the year (Kadeem Agard) and defender of the year (Sekou Agard).

Region 7-AAAAAAA

Berkmar

Coach: Joe Dratnol

2019 record: 2-10

Returning starters: DEF Juan Sanchez; DEF Jorge de Jesus; DEF Johan Cabrera; MF Tommy Redd

Other key players/newcomers: F Esteban Martinez

Outlook: The Patriots were young, yet still competitive in region play, last season, and they figure to be more mature in their quest for a playoff spot in 2020. They also get a nice boost from a junior varsity team that won the county title last spring.

Brookwood

Coach: Adel Mohsen

2019 record: 8-9

Returning starters: Jake Cartmill; Harbin Ji; Semir Kurtalic; Chris Mendoza; Emeka Terry; Alex Bucio; Nick Guzman

Other key players/newcomers: Arun Aguilar; Bart Kulah; Marlon Escobar; Nathan Walker

Outlook: The young Broncos are after a bounce-back season after a disappointing 2019 season that wasn’t up to the program’s lofty standards. They finished below .500 overall with an uncharacteristic 2-4 mark in region play. A solid group of starters are back in search for better, including veteran playmaker Harbin Ji.

Central Gwinnett

Coach: Mike McLean

2019 record: 7-8, first round of state

Returning starters: Claudio Godinez; Cris Sanchez; William Palacios; Walter Alfaro

Outlook: Central reached the state playoffs’ first round last season, falling 4-3 to Collins Hill in a wild match. The Black Knights don’t have a lot of players back off that team — McLean said it’s the program’s youngest team in years — but one of the returnees is a talented offensive playmaker, Godinez.

Meadowcreek

Coach: Brent Evans

2019 record: 12-7-1, state semifinals

Returning starters: MF David Alvarado, Sr.; DEF/MF Gabriel Flores, Sr.; MF Aldo Garibo, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: F Jorge Rubio Vega, Jr.

Outlook: Meadowcreek has holes to fill in the lineup, but has the experience of a highly successful 2019 season that included a run to the Final Four. Captains Alvardo and Flores are back to lead the offense and defense, while Garibo and Rubio Vega also will be key in the attack.

Norcross

Coach: Frank Pitt

2019 record: 9-8-1, second round of state

Returning starters: MF Osvaldo Del Rello, Sr.; DEF Evan Smith, Sr.; DEF Christian Trujillo, Jr.; DEF Joese Flores, Jr.; DEF Luke Gries, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: F Oscar Gamez, Sr.; F Malik Salawu, Soph.; DEF Schuyler Burke, Fr.; MF Alex Chimbanda, Fr.

Outlook: The goal for Norcross is the same as last season, compete for a region title and advance past the state playoffs’ second round, where the Blue Devils have been eliminated three of the past four seasons. Del Rello is an important piece as a two-time captain who started at right back as a sophomore before transitioning to center midfield in 2019 and 2020.

Parkview

Coach: Danny Klinect

2019 record: 2-13-2

Returning starters: MF Nic Mireles, Sr.; F Jake Klinect, Sr.; F Sam Morales, Sr.; F Mark Torres, Sr.; DEF Josh Taylor, Jr.; DEF/MF Zishan Dodhyani, Sr.; GK Anthony Gomez, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: GK Tyler Parnell, Jr.; MF Jose Ruiz, Jr.; DEF Sam Schaff, Jr.; DEF Tim Avelar, Sr.; DEF Samir Hadi-Cisneros, Sr.; F/MF Ben Lightner, Sr.; MF Jorge Garcia, Sr.; DEF Olu Baker, Jr.; MF Eduardo Simon, Jr.; F Diego Pereira, Soph.; F Bryan Salazar, Jr.

Outlook: The Panthers, typically a force at the state level, had a tough 2019 season with 13 losses, including seven by a single goal. They had the lead in six of those seven close losses. An experienced team, with 14 returning players, hopes to return Parkview soccer to prominence.

Region 6-AAAAAAA

Collins Hill

Coach: Jamie Gleeson

2019 record: 15-4, second round of state

Returning starters: Alan Cruz, Sr.; Dominick Charlton, Sr.; Nick Hubbard, Sr.; Alexis Mendoza, Sr.; Marvin Ventura, Sr.; Alejandro Villalba, Sr.; Nour Alamri, Jr.; Mauricio Villalba, Jr.; Kevin Lupercio, Jr.; Emmanuel Gyasi, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: Juan Carmona, Sr.; Khedive Borland, Sr.; Kweisi Borland, Sr.; Justin Thomas, Jr.; Angel Vasquez, Soph.; Christian Ortega, Soph.; Jake Hall, Fr.; Sekou Toure, Fr.; Andrew Cruz, Fr.; Paul Beleiu, Fr.

Outlook: Gleeson led the 2019 Eagles to the second round of the state playoffs, where they lost to eventual state champion Lambert. Their 15-win total was the program’s best in the past seven seasons. Collins Hill is after an even better finish, as well as another region title, which it won in 2018.

