Boys' Soccer Players to Watch
Gavin Bright, Clearview, Jr. Bright has 27 r goals through two years of high school soccer, including 17 in 2012. He should continue to establish himself as one of South Jersey's top offensive players.
Michael Handlan, Moorestown, Sr. Handlan is one of the state's best high school lacrosse players. But he also should be one of New Jersey's most dangerous offensive forces in soccer this year. Strong and athletic, he netted 20 goals as a junior.
Alex Kourahanis, Timber Creek, Sr. Kourahanis, a first-team all-South Jersey selection in 2012, comes off a junior year in which he collected 15 goals and 15 assists. He leads a Timber Creek team poised to make a run at the area's No. 1 spot.
Kyler White, Haddon Township, Jr. White is in his first year of high school soccer after years in some of the country's highest-rated soccer clubs and academies. Goalie is his natural position, but he'll play forward for the Hawks. Incredible footwork, knowledge of the game, and superior athleticism should make him one of the area's most electric players.
Gian Duclos, Timber Creek, Sr. Duclos netted nine goals and 11 assists in 2012 to earn a second-team all-South Jersey nod. He's tall, fast, and well-rounded and should be a force on an extremely balanced Timber Creek offense.
Kevin Nelan, Haddon Heights, Sr. Nelan returns as one of the top offensive players for the reigning state Group 1 champion. He recorded 10 goals and seven assists last season, including a score in the state final.
Luke Pease, Haddonfield, Sr. Pease is the offensive leader of the first Bulldogs team in 38 years not coached by Joe Falana, who retired after last season. First-year coach Ryan Nixon thinks Pease, who recorded 13 goals and 18 assists last season, could be as dangerous as any offensive player in South Jersey.
Garrett Hoagland, Kingsway, Sr. Hoagland moves to defense this year after totaling three goals and 10 assists from the midfield in 2012. Kingsway lost a strong senior class from a team that won last season's Tri-County Royal Division title and advanced to the South Jersey Group 2 final. Hoagland's play will be key to ensuring there is no drop-off at Kingsway.
Michael Clauss, Cherry Hill West, Sr. Clauss is the defensive leader of a Cherry Hill West team that came on strong late last season. A strong and poised defender, Clauss should be one of the top man-markers this season.
J.T. Bretschneider, Moorestown, Sr. Bretschneider recorded 10 shutouts last season, including a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Kingsway in the South Jersey Group 3 title game. He is the defensive leader of a Moorestown team with high expectations.
- Chris Melchiorre