Tigers replace stars with experience
For the second year in a row, the Rising Sun boys’ soccer team must replace four AllCounty players.
The task sounds daunting, but the Tigers have proven capable of overcoming key departures in the past. They went unbeaten against Cecil County opponents a season ago for the second-straight year. Rising Sun will look to remain atop the county despite dealing with key losses yet again.
The Tigers have played a deep bench in recent years. Substituting entire lines at a time allowed the team to have fresh legs on the field at all times and outrun opponents. It also means Rising Sun returns a plethora of experienced players, despite being hit hard by graduation.
“Because of the way we rotate, these guys have all had significant playing time,” Tigers coach Ken Ulrich said. “We’re carrying enough players to do that again. The level might not be quite as high, we certainly don’t have the stars that we’ve had, but I think that they’re going to step up because now they realize that they can’t just put the weight on Kane [Watson] or Logan’s [Holtman] shoulders. They have to use each other now, and I think we’re stronger in that aspect. Since we don’t have that superstar, everybody has to step up to that level.”
Watson and Holtman combined for 23 points while forming the County’s top midfield.
Rising Sun will compete in the Chesapeake Division for a second-straight year. The Tigers won just one divisional game a season ago, but chose to remain in the upper division even as Havre de Grace dropped down.
“We talked about it as a team. We want to stay up because it’s kind of a pride thing,” Ulrich said. “Plus, with playoffs being open the way that they are, it doesn’t really matter what you do during the regular season. It’s what you do to get ready for the playoffs, and to be ready for the playoffs, you’ve got to play the better teams.”
Besides Watson and Holtman, Rising Sun replaces All-County forward Brad Alexander and defender Bryan Butler.
Third-year goalie Chris Orr will anchor the Tigers defense again.
Follow Sean Grogan on Twitter: @Sean_CecilWhig
The Rising Sun boys’ soccer team will be tasked with replacing four All-County players for a second-straight year.