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Boys soccer Bees face new challenges

Five-time defending sectional champs lost 15 seniors

— Smooth has been an appropriate word to describe Baldwinsville boys’ soccer the past half decade. The Bees won glided to its fifth successive Class AA Section III championship last fall, posting an 18-2 record.

But B'ville head coach Tim Scheemaker had a completely different word in store to describe what he’s seen of his 2012 squad.

“Rough - it’s a little rough,” he said. “We don’t have very many guys coming back. We’re pretty young. With all these new players it makes it very difficult. I don’t even know what formation we’re going to play.”

The Bees lost 15 seniors to graduation, including most of his starters. Standouts Ben Raymond (now at Syracuse University), Alex Bono (also at SU) and Adam Lauko (University of Wisconsin) are playing NCAA Division I soccer.

“I don’t look at it as replacing them,” Scheemaker said. “I just look at is as (trying) to make a team with whatever guys show up.”

Right now Scheemaker’s watching over a hot competition for the starting goaltender job. Seniors Chris Spaulding and Nate Wagner are dead even right now. Their play in B'ville's pre-season scrimmages will determine the winner.

Protecting Spaulding and Wagner will be a new backline. That group is fronted by a pair of seniors, James Goodridge and Evan Lavelle.

Scheemaker hopes for goals from both his midfielders and forwards. One of his top midfielders is four year varsity player Trevor Pauldine.

“I’m really counting on him to create and score goals,” Scheemaker said.

Scheemaker is also looking to Jeff Mehar to lock down a midfield position. Connor Lunduski will see time at both positions.

“He’s a hard worker with a big hard shot,” Scheemaker said. “I’m hoping he gets forward and scores a few goals for us.”

Junior Jake Gentile is the team’s top returning striker. “He’s a pretty good goal scorer,” Scheemaker said. “He runs really well off the ball. He’s smart … knows how to play the game.”

Scheemaker calls his team a “hard working group. I’m just trying to piecemeal them together,” he said. “We have a pretty good first ten guys. In order to (consider winning the sectional title again) we have to make a lot of progress over the next two months.”

Scheemaker said Class AA’s early season favorites are Liverpool, Fayetteville-Manlius, Cicero-North Syracuse and Utica Proctor. The Bees open its season on Friday and Saturday with an appearance at the Clarence Tournament in the Buffalo suburbs.

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