NPHS boys soccer preview: Dragons mix youth & experience
August 10, 2012By Andrew Smith of New Palestine High School
New Palestine boys soccer
Head coach: Bobby Holden (2nd year at NPHS, record 12-6; 4th year overall)
Assistant coaches: Nick Burrus, Gina Fannin
2011 record: 12-6, HHC co-champions
The Dragons have a strong nucleus returning from a Hoosier Heritage Conference championship squad. NPHS went 12-6 last season against a difficult schedule, including a 6-1 mark in the HHC.
A class of five seniors – including leading scorer Bryson Basaran and goalkeeper Jaron Pridgen – returns to lead the Dragons.
Basaran, a senior midfielder, scored 23 goals as a junior and added six assists. He’ll be a key part of an offensive attack that will otherwise be young, as Wes Fox (11G, 11A, Marian University), John Ernster (7G, 12A) and Dillon Pike (5G) all graduated. NP also graduated key central midfielder Ty Fidler and back Daniel Wright.
That opens up a lot of spots for players in new roles. Seniors Ryan Perkins (2G, 5A) and Alex Thomas (1G, 2A) saw significant varsity action last season and will be key up top. In the midfield, junior Ben Richter will see a greater role, as will several sophomores who made an impact on the varsity last season – Brandt Basaran, Jake Perkins and Caleb Kramer. Sophomore backs Matt Ernster and Scott Niehoff also saw significant varsity action as freshmen.
One place where the Dragons are experienced is in goal, where Pridgen returns for another season. He posted a 1.23 GAA as a junior and had three shutouts.
Among other contributors, juniors Corey Cavin, Zach Chester, Alex Melangton, Alex Sprowl, John Tuttle and sophomores Jackson Cochran and Bo Owens all saw some varsity action last season. Among the big class of 15 freshmen, expect backs Reid Gohmann, Zach Shircliff and Matt Staab, midfielders Quin Johnson and Alex Warfield, forward Nick Martin and Ryan Miller and goalkeeper Erik Silvey to be key contributors. Another newcomer that is a familiar face is senior Solomon Haynes, who has been a three-year starter for the Dragons’ basketball team. The Dragons are deep, with seven seniors, 11 juniors and 17 sophomores among the 49 players who came out for the team.
Boys schedule link: www.ihigh.com/newpaldragons/document_24976.html?view