The question is what’s next in Medina County boys soccer?
Coming off one of the most successful years collectively in area history, the six county teams are looking to build from a solid base.
From Medina, which was the first county boys team to reach the state semifinals, to Brunswick, which won a loaded Greater Cleveland Conference, the area was packed.
Add Suburban League National Conference runner-up Wadsworth and Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division second-place finisher Buckeye and 2017 could be an incredible run.
Here’s a look at the county teams:
Coach: Ben Dotson (8th overall, 5th at Brunswick).
Career record: 72-50-21 (43-15-13 at Brunswick).
Last season: 13-1-4, 6-0-1, 1st in Greater Cleveland Conference.
Key letterwinners lost: Gavin Leindecker (All-Gazette), Ben Clouse (All-Gazette), Luke Steinkemp (All-Gazette), Cory Gilbert (All-Gazette honorable mention), Ryan Scott (All-Gazette HM), Allen Gronert (All-Gazette HM).
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Nick Felician (All-Gazette) M, Antonio Demonte M, Nick Demonte F, Kyle Wolfe D, Jake Hoffmaster M. Juniors — Nate Bohrer (All-Gazette H) D, Garrett Shay F, Colin Parete F, Aaron Ogorzaly D, Sean Tarbuck D, Ryan Utrup M.
Top newcomers: Sophomore — Justin Hagler M. Freshmen — Gavyn Ernst GK, Cole Parete M.
Outlook: The Blue Devils took a hit with the graduation of Leindecker, Clouse and Steinkemp, but have Wolf, Ogorzaly and Bohrer back. Offensively, the Blue Devils will look to Felician (28 career goals, 23 career assists), who ranks fourth in program history in career assists and fifth in career goals.
Coach: Ed Holmes (2nd season, 7th overall).
Career record: 29-52-21.
Last season: 10-5-2, 5-2-2, 2nd in Patriot Athletic Conference Stars Division.
Key letterwinner lost: Nathan Kieswetter (All-Gazette HM).
Returning letterwinners: Seniors —Kyle Haberkorn (All-Gazette) F/M, Shaye Joyce (All-Gazette HM) F/M, Connor Clark M, Matt Clark D, Jared Bonnett F/M, Jacob Bartinelli M, Ryan Kryznowek D, Tyler Syroney M/D, Michael Birchenhough F/M, Carter Hudak M/D. Juniors — Tyler Miranda F/M, Adam Matras D, Jordan Bell F/M, Mason Clutter D, Zach Ridler GK, Eddie Greer M. Sophomore — Clay Gunkelman D.
Top newcomers: Senior — Hunter Stout M/D. Juniors — Colton Derksen M/D, Austin Grayzanic F/M, Ben Widows M/D. Sophomores — Dan Thoryk F/M, Jack Waters F/M.
Outlook: Of the five wins the Bucks notched in PAC play four came via shutout as Ridler made 29 saves in league action. Buckeye outscored opponents 28-13 in league play and Bell and Joyce return with a combined 13 goals and six assists.
Coach: Zach Scisciani (4th season).
Career record: 13-33-6.
Last season: 3-13-1, 1-5-1, 7th in Portage Trail Conference Metro Division.
Key letterwinner lost: Cam Markeson (All-Gazette).
Returning letterwinners: Juniors — Brad Lepin M, Frank English F, Anthony Gorczyca F/M, Kenny Jenkins D. Sophomores — Carson Billy F/M, Bryce Betts M, Thomas Lormeau GK, Derrick Patton D.
Top newcomers: Junior — Tyler Wilker F. Freshmen — Hunter Casto F, Marcus Birth M, Zander Baughman D, Cole Yagersz F/M, Nolan McNeal D, Adam Stallard M.
Outlook: After losing Markeson (14 goals, 3 assists), who was fourth in the county in scoring, the Colts will need to identify a goal scorer right away. They only return two goals and two assists from last year’s team.
Coach: Bob Sefcik (7th season).
Career record: 55-44-8.
Last season: 7-9-1, 2-3-1, 4th in Suburban League American Division.
Key letterwinner lost: Joshua Woolard (All-Gazette), Kurt Everett (All-Gazette HM).
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Noah Nerlich M (All-Gazette HM), Evan Shelton D, Larkin Cleland D. Nick Surowicz M. Juniors – Andras Fabian F, Ben Petersen GK, Eli Fragnoli M, Jacob Gallaspie M, Christian Heini M, Chris Sollenberger D, Tyler Madison M, Ben Schaefer M. Sophomore – Ryan Giggiano D.
Top newcomer: Senior — Matt Erba D.
Outlook: The Hornets lost their top three scorers in Blake Hatch (10 goals), Everett (7 goals, 6 assists) and Woolard (6, 2). That said, there is talent coming back in midfielders Fragnoli (3, 2), Nerlich (1, 3) and Gallaspie (1, 2) leading the way.
Coach: Simon Spelling (4rd season, 10th overall).
Career record: 119-42-16.
Last season: 18-2-2, 5-1-1, 3rd in GCC.
Key letterwinners lost: Justin Libertowski (Gazette MVP), Will Turrittin (All-Gazette), Matt Evison (All-Gazette), Noah Hornak (All-Gazette HM), Brad Fogel (All-Gazette HM), Ian Otter (All-Gazette HM).
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Andy Prostor (All-Gazette) F, Brandon Leckie M, Tyler Glasenapp GK, Andrew Horton D, Riley Furey D, Mason DeLucca M. Juniors — Grayson Madden D, Ian Gummo F. Sophomore — Parker Csiszar M.
Top newcomers: Seniors — Tyler Pelton M/D, Tommy Meyer D, Ethan Fritz M, Max Cain M. Juniors — Tommy Guta, Josh Schwandt D, Mike Kelly F. Freshman — Gavin Csiszar M.
Outlook: On the surface, it would look like the Bees have little offense back after the graduation of Libertowski, who set a school record for goals in a season (38). That’s not the case, as Prostor (14, 8) was second in the county in scoring. Add Gummo (4, 2), Parker Csiszar (3, 2) and Madden (2, 3) and Medina should be just fine.
Coach: John Johnson (21st season, 29th overall).
Career record: 280-147-85, 196-102-18 at Wadsworth.
Last season: 12-4-2, 5-1-1, 2nd in SL National Conference.
Key letterwinners lost: None.
Returning letterwinners: Seniors — Josiah Sovine (All-Gazette) D, Connor Mendel (All-Gazette) M, Matt Studenic (All-Gazette) M, Tyler Randolph (All-Gazette HM) GK, Andrew Robinson F, Andrew DePero F, Derek Kraft D, Nathan Reed D, Ryan Larj D. Juniors — Kai Wagner (All-Gazette HM) F, Seth Beldean M, Max Lenc F. Sophomore — David Chirumbole (All-Gazette HM) F.
Top newcomers: Senior — Aidan Rooks F/M. Juniors — Owen Porpora D, Mason Warholic F, Noah Porter GK. Sophomores — Chase Rodgers F, Brayden Humphrey D.
Outlook: Only defender Austin Wolfinger (1 assist) is gone from the starting lineup. That leaves Johnson with incredible firepower in Chirumbole (13 goals), Arnold (6 goals, 5 assists), Studenic (5, 4), Wagner (4, 6), Robinson (2, 5), Mendel (3, 2), Coard (2, 1), Beldean (1, 3) and Lenc (2). The coach also has a goalkeeper in Randolph who recorded seven shutouts and gave up 1.16 goals per game.
Contact Brad Bournival