The Urbana 2013 Fall Sports Preseason Breakdowns

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Brett LaBonte in the boys varsity soccer game.

JT Ketzenberger and John Hanna

Football

Football has always been a winning tradition at UHS; this year will be no different. “Our goal this year is to go to states,” said senior tight end Willie Schaub. This year the team is smaller than it has been in past years, but will make up for this with their speed, technique, and team chemistry. When asked how the team is different this year from last, Coach Ryan Hines said, “We have more personality and gel together well. Also we only have 7 returning starters, which leaves 15 spots to fill.” With more juniors than seniors the team will be younger than in years past. They have a rigorous practice schedule every day from 4-7 PM, and sometimes watch film afterward. “We want to take it game by game. We have no off weeks-every week is just as important as the next,” said Coach Hines. With this schedule the team plans on, “beating every team, and having a good chance at states,” said Schaub.

Boys Soccer

“Our goal is to go all the way,” said Senior Brett LaBonte. The team is working hard practicing every day for two hours. “The team is pretty good this year, we will get better with the season, and try to go undefeated,” said LaBonte. They are a seasoned team with all but 3 players being upperclassmen. Being a small team this year they are much different than the team that went to the state finals last year. They are much faster and have better technique. The team to beat this year is Tuscarora. After a devastating loss to Reservoir in the finals last year, the team is ready to come out flying and capture the state title.

Girls Soccer

With only 4 seniors and 10 sophomores, they are young team looking to live up to expectations. “We are the exact opposite of last year-we are younger and inexperienced,” said Senior Natasja Hirabayashi. In recent seasons the pattern has been that the team will come together around playoff time, but the goal this year is to gel as a team as early as possible. Some of their strengths this year will be communication and defensive pressure. Although, “We need to work on getting the ball forward and finding wings up front,” said Natasja. Some of the teams to beat this year are Oakdale and Middletown, the later to which Urbana unfortunately had a damaging loss. With a practice schedule going 2:30 to 5:15 everyday and sometimes on Saturdays, the girls soccer team is working hard to make a deep playoff run.

Field Hockey

After an upsetting county finals game last year, the field hockey team is looking to avenge the loss and dominate the league. With goaltending and attack as their strong suits, they are poised to fulfill this goal. With an older team of mostly juniors and seniors there is a lot of experience to go around. When asked what their team goals are this year, Senior Meg Stuart said, “To beat Linganore, and regain the county championship.” The team is much closer than they have been in recent years, meshing together well and playing as a unit. The reason for this: “Spandex Fridays” said Meg.

Volleyball

How good is the team going to be this year? “Really, really, really good! Way better than last year, we have a lot of potential,” said senior Emily Sexton. Their goals are to beat Oakdale and Tuscarora, as well as reach the state finals. The team is mostly composed of juniors, with 2 seniors and 1 sophomore; this usually would make for an inexperienced team, but most of the juniors on the team played last year as well. This gives them an advantage, with as much experience as these players have. On the court they will run a system with 5 hitters because of their strength on the attack. Going 3 for 5 in their preseason tournament they look to bring that winning trend to the regular season.

Golf

When asked how the team would do this year senior Ryan Woodward said, “We are going to go undefeated. Our goal is to win states.” Represented with mostly freshman, this year’s golf team is a very young team. They are not very experienced, but “We have a lot of potential,” said Woodward. They are a loose group and like to have fun on the course, but when it comes to game time it’s all business. Looking to avenge their loss to Wooten in states, they are the team to beat this year. Practicing 3 days a week at Holly Hills golf course, they are poised to take the title.