ARCHBOLD — After winning their first state title in boys soccer, the Bluestreaks are not ready to take any steps backward.
“We expect to compete strongly for an NWOAL (Northwest Ohio Athletic League) title with Bryan and Liberty Center,” said Archbold coach Sean Stewart, who is in his 10th season. “We also hope to grow throughout the season and make another strong postseason run.”
Archbold finished last season 22-1-0, winning both the Northwest Ohio Athletic League and the Division III state title. The Bluestreaks graduated seven letterwinners from the team that allowed only 15 goals and scored 148 last season.
Returning from last season are nine letterwinners.
“We will be looking to replace some real talent from our state champion squad, especially in the attacking part of the pitch,” said Stewart.
Stewart pointed to four returning lettermen on defense, including starting keeper Noah Cheney (senior). Seniors Devin Witte and Chase Kohler are also returning starters on defense.
“We expect this experienced defense to have another excellent season, providing a less experienced attacking front some time to grow,” said Stewart. “Ethan Hagans (senior) is another returning starter in our central midfield and we will need his experience in that central role. We do return two players who scored double-digit goals last season in Trey Theobald (junior) and Elijah Zimmerman (senior). However, we will need some players to step up around them in order to get the goal production we’re looking for.”
Stewart pointed to seniors Josiah Magallenes and Jarrett Waidelich to fill that void. Other returning lettermen are senior Josiah Kindinger and junior Miles Rupp.
“We also have some players hoping to step up from the JV (junior varsity) ranks, as well as a few incoming freshmen who have an opportunity to earn minutes or even a starting role,” added Stewart.