When Sean Jung took over the Union Grove High School boys soccer team in 2012, the Broncos were coming off an 0-20 record and were destined to go 1-21 his first season.
A state tournament berth is the their goal this season. And this program deserves the benefit of the doubt.
Under Jung’s watch, the Broncos have gone 1-21, 5-15, 10-9, 9-10, 11-8, 15-4 and 13-7-3. And they lost to eventual Division 2 state runner-up New Berlin Eisenhower 3-2 in overtime in the sectional championship game last season.
“We have experience, depth, speed, and a premier goal scorer (Logan Farrington), so we should be very tough,” Jung said. “If the boys stay together and we avoid serious injuries, we have the potential to be a special team in 2019.”
Meanwhile, Prairie and St. Catherine’s should continue their long record of success this season.
Here is a preview on the nine Racine County soccer teams:
Southeast Conference Case Eagles
COACH: Gregg Anderle, third season.
2018 RECORD: 7-5-5 overall, 5-0-2 in SEC (co-champion); lost to Oak Creek 1-0 in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Brenden Baugrud (M), Jaxon Ford (M), Shawn Maringer (M), Jake Passehl (F), Koffi Koudahenou (F), Antonio Loza (F), Hubert Smielecki (D), Solan Degefa (D). Juniors — Michael Cabaltera (D), Brett Stark (M), Daniel Sweetman (D), Steven Gardner (D), Connor Mills (F), Chase Werner (GK), Jax Calverley (GK). Sophomore — Mati Degefa (F).
OUTLOOK: The Eagles return, “a very strong team with high expectations in conference and in the state playoffs,” Anderle said. “With a very seasoned core and the additions of a talented group of newcomers, Case expects a very successful season.” Among the leaders is Baugrud, a first-team All-County player as a junior who had four goals and six assists.
COACH: Galen Irish, first season.
2018 RECORD: 3-10-3 overall, 2-3-2 in the SEC; lost to Kenosha Tremper 6-1 in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Tommy Ruiz (F), Zach Heiman (G), Noah Trevino (D), Luis Pineda (F), Ramiro Garcia (F). Juniors — Tony Pitrof (D), Greyson Harris (M), Colin Gayle (M), Jayden Skenandore (F). Sophomores — Israel Duran (D), Luis Cruz Jr. (D), Danny Aranada (M), Alex Garbo, Johan Martinez (M).
OUTLOOK: Irish has the opportunity to oversee a big improvement in his first season after only having to replace two starters. With Heiman, Irish said, “we have a good communicator in the back to pair with a solid center defense of Noah Trevino and Tony Pitrof. Garcia and Ruiz should provide a good combo of speed and strength up top. “We hope those two score a lot of goals this season,” Irish said.
COACH: Cameron Pope, second season.
2018 RECORD: 1-13-1, 0-6-1 SEC; lost to Milwaukee Bradley Tech 4-0 in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Rashaad Henderson (F), Jordan Mogren (D), Jesus Diaz (M). Juniors — Vinny Wentorf (D), Alonzo Zertuche (M), Natalio Vital (M), Alex Esparza (M), Juan Guereca (GK), Angel Tafoya (M). Sophomore — David Klug (M).
OUTLOOK: While the Panthers lost several seniors to graduation, most notably first-team All-County selection Jonathan Munoz, the addition of Walden senior Jesus Diaz elevates an already formidable midfield. Captains Vinny Wentorf and Jordan Mogren anchor the Park defense while senior forward Rashaad Henderson will use his elite speed to challenge opposing defenses.
Southern Lakes Conference Burlington Demons
COACH: Jake Cacciotti, first season; interim coach for Joel Molitor, who is on paternity leave.
2018 RECORD: 4-11-1 overall, 0-7 in SLC; lost to Waunakee 5-0 in the WIAA Division 2 regional semifinal.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Kyler Lawer (D), Zach Pstragowski (M/D), David Tischer (F); Juniors — Dylan Melchiorre, Ishmael Andrade; Sophomores — Zach Cowan (GK), Kolton Krueger (M), Izac Nienhaus (M/D), Ethan Nienhaus (F), Brad Roe (M/D), Drew Stutzman (M), Korbin Kling (F), Brady Marchese (F), Peyton Howe (M), Casey Sommers (D).
OUTLOOK: Co-leading scorers Dylan Melchiorre and Kolton Krueger are both returning, but Melchiorre sustained an injury in preseason.”We are returning most of our players, but we remain young, with a number of sophomores on the team,” Cacciotti said. “We are looking to build off of last season with the experience we gained and continue to develop as a unit.”
Union Grove Broncos
COACH: Sean Jung, eighth season.
