Camillus For the first time in a while it's okay for the West Genesee boys soccer team to embrace high expectations. Go ahead, project this team into the Section III Class AA playoffs. It's unlikely you'll be disappointed.
Second year coach Al Loucks' club fashioned an 11-7 record out of the 2010 campaign. The Wildcats win total was nearly triple that of the previous two seasons - combined.
Loucks returns some key cogs from last year. And he's not shy in talking up their virtues.
"I've got expectations that our team will play with a proven style of play - possession - and will play with tremendous enthusiasm, tremendous team work together, and ultimately that will create success," Loucks said.
The Wildcat mentor doesn't run and hide at the mention of 10 graduated players from 2010.
"Seven of (them) were very predominant players in our mix," Loucks said. "Some were in the first 11, and some were important substitutions."
WG's biggest loss was midfielder Kyle Golonski. Now playing soccer at Army, Golonoski is missed by his former coach.
"He was a very important part of our system," Loucks said. "He did a very good job of organizing our midfield."
With so many departures it's hard to fathom why Loucks is so excited. Perhaps its the quality of his small number of key returnees.
"We returned a very strong nucleus of players," he said.
Loucks was first to talk about Syracuse University-bound all-league midfielder Stefanos Stamoulacatos. "Dynamic," Loucks said. "He's a very talented young man."
Stamoulacatos will be joined in the starting midfield by seniors Kyle Burke and Ryan Tinklepaugh.
"All of them represent the style we play," Loucks said. "We play a very possession style of soccer. We try to involve the whole team."
WG's midfield will score its share of goals. They'll also try to give striker Jake Sutherland as many chances as possible. Sutherland is a returning all-league talent who Loucks highly recommended.