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Kentucky High School Assoc
August 9, 2012Larry A. Ryle High School
The Ryle boys’ soccer team has a strong returning nucleus to make a run at reaching the state championship game for a second straight season, but it faces some new challenges this season just to make it out of its own region.
The Kentucky High School Athletic Association realigned districts and regions throughout the state to correlate with basketball alignment, which means Ryle will face competition in the Ninth Region from former 10th Region powers such as Covington Catholic, Highlands and Newport Central Catholic and from usual Ninth Region rivals such as St. Henry.
“The region will be tough for sure, but after you play three quality games just to get out of the regional you should be ready beyond that,” said Ryle coach Stephen Collins. “You’re not going to have a breather, but it will definitely prepare you. You’re going to have to face good teams eventually to win state; you’re just facing a couple more earlier in the process.”
Ryle returns all but three starters off last year’s team, which went 23-3-3 and lost in the state championship to Louisville St. Xavier. The Raiders must make up for the losses of all-state keeper Chris Froschauer, all-state stopper Rob Poehlman and second-leading scorer Cole Willoughby, who tallied 19 goals and 20 assists.
Collins said he has high hopes that senior Josh Butler will step in at keeper. He still has leading scorer Tyrus Sciarra, a senior who tallied 29 goals, and senior midfielder Mitchell See (eight goals, 12 assists) to spark the offense and senior defender Garrett Mead to key the defense.
“We’ve got 13 seniors and in high school sports if you have seniors that have played at that high level it helps put you a step ahead of some schools,” said Collins. “With Rob and Chris we had one of the best defenses in the state, and those two kids will be hard to replace, but what we have back makes it a little easier to soften that blow.”
Covington Catholic went undefeated until losing in the 10th Region championship game to Newport Central Catholic. While it lost a significant chunk, including the top two scorers in Evan Talkers (22 goals, 11 assists) and Sean Cooney (12 goals, 27 assists) to graduation, it should be able to reload quickly as it always does. The top offensive returnees for new coach Jeremy Robertson are senior Wheeler Blersch (11 goals, 10 assists) and Nick Wessels (eight goals, three assists).
Perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of the realignment are Bishop Brossart, Campbell County and Scott. Brossart and Campbell County remain in the 10th Region, while Scott moves from the Ninth Region. All three schools are in the same district, however.
“I’d be crazy not to tell you I’m not happy that we don’t have to play the Ryles and St. Henrys to get out of the region, but at the end of the day we still have to beat good teams,” said Scott coach Casey Seibert, who guided the program to the state semifinals in 2010.
Seibert said this year’s team is even more talented than the 2010 team and it certainly has some offensive firepower with the return of sophomore Luke Treadway, who scored 22 goals and had 18 assists last season. He also gets back junior Tanner Cox after the midfielder missed most of last season due to injury.
Ryle's Tyrus Sciarra celebrates his first half goal making it 2-0 against Montgomery County during their Kentucky state soccer quarterfinal game at Ryle High School. / The Enquirer/Jeff Swinger