The 2002 high school soccer season begins in earnest this week with teams hitting the practice fields in preparation for their openers.
Following are previews on each of the four schools.
The Wildcats would like nothing better than to pick up where they left off last season, which ended with three victories in their final four games capped by a 5-1 rout of archrival Oakdale. Sonora returns a host of players from that team, which rallied from a seven-game winless streak to finish 5-7-2 in the Valley Oak League and 10-10-5 overall.
Leading the returning players is senior all-league sweeper Travis Miller.
Bears' coach Scott Traub wants to describe his 2002 team in one hyphenated word: well-balanced.
because we're going to be a better-balanced team."
The center of the Bears' balanced attack will be at midfield, where Zac Doster and Jesse Lozoya lead a group that includes Nick Anzar and Jeff Calfee.
Mother Lode Christian
The Cougars are beginning a new era under the tutelage of rookie head coach Dave Reel.
Reel is counting on the experience of eight returning players Steve Baldwin, Tim Atkins, Jehiah DeMattei, David Foley, Cory Henson, Daniel Kirk, Toby Pradenas and Will Quinlin to help lead the team through the early season.
A host of returning players has the Bullfrogs looking for a solid season after going 3-3-4 in the Mother Lode League and 7-8-5 overall last year in Harry Williams' first year as head coach.
Stopper Scott Kifune; forward Billy Christian; striker Aaron Elevi; defenders Erik Kifune (Scott's twin), J.T. Busby and Guy Castle; midfielders Neil Taylor, John Aitken and Marty Newsom; and goalkeeper Brandon Williams are back for another go-round.