Boys soccer team looks strong again this year

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Jakob Grien looks to block a pass by a Belgrade player last season.

The boys soccer team should be right in the postseason hunt again this year.

The squad made it to the state A semifinals last season, losing to Belgrade in the semifinals as they capped off a 12-2-1 record.

The team lost their stellar goalie Brandon Karberg to graduation. In his place is 6-foot-2, 200-pound sophomore Story Stemborski, who doesn’t have to move far to cover the net.

Still, the emphasis this season will be on playing solid team defense, said third-year coach O’Brien Byrd.

Byrd will look for good things from returning starters in junior Jon Gilk, senior brothers Jakob and Tristan Grein and Skylar Chute, to name a few. Chute came off the bench as a freshman last year to score some impressive goals for the Wildcats.

Captain and senior Auguste Emond anchors the midfield with a powerful leg. Emond will also pull double duty as the football team’s place kicker. Football coach Jaxon Schweikert said Emond has the potential to be a college kicker. Junior defender Chance Adams and senior midfielder Alex Garate are the team’s other two captains.

The squad also has size and height in Brayden Stone, Sebastian Hogvill and Jakob Iken, who are all 6-foot-1. The squad also has a lot of speed and should be flexible on the attack.

This year both the girls and boys teams play all their home games under the lights. Over the summer the school added two more lights on the east side of the field. In addition, a section of the old gym bleachers were moved to the field and back stop nets were installed behind each goal.

The team opens the season away against Bigfork Aug. 31 and then hosts Frenchtown at home Sept. 2. Gametime is 5 p.m. for the boys and 7 p.m. for the girls.

Byrd is assisted by Jake Hall, Chris Nagel and Chris Fannon. Thomas Clark coaches the goalies. Hall coaches the JV team.

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