Hilliard Bradley High School boys soccer coach Patrick Billman anticipates that his team will encounter a few setbacks this season as his less-experienced players adjust to playing more prominent roles.

Hilliard Bradley High School boys soccer coach Patrick Billman anticipates that his team will encounter a few setbacks this season as his less-experienced players adjust to playing more prominent roles.

The Jaguars lost 13 players from last season to graduation. Among them were nine starters, including five who are playing in college in defender A.G. Basiakos (Wright State), forwards Sam Darling (Hawaii at Hilo) and Ray Olavarria (Ohio State) and midfielders Mohamed Abdullahi (Capital) and Craig Shimer (Capital).

Last season, Basiakos was named first-team all-OCC-Capital Division and all-district. Darling had 19 goals and one assist and was first-team all-league and second-team all-district. Olavarria scored five goals and was special mention all-league, and Shimer had six goals and was honorable mention all-league.

Bradley also lost junior and starting defender Seth Westendorf, who chose to play for Crew Academy this fall.

The Jaguars, who finished 13-3-3 overall last season, opened Aug. 18 with a 3-0 loss to New Albany and begin OCC-Cardinal Division play Tuesday, Aug. 28, at Dublin Jerome.

"I'm expecting some bumps and bruises this season and I'm actually looking forward to it because then we'll see which guys are ready to step up and lead this team," said Billman, who is in his second season. "Some of our guys are going to hit the ground running and others are going to adjust and keep getting better as the season moves on."

The Jaguars return five players who started multiple games last season in seniors Tyler Dillow (right midfielder), Ben Fitzpatrick (center midfielder) and Joe Krochmal (goalkeeper) and juniors Jeff Ireland (center midfielder) and Riley Uhrin (center midfielder).

Fitzpatrick was second-team all-league a year ago.

Also expected to start are seniors Michael Warner (defender) and Jacob Miller (defender), juniors Robert Castillo (forward) and Alex Lanfear (forward), sophomore Nick Valdez (defender) and freshman Brady Whittekind (left midfielder).

Rounding out the team are seniors Saad Asim (forward), Jared Daniel (defender), Austin Hatcher (defender), Nicholas Hoppe (forward), Matt Richter (defender), Joseph Vassaux (defender) and Zach Wellman (defender), junior Jorge Morales (forward) and sophomore Alex Helderman (midfielder).

"We have some key players back and all of the kids have come in with great attitudes," Billman said.

Last year, Bradley went 4-1-2 in the OCC-Capital to tie Olentangy Orange for third, behind Big Walnut (6-0-1) and New Albany (5-1-1) and ahead of Delaware (2-5), Mount Vernon (2-5), Watkins Memorial (2-5) and Franklin Heights (0-7).

As part of OCC realignment, the Jaguars have moved into the OCC-Cardinal and Olentangy went to the OCC-Capital. Also in the OCC-Cardinal are Hilliard Darby, Dublin Jerome, Dublin Scioto, Westerville Central, Westerville North, Westerville South and Kilbourne.

Seeded sixth in the Division I district tournament last season, Bradley defeated Westland 6-0 and Orange 1-0 in a district semifinal before losing to fourth-seeded Olentangy Liberty 5-4 in a district final.

"I hope we can make some noise in the tournament again this year," Billman said.

"We went 6-0-3 in our scrimmages and we feel good about that. We'll just need to continue playing well because we want to earn a good seed for the tournament like we had last year."

Panthers aiming for

OCC-Cardinal title

Darby, which finished 9-5-3 overall last season, opened Aug. 21 at Delaware and begins OCC-Cardinal play Tuesday, Aug. 28, at Westerville North.

The Panthers return eight starters in seniors A.J. Gaietto (center midfielder), Zach Kuebler (defender), Gage Toy (outside midfielder) and Jeff Tuckett (defender), juniors Jacob Atkinson (forward), Kyle Kaplan (goalie) and Brian Lee (midfielder) and sophomore Ryan Kasprzak (forward).

Kasprzak was honorable mention all-league last year.

Also expected to start are seniors Jensen Culley (forward) and Cameron Howard (defender) and junior Alex Keller (defender). Another player who was expected to start, junior forward Nate Kohl, is playing for Crew Academy after being first-team all-league and all-district last season.

"This is the biggest senior class we've had since I've been here and we have more depth than we've had in the past," third-year coach Johnny Ulry said.

"Our kids are a lot closer and are playing for each other instead of themselves. We just need to have the confidence that we can beat anybody because our schedule is brutal."

Last season, Darby went 2-3-2 in the OCC-Central to tie Thomas Worthington for fifth, behind Upper Arlington (6-0-1), Dublin Coffman (5-1-1), Kilbourne (3-0-4) and Hilliard Davidson (3-2-2) and ahead of Westland (1-6) and Central Crossing (0-7).

Seeded seventh in the Division I district tournament, the Panthers were upset by Watkins Memorial 2-1 in the first round.

"We're going to be in one of the toughest divisions (Cardinal) of the OCC again, but our program is to the point where we should compete for the OCC title every year," Ulry said.

Wildcats hoping to

remain competitive

Davidson, which finished 7-5-7 overall last season, opens Thursday, Aug. 23, at Sidney and begins OCC-Central play Tuesday, Aug. 28, at Coffman.

The Wildcats lost 10 starters from last season, including three who were eligible to return in senior Alex Bumpus (midfielder) and juniors Spencer Bumpus (defender) and Noah Hutchins (forward).

Alex Bumpus, who had 10 goals and seven assists last season, and Hutchins are playing for Crew Academy.

Both were first-team all-league last year.

Davidson returns three players who started multiple games last season in juniors Philip Ferguson (goalie) and Rylee Moore (outside midfielder) and sophomore Andrew Chiou (center midfielder).

Chiou was honorable mention all-league last year.

Ferguson and seniors Trevor Lewis (forward) and Kyle Martin (sweeper) are team captains.

Others expected to contribute are seniors Garrett Kenny (center midfielder), Andrew Myers (outside midfielder), Robert Perry (outside midfielder) and Luis Rosas (forward) and freshmen Jake Etnyre (outside midfielder), Jake Felicity (defender) and Ryan Lang (center midfielder).

"Our strength will be playing simple out of the back and making sure we don't let up many goals," Lewis said.

Last season, Davidson placed fourth in the OCC-Central at 3-2-2 and defeated Central Crossing (4-0) and Thomas (1-0) in the first two rounds of the Division I district tournament before losing to top-seeded Scioto 2-1 in a district semifinal.

As part of OCC realignment, Liberty and Marysville have moved into the OCC-Central, replacing Darby and Kilbourne.

"In the OCC, Coffman's a tough match and Upper Arlington's always good," Lewis said. "Our goal is to improve our defense to the point where we are capable of making a run deep into the playoffs."