Plymouth boys soccer team will have a familiar look to it as a bulk of
the Wildcats' nucleus returns intact.
Led by senior captains Dan Jasewicz and Vinh Nguyen, coach Jeff Neschich's experienced squad is ready to make waves in the Kensington Lakes Activities Association following a .500 campaign in 2008.
"The team is much more mature this year; everybody's grown a lot," said Jasewicz, an all-around solid contributor who will split time between forward and defense. "We're looking good so far."
"Last year we were a young team with mostly juniors and sophomores," Nguyen added. "We've learned a lot since them."
It's still early, but Neschich is optimistic about the progress he's seen the 'Cats make since last fall.
"The attitude is really good," he said. "We have great leaders in Dan and Vinny. They both come from a solid club program (the Wolves) and they're winners. They both bring a lot to our program, including soccer smarts, field sense and ability."
Joining Jasewicz up top for the 'Cats will be Ian Griffiths, Derek Austin and Evan Lewandowski.
"Derek and Evan are looking really strong and Evan is working his back-side off, so he'll figure in the mix somewhere in an attacking position."
Sparking the Wildcats' central mid-field will be Nguyen, Joey Klonowski and Nick Russ. They'll be flanked by outside mids Andrew Yoder and his twin brother, Mitch; Danny Conklin and Caleb Divens.
Anchoring the defense will be Jasewicz (when he's not patrolling the other end of the field), Sam Maccani and a trio of sophomores: Mike Ambrose, Zach D'Agostino and Michael Shackleford.
The Wildcats are stocked with an abundance of talent at the goal-keeping position thanks to the presence of senior Josh Hill and junior Kyle Brindza.
"Right now, it looks like Kyle will be the starter, but Josh is giving him a lot of pressure," Neschich said. They're both very strong goalies."
Neschich has liked what he's seen from his team early on heading into Saturday's Balconi Invitational.
"We played tough this past weekend in our scrimmages against Rochester Adams, Stoney Creek and Clarkston," he said, "and they're all top-notch programs. "We won two out of three. It was only a pre-season scrimmage, but at least we know we can play with teams like that."