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2019 Statewide Boys Soccer Previews
5A, 4A, 3A: Returning All-State performers, some teams that could challenge for a title and incoming talent to watch for.
Published: 8/28/2019 11:17:16 AM


Dominic Ishimwe, Borah (Senior Forward)
Tyler Kramer, Borah (Senior Defender)
Marco Vega, Mountain View (Senior Midfielder)


Defending State Champion Rocky Mountain faces a depleted roster after an impressive State Championship run a year ago. 

Of the 10 starters from the 2018 seniors, the Grizzlies return just one — sophomore midfielder Peter Pavalos. Rocky Mountain now enters the 2019 season without a total of 16 senior athletes.

“There are role players from last year's team who will need to step up into leadership roles this year, and a large contingent from the JV squad who are going to need to be game-ready right away,” said Rocky Mountain Assistant Coach Skyler Bell.

While Bell said he has faith in his new-look team’s ability to succeed, the squad’s chemistry will take time to develop throughout the season. Without last year’s Gatorade Player of the Year Kristian Quiros, Bell said any challenges the team faced last year will have no bearing on this new squad.

“Our biggest challenges will be coming together as a team, finding our roles and building a style on the field that will help us win the games we are supposed to win, and then add in a few that we aren't,” Bell said.

Meanwhile, runner-up Timberline will be going through its own development challenges this season, with second-year Head Coach Chris Hawkins dealing with the departure of 14 seniors. 

“We have some returning seniors who have been waiting to fill some of those roles and be the new leaders on the field,” Hawkins said. “They are all up for the challenge.”

While improving the Wolves’ win total from 2017, Hawkins said he made it his mission to revitalize the “standard at Timberline” while teaching his players the intricacies of the game. 

“Naturally, there are always going to be growing pains,” he said. “I think the boys last year went through these changes and laid down a foundation for the group I have this year.”

The Boise Brave underwent a makeover of their own over the summer, albeit more cosmetic than logistical. With a new mascot and team logo for 2019, the Brave return 11 players from last year’s third-place team. 

“Last year was a good overall season for us, but we had some untimely goals against, and made some mistakes that hopefully this year's crew can learn from and have a better finish,” said Head Coach Mike Darrow.
The offense and defense, according to Darrow, should be a lock for 2019, with senior forward Sam Zimmer moving to defense. But the goalkeeping position comes with more uncertainty.

“Our goalkeeper position is inexperienced right now with none of them playing in a high school game yet,” Zimmer said. “This coming year we should be more dangerous attacking with a good core of players having played together last year.”



Antonio Rossi, Middleton (Senior Forward)
Evan Yost, Century (Junior Defender)
Damian Arguello, Caldwell (Junior Forward)


As the 2018 State Tournament runners up, Hillcrest will be returning eight players from last year, including key offensive weapon senior forward Jake Hoover. 

Head coach Ryan Ellis said while he continues to develop his frontline unit, the graduation of defenders Jose Martinez and Preston Burke left a hole in a stellar backline. 

“Last year, we had a solid defense and gave up very few goals,” he said. “The most goals we allowed in a game was three and that came in the State Championship. We played extremely well as a team and we will need to build on that this year.”

The Knights posted 11 shutouts in 2018 thanks to Burke and Martinez, and returning senior goalkeeper Tyler Stauffer should help in carrying that defensive momentum into 2019.

Ellis said the longevity and endurance of his team proved to be a weakness last year, something he hopes to correct in the fading summer weeks before the start of the regular season. 

“I think last year our biggest challenge was playing two solid halves. It is important that we stay focused for the full game and not just for one half,” he said. “Some games we might be outmatched skill wise across the board, but we feel that if we play together, that we can compete and win any game.”

The Middleton Vikings will be looking to rekindle their motivation for a State Championship after losing 10 out of 11 starters to graduation. Head Coach Pete Rossi said complacency became a problem after his team’s successful regular season. 

“The team had all been together for a long time, they were good, and they knew it,” Rossi said. “I can't see that being a problem this season with such a young squad. They are all focused and working hard to earn a starting spot.”

