[Mary Beth Nolan]
Indian Creek Timberwolves
Last season: 14-8; lost to Aurora Central Catholic, 3-1, in the Class 1A Aurora Central Catholic Regional championship
Keep an eye on: On a senior-laden team last year, Kate Cassidy was a facilitator. Now a junior, the midfielder looks to build off her five-goal, seven-assist campaign last year.
Also: Madison Twitty, sr., MF; Skyler Kaelin, sr., GK; Kyla Rachas, jr., D; Kylee Bauer, so., D
Coach Scott McClure’s comments: “We lost a good chunk of players; we did have eight
seniors. We have a big sophomore class that can do some things. That’s going to be a lot of our team – underclassmen.”
The lowdown: Although most Indian Creek sports teams have benefited from an influx of players from a merger with Paw Paw, McClure said that’s not the case with soccer. Paw Paw didn’t have a soccer team. Also unlike other sports, the move won’t cause IC to move up a class – the Timberwolves still will compete in Class 1A. Kaelin and Twitty are senior starters back for the team, with Kaelin notching a school-record eight shutouts last year in goal.
Hinckley-Big Rock Royals
Last season: 1-10; lost to Stillman Valley, 9-0, in a Class 1A Oregon Sectional semifinal
Keep an eye on: Avery Zabel was a force in goal for the Royals last year, but new coach Melissa Jennings said Zabel also is strong at defense and midfield and hopes to play her not only at goalie during her sophomore year.
Also: Ashleigh Wackerlin, fr., F; Tori Prellberg, sr., MF; Sydney Razo-Ewan, fr., D; Aubrey Westbrook, fr., MF; Abby Neidigh, so., MF
Coach Melissa Jennings’ comments: “We have a lot of speed and a lot of girls that play club, plus we have a combo with Somonauk, so that brings the talent from three communities together. All around, it’s a strong team on all fronts.”
The lowdown: Jennings – who is due to deliver a child March 18, she said – is optimistic that the team will show big improvement this year with seven players back from last year, including three seniors. She also said the freshman class is fantastic and expects at least Wackerlin, Razo-Ewan and Westbrook to have an impact.