Discovery

Coach: Jason Hall

2019 record: 12-4

Returning starters: MF Gerson Salmeron; F Santiago Castro; DEF Kevin Herrera; MF Jay Santos; GK Luis Nunez; F Eddie Vargas

Outlook: Discovery has its sights on the first state playoff berth in school history after narrowly missing the postseason last year on a tiebreaker. The Titans, who went undefeated outside of region play, are motivated and talented with standouts like four-year starter Salmeron, top goal-scorer Castro and defensive leader Herrera. The veteran roster includes 11 seniors and nine juniors.

Duluth

Coach: Angel Adame

2019 record: 3-10-2

Returning starters: Damian Salinas, Jr.; Vacil Gerchev, Sr.; Daniel Rojas, Sr.; Daniel Levine, Soph.; Foussinni Sissoko, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: Diego Ochoa, Jr.; Andersson Macedo, Soph.; Preciuex Siala, Jr.

Outlook: A young team has grown up with a large group of returning players, leaving high goals for the Wildcats. Those players are joined by others moving up from a junior varsity team that went 8-0-2 last spring.

Mill Creek

Coach: Stephen George

2019 record: 11-4-1, first round of state

Returning starters: GK Matthew Shaw, Sr.; DEF Shane Lacina, Sr.; DEF Evan Saylor, Sr.; MF Joseph Aguirre, Sr.; MF/F Nathan Carlson, Sr.; DEF/F Trey White, Jr.; F Lucas Aukofer, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: MF Bradley Coppola, Soph.; MF Mohamed Alsuweydi, Soph.; F Aaron Lowers, Sr.; F Edwin Munevar, Sr.

Outlook: Mill Creek plans to challenge for the region title again with a stellar defense, especially with offensive losses off last year’s team. The Hawks lose their top three goal-scorers from last season — two to graduation and one to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.

Mountain View

Coach: Sean Wickham

2019 record: 13-6

Returning starters: GK Will Moore, Sr.; DEF Nicholas Romero, Sr.; DEF Jared Evans, Jr.; MF Rafael Fernandez, Jr.; F T.J. Trueh, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: F Jason Ortiz, Sr.; MF Zaki Obafemi-Carpenter, Sr.; GK Phillipp Jaeger, Jr.; DEF Diego Martinez, Soph.; DEF Matthew Romero, Sr.; DEF Aleksander Harris, Sr.; MF Ezra Hoffman, Soph.; MF Caesar Polanco, Sr.

Outlook: The Bears won their first region championship last season, but graduated seven starters. They want to show that title was no fluke, as well as make a better run in the playoffs after being upset by Norcross in the 2019 first round.

North Gwinnett

Coach: Chris Leone

2019 record: 11-4-1

Returning starters: GK Ben Brink, Sr.; DEF Marvin Rodas, Sr.; DEF Daniel Walsh, Sr.; DEF Cody Leach, Jr.; DEF Joe West, Jr.; MF Pedro Mejia, Sr.; F Juan Penagos, Jr.

Other key players/newcomers: F Coleman Sebestyen, Sr.; F Jason Withrow, Jr.; MF Wyatt Wilson, Jr.; MF Damian Segura, Soph.

Outlook: North missed the state playoffs despite a successful, 11-win season in 2019 — it lost the wrong games in region play on penalty kicks and came up short in tiebreakers. Because of that, motivation is even higher for the upcoming season.

Peachtree Ridge

Coach: Ryan Sutton

2019 record: 8-9-1, first round of state

Returning starters: MF Devin Galvan, Sr.; MF Drew Fitton, Sr.; DEF Dennis Lee, Jr.; MF Marcos Cajigas, Jr.; DEF Rio Onwumere, Soph.; F Stefan Shongo, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: DEF Carlos Monsalve, Sr.; GK David Aguilar, Sr.; MF Nick Kosut, Jr.; GK Sebastian Zavala, Jr.; DEF Akhil Dahya, Jr.; MF Aayan Verma, Jr.; DEF Amal Patel, Jr.; MF Bryan Placensia, Jr.; DEF Shreyas Patil, Jr.; F Malachi Stewart, Jr.; F Kevin Umana, Soph.; DEF Moises Rosas, Soph.; DEF Andrew Lucisano, Soph.; MF Brian Kim, Soph.; DEF Kaleb Thomas, Soph.; MF Daniel Romero, Fr.

Outlook: A young Peachtree Ridge team still made the playoffs for the fourth straight season in 2019, and also tested eventual state runner-up Lakeside-DeKalb in a 1-0 loss in the first round. The return of so many players, coupled with some talented new additions, means lofty expectations this spring.

Region 8-AAAAAA

Dacula

Coach: Daniel Starovasnik

2019 record: 8-9-1, second round of state

Returning starters: Patrick Greiner; Alex Tapia; Zach Gerks; Andrew Chica; Dylan Pratt; Gabe Prokes; Steve Vasquez; Andrew Rowe

Other key players/newcomers: Sam Abunaw; Dean Severy; Joel Pathiranage; Christian Romo

Outlook: After fighting to the second round of the state playoffs last season, the Falcons hope to advance deeper this season. A solid group of experienced players return to lead that mission.