The Vikings defeated the Vallivue Falcons in last year’s consolation bracket to earn a third-place finish. The Falcons, after a gritty start to the tournament with a double overtime win against Century, lost to longtime rival and eventual State Champion Caldwell. Head Coach Christian Adamson said he hopes his team will work to avoid deficits early in games with a fast-paced style of offense to wear down opposing backlines. 

“We have a lot of young talent coming up through the system who are going to get valuable experience this year, helping their improvement and the overall team's success in the coming years,” Adamson said.

The Caldwell Cougars, meanwhile, will be looking at a fairly young roster on their way to a repeat title, with 10 out of 11 starters lost to graduation. Head Coach Rhys Yeakley said last year’s team knew it was championship or bust, and their dedication to that goal paid off in the end. 

“It was stressful,” Yeakley said. “This year we are excited to have such a young talented team to start over and build the next state championship squad in the future.”

The overhauled roster will be the youngest collection of players Yeakley has coached during his seven-year stint as Caldwell head coach, but he said not to count out his group of talented athletes in this year’s chase for the State Title. 



Player of the Year: Shea Brokaw, Community School (Senior Defender, 2018 3A Player of the Year)
Ridley Lindstrom, Community School (Senior Forward)
Cash Dart, Community School (Senior Forward)
Fletcher Stump, Community School (Senior Midfielder)
Cristin Yeakley, Payette (Senior Midfielder)
Adolfo Alvarez, American Falls (Junior Defender)
Jimmy Ayllon, McCall-Donnelly (Junior Midfielder)
Brian Martinez, American Falls (Senior Forward)
Bernard Kindall, McCall- Donnelly (Junior Forward)


Bonners Ferry will look to redeem their early exit in the 2018 State Tournament, with a dominant backline leading the way.

Head Coach Brycen Lunger said the Badgers’ strong defense helped elevate his team last year, and will be one of the building blocks heading into 2019. While the backline excelled, Lunger said attacking on the frontline posed a challenge in 2018, something he hopes to adjust before the start of the new season.

“Last year, goal scoring was a challenge and we are working on that, trying to be more composed in the attack,” Hunger said.

The Badgers found themselves shut out in three of their last four games, followed by a 3-0 loss to Sun Valley in the semifinals of the State Tournament. 

For McCall-Donnelly, developing last year’s young squad will be the focus of 2019. With nine underclassmen composing the Vandals’ 11 starting players, head coach Bradley Kindall said the ceiling for his team is incredibly high as they gain more experience. 

“In spite of this, we managed to do fairly well during the regular season and ended up winning the District Championship,” Kindall said.

Of the few upperclassmen Kindall could rely on last year, four-year starting goalkeeper Max Billingsley proved nearly irreplaceable. 

“He will be tough to replace, but junior keeper Matais Ayllon has worked hard in the off season and is looking very sharp,” Kindall said. 

Luckily for the Vandals, offense should not be a worry this year, as the team’s leading scorer, Bernard Kindall, who notched 24 goals in 2018, returns for another season. Kindall also said fans should keep their eyes on two-time MVP Jimmy Ayllon and last year’s Rookie of the Year Kaden Pate. 

“Along with some very promising incoming freshmen, this looks to be a team with a lot of technical ability, capable of playing some exciting and quality soccer,” Kindall said.

In Central Idaho, Sun Valley will attempt to overcome the loss of both valuable graduated players and junior Ryder Sarchett, who tore his ACL during a ski camp in Chile last winter. With defending their State Championship trophy on the line, the Cutthroats look as dominant as ever.

Head Coach Richard Whitelaw said this year’s upperclassmen should help carry the load, and senior goalkeeper Meeks Saches duPont will provide valuable backup after his 22 shutouts last season. 

“We have a strong core group of senior players that made the State Final as freshmen,” Whitelaw said. “They have the experience, desire and commitment to try and retain their title from last season. This is the last strong senior class for a while, and we are well aware everyone will be trying to defeat us.”



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