By Greg Smart
HUBER HEIGHTS — Wayne soccer coach Dennis Snider, in his 22nd year as head coach at Wayne, is seeking to improve on last year’s 8-8-3 record with a squad that features 10 seniors and 13 returning players.
“I expect a better season this year, record wise,” said Snider. “I think all of the teams in the area we could pretty well hang with as far as being very competitive, except the dominant teams like Centerville and Beavercreek are going to be pretty tough. Not that we can’t play with them, but it’s going to have to be a good game on our part.”
Snider said he expects to have a “pretty decent team” with good players and good leaders which include seniors that “communicate a lot.” He said he expects to have a good year with the number of returning players, but indicated that typical of the Greater Western Ohio Conference that Centerville and Beavercreek, with their large numbers, are expected to be the favorites in the area.
Tough non-conference opponents are expected to be Tipp City on and Edgewood.
Strengths on this team include the play of the midfielders and the returning defenders.
“We have a lot of midfielders, so that’s a good thing,” he said.
In Wayne’s first two scrimmages, Wayne beat Sidney 1-0 on a goal by Michael Turner and fell to Findlay 6-1. Snider said Findlay is probably one of the better teams in the Findlay area, but Wayne played without their top defender Nate Johnson. Trey Williams scored the lone goal against Findlay.
Nate Strong will be starting for his third year as Wayne’s keeper.
“As a third year senior, we look for really good things out of him this year,” said Snider. “In the Sidney game, he played exceptionally well. In the Findlay game, a lot of the goals were not his fault, but he should be really strong this year.”
Last year, Wayne scored by “committee” and that is the expectation again this year. Expected to score is striker Nathan Keyes and midfielders Brady Paxton, Turner, Josh Miller and Daniel Brown and outside midfielders Williams and Austin Marler.
One surprise this year is Cameron Picard, a sophomore that Snider expects to see a lot of action. Snider said that Picard has gotten a little bigger and “his technical skills have gotten a lot better.”
Snider said the team has some good substitutes who can step in and fill in for the starters, including Quincy Cross,Dylan Kindred and Cole Conover.
Snider also cited an experienced defensive unit coming back, including Nate Johnson, Brandon Burkey and Joe Miller.
Wayne opens the season at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22 against Xenia.
“Xenia’s always a tough team — physical, we’re going to have to play well,” said Snider. “We go into it expecting to win.”
Varsity Boys Soccer Roster
2 SR Michael Turner-Midfielder
4 SO Cameron Picard-Defender/Midfielder
5 SR Trey Williams-Striker
6 SR Joe Miller-Defender
7 SR Austin Marler-Midfielder
8 SO Nate Johnson-Defender
9 SR Nate Strong-Keeper
10 JR Daniel Brown-Defender/Midfielder
11 SR Brady Paxton-Midfielder
12 JR Cole Conover-Midfielder
13 SO Brandon Burkey-Defender
14 SR Nate Keyes-Striker
15 SR Josh Miller-Midfielder
16 SR Dylan Kindred-Striker/Midfielder
20 SR Quincy Cross-Midfielder
Reserve Boys Soccer Roster
2 FR Dylan Isaacs
3 FR DJ Majercak
5 SO Michael Bui
6 SO Garrett Russell
7 SO Ryan Nies
8 SO Garrett Brown
9 FR Mitchell Hawley
10 FR Chase Wynkoop
11 SO Braden Kelley
12 SO Simom Oberkrom
13 SO Evan Gehret
16 FR Trevor Hawley
17 FR Todd Pinsenschaum
18 FR Nick Riffle
19 FR Brandon Hutsonpillar
20 SO Dustin Kmucha
21 FR Cameron Edwards
Reach Greg Smart at 236-4990, ext. 2542.