Underclassmen’s time to take charge

BOYS SOCCER Last year’s strong junior varsity group ready to step up and contribute to varsity.

Emily Kim, Sports Editors

After last season’s 17-6 overall record, the Diamond Bar High School boys soccer team lost several key seniors to graduation. However, head coach Kemp Wells does not expect a drop in team strength.

“We have such a good group coming from junior varsity that will fill in just fine. There are always a handful of players that I always say, I wish we had that guy back,” Wells said.

One strength of the team this year is the player balance and versatility. Having multiple players that can be placed in numerous positions will be beneficial to the team, according to Wells. In addition, the team is faster than it has been in the past few years.

A weakness Wells sees in the team is the lack of size. The team does not as many tall players as they had in past seasons, which results in a lack of height in both the defensive third and the back line.

“Gauging whether or not you can handle balls in the air is not always predicated on height however it is a nice bonus,” Wells said.

Key players on the offensive end include senior captain and second year starter Ryan Hernandez and first year varsity player junior Seong Min Kim. Kim led the junior varsity team last year in scoring with 15 goals. With all of the defense-orientated seniors graduating last year, the team looks toward junior Peter Larcheveque to help fill in the gap.

“Although we do have some varsity guys who are returners that were on our bench, sometimes playing every minute for JV and being the focal point of their offense could end up being more important as a varsity starter,” Wells said.

Wells also foresees a strong underclassmen team of juniors leading the Brahmas. With young players such as Kim and junior captain Nicholas Wong, Wells believes that the juniors will merge well with the seniors and display a great amount of skills that will carry the team through league.

“We have been pretty strong for about six years and even though we lose players that we don’t want to lose. I don’t think we will have any problems,” Wells said.

The coaches will also be preparing alongside the players for the upcoming league matches after winter break.

“A lot of times it is helps to go see and scout out other teams, which I try to see every team play at least one half. So we can see what they are capable of doing,” Wells said.

The Brahmas will compete in the Carter Tournament starting Dec. 5 and in the Ontario Christian Tournament over winter break. They will compete in their first league game in a home match against Glendora on Jan. 6.