Lanier

Coach: Ezra Crumley

2019 record: 5-10-2

Returning starters: MF Fidel Escamilla, Sr.; DEF/MF Paolo Zapata, Sr.; GK Daniel Guzman-Mendez, Jr.; MF Jonathan Morales, Jr.; F Santiago Mosquera, Soph.; DEF Aymar Ramos, Soph.; DEF Admir Dudakovic, Sr.

Other key players/newcomers: F Jaryn Hodge, Sr.; MF Jared Escamilla, Fr.; MF Alex Salazar, Soph.

Outlook: Eight Lanier games last season were decided by a single goal, and turning some of those losses into wins is key to reaching the state playoffs. A bigger senior class and other experienced returning players — led by goalkeeper Guzman-Mendez — bring high hopes. Senior Hodge is among those stepping in to replace hard-working forward Carlos Servellon, a graduation loss.

Region 8-AAAAA

Buford

Coach: Victor Lane

2019 record: 2-15-1

Returning starters: F Carlos Alvarado, Sr.; F Saul Olvera, Sr.; DEF Caden Tarala, Jr.; DEF Rigo Garcia, Jr.; F/MF Edgar Ramirez, Jr.; MF Caleb Mott, Soph.; MF/DEF Nathan Montini, Soph.; MF Lucas Stevenson, Soph.; DEF Ian McManners, Soph.; DEF/MF Hayden Crane, Soph.; MF/DEF Juan Borrego, Soph.; GK Marco Borrego, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: MF/F Michael Graves, Sr.; MF Josh Mott, Fr.; GK Aiden Anderson, Fr.

Outlook: The Wolves hope to rebound from a difficult 2019 season with 12 returning players with experience. Graves adds a boost to the offense after moving into the district in the fall.

Region 7-AAA

Greater Atlanta Christian

Coach: Thom Jacquet

2019 record: 17-4

Returning starters: Jake Jordan, Sr.; Mekhi Royes, Sr.; T.J. Tracy, Sr.; Nicolas Veltmaat, Sr.; Cole Bryant, Soph.; Alex Gomas, Soph.; Damola Salami, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: Walker Lewis, Jr.; Beckham Jacquet, Soph.; Parker Wagnon, Soph.; Jackson Rosero, Fr.; Justin Moore, Fr.

Outlook: The traditionally strong Spartans figure to be a force in 7-AAA and at the state level again thanks to a mix of experience and young talent.

Area 8-A

Hebron Christian

Coach: Alex Thomas

2019 record: 3-15

Returning starters: DEF Jack Goldschmidt, Sr.; MF Joshua Kim, Sr.; MF Harrison Barnes, Sr.; F Cayden Boyt, Jr.; MF Jones Martin, Soph.; GK/MF Daniel Torres, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: DEF/GK Jered Miller, Jr.; MF Josiah Boot, Jr.; DEF Ben Lillard, Soph.; F Charlie Jacobs, Fr.; MF Jake Redman, Fr.; MF Mason Roberts, Fr.; DEF Nolan Roberts, Fr.

Outlook: Six returning starters lead the Lions into one of the state’s most difficult areas. Among the top players back are center back Goldschmidt, a first-team, all-county selection as a junior.

Providence Christian

Coach: Todd Henry

2019 record: 8-9

Returning starters: MF Luke Bradberry, Sr.; MF Joseph Moussakhani, Sr.; DEF Glenn Fleming, Jr.; DEF Shawn Combs, Jr.; F Brandon Collins, Soph.; F Aaron Lee, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: DEF Jonathan Abraham, Jr.; F Pete Bradberry, Jr.; DEF Dean Hufford, Jr.; F Noah Williamson, Jr.; GK Ben Stone, Soph.; MF August Larson, Fr.; MF James Rooney, Fr.

Outlook: Providence almost won its first area championship, but lost to Wesleyan in the regular-season finale — the result also kept the Storm from a playoff spot in the difficult Class A Private area. Six starters, some key juniors and a talented freshman hope to push through to state this season. An experienced back line in front of Stone and a solid midfield are the team’s strengths.

Wesleyan

Coach: Billy Coxhead

2019 record: 15-6, state champions

Returning starters: M Jonathan Lopez, Sr.; MF Javy Martinez, Sr.; F Sammy Johnson, Sr.; MF Fletcher Morris, Jr.; MF Julian Mola, Jr.; DEF Cristo Martinez, Soph.; DEF Alex Cardile, Jr.; GK Aidan Kresl, Soph.

Other key players/newcomers: MF/DEF Julian Fernandez, Sr.; MF/DEF Andrew Bardi, Jr.; DEF Carlos Lopez, Fr.; MF Gabriel Smith, Fr.; MF Max Allgaier, Jr.

Outlook: The Wolves defeated Whitefield Academy for the Class A Private state title last spring, but must replace playmaker Liam Coxhead, now at Mercer. However, eight starters are back as Wesleyan attempts to make it out of a tough area with five quality teams (and only two state playoff spots).

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