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2018 RECORD: 13-7-3 overall, 5-4 in the SLC; lost to state-runner-up New Berlin Eisenhower 3-2 in double overtime in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Logan Farrington (F), Sawyer Richardson (M), Brandon Dodge (M), Dylan Fleischman (M), Christian Lentz (D), Kevin Jaworski (D), Clayton Holland (F). Juniors — Ben Erickson (D), Kyle Fletcher (M), Jacob Truebenbach (M/D). Sophomores — Ryan Petrovic (D), Michael Anderson (M/F), Jacob Howard (M/F), Wes Meshenky (D), Mitchell Curtin (GK)
OUTLOOK: As Jung says, “we return nine starters and 90% of our offense from a 2018 team that won its first regional title while being ranked as high as fifth in the D2 WIAA poll.” All of the Broncos’ first-team All-Conference/All-County athletes return, led by Farrington, the county’s Player of the Year after scoring a school record 43 goals and adding 14 assists. Other returning first-team players are Richardson and Lentz. Jung adds that Curtin, “is much-improved and will step into the varsity nets full-time.”
COACH: Andrew Cresswell, first season.
2018 RECORD: 13-10 overall, 5-4 in the SLC; lost to Wauwatosa West 3-0 in a WIAA Division 2 regional championship.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Senior — Quinton Gordon (MF); Giuseppe Kuepper (MF). Juniors — Will French (D); Adison Tyma (MF-F). Sophomores — Owen Schneider (F-MF), Tristan McNair (F); Owen Thompson (D-MF); Samuel Torhorst (D-MF).
OUTLOOK: Graduated midfielder Chris Estrada and goalkeeper Michael Hyland, both first team All-County and All-Conference players last season, leave big holes. Cresswell feels Beckley is set to have, “a breakout year,” as Hyland’s replacement. French, a second-team All-Conference defender and All-County honorable mention selection last year, “will be a vital part of keeping our defense solid,” Cresswell said. Torhorst and Thompson, who saw significant minutes as freshman, will also be big contributors. Torhorst, Cresswell said, “is very technically sound and is able to distribute the ball and keep possession much better than your typical sophomore.” Thompson, Cresswell said, “is an old school defender who is not afraid to put his body on the line for the ball at any given moment.”
Metro Classic Conference Prairie Hawks
COACH: Corey Oakland, 14th season
2018 RECORD: 14-4-2 overall, 5-1-1 conference (second), tied St. Catherine’s 2-2 in a WIAA Division 4 sectional semifinal. St Catherine’s advanced in shootout.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Nick Hawkins (F), Max Yde (F), Jason Frosch (M), Luis Garduno (M), Francessco Quattrone (D), Tommy Bode (M), Caden Holum (M), Anfinn Chilsen (D). Juniors — Daniel Dreifuerst (D/F), Finn Peterson (M), Jacob Boilek (D). Sophomores — Cam McPhee (F), Daniel Bravo (M), Eric Morocco (M), Carsten Ovesen (D), Devin Stoltenberg (GK).
OUTLOOK: The Hawks feature a talented and deep group of returning seniors on offense. Leading the way is Hawkins who led the Hawks in goals (13) and assists (10) last season, and Yde up top. The midfield provides depth with Holum, Garduno and Frosch all three-year starters, and the defense will be anchored by Quattrone and Stoltenberg in goal. Bravo should have a positive impact as well, Oakland said. The Hawks should be in the mix and capable of making a postseason run, according to Oakland.
Racine Lutheran Crusaders
COACH: Peter LaBoda, second season.
2018 RECORD: 1-14 overall, 0-7 MCC; lost to Kenosha Christian Life 3-1 in a WIAA Division 4 regional quarterfinal.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Sophomores — Nehemiah Felaschi (D); John Hansen (GK); Tyler Zurawski (MF); Jack George (D); Josh Sanchez (F); Ben Tietyn (D-MF).
OUTLOOK: “We are very, very young,” LaBoda said. “It bodes well for the future, but we need to find leaders out this group currently. The seven incoming freshman show promise and we will need to learn on the fly. It is a solid core. If they work hard and have the mindset of being all in, good things will happen this season.”
St. Catherine’s Angels
COACH: Ben Lake, 19th season.
2018 RECORD: 11-5-4 overall, 4-1-1 in the MCC; lost to University School of Milwaukee 3-0 in a WIAA Division 4 sectional championship.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Seniors — Alberto Galvan (GK-D); Peyton Johnson (GK); Brock Naidl (MF-F); Sam French (D-MF); Zach Cotter (D-MF). Juniors — Aleksi Estrada (D-MF); Juan Mejia (D-MF-F); Juan Casares (MF-F); Bryan Vasquez (D-MF-F); Trey Polk (D-MF). Sophomores — Victor Moreno, MF-F).
OUTLOOK: After losing only three starters from a team that was eliminated in the sectional final by eventual Division 4 state champion University School, this could be a special year for the Angels. Among those returning are Casares, French and Johnson, all second-team All-County players last season. St. Catherine’s appears especially deep at goalkeeper, where Johnson, Galvan and freshman Pedro Serratos will all see time.
“Peyton pretty much gets the majority of the minutes, but we’re going to have select games for Alberto and I’d like to have certain games for Pedro, as well,” Lake said.
With the overall talent on this team is plenty of desire.
“Our kids were starting in early June for workouts and they were doing two to three times a week,” Lake said. “So they’re definitely fit.”