CALDWELL - Head coach Troy Nething will begin his fifth season as head coach of the Caldwell Redskins soccer team with hopes of improving upon last year's 7-7 record.
Gone from last year's squad among others are a pair of All- Ohio Valley Athletic Conference selections in Trey Nething and Drew Rucker.
The 2013 version of the co-ed Redskin squad will be a young one as Nething's team features just a pair of seniors in Marissa Radcliffe and Blane Dunlap.
"We are definitely looking to our seniors this year for leadership," said Nething, whose son Trey will be playing soccer this fall for Lake Erie University. "Blane and Marissa have really been stepping up so far in practice."
The balance of the 14-player Redskin roster will be made up of four juniors, four sophomores, and four freshmen.
With more than half of the squad made up of underclassman, Nething has been spending a lot of time in the pre season working on conditioning as well as the fundamentals of the game.
"We start out working on the basics every practice. Every single practice, every single player is getting 300 touches," said Nething. "Our conditioning is excellent and I think we've got some good team speed as well."
Juniors' Toby Smith, Chase Lucas, Nick Roberts, and Cole Rucker will be counted on heavily on the pitch this fall.
"Toby has really been stepping as well," said Nething. "He is becoming another one of our leaders."
Nething has several options to serve as keepers as Lucas, Roberts, and sophomore Kyle Tanner could all spend time defending the net.
Nething feels that one of the strengths of his squad will be his defense which will feature Tanner, Roberts, Dunlap, and Lucas among others.
Look for the Caldwell front to be manned by Radcliffe, Smith, Rucker, and freshman Noah Nething.
Tanner will lead a sophomore class that also includes Jaret Ackley, Halle Sanford, and Emilee Gregg. In addition to Noah Nething, rookies on the 'Skin squad figure to be Hunter Fabian, Tyler Leohart, and Hannah Brown.
This year there are not enough teams in either the Pioneer Valley Conference or the OVAC to have a soccer conference meaning the Redskins will play a variety of other non-conference schools in the area.
Caldwell will open its season on Aug. 22 when it hosts East Richland Christian School.