Sophomores include defender/midfielder Kyle Orzech, defender/midfielder Joey Townsend, midfielder/forward Robbie Tebbe (the leading returning attacker with three goals and three assists), midfielder/defender Zach Bentley, forward Allen Bottomley, and midfielder/forward Jeremiah Rhoades.
Junior goalie/forward Kyle Roe is going to be counted on for leadership as the most experienced Titan.
Freshman all-arounder Hunter Stephens, freshman defender/midfielder Cole Braun and freshman midfielder/forward Caleb Murdock will also mix in.
Taylor lost three of its four starting defenders and a goalie so the rest of the team will need to help out on defense.
“A lot of it is getting experience more than anything,” Shane said. “They can play all the travel programs they want but it’s not the same as playing in high school. It’s going to be a building year.”
The Wildkats slumped to 2-14 last season after heavy graduation losses from the year before. Nine players return from last year, and a major injection of talent from newcomers means coach Kismet Morrison expects a “huge improvement” even if the real breakthrough might be another season ahead.
“What I can say is we definitely are a whole lot stronger than we were last year,” Morrison said. “This should be a reasonable season for us.”
Newcomers run from freshmen to seniors who are new to the program but not new to the game.
“This team definitely has skill on its side,” Morrison said. “Most of the guys that are coming in this year have played soccer for a good few years. The skill level, the technical level is there. What they lack is the experience and physical aspect of the game that a varsity team demands. We just have to be patient as they develop.”
Some experienced players who form the backbone of the team are junior midfielder Philip Heilman, senior defender/midfielder Ben Huff, senior midfielder Aaron Dea, senior defender Christian Hall and senior defender Zach Sasser. Junior defender Robbie Lambert is new to the team but has plenty of playing experience.