Lions hope unproven offense can keep pace with defense New coach Kelley has talented club 1993 Howard County high school boys soccer preview Howard

September 07, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

First-year coach Dave Kelley is still trying to learn what his players can and can't do on a soccer field.

And being a newcomer, he's not sure what kind of competition the rest of the county will offer this season.

So he can be excused when he says he is uncertain about how well his team will perform.

Some opposing coaches think his Lions could be sleepers, however.

L They return 11 players, several of whom are highly regarded.

Two sophomores, Kumi Walker and Mike Green, are always mentioned with respect by opposing coaches. Walker will play a defensive midfield position and Green the sweeper spot.

Junior midfielder John Bagrosky is also highly talented. He scored seven goals and had four assists last season. He'll play an attacking midfield position.

Kelley thinks that defense will be Howard's strength with senior John Bakst sure to start along with Green. Junior Brian Dietzel and freshman Chris Berwind are other fullbacks.

The goalkeeping position may belong to senior Reggie Jameson, a good athlete with range and aggressiveness who is lacking in technique. Or the position may be filled by junior Joel Sackett, who has good technique but is lacking somewhat in confidence and aggressiveness.

"We'll be sound defensively, but the problem will be how to get the ball into scoring position," Kelley said.

Bagrosky is adept at making the pass that gets the ball from midfield into scoring position, but he also is Howard's best finisher.

Kelley will attempt to solve the ball-movement problem from among senior midfielders Matt Shagogue and Salim Mancho, junior midfielders Chris Folkemer and Jim Milne, sophomore midfielder Peter Bachman and freshman midfielder Dan Miller.

Kelley wants his team to play a ball-possession, short-passing, attacking style.

"We have a lot of potential to be able to do that, but we're young and need to improve quite a bit," he said. "But with the right attitude we could be competitive."

Kelley sees this as a transitional year for almost every team in the county, and hopes his team can come together quickly to take advantage of that situation.

The Lions, who played five games decided by 3-2 scores last year, winning three of them, were 6-6 overall and 3-4 in the league last season. Improvement upon those records is a

possibility.

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