Ready Roundup: Freshmen help boost numbers for boys soccer squad

JARROD ULREY
julrey@thisweeknews.com
Junior forward/midfielder Angel Rivera-Martinez is among the top players returning for the Ready boys soccer team and second-year coach Ronnie Maynard.

With a nine-player freshman class boosting participation, second-year Ready boys soccer coach Ronnie Maynard likes where his program is headed.

The Silver Knights followed a 1-12-1 finish in 2018 by going 1-14-1 last season, but they've already equaled the number of victories they earned in those two seasons combined.

After losing 7-1 to Buckeye Valley on Aug. 25, Ready beat Granville Christian 5-0 on Aug. 27 and Heath 3-1 on Aug. 29.

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, the Knights open CCL action against defending champion St. Charles at home.

"We're very happy to have a season," Maynard said. "We have 20 players this year but nine of them are freshmen, so we are very young. Hopefully with some games we'll get caught up to speed. You can tell the game is very fast for them right now. A lot of (the freshmen) had not played for five or six years."

The top returnees are seniors Garrison Budd (def-ender/midfielder), Kyle Gramlich (defender/midfielder), Keenan Johnston (goalie/def-ender/midfielder) and Elias Wahl (forward/midfielder) and juniors Troy Hixon (def-ender/midfielder/goalie), Isaac Paul (forward/midfielder), Angel Rivera-Martinez (forward/midfielder) and Charlie Turek (forward/midfielder).

Freshman Josh Paul (forward/midfielder) also is a key player.

The only other non-freshmen in the program are senior Leikey Linlei (for-ward/midfielder), junior Adam Bennett (defender/midfielder/forward) and sophomore Richard Menke (defender/midfielder).

Elvis Yadaicela (def-ender/midfielder), his brother Tony Yadaicela (forw-ard/midfielder) and Eli Brickner (defender/midfielder) are other top players in a freshman class that also features Sam Carlino (defender/midfielder), Ryan Dieme (def-ender/midfielder), Riley Dove (defender/midfielder), Sean Foley (forward/midfielder) and Kenny Kight (for-ward/midfielder).

"I'm hoping along the way that we'll get up to game speed and come tournament time, we'll be able to put together some wins," Maynard said. "We have some solid leadership with Elias Wahl, Isaac Paul and Angel Rivera-Martinez."

Girls soccer team has strong nucleus

The returnees for the girls soccer team include three players who received all-CCL honors last season when Ready finished 7-9-1.

One of those is junior Caroline Buendia, who is playing center back after making first-team all-league.

"Caroline plays center back for her club team so it's natural for her to play there, but I've told her you are usually the best if not one of the two best players on the field at all times and I need you to take over games," third-year coach Chris Byrum said. "In one game last year I literally watched her do that against Johnstown and she created three of our opportunities. She's taken it on and I've seen a difference in her mentality of play. She's consciously trying to do this."

Senior goalie and junior forward Abigail Grundei both were second-team all-league last season.

Senior Cielo Strickland (defender), juniors Allison Bair (defensive midfielder) and Sierra Schlosser (midfielder) and sophomore Jesica Saldana (defender) also are returnees.

Sophomore Natalie Morocho is another key defender and freshman forward Mia Savage scored Ready's goal in a 1-all tie with Johnstown on Aug. 25.

Junior Lized Yadaicela (forward), sophomores Raya Gardner (midfielder), Deshay Mills (forward) and Jessica Perez (midfielder) and freshmen Maeghann Green (forward), Evelyn Ramos (forward) and Stephanie Yadaicela (defender) are others looking to contribute.

Ready opens CCL action Sept. 17 at home against Hartley.

Among those lost from last season were senior Ava Hurd, who transferred after earning first-team all-league honors, as well as 2020 graduates Lindsey Bair (first-team all-league) and Lauren Schlosser (second-team all-league).

Bair was the team's leading scorer a year ago with seven goals and four assists.

"I had (higher participation) numbers last year, but I graduated seven seniors," Byrum said.

"I'm constantly getting four to five freshmen every year so I should always have a program, but we won't (be able to have a junior varsity) program. We're going to defend really well this year."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek

At a glance

BOYS SOCCER

*Coach: Ronnie Maynard, second season

*Top players: Garrison Budd, Kyle Gramlich, Troy Hixon, Keenan Johnston, Isaac Paul, Angel Rivera-Martinez and Charlie Turek

*Key losses: Brock Baker, Luke Bergman, Eli Bowles, Kyle Caisaguano, German Garcia and Brayant Huerta

*Last season: 1-14-1 overall

*2019 CCL standings: St. Charles (4-0), DeSales (3-1), Hartley (1-2-1), Watterson (1-2-1), Ready (0-4)

*2019 postseason: Lost to Amanda-Clearcreek 2-1 in first round of Division III district tournament

GIRLS SOCCER

*Coach: Chris Byrum, third season

*Top players: Allison Bair, Caroline Buendia, Abigail Grundei, Alyssa Sanders, Mia Savage and Cielo Strickland

*Key losses: Lindsey Bair, Ava Hurd, Michaela Kopczewski, Genesis Lopez, Katelyn Paul, Lauren Schlosser, Maureen Scott and Lexie Seimer

*Last season: 7-9-1 overall

*2019 CCL standings: Watterson (3-0), DeSales (2-1), Hartley (1-2), Ready (0-3)

*2019 postseason: Defeated Fisher Catholic 3-0; lost to Grandview 7-1 in second round of Division III district tournament