Hellgate Boys Soccer Looks to Stay Among the Conference Elite
Normally considered one of the best teams in the state, this year's Hellgate boys soccer team has a few more question marks than previous years, but they still have high expectations.
A year ago, the Hellgate Knights went undefeated in the regular season, but failed to reach the title game of the State Tournament, something the few returners they have are plenty aware of.
"There was a lot of seniors, so not the whole team knows what that tastes like, but the five that do, are pretty bitter toward it, and want revenge, and want to get back to State," says Hellgate senior defender Jonathan Taylor.
With that small number of returners, the squad will be incredibly young this year, something that is new for the always strong Knights.
"We've actually talked about that a little about being the underdogs for once in a long time. We don't mind that role every once in awhile. I think they'll try to go out and prove that they aren't the underdogs, but we'll see how it goes. I think it will go well for us," says head coach Jay Anderson.
"I don't think people are expecting us to do great, but for our team, I think we have pretty high expectations of ourselves," says Taylor.
The returning captains know especially early on it will be up to them to make sure their inexperienced teammates are ready to play at the Varsity level, and admit things will be different from last year.
"We'll definitely have to work hard, at the beginning, our players returning will show by example, work hard in the games, be physical, and hopefully we can get some early wins to help us during the late season," says Hellgate junior midfielder Peter Vandam.
"I don't think we'll have anyone scoring over 20 goals like we did last year, but I think it will be pretty balanced, and I think we'll be good," says Taylor.
While things will be different from last years senior laden roster, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
"I think some of the pros are everyone wants to earn a spot, so right now training has been excellent. Everyone is working really hard to get a starting spot. These younger guys who have played JV for the last couple years have confidence in playing on a JV team that hasn't really lost in the last couple years, so while we're young, they're full of confidence and are ready to go prove themselves," says Anderson.